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Friday, November 14, 2014

While work continues on Cornerstone CFCU Arena, inside it's ready for hockey. And many Lockport area residents will see it tonight for the first time.

The Lockport Express and Roc City Royals will play the first Junior A game inside the new arena beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Express Head Coach said there won't be much in terms of pomp and circumstance tonight, but there will be a brief recognition of the team's sponsors and a moment of silence for Nolan Burch, an 18-year-old West Virginia University student from Amherst who died this morning. He was a former classmate of some of the Express team.

There will be limited merchandise available for purchase before and during tonight's game, according to Express Head Coach Frank Vecchio. It will also be available in the pro shop during normal business hours. Also available during the game are season passes, good for admittance to the rest of the team's 14 games. As the team had to play it's first few home games at Niagara University and Batavia, the season passes are being offered at a discounted rate of $50.

“We are very excited to be back on-track and have our new home ice up-and running,” Vecchio said leading into tonight's game. “This facility is going to be a great venue for top-notch hockey. We are grateful for the hard work that has gone into making sure this great rink concept became a reality, and look forward to many good years at Cornerstone CFCU Arena.”

“The inaugural Lockport Express game is the culmination of a community-wide effort to bring a world-class hockey and multi-use facility to Lockport,” said John J. Ottaviano, president of Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center organizing team. “To see the players take the ice (tonight) will be a special moment not only for me and the organizing team, but also for all those generous funders and enthusiasts who have backed this project. The Cornerstone CFCU Arena is a proud development for our area and another reason for athletes, parents, and fans to visit our city and town.”

Doors to the arena open at 6:30. The southwest entrance — at Chestnut and Market street — appears to be inoperable. The other entrance — at Union and Market streets, appears to be working, however.

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