Presque Isle Downs and Casino (Erie) - All You Need to ...

More Erie area tips (from me, not my Uber driver lol 😄 Although I do appreciate all tips)——Provides a wealth of information on news and events in Erie and Northwest PA.
The Erie Zoo- Has a good assortment of animals, as well as a train ride.
There are also things to do in Chautauqua County, New York. The Chautauqua Institute is world-renowned, and frequently boasts big-name entertainment. There is also a resort called Peek ‘n’ Peak in Findley Lake, just across the border off I-86. Offers year-round activities, but is noted for skiing and snow sports. There is also casino gambling in Salamanca, NY about a 90 minute drive from Erie. Erie has it's own casino as well.
There is an Amtrak train that serves Erie. It is called the Lake Shore Limited, and runs between NYC and Chicago. Eastbound service departs Erie at 7:20 AM, and Westbound Service departs at 1:48 AM.
You are only 2 hours from Niagara Falls, and 4.5 hours from Toronto. You’ll need a passport to enter Canada.
There are a couple of great candy stores in Erie: Pulako’s Chocolates and Steffanelli’s. Another one worth visiting is on W. 8th Street, near the Bayfront Parkway—this is Romolo’s Chocolates.
Erie County is known for its grapes. There are several wineries in the region; Mazza Vineyards and Penn-Shore Vineyards are a couple. There are also wineries in Conneaut County, Ohio, and even more in Chautauqua County, NY.
Waldameer Park and Water World—located off W. 8th Street at the foot of Presque Isle. Has a great wooden roller coaster called the Ravine Flyer 2, and a large waterpark. Also offers various rides, food and beverage, picnicking, and free parking!
Erie has perhaps the best milk in the country. MeadowBrook Dairy has the best chocolate milk—their recipe is now used all over the country!
There is a well-known donut shop on Parade Street---Mighty Fine Donuts.
Don’t forget to check out my favorite...Presque Isle State Park—offers swimming beaches, bicycling, picnicking, and miles of walking/jogging trails. I enjoy walking my 🐕 and collecting sea glass
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[59 Teams/59 Days] Mercyhurst Lakers

Mercyhurst University (MU)
Atlantic Hockey Association
Year Founded: 1926
Location: Erie, Pennsylvania
Total Attendance: 13,790
Average Attendance: 862
Nickname: Lakers
Mascot: Louie the Laker. A Laker is a fisherman who has the skill, tenacity, and resourcefulness to meet the challenges of life on the water.
Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3
Fight Song: 'Hurst Fight Song (set to the tune of Anchors Aweigh)
Go for it Lakers
Fight for the Hurst
Show us the spirit
that has always made you first
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Win for the Blue and Green
Bring home the game
Look for the lights that burn
forever in the hall of Old Main
Arena: The Mercyhurst Ice Center (MIC)
Exterior Interior 1 Interior 2 Interior 3 Zamboni
The MIC is a 35,280 square foot arena built in 1991 for 1.4 million dollars. Mercyhurst spent 175,000 dollars in 2007 for improvements to the facility. In a unique funding arrangement, Mercyhurst students agreed to pay for the ice center through a 56 dollar increase in their annual building assessment fee. The money generates 80,000 dollars each year and will retire the school-backed bond in 2021.
First Season: 1999 was the first season for Division I hockey. The Lakers spent five years in Division III (1987-1992) and seven years in Division II (1992-99).
All-time Record: 469-330-65 (266-213-50 in Division I)
Championships: 0
Frozen Four Appearances: 1993 (DII), 1995 (DII)
Tournament Appearances: 1991 (DIII), 1993 (DII), 1995 (DII), 2001, 2003, 2005
Conference Tournament Champions: 2001 (MAAC), 2003 (MAAC), 2005
Conference Regular Season Champions: 2002 (MAAC), 2003 (MAAC)
Robert Morris A new rivalry, it heated up when RMU joined the Lakers in the AHA. Erie is just a quick drive up from Pittsburgh on I-79. The inital match-up came in the first year of RMU's program during the 2004-05 season when the Lakers won by a score of 8-2. MU currently leads the series 6-4-3.
Canisius The rivalry between the Lakers and the Golden Griffins extends back to club hockey.
Note: To be honest I don't know much about the rivalries and could not find much in the way of information. I'm sure someone out there knows more than I do. If you do, please let me know. Thanks!
