The Simon Fraser University men’s hockey team will travel to the eastern United States for a pair of exhibition games against NCAA Division I opponents again this season.
SFU plans to visit Bowling Green University on Saturday, Oct. 4 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Clan then will head to Oxford, Ohio on Sunday, Oct. 5 for a game against the Miami University RedHawks.
Last October, SFU traveled to Massachusetts for a set of games against Sacred Heart University and College of the Holy Cross. SFU’s first look at an NCAA Div. I opponent came in 2011, when it journeyed to Wenatchee, Washington for an exhibition match up against Air Force Academy.
“It’s a great opportunity and challenge for our group to go out and play against two very good NCAA programs. Getting away on a road trip early in the season is crucial to team building and getting to know each other on and off the ice,” said SFU head coach Mark Coletta. “This is just another step in the evolution of SFU men’s hockey and something we want to continue to build on.”
Bowling Green has produced two Hobey Baker winners as the top player in U.S. college hockey in former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee (1982) and former NHL veteran Brian Holzinger (1995). The Falcons are two-time Frozen Four participants and won the NCAA tournament championship in 1984.
Notable Bowling Green alumni includes Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, and six-time NHL all-star and 2001 Stanley Cup champion Rob Blake.
"Mark and I have been talking about the possibility of playing (against each other) for a couple of years. It will be great to have a team from B.C. in our building. We are very excited for this opportunity," said Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron.
The Miami University men’s hockey team started in 1978 and is a two-time Frozen Four participant. The RedHawks have appeared in the NCAA championship tournament 11 times, including eight straight seasons from 2006 to 2013.
Miami University has a number of notable alumni, including 2010 Canadian Olympian and 2004 Stanley Cup champion Dan Boyle and New Jersey Devils veteran defenseman Andy Greene.
"We are excited for the opportunity to play this game. Simon Fraser is a very good, well-coached team that will give us a chance to see where we are as we start the season. We know it will be a great game," said RedHawks head coach Enrico Blasi.
SFU men's hockey was re-established in 2004 and competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League.
The program focuses on competition, academics, and community service. Last year, SFU placed second in the BCIHL, while also earning strong results in exhibition games against NCAA Div. I, CIS, and ACAC opponents.