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SUNY Canton Men’s Hockey Names Leaders; Team Heading To Europe


Canton, NY – Head Coach Alex Boak and the SUNY Canton men’s hockey program have announced their leadership for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. Senior defenseman Luke Hincenbergs has been named team captain, while junior forward Jake Mayette and sophomore defenseman Sean Shepard will serve as assistant captains.

“Luke is a guy that has great respect from both his peers and coaching staff,” Boak said. “As a coach you want someone that can have the respect from everyone within your program and Luke has that. I think he is going to be a great captain and mentor for our team. As a coaching staff we believe that our leadership is a critical piece to the success of our team. We saw great leadership out of our group this past season, so we are looking to Luke, Jake, and Sean to continue that.”

Hincenbergs posted five points on a goal and four assists in 23 contests last season. He finished the season with a +2 on-ice rating and scored the game-winning goal in a 6-4 win v. Wilkes on opening night. Hincenbergs also had a pair of assists including a helper on the game-winner in a 5-4 OT win at Morrisville on February 9th.

Mayette ranked fourth on the team with 16 points as a sophomore on eight goals and eight assists. He finished the season with a +8 on-ice rating and had five multi-point games. He scored a pair of goals in a 4-2 win v. No. 14 nationally-ranked Fredonia. Mayette netted the game-winner in a 3-1 win v. Plattsburgh State, the Roos third straight victory v. the Cardinals.

Shepard had an impressive rookie season totaling 10 points on two goals and eight assists. He scored the game-winner in a 4-2 win v. No. 14 nationally-ranked Fredonia and his other goal came in a 6-4 win at No. 3 nationally-ranked Adrian. He was named to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week after his performance in the win v. the Blue Devils. Shepard also finished with a three assist game in a 5-3 road win at Bryn Athyn.

The men’s hockey program also announced that they will be traveling overseas for a series of exhibition games next season during the winter break. The team will travel in December to Switzerland and France to play exhibition games against various teams throughout the Alps region. The team will fly to Geneva, Switzerland on December 14th and tour throughout the Alps region before returning on December 23rd. The team will play several exhibition games as well as tour the towns and cities throughout their stay.

“This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our players,” Boak said. “Back in the 80s and 90s this kind of trip was a regular thing for our program. I thought with the success we had this past year, now would be the perfect time to bring something like that back. I have been encouraging alumni who traveled there during their time at Canton, to try and make our trip and basically relive their experience.”

This trip is available to all alumni, friends, and family of the men’s hockey program. If you would like to find out more information, please contact Head Coach Alex Boak at boak100@canton.edu.

Six Herons Earn AHCA All-American Honors


Six members of the 2018-19-William Smith College ice hockey team were named Krampade All-American Scholars by the American Hockey Coaches Association. This is the third year the AHCA has named All-American Scholars.

The AHCA Scholar All-American program recognizes varsity ice hockey players who had a minimum 3.6 grade point average in each semester and participated in at least 40 percent of their school’s games in the 2018-19 season. A total of 1,373 student-athletes received this honor across all divisions men and women.

The following Herons garnered the recognition this year:

Abbey Luth, undeclared
Laura Rollins, psychology and education
Egan Sachs-Hecht, biology
Gina Scibetta, media and society
Alison Weiss, biology
Olivia Williams, undeclared

Scibetta, Weiss and Williams earn Scholar All-American honors for the second straight year. Scibetta earned additional praise in the AHCA’s release because she was named a second team All-American as well.

William Smith finished the season with an 18-8-2 overall record and a 12-4-2 mark in the UCHC. The Herons won their first two playoff games in program history, advancing to the conference championship game. William Smith’s 18 overall wins and 12 conference wins are the most in the program’s five-year history.

Eight Statesmen Named AHCA All-American Scholars


Eight members of the 2018-19Hobart College ice hockey team were named Krampade All-American Scholars by the American Hockey Coaches Association. This is the third year the AHCA has named All-American Scholars.

The AHCA Scholar All-American program recognizes varsity ice hockey players who had a minimum 3.6 grade point average in each semester and participated in at least 40 percent of their school’s games in the 2018-19 season. A total of 1,373 student-athletes received this honor across all divisions men and women.

The Following Statesmen garnered this recognition:

Brandon Bistodeau, economics and history major
Lawson MacDougall, economics major
PA Martineau, undeclared
Travis Schneider, psychology and economics major
TJ Schultz, economics and computer science major
Mitchell Spring, economics major
Zach Sternbach, economics major
Jonas Toupal, geoscience and planetary science major

Bistodeau, Sternbach and Toupal earned the honor for the third straight year and Schneider and Spring were named to the team for the second time.

The Statesmen finished the year with a 21-8-2 overall record, matching the program record for wins in a season. It was Hobart’s 17th consecutive winning season. The Statesmen advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year. Hobart reached the national semifinals for the third time in program history where they were edged by the eventual national champion, Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Sabres and Roswell Park Are Teaming Up


Sabres and Roswell Park Team Up For Free Prostate Cancer Early Detection Event Sept. 17
Event at KeyBank Center will include talks from experts, opportunity to meet Sabres Alumni

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Buffalo Sabres are teaming up to offer free prostate cancer education and testing for eligible men. The One Team, One Goal: Together to Beat Cancer event on Tuesday, Sept. 17, is part of an ongoing initiative to reduce cancer’s impact among the team’s fans through prevention, education and early detection.

An educational panel for current prostate cancer patients and survivors from 3 to 4 p.m. will be followed by free prostate cancer testing and consultations from 4 to 7 p.m., all at KeyBank Center’s Lexus Club. Roswell Park physicians will conduct complete prostate cancer testing for eligible men ages 40 and over, incorporating both PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood testing and a digital rectal exam (DRE). There will also be behind-the-scenes tours of KeyBank Center, meet-and-greets with Sabres alumni, light refreshments and opportunities to talk to Roswell Park experts.

