College football has rivalry week at the end of the season, college basketball has bracket buster weekends. College hockey, with multiple matchups per season, does not have a similar event, but if they did the past two weekends would qualify as Rivalry 8 Days. A week after Minnesota-Wisconsin renewed the border battle while Boston College-Boston University squared off, this weekend sees 5 rivalry series across 5 conferences. Hit the jump to take a look at the storylines heading into this weekend’s slate of games in NCAA hockey.
We have reached the last team to preview in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, the reigning regular season champion Canisius Griffins. After years of being a bottom of the league to middle of the pack type team, Canisius has found some success since moving into the HARBORCenter as their home, a joint venture gift from the Pegula family and Buffalo Sabres. This commitment to a state of the art facility with the increased scholarship limit in Atlantic Hockey had helped Canisius recruit better under coach Dave Smith.
This reached a peak in 2016-17 with the Griffins winning their first Conference Regular Season Championship in program history. Canisius will have two huge assets to replace in 2016-17 replacing coach Dave Smith (now at RPI) and Hobey Baker Finalist goaltender Charles Williams. This season for Trevor Large, a 1st time head coach, will be a challenge as the Griffins try to match their season of a year ago.