Local
4:09 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

ECC hockey team to call HarborCenter home

Downtown Buffalo's under-construction HarborCenter is going be the new home of Erie Community College's Kats Hockey Program, it was announced Tuesday.

HarborCenter President John Koelmel says with its state-of-the-art facilities, ECC will be able to offer its student athletes an opportunity that far exceeds a typical junior collegiate hockey program.

HarborCenter officials joined with ECC Kats players Tuesday in making the announcement.
HarborCenter officials joined with ECC Kats players Tuesday in making the announcement.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

"In turn, we'll provide a terrific venue for their students and community fans to support them and cheer them on to not only many victories, but more championships in the years ahead," Koelmel said at a news conference Tuesday.

The Kats won an NJCAA national championship in 2011. Kats defenseman Cody Dynarski says the new facility will bring players closer to the next level of hockey.  

"Growing up you always want to play pro, you want to be the next professional athlete, the next all-star, and this gives you that opportunity to go ahead and be the best hockey player you can be," Dynarski said. 

Along with the ECC Kats, HarborCenter is partnering with Canisius College Hockey and the Buffalo Junior Sabres.

When it opens this fall, HarborCenter will have two NHL-size ice surfaces, training facilities, a restaurant and parking ramp, all connected to the First Niagara Center.