“Prostate cancer will affect one out of every six men, but not every prostate cancer has to be treated. So it’s very important for men to talk with their care providers, know what their risks are based on multiple key factors and stay on schedule with recommended testing and follow-up,” says Khurshid Guru, MD, Chair of Urology at the Buffalo-based comprehensive cancer center.

Men 40 or older can go to roswellpark.org/onegoal or call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) to preregister and confirm that they are eligible for this free testing and consultation.

Preregistration is required for the educational talks and Q&A session from 3 to 4 p.m., which will be open to prostate cancer patients and survivors and will cover topics including active surveillance, which involves monitoring slower-growing cancers without initiating active cancer treatment; surgery; side effects of radiation therapy; metastatic prostate cancer; and survivorship and support services.

Cornerstone Ice Arena Awarded Funds


ESD and Verizon Media announce $381,470 in awards for Verizon Media’s Community Benefit Funds for Niagara County and Lockport

Projects support workforce training, tourism, small business, community development initiatives and job creation in Western New York

Today, in coordination with Empire State Development (ESD),Verizon Media announced the 2019 funding recipients for the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Lockport and Verizon Media Community Fund for Niagara County – Empire State Development. For the 2019 funding cycle, $381,470.81 was awarded to 15 projects.  Each year from 2015 to 2021, Verizon Media has committed to granting up to $500,000 to community organizations in Lockport and the surrounding areas.

“Our regional economic development strategy is delivering real results for Western New York and our entire state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today’s announcement.  “Verizon Media has made significant investments in Niagara County, and we have worked with them to ensure our investment at the Verizon facilities in Lockport results in economic development across the region. As we announce the latest winners of the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund, we know the projects being funded are delivering on our efforts designed to foster entrepreneurship, workforce development, and smart growth.”

Senator Robert G. Ortt said, “This funding from Verizon Media will help transform community partnerships across Niagara County and open doors of opportunity for countless residents. Verizon Media has been a strong community partner and the state should continue to use this model to invest in our communities. I applaud the investment into Western New York and look forward to seeing the wonderful changes that result directly from Verizon Media’s investment into the Community Benefit Fund.”

“This funding reflects the strong partnership between Verizon Media and ESD and supports projects that will benefit the entire Western New York community.  The recipients selected are important partners that help carry out our strategic vision to support the area’s key sectors and grow the region’s economy, said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler

Assemblyman Michael Norris said, “Lockport has recently seen very welcome investment, with Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding, investment in the rehabilitation of the Erie Canal Locks, and the arrival of the Discover Niagara Shuttle.  The grant awards from Verizon Media and Empire State Development will only contribute to the revitalization in our city and region, growing economic development, opportunity and tourism. I am proud to be a part of and support these initiatives and thank Verizon and Empire State Development for their commitment to Niagara County.”

“Verizon Media is committed to deepening our relationship with Western New York and we feel honored to invest in organizations like those recognized today that are driving innovation and growth in this community,” Verizon Media’s VP of Data Center Operations Paul Bonaro said. “Our Lockport team calls this region ‘home’ and we are dedicated to supporting our neighbors and cultivating local progress.” 

“The strong partnership between Verizon Media and ESD continues to benefit the entire Western New York community,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler.  “The projects awarded today in the Niagara region align with the region’s strategies and will help foster a healthy economy.”

Verizon Media houses media, technology and communication brands that people across the globe love and trust. As part of Verizon Media’s $170 million agreement with Empire State Development to establish a customer care center and expand its existing data center in Niagara County, the Community Benefit Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in 2015 in addition to the initial commitment the company made to Lockport in 2010 with the Community Benefit Fund. The community initiative is part of Verizon Media’s commitment to drive economic development in Western New York, a hub of technical excellence for the company.

The next round of annual funding will begin in the spring of 2020, with up to $500,000 available again through the two funds.

Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County – Empire State Development Awarded Projects

Opening Doors to Job Skills and Career Pathways in Niagara Falls – $75,000 grant

Awardee: Heart, Love & Soul

Development of a one-stop service center, known as Daybreak, to reduce barriers to services that are essential for helping low-income and marginalized populations achieve employment and career pathway goals.

Providing Public Access and Recreational Opportunities Along Cayuga Creek – $43,200 grant

Awardee: Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Introduce public access to a Cayuga Creek site which currently does not exist. Design of walking trails and access elements to connect the community to critical natural resources, promote smart growth principles and encourage walkability.

Small Business Videography Marketing Initiative – $20,000 grant

Awardee: NCCC Foundation, Inc.

The Niagara Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will facilitate entrepreneurs, start-up and small local businesses in developing and implementing video content for online marketing and social media platforms. Primary goal is to promote growth of Niagara County businesses through strengthening marketing and advertising strategies.

Mobilized Job Training for People with Disabilities – $9,270 grant

Awardee: Empower

Establishment of a portable Community Prevocational Program to include a coffee cart, equipment and one year of supplies to operate at a community location. Up to 12 workers with IDD will participate in the coffee cart program over a 12-month period.

Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Lockport Awarded Projects

Historic Palace Theatre Phase II Renovation – $50,000 grant

Awardee: Historic Palace Inc.

Phase II renovations to the inner lobby, including upgrades to the concession and bar areas, and creation of a new merchandise area.

Lockport Ice Arena Skating Continuation and Zamboni Projects – $31,800 grant

Awardee: Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center

Funding for the Skating Continuation program and purchase of a used Zamboni ice resurfacer.

Driving Family & Educational Supports at Aurora House – $23,828 grant

Awardee: Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc.

Replace one of two minivans used daily by Aurora House for its family support services and educational programs.

HON Rescue Animal Community Education Center – $21,741.18 grant

Awardee: Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue, Inc.

Increase available space for community organizations by renovating a 30’ x 40’ pole barn for training, meeting, and activity space.

Flight of Five Security Cameras – $20,000 grant

Awardee: Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation

Installation of security cameras within the Locks District for the protection of key assets, and for safety and security.

