ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union College hockey teams will meet at MVP Arena Saturday for the 10th annual Capital District Mayor’s Cup. The Dutchmen currently hold the cup after last year’s 2-0 win over the Engineers.

Earlier this season, the two squads split a weekend series—RPI won 2-1 at home on Oct. 29, and Union followed that up the next day with a 6-0 victory inside Messa Rink—so Saturday’s battle will serve as the season’s rubber match. However, there are no ECAC points on the table this time around; just good, old-fashioned school pride.

The Mayor’s Cup is a non-conference game, so it won’t count toward the league standings, but that doesn’t take away any of the significance of the matchup.

“It’s the crosstown rival; it’s bragging rights; it’s in the big arena; it’s an important game,” said RPI head coach Dave Smith. “Our guys in our locker room, we call it a “Special.” And it is a special game, so we want to win all of our “specials.” It’s very important.”

Union head coach Josh Hauge has felt the intensity mounting for what will be his first Mayor’s Cup. “It goes a little bit without saying,” said Hauge. “I think once you get into the week, you kind of realize it (the intensity). You know, you gotta put a suit on to go to work on a Tuesday, and it’s like, “Holy cow, this is the week.” So, a lot of what you’re judged on (as a head coach) is by how you do in this series.”

On the women’s side, the cup currently resides in Troy after the Engineers’ two-goal shutout victory a season ago. But before Saturday’s showdown, the two sides do play a league tilt at RPI Friday night, and the attention of both head coaches is on taking care of business in that game first.

“Friday is our big focus right now,” said Union head coach Josh Sciba. “You know, you got conference points on the line on Friday, and then you got a trophy on the line on Saturday. So, I think whatever happens on Friday, no matter what – win, lose, tie, whatever it might be – all of that energy is gonna spill into Saturday too.”

“First things first, you know?” said RPI head coach Bryan Vines. “League points are on the line, and we’re both battling, you know, to get into the playoffs. So, the focus is Friday, and then we’ve got a special day on Saturday ahead of us.”

Friday’s women’s game gets underway at 6:00 p.m. from Houston Field House. Puck drop for the Mayor’s Cup Saturday is set for 3:00 p.m. from MVP Arena; the men will follow right behind at 6:00 p.m.