By Amy Moritz
Today was a big day for HarborCenter. Five months after construction began the final beam of structural steel was swung into place to top off the parking ramp and rinks. Officials said HarborCenter would be ready to go at the end of October.
There's only one problem. College hockey season begins in early October, including home games for the Canisius College Golden Griffins. The program is scheduled to move into HarborCenter this season.
Ah, but no worries. Canisius athletic director Bill Maher said the school and the Buffalo Sabres had already planned for the possiblity of construction delays. Canisius has worked in partnernship with the Sabres for a smooth transition and early season games will be played in First Niagara Center should the rinks at HarborCenter not be ready when the Griffs drop the puck on the 2014-15 season.
Canisius will be releasing its season schedule as early as next week.
The last time regular season college hockey was played at First Niagara Center was Oct. 24-25, 2003, when Canisius, Niagara, New Hampshire and UMass-Lowell played in the Punch Imlach College Hockey Showcase.