Support for The Salvation Army in Lockport’s Soup Kitchen and Youth Programs – $20,000 grant

Awardee: Salvation Army-Lockport

Support for The Sister Mary Loretto Memorial Soup Kitchen and Youth Programs, which serve residents of Lockport and the surrounding area.

Attic Rebuild – $18,991 grant

Awardee: Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County, Inc.

Replacement of the attic to provide a safe and welcoming environment for disadvantaged children and their families.

Lockport Recovery Center – $17,000 grant

Awardee: Save the Michaels of the World, Inc.

Creation a Lockport Recovery Center that supports ongoing recovery for individuals and families.

BPO Music for Youth Concerts at Lockport High School – $12,500 grant

Awardee: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society

Enable Lockport Schools to participate in the BPO’s Music for Youth education programs in 2020, continuing arts engagement within the district.

Lockport Literacy Drop-In Center – $10,000 grant

Awardee: Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara, Inc.

Provide functionally illiterate adults with immediate access to literacy tutoring at the Lockport Literacy Drop-In Center and adult education classes in the Lockport Literacy Zone.

Education STEM-ming from the Ground – $8,140.63 grant

Awardee: DeSales Catholic School

Creation of a garden allowing students to learn from a living science laboratory.

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand.  For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

About Verizon Media
Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and HuffPost to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world.   

A Look at the Upcoming Women’s Hockey Season


By Janet Schultz, Women’s Hockey Writer


Is there a season?

Who are signing contracts?

What moves have been made in management, coaching, playing venues?

Why haven’t we heard anything about the women who chose to “boycott” the season?

Lots of great questions and I don’t have all the answers. But  I have some.

First in May the NWHL took back control of the Buffalo Beauts and later on Pegula Sports Entertainment sued the Beauts for trademark and use of the logo, stating is was theirs.

That law suit ended with an “amlicable agreement” Tuesday (Aug. 20) according to a story written by John Wawro for AP.

So we immediately noticed that the Beauts were back on Twitter and Facebook making their signing announcements and using the logo.

Signings were far and few between since the end of the 2018-19 season and most of us wondered what was happening.

First the NWHL, and several other women’s leagues, have to deal with a “boycott” of women’s bockey until the players receive was they feel is fair in salaries and sharing other revenues.

Again, nothing has been written or said by either side since May. The latest on the internet is that the Swedish players are also taking that stance.

According to the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) they are prepared to stop playing for a year. They are looking for a league that will also provide for training programs for young female players, promote diversity and inclusion at all levels of play, and raise awareness of hockey as a sport that is open to all.

NWHL Commissioner and League Founder Dani Rylan issued a statement supporting the League.

“NWHL leadership respects the wishes of all players to consider their options, and they know we are always available to meet, to participate in open communication addressing their concerns and exchanging ideas, and to collaborate with the players on one league.”

She went on to say that the plans for the 2019-2020 season were underway. In its fifth season the NWHL offered increased salaries and a 50-50 revenue spilt from league-level sponsorships and media rights deals.

In addition to the NWHL issues, the CWHL ceased to exist at about the same time in May.

The Beauts have made several movements toward a Fifth Season including the signing of several players, including Buffalo natives Emma Ruggiero and Maddie Norton.

Ruggiero was Buffalo State College’s captain and leading scorer with 52 points in 100 games in her four years with the Bengals. Ruggiero spent her entire career in Buffalo playing for the Buffalo Regals before college. She is also planning to serve as an assistant coach with the WNYGVIH Kenmore/Grand Island girls varsity ice hockey team while playing for the Beauts. Ruggiero spent two seasons playing in the WNYGVIH League for the Monsignor Martin team. She had 33 points in those two years.

Another familiar name coming from the WNYGVIH Lancaster/Depew (now Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew) team is Maddie Norton. Maddie just finished a stellar career with the University of Buffalo ACHA Division II women’s hockey team. Last season she scored 46 goals in 18 games. She helped lead the Lady Ice Bulls to College Hockey East Championships in 2017 and 2018. The team also made it to the nationals in each of her four-year tenure at UB. Norton played four seasons with Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew, but not as a player. She took on the goaltending duties, as well as scoring 6 points in two of those seasons. In goal she had a 9/76 gaa and .814 save percentage her first season; 9.22 gaa and .831 save percentage, year two; .897 save percentage and 1.66 gaa in her junior year and in her senior year had a 2.63 gaa and .842 save percentage. 

Norton also did some goaltending in her first year with the Bulls.

Ruggiero and Norton head to the Beauts after Norton’s teammate for one year at Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew, Meghan Fonfara, signed on with the Beauts last season.

In other Beaut signings RIT Forward Kandice Sheriff brings with her a lot of speed, strength and ability on special teams. The Brampton, Ontario native played in 98 games at RIT scoring six goals and 16 assists. Her DI experience, as well as experience with the Leaside Junior Wildcats, will her contribution to the Beauts.

Megan Delay won a Clarkson Cup with the Markham Thunder of the CWHL in 2018 and she was a standout on the 2016 NCAA Champion Plattsburgh team. Previously she played for the Burlington Barracudas. Playing on defense, Delay made an impact on the Beauts Coaching staff during the free agent camp with her skill on the ice and her experience at the collegiate and pro levels of hockey.

Cassidy McPherson comes from Providence College and is a strong two-way forward that accumulated 25 goals and 53 assists in her four years at Providence. She has great poise and can score, according to Buffalo GM Mandy Cronin.

Another impressive signing for the Beauts is Team Slovakia’s Linka Curmova. She is a 5’8” defender who has played for the Slovakian National Team since she was 15 years old. She served as an alternate captain in 2014 and captain in 2015 for the U18 Team. In the 2015 tourament she was named Best Defender and leading the team to the bronze after having the most goals and assists in the tournament. She also played for the Elite Women’s Hockey League with SKP Bratislava and seven seasons for the SHK Sarisanka Presov in Slovakia’s premiere women’s league. 

Her passion and determination to make a mark in the NWHL is evident, said GM Cronin.

