posted October 6, 2004

Hope/Calvin Hockey Headed to VanAndel Arena

The storied Calvin-Hope men's basketball rivalry has played the Van Andel Arena. Now the growing Calvin-Hope ice hockey rivalry will get a chance to do the same.

On November 13 at the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids, the two rivals will meet on the ice in a Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference game slated to start at 3:00 p.m.

The game will be part of a hockey doubleheader at the Van Andel Arena as the Calvin-Hope game will precede a 7:30 p.m. American Hockey League contest between the host Grand Rapids Griffins and the visiting San Antonio Rampage.

Fans will get a chance to see both games for one ticket price. Priced at $13.00, each ticket will allow a fan to see both games. Tickets for Calvin and Hope students are priced at $10.00.

Tickets to the doubleheader can only be purchased at the Calvin Box Office. Tickets can be purchased through the box office in person, by phone (616-526-6282) or online (http://www.calvin.edu/boxoffice).

The Calvin/Hope hockey matchup will pit a pair of teams that have achieved national distinction over the last two years. In 2003, Hope took second at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division III National Club Tournament while Calvin took third.

This past March, Calvin went all the way, capturing the ACHA Division III Tournament title with Hope taking fifth.

The ACHA National title capped off a storybook season for the Calvin club ice hockey team as it finished the year 29-1 overall which included an MCHC regular season title.

Calvin's lone defeat however was to Hope as the Flying Dutchmen topped the Knights 6-2 in the MCHC Tournament Championship final. The meeting was the fourth of the year between Calvin and Hope with the Knights winning the three prior meetings. Two of the meetings were played in front of overflow crowds. In October, a crowd of 1,100 fans were treated to a 4-3 overtime thriller at the Jolly Roger Ice Arena in Grand Rapids. In January, the two rivals met in Holland in front of 1,800 fans at the Edge Ice Arena with the Knights prevailing 2-0.

This summer the rivalry was featured in June/July issue of USA Hockey Magazine.

The upcoming November game at the Van Andel Arena will serve as Calvin's home game which has Calvin hockey coach Mike Petrusma excited. "First of all, we're very grateful that the Griffins organization and everyone at the Van Andel Arena has made this opportunity possible for both teams," said Petrusma. "The price of each ticket is the same for a regular season Griffins games so in essence, hockey fans will get a chance to see two high quality games for the price of one ticket. That's a combination that's difficult to beat."

With the Van Andel Arena seating more than 10,000 fans for hockey, more fans will have the opportunity to witness the Calvin-Hope rivalry in person. "Because of the success of both teams, the crowd sizes at our games has been overwhelming," said Petrusma. "It's exciting to see that kind of enthusiasm but it also makes it difficult for people who don't want to stand for an entire game or stand in a long line for a ticket. With the game at the Van Andel Arena, any one who wants to come out and see us play should have the opportunity and they won't have to stand to watch the game."

The Calvin-Hope game will actually be part of a triple-header of hockey action at the Van Andel Arena as a Calvin alumni hockey game will take place at 1:00 p.m.

"Calvin has a rich ice hockey tradition so it's an added bonus for our school that its alumni hockey players will get the opportunity to play in a game at such a terrific facility," said Petrusma. "It should all make for a fantastic day of hockey action in downtown Grand Rapids."