Mayor's Cup game will return next season
Despite the fracas at the end of last Saturday’s Mayor’s Cup game between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union, the two teams will meet again in the game next season.
Times Union Center general manager Bob Belber said the game will take place Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
“There’s a lot of excitement about getting to the next year and having them get back together again,” Belber said. “I’m sure you won’t see [a postgame brawl] like this for many, many years, if ever again. This was just one of those things where it was a passionate game. It was a hard-fought game between the two teams. The coaches would probably be the first to say that they would not likely have this kind of thing to happen in the future.”
The Engineers won the game, 2-1, But what drew the attention of everyone locally and nationally was the postgame fracas that started when Union’s Mat Bodie cross-checked RPI’s Brock Higgs in the head at the final buzzer.
The main event was between Union coach Rick Bennett and RPI coach Seth Appert. Bennett went after Appert, and appeared to throw a punch that connected with RPI center Milos Bubela as he was pushing Appert away. Bennett was suspended two games by Union, without pay, on Sunday. After initially saying that he was fine with how Union handled it, ECAC Hockey commissioner Steve Hagwell suspended Bennett two more games and handed Appert a one-game suspension.
Despite the attention it has received, but schools athletic directors want the game to continue.
“It’s been a great event,” Union athletic director Jim McLaughlin said. “You saw the attendance in the past years. It’s something that we like to see continue. We look forward to our participation again and show the community how to properly represent.”
RPI athletic director Jim Knowlton concurred.
“I’m excited about it,” Knowlton said. “It was an absolutely superb hockey game, and I’m not saying that because we won. I’m saying that it was a great, hard-fought hockey game that the student-athletes on both teams played well. For us, we’re excited about it. The mayors were excited about it. I think we’ll be back at it next year.”