Another member of the Slovakian National Team has joined the Beauts. Iveta Klimasova has been a member of the Team since 2014, has participated in one Olympic qualification tournament. She had five goals and five assists in 25 games between five world championships. She played for the SKP Bratislava in the Elite Women’s Hockey League tallying 28 goals and 16 assists for 44 points. She has size and a strong shot as well as a good work ethic.

Coming down from Toronto Kim Brown has signed her first professional contract with the Beauts. She just completed her collegiate career at Brock University of the CIS recording 10 goals and 6 assists for the Badgers. Her impressive performance during Free Agent Camp is what brought her to the attention of the Beauts team. She also played for the Toronto Leaside Wildcats. 

The Beauts also have a new home. They will play their home games out of the Northtowns Center of Ameherst. The site is home to the Amherst Knights youth hockey organization and the the University of Buffalo men’s and women’s teams. It has also been the site of several New York State Amateur Hockey Tournaments, as well USA Hockey National Tournaments. The facility includes three NHL regulation ice pads (200” x 85’), one Olympic size ice pad (200’ x 100’), a full service pro shop, restaurant and sports training facility. The “Feature” rink seats 1,800.

In other news several New York-connected player signings have taken place this summer  including  RPI’s Marisa Raspa going to Boston; RIT’s Mallory Rushton heading to the Metropolitan Riveters; Rushton’s teammate Kendall Cornine joining her at the Riveters; Lovisa Selander, the NCAA All-Time Saves Leader wtih RPI heading to Boston; and Syracuse’s Brooke Average joining the Riveters.

At the management level the NWHL has named Ivo Mocek has Head Coach of the Metropolitan Riveters. Mocek is a native of the Czech Republic and was a first round draft pick of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, playing pro in his home country and in North America. 

AG Health, a leader in pioneering Endocannabinoid Nutrition (ECN) products announced that the company’s VEDA has become an official sponsor of the NWHL. It’s products will be available and continue to empower the female athletes through the sponsorship. 

Dunkin Donuts is still an official sponsor for the league.

Just prior to posting this story the Beauts re-signed Taylorf Accursi. Accursi is a difference-maker for the Beauts on and off the ice, according to Team Manager Cronin. She is the Beauts third-highest scorer and brings with her a passion for the game.

This will be Accursi’s third season with Buffalo.

As of October 5 eighty players have signed with the NWHL.

Regals Focus on Respect for Success


By Janet Schultz, Women’s Hockey Writer

Just what is success?

If you ask coaches, players, parents and fans they will say the most wins and taking home a championship.

With the Buffalo Regals team it’s much more. It’s having a team that has been together since they were 9 years old, respect each other, continue to develop their skill set and just play the best hockey they can. The outcome…not only a trip to the USA Nationals last season but a team that knows each others moves and brings it on the ice at the highest level.

Jersey Phillips began her hockey career at 6 years old and at 9 she became a member of the Buffalo Regals under Coach Tom Ruggiero.

Now at 17 she is still a Regal and is one of the most skilled players in the WNYGVIH league with the Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew team.

Her goal is not only to play college hockey, but to be a starter at that level. Then she hopes that the NWHL will expand and she will be part of the women’s professional hockey movement.

Phillips explains that the Regals success comes from players not moving in and out. This group of girls has been together since they were nine years old. They know each other, they respect each other and they sometimes even play against each other on their school teams.

“People stay with the Regals once they come,” explains Phillips. “Coach Tom is tough and sometimes plays with your head, but that what it’s like at the college level and he is preparing us.”
The highlight of her career as a Regal was last season when they had an “awesome” season, winning tournaments and getting to the top.

“We would fall apart at practice right before a tournament and then hit the ice in the tournament and everything would come together,” she said.

“Last season we won all six games in the State Qualifiers, including beating Bishop Kearney (a WNY private school). At the States we lost but by staying competitive we got the bid to the Nationals,” she continued.

“By beating the top 10 teams in the nation at some point in the season, we got noticed.”

Her teammate, Abby Ruggiero, has played since she was four years old. Ruggiero is in a unique position since her Dad is the Regals coach, and has been since the beginning of her career.

She agrees with Phillips that this team has a special connection. 

“Most of us have played together since we were younger, we have a bond and when a new player came into the locker room, they see that bond and are welcomed,” said Abby.

“It makes it special and this season we are all together again.
When Abby says all together, she means it. Coach Tom explains that when he turned in his  roster for the 2019-2020 season he told the Registrar he had no changes. The Registrar thought he was kidding. Coach Tom said no one left, no one came in and there were no changes in the parent’s situation. The roster of the Regals 19U team from 2018-19 is exactly the same this season.

Abby is focused on developing this year, as it is her last before heading off to college.

“I want to see myself improve more and I want this team to go further,” she said.

Going further means winning the USA Nationals in Blaine, Minnesota in April 2020.

After that she plans on playing college hockey and thinks it would be cool to follow her sister.

That sister is Emma Ruggiero, who just signed a contract with the NWHL Buffalo Beauts.

Coach Tom puts everything into perspective.

“Parents pay a lot of money for the girls to play, the players come to work and they are a tremendous group of young ladies, but there are expectations,” explains Coach Tom.

“This core group started out together and win or lose they play at a high level.

“It’s not easy to build a team  and keep a team. We have had opportunities to bring on ladies that may have been more skilled and as much as we want to win, and we play to win, we feel we have the right young ladies in the locker room right now and don’t need to change that.

“We take our accomplishments year by year, the parents buy in and the players buy in. That speaks volumes,” continued Coach Tom.

He admits that it hasn’t always been easy. But as long as the parents, players and coaches buy into the expectations they keep things as they are and have a lot of pride in that.

He agrees that their goal this year is to get back to the USA Nationals.

“The girls believe and know they are good enough to go back,” he says. “As coaches we want to put them in the position to play the highest level of hockey that they want.”

The 16U team played the toughest schedule in the US last season. They beat teams like the Chicago Mission and Bay State; internationally they beat Stoney Creek and Oakville.

