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Bemidji St. hockey: CHA Tournament headed back to Niagara

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For the second time in three years, Niagara University will host the men's College Hockey America Tournament.

The CHA announced in a press release Thursday that the final tournament will be held at Dwyer Arena March 12-13, 2010. The league is disbanding after this season.

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"We are thrilled to have the CHA Tournament back at Dwyer Arena for the second time in three years," Niagara athletic director and CHA commissioner Ed McLaughlin said. "We are honored to host what will be the final CHA Tournament and to provide student athletes throughout the conference with the best championship experience possible. Hosting this tournament gives college hockey fans throughout western New York the chance to visit our campus and witness the best family value in the area."

One of the top hockey facilities in western New York, Dwyer Arena has hosted the 2004 women's CHA Tournament, the 2008 men's and women's CHA Tournaments, the 2008 and 2009 Buffalo Sabres Development Camp. It will also host the upcoming 2010-2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships.

"Dwyer Arena is no stranger to world-class hockey, whether it is with the Buffalo Sabres Developmental Camp, the CHA Tournament or the 2010-11 IIHF World Junior Championships," McLaughlin said. "Not many rinks will have those partners in three years, never mind one. The improvements that we made have helped to put Dwyer Arena in an elite category of facilities."

With a capacity of 2,100, Dwyer Arena features the Premium Seating Section, which is a climate-controlled area with its own eatery, bar and private restrooms.

It also comes equipped with flat-screen TV's, a personalized sound-system in a gathering area with a view of the entire ice surface.

From the gathering area, fans can access the 97 seats located directly above the east goal.

The College Hockey America men's league is made up of Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State, Niagara and Robert Morris.

Bemidji State hosted and won last year's CHA Tournament and earned the automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament by defeating Robert Morris 3-2 in overtime at John Glas Fieldhouse.

The Culver's fast food restaurant was announced as the title sponsor of the Camp Randall Hockey Classic Feb. 6 in Madison, Wis.

The doubleheader at Camp Randall Stadium, home to the Wisconsin football team, features the Bemidji State women's hockey team against Wisconsin followed by the Wisconsin men against Michigan.

Camp Randall Stadium holds 80,321 fans for football games and the event anticipates breaking the record for most fans attending an NCAA women's game.

The current NCAA record for women's hockey attendance is 5,377, which was set on Jan. 26, 2008 at the Kohl Center in a game between Wisconsin and St. Cloud State.

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