2012-2013 Season
Record: 19-17-5 (12-11-4)
Coach: Rick Gotkin
2012-2013 Roster
Season Summary
Improving on their finish in 2012, Mercyhurst made it all the way to the AHA final against Canisius. Big wins along came in the form of a 5-2 victory over Maine in Orono; a 3-2 OT win over Canisius; and in the AHA quarterfinals against Holy Cross. Mercyhurst would finish the regular season in sixth place before catching fire and reaching the AHA championship game. With the quarterfinal series against Holy Cross tied 1-1, goalie Jordan Tibbet stopped all twenty-eight Crusader shots to preserve the 1-0 victory. In the semifinals the Lakers bested the Huskies of UConn, 4-1, setting up the pivotal game with with the Griffs. Ultimately, however, another AHA championship was not meant to be as a disastrous second period doomed the Lakers. Canisius' win propelled their program into the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Coach Gotkin would say after the championship game, "The second period was an absolute schmozzle. I've been doing this a long time and it was one of the craziest periods of hockey I've ever been a part of. It was a nightmare second period for us."
2013-2014 Season
Drafted Players on Roster: None
Key Games
  • Jan. 23 and 25 vs Canisius
  • Feb. 7-8 @ Air Force
  • Feb. 21-22 vs Niagara
Players to Watch
  • Matthew Zay, F, Jr: Finished the 2012-13 winning the AHA scoring title. Named to the Atlantic Hockey Association Third Team. He had at least one point in 26 contests, nine multiple-point games, and two separate scoring streaks of seven consecutive games during the season.
  • Daniel O'Donoghue, F, Sr: Captain of the team. He finished third on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 points. Had career-highs in goals (12), assists (24), points (36), plus/minus rating (+15), and shorthanded goals (3).
  • Jordan Tibbet, G, RS-Jr: Started 15 games in goal last season, finishing with a 7-7-1 record. He replaces departed starting netminder Max Strang. Last year he posted a .925 save percentage and 2.51 goals against average.
Mercyhurst History
Greatest Players:
  • Gary Bowels, G: Bowels was the first goalie in program history. During his four years, Mercyhurst went a combined 64-44-6. He still holds the records for most wins (56), most minutes played (5627:55), and most games played (101). He was the goaltender of record when the Lakers won their first playoff game, a 5-4 triumph at Elmira March 8, 1991. He was chosen team captain in both his junior and senior seasons, and played in 101 of 114 games in his four years. Of those 114 games, only 35 were played in Erie.
  • Scott Burfoot, F: He set nearly every team-scoring record during his career, including most goals, points and assists. In his junior year, 1990-91, Burfoot led all college/university players in points with 96. Twice named ECAC West Player of the Year, 1990-91 and 1991-92, he continued his brilliance on the ice as a member of the Erie Panthers, leading the East Coast Hockey League in points in 1994-95.
Note: These are the only two hockey inductees, along with the 2000-01 team, in the Mercyhurst Hall of Fame. If you believe there are other "greatest" players, please let me know who they are and I will add them to the list.
Greatest Coaches:
  • Rick Gotkin, 453-323-65 (266-213-50 in Division I): Coach Gotkin returns to Mercyhurst for his 26th year behind the bench. Taking over the program in its second season, Gotkin is the the only coach in NCAA history to lead a school to the NCAA Tournament at all three levels. He has guided the Lakers to more than 400 wins, six NCAA tournament appearance, and four league championships. In his distinguished career he has produced seven All-Americans, four ECAC (Division III) Players of the Year, three ECAC Rookies of the Year, five MAAC First-Team selections, 20 AHA All-Conference selections, and two AHA Rookies of the Year. In 2001, he was named MAAC Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award.
Greatest Games:
  • Mar. 17, 2001 vs Quinnipiac, 6-5: Mercyhurst pounced on two defensive breakdowns with ten minutes remaining to claim their first MAAC title. Eric Ellis beat goalie Justin Eddy to tie the game with nine minutes left, and Mike Carter got the winner when two Quinnipiac defensemen went after Ellis in the corner. Ellis fed an open Carter in front with 6:48 left. The MAAC championship secured a spot in the NCAA Tournment, the first time the program had made it to the tournament at the Division I level. The Lakers faced vaunted Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Despite stopping 47 Wolverine shots, goalie Peter Aubry and his Mercyhurst teammates were unable to pull off the upset, losing 4-3.
  • Mar. 23, 2003 vs Quinnipiac, 4-3: Defenseman T.J. Kemp scored on the power play with 11:15 remaining to break a 3-3 tie with the Bobcats to earn the second MAAC championship in program history. Laker David Wrigley was named tournament MVP. A week later the Lakers clashed with eventual NCAA champion Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA tournament, ultimately falling by a score of 9-2.
  • Mar. 19, 2005 vs Quinnipiac, 3-2 OT: Mercyhurst overcame two separate deficits en route to their first AHA championship. Tournament MVP Scott Champagne scored the game winning goal 4:56 into overtime. The win propelled the Lakers to their third appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament in five years. Facing Boston College in the opening round, the Lakers' Mike Ella made 52 saves against the Eagles, three short of the NCAA record for a non-overtime game. The Lakers would not be able to pull off the victory, however, losing 5-4.