“We go to high profile Showcase Tournaments because it helps them get better by playing the best teams,” Coach Tom explains.

Coach also tires to keep his development new by changing things up when drills get stale. 

But the bottom line with this team is that the girls have a chemistry, they developed it.

While he would love for all of them to be best friends, with that many players he knows that is not going to happen.

His philosophy is that they have to respect each other both on and off the ice. 

“These 20 girls wanted to be Buffalo Regal;s, so if you aren’t best friends, respect each other.

“When you step in the ice, if you have team success, you have individual success,” emphasizes Coach Tom.

“The Regals are the place to be,” said Coach Tom. “You must be willing to make a commitment, there are no shortcuts.

Phillips agrees.

“I have given up so much including friends, things at school, other sports; it’s insane how much you have to put into this, but the girls that don’t put anything into it don’t get anything out of it,” she explains. 

“You have to 100 percent for this sport; especially this team and Coach Tom, to get something out of it,” said Phillips.

For the players that something is a national championship, placement at the DI or DIII level of college hockey and possibly a place in the NWHL.

2018-19 Highlights

The Buffalo Regals  team had a 2-2 record in the Beantown Women’s Classic  Division, advancing to the Gold Division Playoffs.

They were 2-2-1 at the Stoney Creek Midget AA Showcase

Tournament Champions, Buffalo Inferno with a 4-0-1 record

Two Nations College Prep, 2-3

East Coast Wizard Holiday Invitational, lost in Finals to Bay State, 4-1-1 record

NYS Championships lost in finals to Bishop Kearney

USA Hockey Nationals, 2-1 record losing to Shattuck St. Marys 1-0; losing to Connecticut Polar Bears 2-1 in overtime and beating the Penn Elite 3-0.

LECOM Is Harborcenter’s Naming Rights Partner



LECOM to become Gold Ring Partner of Buffalo Sabres as part of multi-year partnership

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Pegula Sports & Entertainment and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) today unveiled a multi-year naming rights partnership at LECOM Harborcenter. LECOM, one of the largest and most affordable medical colleges in the United States, will begin to inspire a new generation of future medical, pharmacy and dental students through its involvement at LECOM Harborcenter.

PSE President & CEO Kim Pegula will join LECOM President & CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O. on Monday, September 23 to formally unveil LECOM Harborcenter and announce a major community initiative.

“We have a mission to build long-term success and strive for excellence in all of our businesses,” Kim Pegula said. “LECOM exemplifies excellence as both an industry and community leader, significantly advancing opportunities for aspiring medical students over the last 25 years. We are proud to extend our partnership and create many new opportunities at LECOM Harborcenter.”

“LECOM and the Buffalo Sabres share a commitment to our community, to health and wellness, and to developing young people into highly-trained professionals who will succeed,” said Dr. Ferretti. “LECOM enthusiastically partners with several sports organizations to extend our focus on wellness, preventative medicine, whole body health care, and the principals of osteopathic medicine. Success on the field of competition and in the practice of medicine both require heart, pride and teamwork. Success in life requires the same.”

As part of the multi-year Sabres agreement, LECOM is also now an official Gold Ring Partner of the Buffalo Sabres. LECOM originally joined the One Buffalo family as an Official Education Partner of the Buffalo Sabres during the 2017-2018 season. This coming season, the Sabres will continue to present the LECOM Student All-Stars Program, LECOM Student Value Ticket and LECOM T-Shirt Toss. The Student All-Stars Program will once again recognize outstanding students during five Sabres home games this season. Members of the public are invited to nominate students from all schools for this honor. The LECOM Student Value Ticket allows students from all schools to experience Sabres home games at a reduced price. With a valid school ID, students are able to purchase discounted 300 Level V seats for as low as $20 – by visiting the Sabres box office or logging on to Sabres.com/StudentTickets.

The 750,000 square foot LECOM Harborcenter holds two NHL-size hockey rinks, a 205-room full-service Marriott hotel, the Academy of Hockey, training facilities, four restaurants and parking. LECOM Harborcenter is the Official Practice Facility of the Buffalo Sabres; and home to the NHL Scouting Combine, Academy of Hockey, Buffalo Jr. Sabres youth hockey organization, Canisius College men’s hockey, and numerous tournaments at all levels that attract teams from across North America throughout the year. Each year since 2014, LECOM Harborcenter has attracted approximately 500,000 visitors to downtown Buffalo.

About Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)

Since 1992, LECOM has grown to become one of the largest and one of the most affordable medical colleges in the country. Enrollment in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Dental Medicine and Master’s Degree Programs has surpassed 4,100 students at campuses in Erie and Greensburg, Pa., Bradenton, Fla. and Elmira, NY (opening in 2020). More than 10,000 LECOM graduates are providing health care to patients across the United States.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Pharmacy attract more applicants than any other program in the country by offering innovative, student-centered and affordable degree programs. LECOM medical college tuition is the second-lowest private college tuition in the country and LECOM consistently ranks in the top ten programs for graduating primary care physicians. In addition to providing healthcare providers to serve patient needs, the college also offers master’s degree programs to prepare professionals who can run the business of health care, serve the patient’s best interests and teach future physicians, pharmacists and dentists.

LECOM is the core of an osteopathic academic health center. LECOM Health is a highly innovative health care and education system that strives to add to the quality of life of our neighbors by bringing total health care to the community. Members of LECOM Health include the College, Millcreek Community Hospital, Corry Memorial Hospital, the clinical practices of Medical Associates of Erie, LECOM Senior Living Center, LECOM Senior Living Communities, LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, LECOM Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Lifeworks Erie, and Visiting Nurses Association of Erie County.

As LECOM continues to contribute to health and wellbeing for everyone, it looks forward to continued growth and preparation of future healthcare providers to provide quality care for generations to come.

Future Sabres: Dylan Cozens


By Warren Kozireski

It would have been a whirlwind three months for anyone of any age—getting drafted seventh overall in the first round by the Buffalo Sabres in late June in Vancouver along with prospect training camp in Buffalo mere days later. But add a thumb injury that required surgery and the subsequent rehabilitation, and the whirlwind became a sandstorm.

