SUNY Potsdam men's hockey hosts 'Military Appreciation Night' Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 9:37 am

POTSDAM -- The SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team will hold a “Military Appreciation Night” during this Friday's 7 p.m. contest with SUNYAC rival and fourth-ranked Plattsburgh State.

All veterans, active duty personnel, National Guard and reservists will receive free admission to the contest. SUNY Potsdam Associate Professor of Business Administration Gregory Gardner, who is also a Colonel in the National Guard, will drop the puck in a pregame ceremony. Gardner recently nominated Joe Timmerman, chair of the Department of Business Administration, and SUNY Potsdam for the Department of Defense Patriot Award. Timmerman and the college received the honor on Jan. 10, in recognition of their strong support for members of the National Guard and Reserve.

"We are sincerely grateful to all of those who have served our nation and its citizens," said Bears Head Coach Chris Bernard. "Their selfless commitment to protect our safety and our way of life must be considered the ultimate nobility. Therefore, we would like to, at minimal, let them know we value and appreciate them."

Recently, the Bears built a productive relationship with the ROTC program. This pre-season, Potsdam captains Mike Arnold, Nick Averinos and Ryan Miller took part in leadership exercises with Lt. Col. Abrahm DiMarco, Capt. Richard Martinez, SFC Dennis Truman and Maj. Scott Toth. The entire team also took part in the field obstacle course where they worked on problem solving together.

"Our experiences with the tremendous guys directing the ROTC and all that they have contributed to our program has been awesome," added Bernard.

The Watertown Vet Center will have a table near the rink entrance to provide information on services provided to veterans.

Friday night's game marks the 102nd meeting between the Bears and Cardinals as varsity programs and is crucial game as Potsdam makes another run at a SUNYAC playoff spot.