It's on! The second annual Mayor's Cup Game will pit two of the Capital Region's toughest men's hockey teams against one another.
Area hockey fans are expected to turn out en masse as the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers take on the Union Dutchmen for the Mayor's Cup hockey game Saturday, January 25th at Times Union Center in Albany. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan: "We are the host to this rivalry and to this great game and to this cup that energizes not just the fans of Union and RPI but fans across the region of hockey. And I get to be the 'neutral mayor' who doesn't have to pick a side."
The hockey rivalry dates back to 1904. Last year in the inaugural Mayor's Cup, Union pulled out an exciting victory: Matt Wilkins scored the game-winning power-play goal with 37 seconds remaining in the third period to lift No. 19 Union to a 3-2 win over RPI.
Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia: "The Mayor's Cup as I see it, signifies more than a chance to defend the title. It signifies the chance to bring communities together and to just have a great time."
RPI head coach Seth Appert says both colleges have rich histories and traditions. "RPI hockey and Union hockey are very important to the fabric and the culture of their campuses and of their communities." RPI will try to snap a 10-game losing streak to the Dutchmen. "You know there's a couple areas that we need to clean up, and our guys know what they are."
Union's men's hockey coach Rick Bennett says the Dutchmen never underestimate the Engineers: "It has been an absolute battle, every time that we've played 'em."
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy weighs in: "They're two great hockey programs. Long rivalry. And so this allows really the Capital District to shine. And we'd like Schenectady to shine a little bit better or a little bit more, and keep that trophy right in the city of Schenectady."
Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber: "This is a great event for us and we spent a lot of time last year bringing the first Mayor's Cup, and this year we're looking forward to hosting another one: January 25th. And 7:30 will be the drop of the puck. And RPI and Union will be back at it, combating on the ice, and it's just an exciting time!"
The game will NOT be televised; Belber says tickets are still available. The Times Union Center is also home to the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League.