Devils look to keep home-ice edge

Special to the OBSERVER

The Fredonia men’s hockey team is home twice this weekend at the Steele Hall Ice Arena, a place where they’ve had a run of success so far this season.

The Blue Devils take a 2-0-1 record in the friendly confines into 7 p.m. games Friday and Saturday versus the Potsdam Bears and Plattsburgh Cardinals, respectively.

Fredonia is 4-4-1 overall and 2-2-0 in the SUNYAC, including a 4-3 upset of the then-No. 6 ranked Geneseo Knights at Steele on Nov. 4.

Both of this weekend’s opponents have earned the respect of national NCAA Division III pollsters. The Bears (6-1-1 overall/2-1-0) have received votes in the USCHO.com poll each of the last three weeks and in the D3Hockey.com poll this past Monday. The Cardinals (4-4-0 overall/2-3-0 SUNYAC), who’ll face off Friday night at Buffalo State, have been ranked as high as No. 8 by USCHO.com and No. 14 by D3Hockey.com this season, and also received votes in both polls this week.

“It’s always big when we battle with the North Country (teams),” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “Both (games) are SUNYAC meat grinders and will be full, 60-minute battles. The formula is still the same: Reach our potential in our work, our discipline, and get a quick start.”

Meredith will be seeking his 400th win against NCAA teams this weekend. In his 30th season at Fredonia, he has a record of 399-354 with 83 ties.

Friday is Stroke Awareness Game with the Blue Devils donning specially designed red jerseys and socks while raising funds for The Foundation of Kaleida Health.

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