Dylan Cozens wasn’t on the original roster released earlier in the week for their annual Prospect Tournament with Pittsburgh, Boston and New Jersey held at HarborCenter the weekend after Labor Day. But there he was centering the third line between 2018 fourth round selection Matej Pekar, who is likely ticketed for Rochester this season, and 2019 sixth round pick Lukas Rousek from the Czech Republic.

“I felt good; it was a fast game (with) lots of good players and everyone was competing hard, so it was good to get my legs under me again and go out and play hockey,” Cozens said postgame. “There weren’t too many surprises to be honest, there were so many good players here who can play.

“They (the coaches) gave us some systems to follow and neutral zone forecheck[WK1] .”

The 6’3”, 180 lb. Yukon native netted 34 goals with 50 assists in 68 games with Lethbridge in the Western Hockey League last season and is likely ticketed to return there this season.

With his seventh overall draft slot, he became the highest in the Lethbridge Hurricanes 32-year franchise history bettering Brent Seabrook and Zach Boychuk, who were both taken 14th overall. He is the sixth in franchise history to be selected in the first round.

“Dylan played very well, especially with his injury and his first game really competing,” Rochester head coach Chris Taylor said. “I thought he was smart and thought he did a really good job on faceoffs and I used him on penalty kills as well.”

“It’s obviously unfortunate to have to get surgery and miss a summer of upper body training, but I don’t think I missed out on much,” Cozens said. “I felt really strong and focused on other things (like) my lower body strength and, to be completely honest, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything.

“Obviously I didn’t skate that much this summer so, to get in and get some ice and play against some real competition and physical games is definitely going to prepare me for main camp, so it’s important.”

(Photo by Koz)


Twitch Named Exclusive Streaming Partner of NHWL


In a monumental step for professional women’s hockey, the National Women’s Hockey League today announced an exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch. The three-year agreement makes Twitch – the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers and the things they love – the exclusive live-streaming partner of the NWHL.

“With its accessible players and devoted fans, the NWHL is a perfect fit for Twitch in our global efforts to grow our traditional sports verticals,” said Jane Weedon, Head of New Verticals at Twitch. “We are proud to partner with the league in its mission to build the professional women’s hockey league the athletes and fans deserve.”

Beginning with the 2019-20 season starting Oct. 5, Twitch will stream all NWHL regular season, Isobel Cup Playoff and special event games. The league and Twitch will collaborate on innovative content that increases the deep connection between NWHL players and fans. Twitch will also work closely with the NWHL to provide new fan engagement opportunities that enhance the live game viewing experience.

All NWHL games and programming will be available on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/nwhl. Fans will be able to watch every NWHL game, free of charge, from anywhere, on any device. Best of all, they will be able to engage with other fans throughout the games, and–at times–with the players, broadcasters, and other NWHL influencers.

In addition, the NWHL is receiving a broadcast rights fee for the first time in its young history. As part of the NWHL-NWHL Players’ Association agreement, revenue from this exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch will be split in half with NWHL players, which will result in additional income beyond their salaries for playing.

“The official announcement of our partnership with Twitch makes this a historic day for the NWHL, our players, fans and everyone who supports the advancement of women’s hockey,” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan, who started the league in 2015. “The live broadcasts of every single NWHL game on Twitch will allow us to both foster and grow our current community while introducing professional hockey to a new audience for the first time. Twitch’s platform also provides our fans and players the unique opportunity to collaborate on the viewing experience.”

Twitch has more than 15 million active daily users and its free mobile app has over 56 million downloads. The versatile platform has broadcasting arrangements with other professional sport leagues, including the NFL and the NBA G League.

“I am extremely proud that the innovators at Twitch are moving forward alongside us,” said NWHL Players’ Association executive director Anya Battaglino. “This is a huge step for women’s hockey. Getting visibility on professional women’s hockey has been extremely important. The more eyes on the women’s game, the more fans we convert. Women’s hockey is at a monumental time right now, and the more we can showcase this product, the stronger our foundation becomes. The NWHLPA is excited to have our players highlighted around the world, and for fans of the game to have an even deeper access to us.”

Eight Buffalo State Hockey Players Earn AHCA All-American Scholar Honors


The American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) is once again recognizing varsity ice hockey players who attained a 3.6 GPA each semester and participated in 40% of their school’s games in the 2018-19 season as “Krampade” All American Scholars. Five members of Buffalo State’s women’s team and three member of hte Bengals’ men’s team earned the honor.

The women’s honorees were:
Natasha Steinle (Jr., Forward) – Fall GPA – 4.00/Spring GPA – 3.94 – Major: Business
Kira Herkey (So., Forward) – Fall GPA – 3.88/Spring GPA – 4.00 – Major: Childhood Education
Gianna Brigante (Fr., Forward) – Fall GPA – 3.73/Spring GPA – 3.86 – Major: Speech Pathology
Emma Ruggiero (Sr., Forward) – Fall GPA – 3.73/Spring GPA – 3.73 – Major: Health & Wellness
Angelina Cruzal (Fr., Forward) – Fall GPA – 3.68/Spring GPA – 3.60 – Major: Writing

The men’s honorees were:
Troy Button (So., Defenseman) – Fall GPA – 4.00/Spring GPA – 4.00 – Major: Economics
Mac Wood (Sr., Forward) – Fall GPA – 4.00/Spring GPA – 3.89 – Major: Economics
Jon Colley (Jr., Forward) – Fall GPA – 3.91/Spring GPA – 4.00 – Major: Economics

Gionta Heads Up US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2019

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Announced
Gary Bettman, Brian Gionta, Neal Henderson, Tim Thomas and Krissy Wendell to be inducted
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Gary Bettman, Brian Gionta, Neal Henderson, Tim Thomas and Krissy Wendell will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019, it was announced today by USA Hockey.“It’s truly a remarkable Class,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “Each of the five inductees have their own unique and immeasurable contribution to our great game. They’re extremely deserving of the highest hockey honor in our country and we look forward to formally enshrining them into the Hall in December.”The 2019 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration will be held Dec. 12 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C. Tickets are available by clicking here.