School and City Information
City Population: 101,047
School History
Mercyhurst University is a Catholic liberal arts college.
In 1926, Mercyhurst College opened its doors on a wind-swept hill overlooking Lake Erie, just a few blocks away from the city's southern boundary. Today, the college is in its 87th year after being founded by the Sisters of Mercy of the Erie Catholic Diocese, who were led by Mother M. Borgia Egan, first president of Mercyhurst College.
In Mercyhurst history, five dates stand out above all others: Sept. 20, 1926, when the college opened; Oct. 5, 1928, when the school received its charter; Feb. 3, 1969, when the board of trustees voted to admit the first class of men to Mercyhurst; March 27, 1991, when the 100-year old Redemptorist Seminary in North East, Pennsylvania was purchased for use as the North East campus; and May 28, 2005, when Mercyhurst College purchased a 405-acre site in Girard, formerly the site of the Divine Word Seminary, as the future site of Mercyhurst West, now in operation in a temporary facility in Girard, Pennsylvania.
In 2012, Mercyhurst College officially became Mercyhurst University and opened an academic center in Dungarvan, Ireland.
I am not aware of any traditions, but if anyone is please let me know.
Local Dining:
Head over to Peach Street, a seven minute drive from campus. There you will find multiple restaurants and stores.
Random Trivia:
  • Rowing is the only other men's sport that competes at the Division I level.
  • All other sports compete in Division II, primarily in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
  • The music contest at the beginning of the film That Thing You Do! was filmed at Mercyhurst. The fictional band The Wonders were depicted as residents of Erie.
Mercyhurst offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, with 67 concentrations as well as unique adult programs and eight graduate degrees. Its main 75-acre campus is set in Erie, the state's only port city; the campus is approximately 100 miles from Cleveland, OH and Buffalo, NY and 130 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA.
The university is comprised of five schools:
  1. The School of Arts & Humanities
  2. The Walker School of Business & Communication
  3. The Hafenmaier School of Education & Behavioral Sciences
  4. The Zurn School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  5. The School of Social Sciences
Mercyhurst is best known for its programs in archaeology and forensic anthropology, intelligence (Institute for Intelligence Studies and Center for Information Research Analysis and Training), forensic science, dance, music, and art therapy.
Notable Alumni:
James "Buster" Douglas: Former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion. Knocked out previously undefeated champion Mike Tyson, who was considered to be the best boxer in the world.
Meghan Agosta: Two-time Olympic gold medal winner with for the Canadian women's ice hockey team. In 2010 she was named MVP of the Olympic women's tournament in Vancouver.
What is and what is to come
Expectations are high in Erie to begin the season. The Lakers were picked second in the AHA Coaches poll behind Niagara and tied with Air Force. Falling in the AHA championship to Canisius has left a bitter taste in the players' mouths. Eight of their top ten scorers return this season; their top three forwards (Jay, O'Donohue, and Ryan Misiak) all return as does most of their defense, led by senior Nick Jones and junior Tyler Shiplo. The only question remains in goal with Tibbett; how he performs will account for how far this team is able to go.
It's been eight years since Mercyhurst's last appearance in the NCAA tournament. Can they get over the hump this year and make it back? That remains to be seen. Last year's run to the AHA championship showed that they are a team to be wary of: This year the Lakers will play 25 games against schools currently ranked in the poll. The challenging schedule, coupled with the experience from their AHA tournament run last year, should prove invaluable.
Coach Gotkin knows what he's doing. He's built the program from the beginning and has consistently put winning teams on the ice for twenty-six years. I can't imagine that they would have a significant drop off as long as he is coaching.
  • Mercyhurst women's hockey also competes in Division I and have appeared numerous times in the NCAA tournament. They have reached the Frozen Four on three occasions (2009, 2010, 2013). In 2009 they finished as runners-up, falling to Wisconsin in the final, 0-5. In 2011 Mercyhurst hosted the women's Frozen Four at Erie Insurance Arena, home of the Erie Otters of the OHL and Erie Bayhawks of the NBA D-League.
Note: I'm not a student or graduate of Mercyhurst. All of this information was culled from around the internet. I can count on one hand the times I've been to Erie. It's a strange but lovely city.
Credit to JohnDoeMonopoly for heading the project. I'm a little late to the party, I realize, but I was surprised to see how many teams were not profiled. These are fun to make and it's interesting to learn about schools I have only been vaguely aware of in the past.
Thanks for reading!
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Presque Isle State Park, Erie, PA

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