|Distance from RPI||192 mi.|
|Venue name||Cheel Arena|
Clarkson University is the second furthest ECAC venue from RPI (only St. Lawrence is further, and only by a few miles). Located in Potsdam, NY, it is only about 20 miles from the St. Lawrence River, which marks the border between the state of New York and the Canadian providence of Ontario.
Cheel Arena is arguably the nicest rink in the ECAC. As opposed to the Houston Field House, which lies far from the core of RPI's campus, Cheel Arena is actually part of Clarkson's student union. It is well lit, has ample seating (though still only 3/5 as much as the Houston Field House), and is generally a very nice arena. Do not take these compliments to suggest that the trip to Clarkson is a pleasant one, however.
Cheel Arena is the least inviting of any of the venues we travel to. Clarkson fans are loud and obnoxious, even more so than Union's. During recent trips several band members were verbally threatened by fans or had trash thrown at them, and there have been attempts at setting the flag on fire. It is somewhat surprising that a fight hasn't broken out in recent memory, though there have been several close calls.
Clarkson's band is no better than their fans. They are equally loud and obnoxious, and show no respect for visiting bands. They will play over us, taunt us, and generally do anything they can to make us feel unwelcome. They also have a rather annoying habit of attempting to show up visiting bands (or home bands, when they travel). They will scream something to the effect of "Hey <other team>'s band. This is how a real pep band is supposed to sound!" Apparently, however, it is their band's opinion that pep bands are supposed to sound horrifically out of tune. This was especially apparent when they did this during RPI's trip in 2005, when their band surrounded ours and started playing Louie, Louie. After a few bars we joined in, and generally outplayed Clarkson's band in both volume and quality, even though the band was outnumbered nearly 2 to 1.
In addition to being a very unpleasant place to go to, getting to and from Potsdam is a problem in and of itself. No major highways go anywhere near Potsdam, lengthening an already long trip. This was compounded in 2005, when the game took place during a blizzard - with no accommodations arranged for the night after the Saturday game, the band had no choice but to leave Potsdam and travel back to Troy. The band's bus followed the team's bus slowly down the nearly impassible roads, and did not arrive back in Troy until after 4:00 AM.
Where to stay
In 2005, the band rented out a significant portion of a small resort named "The Stone Fence" in Ogdensburg/Morristown, including two nice town houses for the senior members. It also had a fine view of Canada across the river. These cabins proved to be very nice locations for Friday night's obligatory road trip party. The resort was also very inexpensive, as the middle of the winter is not exactly high season for a summer resort. The resort is a bit of a drive from Potsdam (nearly an hour), but it is worth the trip.
What to do
Unfortunately, there's not really much to do around Potsdam. During the band's trip to the North Country in 2005 they spent the bulk of their Saturday at the St. Lawrence Centre, a mall in Massena which has a public indoor skating rink in addition to a food court and a small assortment of stores.
- February 10, 2001: Men's hockey North Country trip (L 1-3)
- January 22, 2005: Men's hockey North Country trip (W 4-3)
- The team completed the first North Country sweep in 20 years (the '85 championship season), and the band drove 8 hours through a blizzard on the trip back.
- November 9, 2007: Women's hockey North Country trip (L 1-2 (OT))
- January 24, 2009: Men's hockey North Country trip (L 2-3 (OT))
- November 13, 2009: Men's hockey North Country trip (W 5-2)
- December 2, 2011: Women's hockey North Country trip (L 0-10)
- March 2-4, 2012: Men's hockey ECAC First Round matchup (W 5-1, L 3-4 (3OT), W 4-1)
- October 26-27, 2012: Women's hockey North Country trip (L 2-6).
- February 7, 2015: Men's hockey North Country Trip (L 2-5).