For the last 26-plus years as the National Hockey League’s first-ever commissioner, Gary Bettman (Queens, N.Y.) has not only guided the NHL to unprecedented heights, but also positively influenced the development of the game at all levels. During Bettman’s tenure, hockey has experienced monumental growth and extraordinary levels of visibility and reach around the country.
With a commitment to increasing enthusiasm, interest and involvement in hockey from the youth level and up, Bettman has stressed the importance of access to hockey across the nation. Since assuming his role in February of 1993, Bettman has led the expansion of the league from 24 teams to its current 31-team format (to be 32 in 2021), with the added U.S. franchises helping fuel growth of the game at the grassroots level. In what could be termed non-traditional areas like Arizona, Texas, Nevada and Tennessee where new franchises are in place, participation has enjoyed exceptional growth in the number of players, established a greater emphasis on initiatives to teach the sport locally and cemented an avenue for direct exposure to the game.
By example, hockey in Texas, home of the Dallas Stars, has grown from 1,601 players in 1993 to over 15,000 today. Similarly, in just two years since the Vegas Golden Knights made their NHL debut, hockey participation in Nevada has nearly doubled from 1,382 players to 2,574 players.Bettman also placed emphasis on broadcast initiatives to increase accessibility to the game across the U.S. After securing a five-year deal with the Fox Broadcasting Company for the 1994-95 NHL season, Bettman followed by subsequent agreements with other large broadcasting entities like ABC, ESPN, Comcast and NBC to continue ensuring the coast-to-coast availability of hockey.
Bettman also worked to introduce various creative initiatives, including outdoor contests like the Winter Classic and the Stadium Series, and events like the All-Star skills competition. In addition, Bettman helped pass several rule changes to increase both the quality of the game and player safety, including eliminating the two-line pass, introducing a two-referee system and enforcing Rule 48 to eliminate and punish hits to the head.

A 1974 graduate of Cornell University where he studied industrial and labor relations, Bettman earned his Juris Doctor degree from New York University Law School in 1974. He served in the marketing and legal departments of the NBA, rising to third-in-command before joining the NHL. Currently the longest serving active commissioner in professional sports, Bettman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.) capped off a storied career that most hockey players can only dream of in 2018. An exceptional skater at every level, Gionta, who was drafted 82nd overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1998 NHL Draft, enjoyed 16 seasons in the National Hockey League. During his time at the game’s highest level, he captured the Stanley Cup as a member of the Devils in 2003, served as captain of both the Montreal Canadiens and his hometown team, the Buffalo Sabres, and in 2017 became just the 43rd American to skate in over 1,000 NHL games.
Amassing 595 points, including 291 goals and 304 assists in 1,026 regular-season contests from 2001 to 2018, Gionta ranks 43rd among American-born skaters all-time in points. A testament to his offensive prowess, Gionta hit double-digit goal totals in 13 of his 17 seasons and maintains the New Jersey Devils record for most goals in a single season to this day after tallying 48 times during the 2005-06 campaign.On the international stage, Gionta represented Team USA on nine different occasions, including both the 2006 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Team captain in the latter year, Gionta led Team USA in goal-scoring with four tallies in six contests during the 2006 tournament. In addition, Gionta skated in the 1996 Pacific Cup as a member of the U.S. Men’s Under-18 Select Team, both the 1998 and 1999 IIHF World Junior Championships, three IIHF Men’s World Championships (2000, 2001, 2005) and the 2017 Deutschland Cup. In 54 international appearances, Gionta amassed 38 points, including 24 goals and 14 assists.
A four-year standout at Boston College (1997-2001), Gionta kickstarted his collegiate career with a 62-point scoring effort in 40 games, earning Hockey East’s Rookie of the Year award and a place on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team during the 1997-98 season. In each of his final three seasons, Gionta led the Eagles in goal-scoring, ranked among the top two in points, and was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star, an NCAA First Team All-American and Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist. Gionta rounded out his collegiate career with an NCAA national championship in 2001, captaining Boston College to its second national title in program history and first since 1949.
The all-time leading goal scorer in program history, Gionta, who helped the Eagles to four straight Frozen Four appearances, finished his BC career with 232 points, including 123 goals and 109 assists in 164 games played.

For the last 40-plus years, Neal Henderson (Upper Marlboro, Md.) has dedicated his life to spreading the game of hockey and using the sport to provide lifelong lessons to youth in America. A natural mentor, Henderson noticed a greater demand for organized hockey in his home of Washington D.C. in the late 1970s.
Soon, Henderson starting renting ice time at the local Fort Dupont Ice Arena to accommodate players, and in 1978, he co-founded the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in the D.C. area.Known as the Cannons, Henderson’s developmental program is designed to provide local and inner-city youth skaters with the opportunity to both learn the game of hockey and participate in an organized league. The oldest minority hockey club in North America, Fort Dupont offers young hockey enthusiasts aged 8-to-18 a chance to hone their skills as hockey players while also using the sport to establish a sense of community, self-esteem and purpose.
Since its inception, Henderson’s league has successfully established hockey as a medium to build character, teach life skills and instill positive values in thousands of youth skaters in the D.C. area. Henderson also uses the club to provide players the chance to explore new cities and attend college visits while traveling for games.In addition to growing the game locally with the Cannons, Henderson was integral in laying the foundation for the NHL’s early Hockey is for Everyone program, a nation-wide initiative that seeks to drive positive social change and inclusivity throughout the hockey community.
A finalist for the inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award in 2018, Henderson and the Cannons were celebrated by the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals for their contribution to the spread of hockey in Washington, D.C.At age 82, Henderson is still going strong and making an impact on the lives of young people. And the Fort Dupont program he started more than 40 years ago has inspired others in major metropolitan areas to follow suit and positively influence youth in their communities.

