By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘Progressive Field’
Posted: July 11th, 2013

Rick Gotkin heads into the 2013-14 season – his 26th as Mercyhurst men’s hockey coach – with another schedule filled with quality opponents.
The Lakers, which a season ago fell one win shy of capturing their first Atlantic Hockey Association title and NCAA Division I tournament berth since 2005, opens the regular season Oct. 11 at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis against host Minnesota – one of the nation’s most prestigious programs – in one of the nation’s premier events, the Ice Breaker Tournament. They conclude the two-day tournament Oct. 12 against either Clarkson or New Hampshire.
The Lakers play their home opener Oct. 15 at Mercyhurst Ice Center against Ferris State, which reached the national title game two seasons ago. Then they travel for a pair of two-game, non-conference series at Merrimack (Oct. 18-19) and Alaska (Oct. 25-26). They also have Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Nov. 22-23 at MIC) and Ohio State (Dec. 28-29 in Columbus, Ohio) on the non-conference schedule. Gotkin said a potential outdoor game against the Buckeyes at Progressive Field in Cleveland won’t be held for what he called unknown reasons. The game was tentatively announced last summer but was never finalized.
Mercyhurst opens the AHA schedule Nov. 2 against Air Force at MIC. They face a challenging stretch in conference in the second half, with trips to Air Force (Feb. 7-8) and Rochester Institute of Technology (Feb. 14-15) followed by a home-and-home series with defending regular-season champion Niagara (Feb. 21-22). They finish the regular season with a home-and-home series against Robert Morris Feb. 28 and March 1.
The AHA playoffs begin March 7 and conclude with the semifinals and title game March 21 and 22, respectively, at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y.

Posted: July 17th, 2012

Joe Kimball, Mercyhurst University’s director of athletics, announced at a news conference Tuesday that men’s hockey Rick Gotkin and women’s coach Michael Sisti have signed four-year contracts that will keep them with their respective NCAA Division I programs through the 2015-16 season.
Gotkin also confirmed that his Lakers have been invited to play an outdoor game against Ohio State in December 2013 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
“It’s an exciting day at Mercyhurst University, especially for our two hockey programs,” Kimball said.
Gotkin and Sisti still had one year left on three-year deals. Yet their new contracts, which replace those previous deals, allow them to maintain the continuity at the top of their programs that prospective student-athletes and their families search for during the recruiting process.
“When you look a kid in the eye and they ask if you’re going to be here, you’ve got the feeling you’re going to be here,” said Sisti, who heads into his 14th season as women’s coach after spending his first six years at Mercyhurst as Gotkin’s assistant. “But it’s nice to have it on paper, so you can look them in the eye back and say, ‘I’m definitely going to be here.’ It helps them feel good about the process.”
The first outdoor hockey game in school history also would serve as a great recruiting tool. Ohio State faced rival Michigan this past January in front of 25,864 fans at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, in the first outdoor college hockey game in Ohio.
“It’s a great reflection of our program from top to bottom,” Gotkin said. “I think people realize we have a big-time program.”
The game isn’t official yet, said Gotkin, who received the invitation from OSU officials this past weekend. The schools await confirmation from the Indians. Mercyhurst and OSU already are scheduled to play a two-game weekend series in Columbus Dec. 13-14, 2013. Gotkin said the Dec. 14 game would move to Progressive Field.

- Victor Fernandes

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