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SUNY Potsdam hockey ‘home’ games wind down in Massena

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MASSENA - With only four “home” games remaining at the Massena Arena for the SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team, Massena’s recreation superintendent says interest has not waned at all.

In fact, Richard A. Boprey said, the final two weekends of games are “big weekends in a lot of ways,” including the fact that they’re the last games the team will be playing at the Massena Arena.

Because of renovations to their home ice at Maxcy Hall, the Bears men’s hockey team has been using the Massena Arena as their home venue this year, which has been good for the Massena community, according to Mr. Boprey.

“It’s been a blessing in disguise,” he said.

But those days are winding down.

The team will start the new year with several away games in Castleton, Vt.; Saratoga Springs; Springfield, Mass.; Worcester, Mass.; Morrisville; Clinton; Plattsburgh; Fredonia; and Buffalo. They return to the Massena Arena to close out the regular season with back-to-back weekend games against The College at Brockport on Feb. 8, SUNY Geneseo on Feb. 9, Oswego State on Feb. 15 and SUNY Cortland on Feb. 16.

As part of those final games, the team plans to donate to the Massena Rescue Squad to thank them for providing medical services at the games. The rescue squad had stretchered a goalie off the ice during the first game at the Massena Arena, and they’re on stand-by at the arena during the home games.

One of their final games at the arena may also include a chuck-a-puck contest and a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Massena Humane Society, according to Mr. Boprey.

“I think it’s a nice touch. They’re happy to be part of this community and they are contributing,” he said.

Others are happy to have them as a part of the community including fans who fill the stands and local businesses who are seeing their sales increase. Mr. Boprey said teams will often finish their game, order 15 or 20 pizzas and hit the road, meaning more business for local restaurants.

Massena Joint Recreation Commission member John J. Horan said he and head coach Christopher D. Bernard recently had an opportunity to talk to the Rotary Club, and he said that was “well received.”

In fact, he said, Rotarian and local businessman Real “Frenchie” Coupal said he wants to do his part to plug the final games.

“Frenchie came up after and said he wants to put ads for the games on his LED board (near Frenchie’s Selects on state Route 37),” he said. “In a roundabout way, that will come back with additional people.”

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