Put Up Your Dukes: Duquesne University Ice Hockey

When you visit the beautiful campus of Duquesne University in the Uptown area of Pittsburgh, you'll notice one building in particular that smacks right up against the campus: PPG Paints arena! Adding that to the list of things that are awesome about the location of Duquesne University is the school's club hockey team.
Photo courtesy of Ed Major
I had the pleasure to speak with Conrad Waite, Head Coach of the Dukes, who explained to me that the program has been around for at least the last 40 years. Along the way, the Team has won two conference championships and have made three trips to Nationals in 2005, 2006, and 2009. The team prides itself on running at the standard of a Varsity hockey team and hold themselves to a high standard, much like the university itself.

Photo courtesy Ed Major
While the team's primary focus is to become a top team in the ACHA DI level, they're also doing everything they can to get the word out around campus about the hockey team. As with most schools I've covered, they get the "We have a hockey team?" from time to time but have done a pretty good job of getting coverage through support of the school newspaper and getting student managers to handle the social media and game day preparations. Also, if any students are interested, the team is looking for people to do broadcasting for the games and analytic work.

Photo courtesy of Ed Major
When it comes to the look of the team, Conrad stated "We decided to order our new uniforms through JOG, after interviewing a few custom design companies this offseason. Previously we had used stock uniforms that were based off old USA jersey designs. We knew we wanted more of a "classic" or throwback look and going into the redesign decided to go with Red uniforms for our away jerseys. We were inspired by the Duquesne Basketball jerseys from last season and loosely modeled ours after them with the name and front number. We decided to forgo nameplates for both, and for the red's we did away with sleeve numbers for a cleaner look. The white Home jerseys were designed to be a bit more of a contrast to the roads, with extra striping and the main Duquesne "D" logo  Finally, on the left shoulder of both jerseys we included the Duquesne "D" and on the right shoulder we included the attached custom shoulder patch designed for us by Daniel Gurwin, of Daniel Gurwin Designs, as a nod to Duquesne's place in Pittsburgh hockey history. The Duquesne Country & Athletic Club (or Pittsburgh Duquesne) was a member of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, one of the first professional leagues in the country."

Duquesne hockey shoulder patch
The Dukes have also adapted the fierce rivalry that is "The City Game" against the cross town rivals, the University of Pittsburgh. When I asked Conrad what drives the rivalry between the two teams, Conrad explained to me "Proximity is obviously the main driver. In addition, there is a lot of familiarity between the teams. Pitt's Head Coach was an Assistant Coach at Duquesne when I was a member of the team, a number of players considered both schools before deciding to attend one or the other, both teams have a fair number of Pittsburgh kids that have known or played against each other for years. and of course the existence of the "City Game" between the basketball teams definitely adds to that. Finally, Pitt is the defending champions for our league with a record of 10-3-1 while we finished 2nd with a 10-4 record, even though we went 2-0 against them. So I think both teams feel like they have something to prove in our first match up this season."To add another level of intensity to the rivalry, this year's game (which is this Friday, November 17th) Will be on Duquesne's "home ice" at PPG Paints Arena.

Yes, Duquesne's hockey team is one that's on the right path to success with only it's rival trying to stop them. If you want to go see the Dukes play at PPG Paints Arena, go to ticketmaster.com or the PPG Paints Arena Box Office and get your ticket for $10. If you can't make this game but still want to see the Dukes play, go out to the Alpha Ice Complex. Best of Luck boys!
Put Up Your Dukes: Duquesne University Ice Hockey Reviewed by Steve Marc on November 14, 2017 Rating: 5

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