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AU Athletics Announces Men’s and Women’s Hockey Program Set to Debut in 2024 due to Local Popularity

By Andrew Smith

Due to the popularity of hockey locally, Adelphi will be adding two more teams to their extensive lineup of athletic teams. A men’s and women’s hockey team will be taking the ice in fall of 2024. In fact, the home rink for both teams will be right here on campus. Construction will begin in the coming weeks in the new basement of Woodruff Hall below the current swimming pool. This project has been kept secret for many years due to the intense planning and structural changes that had to be completed to the building. All of the changes have been finally approved by the state and we will soon be seeing the construction beginning in a matter of days.

Daniel Bedard and Greg Bouris will be leading the charge and serve as the founders of the two new athletic teams. Professor Bouris worked for the NHL and then New York Islanders and Florida Panthers and Professor Bedard is a Canadian who has played pro hockey in Sweden before playing with the New York Islanders as a practice goalie back in the 1989-96. Overall they have over 40 years of experience in the hockey world and cannot wait to bring their knowledge to our athletic department.

In addition, Professor Bedard's family connection to Connor Bedard, the world's number one prospect for the 2023 NHL draft, will be attending Adelphi to play his collegiate eligibility for his first year until he is able to make the leap to the best professional league in the world, the NHL. This in itself should draw a huge crowd to all of our home games and fill all the stadiums at the away games.

The men's team will have an incredible coaching staff with legendary New York Islander Bob Nystrom as the head coach and NHL Hall of Famer Pat Lafontaine. Bedard explained, “These two local hockey heroes have been promoting the success on Long Island for years and are happy to help make the Adelphi Hockey Program an immediate success.”

During the inaugural season, Adelphi will be participating in a local road trip in addition to league play, which will involve all of the local schools (Divisions I-III) and then will host each local team later in the season. This will be a great opportunity for our students to travel to local schools to cheer and support each other and then pack the house when we welcome our rivals to Garden City.

Both the men’s and women’s team will be playing in the ECAC Division I Conference during their inaugural season.

Also, all students will have the opportunity to use the new ice rink that will be available for students and faculty throughout the year. Students and faculty will be given the opportunity to take skating lessons and also participate in recreational classes.

Paws the Panther will also be joining the fun and will be learning how to ice skate and will be present at all home games to cheer on our wonderful players!

Be sure to keep an eye out for updates on tryout and practice dates!

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