Schenectady is throwing a parade for Union College's Division I national champion men's hockey team.
WHAT: Union Championship Parade to celebrate 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Champions
WHEN: Thursday, April 17
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
ROUTE: The parade will begin on the campus of Union College in front of Alumni Gym on Alexander Lane and proceed past Messa Rink. The parade will then exit the campus with a left hand turn onto Nott Street and proceed south onto Seward Place. The procession will head west onto Union Street before turning south onto Jay Street and will conclude at Schenectady City Hall.
DETAILS: Fans and residents are encouraged to line the parade route and join the team at City Hall in celebration of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Champions from Union College.
Union College is the national champion in ice hockey for the first time in history. On Saturday, the Dutchmen defeated the No. 1 overall seed University of Minnesota, 7-4, to claim college hockey's top prize in Philadelphia.
Locals have been fired up about the Dutchmen all year, and for good reason: the tiny college of 2,241, which doesn’t give athletic scholarships, upended powerhouses like Boston College en route to the title. The title win led revelers into the street in Schenectady and saw the formerly overshadowed hockey program trending nationally on social media.
As soon as the victory was in, officials envisioned holding a parade along the main streets of Schenectady, which would feature the team and include many members of the community.
Jim McLaughlin, director of athletics at Union College, hails the win as "significant" for the school, students, alumni and community. "To win a national championship in the fashion that we did going against the traditional powers of Boston College and Minnesota and bringing that home was a significant accomplishment that we take a great deal of pride in. And You know as we've seen over the past few weeks, the amount of publicity we've received, whether it be the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times or various other media outlet, it's been great for our school and it's been great for Schenectady. We got the question on several occasions 'Where is Schenectady?' and I think they know a lot more about it now and a lot more about Union hockey as a result."
Now that Schenectady is "on the map," president and CEO of the Chamber of Schenectady County Chuck Steiner says it's time to hold a parade to honor the athletes and rejoice in victory. "The Union Championship Parade is going to be happening on Thursday April 17th from 4pm to 6pm. The parade will commence from Union College and it will end in front of City Hall on Jay Street, where the major festivities program will be handled. The parade's focus is obviously on the men's Division I NCAA Champions of the hockey world. And we're so delighted by that as a community, a city, a county, a region."
Union, which only jumped to Division I in 1991, won the ECAC regular-season and playoff championships. wamc-dot-org.