ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira College Ice Hockey will play two games at First Arena, their first games in the building since the 2016-17 season.

The men’s hockey team will play Hobart College on Jan. 21 on Forever2Six Night in honor of the late Billy Lowe, a local high school athlete who passed away at the age of 15 after a cardiac event while training on rollerblades in May 2020.

Billy’s father, Eddie Lowe, was a standout hockey player for six seasons with the Elmira Jackals and was the only player in franchise history to have his number 26 retired.

The Elmira College women’s hockey team will host Johnson & Wales on Jan. 29 and both games will feature Chuck-A-Puck and a 50/50 raffle.

“We are excited and honored to be hosting both the Elmira College men’s and women’s hockey teams at First Arena after a long absence,” said Steve Donner, the President of Mammoth Sports & Entertainment LLC. 

“Both teams are nationally ranked and will provide two exciting nights of high-level hockey to downtown Elmira. I hope the community will share our excitement and pack the arena in support of Elmira College and the Lowe family.” 

The lease between Donner and the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency stated the management group must also “use commercially reasonable efforts to work with Elmira College to utilize the Arena as the College’s home ice for its hockey teams.”

Elmira College President Lindsey said the college’s hockey programs will look to form a “strategic partnership” with First Arena.

Donner says discussions have also been had regarding a college hockey tournament in First Arena.

“We’re excited to be bringing college hockey to downtown Elmira,” said Men’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Aaron Saul ’98. “Playing a rival and nationally-ranked opponent will allow the community to see our product and we are excited for that opportunity.”

The Jan. 21 game against Hobart marks the end of a five-game homestand for the Soaring Eagles on the men’s side.

“Our program is excited to have the opportunity to be playing at First Arena,” said Tim Crowley, Head Women’s Ice Hockey Coach. “Our past experiences have been something we’ve enjoyed and we’re looking forward to playing there.”

As of Jan. 3, the Soaring Eagles rank #4 on the women’s side in the USCHO National Poll while the men hold the #15 spot.

More information will be supplied regarding both games in the near future.