Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — Local veterans enjoyed a night of college hockey at Niagara University on Saturday as the Purple Eagles hosted area military personnel and the Air Force Academy's team.
There was plenty to cheer for the home crowd, as NU overcome a pair of one-goal deficits before taking and holding onto a third-period lead to win 4-3.
Not that the final score mattered to many at Saturday’s game — a large contingent of Air Force fans and neutrals voiced their support for the young men on the ice who will soon be serving their country.
In several cases, buses and other modes of transportation were donated for use Saturday night. For instances, a contingent of veterans from Orleans County had a comfortable ride to the game thanks to a bus donated by the Community Action Program and driver Larry Montello. Although they sat next to the vocal student section, the group — which also included Rick Forder, Jim Freas, Joe Franklin, Fred Heschke, Peter Huth, Dick Huth — had a good time at the game.
Freas, who organized the trip, said Niagara sought to honor all the local veterans for the Air Force Academy's annual trip to Western New York. More than 1,000 flag-waving fans packed into Dwyer Arena, with the loudest cheers of the night coming as veterans from across the area were honored.