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Union College says "Union" speaks for itself in hockey world

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Union College says "Union" speaks for itself in hockey world

Union College wants its name back. That would be Union. Not Union (NY). Just Union.
Union College says "Union" speaks for itself in hockey world
Schenectady firefighters Kyle O'Connor, left, and Lt. Dan Minersagen, stand on top of Engine 4 in front of their firehouse on Avenue A, to hang a banner to show support for the Union College hockey team Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Union College wants its name back. That would be Union.

Not Union (NY). Just Union.

“We think ‘Union College’ speaks for itself,” Athletic Director Jim McLaughlin said.

Those watching the Dutchmen on ESPNU advance to the NCAA men’s hockey Frozen Four this past weekend may have noticed the school listed as Union (NY).

Not to be confused with Union College in Kentucky.

Or Union College in Nebraska.

Or Union University in Tennessee, Union Institute & University in Ohio, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion or any other Unions — and there are 17 with the word “Union” in their name. That includes the local Union Graduate College and Union University, a consortium of higher-learning institutions that includes Union College. Confusing? A little.

But there should be no confusion in the sports arena. That’s why Union is asking the NCAA (and, by extension, ESPN) to have the school designated simply as Union.

“We’re Union. People know who we are,” McLaughlin said Monday. “We don’t need ‘Union (NY) vs. Boston College.’ ”

Union, which welcomed students back Monday from their March break, has a little less than two weeks to prepare for its semifinal game. The run-up is closer in time to a Super Bowl than, say, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which does not take a week off. But the between-games hiatus is put to use beyond players preparing for the Frozen Four, as to-do list items get checked off ranging from ticketing and travel to media inquiries.

And the time will allow the excitement in and around the college to percolate, to build. In a day or so, Frozen Four gear will be in the Union College Bookstore, officials said. Two weeks out, whatever hats and shirts that are left — and don’t count on any — might just have to be cleared out to make way for national champion garb.

The fact that Union, as in the one here, is appearing in the Frozen Four for the second time in three years should alleviate any concerns about confusion. McLaughlin equated it to Miami University of Ohio, which goes by Miami (Ohio) in sports, and the better-known University of Miami in Florida, which simply goes by Miami — and sometimes “The U.” In this comparison, Union is The U.

“Obviously the success and experience have helped us,” McLaughlin said, “But people inside and outside of the area think of this as Union College, especially when it comes to hockey.”

That would be Union, as in the one in New York, not Union (NY).

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