Dwyer Through the Years
And So It Begins
On May 9, 1995, Niagara University officials proudly announced their intention to construct an on-campus ice arena for the purposes of bringing varsity hockey to the school. 366 days later, that vision became reality when the $6 million NU Ice Complex had its grand opening on May 10, 1996.
Purple Eagles Hockey Gets Started
The new facility welcomed the brand-new men’s hockey team to the ice for the first time on October 29, 1996. The Purple Eagles hosted Hobart in the arena’s first game and defeated the Statesmen, 12-6. In their first season, Niagara christened the rink with five consecutive wins and went 7-0-2 on home ice before Elmira handed them their first-ever home loss on January 31, 1997. Home ice advantage proved to be a legitimate concern for teams coming to Monteagle Ridge, as the Purple Eagles lost just one home game in each of their first two seasons at the NU Ice Complex.
$3 Million Pledge from Robert and Connie Dwyer
In 1998, Robert and Connie Dwyer (’65) pledged $3 million to the university for the purposes of expanding the arena and further developing the fledgling hockey programs. To show gratitude for the generous donation, the NU Ice Complex was renamed Dwyer Arena ahead of the 1998-99 season.
College Hockey America
Dwyer Arena hosted the College Hockey America Men's conference tournaments during 2002, 2008, and 2010 years, and the Women's Conference Tournaments during 2004 and 2008.
From 2008-2011 Dwyer Arena was home to the Buffalo Sabres Summer Development Camp which featured prospects and draft picks to the Sabres.
Hosted the World Juniors
In 2011 Dwyer Co-Hosted the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships with what was then HSBC Arena. In the championship game of Russia vs Canada, Russia had the biggest comeback in World Juniors History and defeated Canada 5-3, scoring all five goals in the third period. The United States took Bronze in that tournament defeating Sweden 4-2.
Protecting Home Ice
Exactly six years after Niagara started its run against Air Force, the Purple Eagles and Falcons skated to a 3-3 tie, initiating another impressive home streak that lasted until October 5, 2013. Niagara went 19-0-3 in that span before Clarkson ended the run at 22 games, tying the program mark set five years prior and once again matching the fifth-longest home undefeated streak ever in the NCAA. The 2012-13 Purple Eagles finished with the best regular-season record in Atlantic Hockey and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2019 Dwyer enhanced the rink by adding a wall wrap. It features Dwyer Arena, Niagara Falls, and a Purple Eagle to immerse fans and visitors alike. In 2021 the premium club became Talons. It features a bar, a lounge area, four 75" TVs, and a complete menu with options for on-tap drinks and pitchers. Coming in 2022 the lobby will get an update with an open space with lounge chairs and tables perfect for hanging in between games or classes. The lobby will also have a brand new coffee shop to grab a Starbucks coffee, hot chocolate to keep warm, and fresh salads and sandwiches to keep you full on the go!