Tim Thomas (Flint, Mich.) spent nine successful seasons in the NHL, many of those star-studded with milestones and accolades. Selected 217th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Draft, Thomas played the majority of his career with the Boston Bruins, and was integral in the Bruins’ 2010-11 playoff run that culminated in a Stanley Cup.
At age 37, Thomas became just the second American and the oldest player to receive the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 2011 playoffs. A two-time Vezina Trophy recipient, Thomas finished his NHL career with 214 wins and a .920 all-time save percentage in 426 games.Before reaching hockey’s grandest stage, Thomas’ winding path to the NHL began with a four-year stint (1993-97) at the University of Vermont, where he recorded an 81-43-15 career record with a 2.70 goals against average and .914 save percentage.
He helped UVM to NCAA tournament appearances in his final two seasons, including the program’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Frozen Four in 1996, a year in which he led the nation in save percentage at .924. Thomas, who today is Vermont’s all-time career leader in games played (140), wins (81) and saves (3,950), was both a two-time All-ECAC and All-America selection during his collegiate career.After capping off his collegiate career with a strong senior season, Thomas took his talents overseas to the Finnish Elite League where in his first season he was named to the all-star team and received the Urop Ylonen Award, significant of the league’s top goaltender, after leading HIFK to the league championship.
Following short stints in the International Hockey League, Swedish Hockey League and American Hockey League, Thomas made the NHL his permanent home at the start of the 2005-06 season. In addition to winning the Stanley Cup and the Vezina Trophy in both 2009 and 2011, Thomas was a four-time NHL All-Star and recipient of the William M. Jennings Trophy. Following his storybook tenure in Boston, Thomas split time between the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars before retiring from the league following the 2013-14 season.
On the international stage, Thomas represented the U.S. on eight occasions, including in seven world championships (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2008, 2014) and also in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He officially hung up his skates after backstopping Team USA in eight games at the 2014 IIHF Men’s World Championship.

Krissy Wendell (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) has excelled at every level of hockey during her career. From youth hockey in the Twin Cities suburbs, to her standout collegiate career at the University of Minnesota, to the international stage, Wendell’s skating tenure is marked by glowing achievements and broken records.A skilled forward with a flair for clutch goal-scoring,
Wendell tallied a Minnesota record 24 game-winning goals, including the deciding tally in the 2005 WCHA championship game against Wisconsin. In the same season, Wendell became the first Minnesota player and WCHA member to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award after being named a finalist in both 2003 and 2004. Throughout her time as a Gopher, the two-time NCAA national champion, earned All-America honors three times and was a two-time WCHA Player of the Year.
Wendell continues to rank among the top-15 on the NCAA’s all-time points list (237), is fourth all-time in points per game (2.35) and shares the record for most shorthanded goals in a single season after notching seven tallies during the 2004-05 season. In 101 career games over three seasons (2002-05), she registered 106 goals and 131 assists, good for 237 points. She is second all-time at Minnesota in career points per game at 2.35.As prolific a goal-scorer on the international stage as she was at Minnesota, Wendell represented the United States in 147 total games and registered 247 points, including 106 goals.
She played in six IIHF Women’s World Championships, including in 2005 when she helped the U.S. win its first-ever gold in the event with an MVP performance that included leading all skaters in the tournament with nine points. In addition, Wendell donned the Team USA jersey at both the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Winter Games, serving as captain in the latter tournament.
She earned two distinguished USA Hockey honors during her nine-year stint (1998-2007) as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team program, including as the Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year in 2001 and as the recipient of the Bob Johnson Award for international excellence in both 2000 and 2005. All total as a member of Team USA, Wendell earned one gold medal, six silvers and one bronze in major international competition.In Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, where her love for the game blossomed, Wendell led her Park Center Senior High School team to its first ever girls state championship in 2000. Wendell remains today the all-time scoring leader at Park Center and among the top 10 in Minnesota State High School League history.
Notes: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was incorporated in 1969 and inducted its first class in 1973. The Class of 2019 will be the 47th installed to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. To date, there are 182 enshrinees. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit USHockeyHallofFame.com … The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minnesota, is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit USHockeyHallMuseum.comor call 800-443-7825. 

Niagara’s Farmer Signs Deal With ECHL Thunder


Farmer Signs First Pro Contract With Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. – Former Niagara men’s hockey captain Nick Farmer (’19) has agreed to a deal to play professionally with the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL, as announced on Tuesday.

Farmer was a sound two-way forward for the Purple Eagles over the past four seasons. In his senior season, he accounted for 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in 41 games and guided the team to its first-ever Atlantic Hockey championship game.

The Spokane, Washington native missed just 14 contests in his career, and played in each game during his junior and senior seasons. In 139 outings in the purple and white, Farmer scored 18 goals and added 26 assists while blocking 126 shots.

Farmer will be the eighth former Purple Eagle to lace up for Wichita. Most recently, Kevin Patterson (’17) skated for the Thunder during the 2017-18 season.

Stanislav Dzakhov (’18) and Vinny Muto (’17) combined to play 56 games in the ECHL last season. Former captain Derian Plouffe won the 2019 Kelly Cup as a member of the Newfoundland Growlers. In all, the ECHL has housed 52 Purple Eagles following their college careers.

Founded in 1992, the Wichita Thunder were one of six original teams to play in the second generation of the Central Hockey League. In 2014, the Thunder were one of several CHL teams that were absorbed by the ECHL ahead of the 2014-15 season. In their 27 seasons, the Thunder have won three regular season titles and two league championships.

(Niagara University photo)



On the local front:

Canisius College will launch a 2nd club team and will be placed in the very tough West Division with the likes of Erie Community College, Fredonia, University at Buffalo, Penn State Behrend (Erie) and Alfred State.

Elmira College will also launch a formal club hockey program. They will be in a division with St Bonaventure, Brockport, Geneseo, Ithaca, University of Rochester and St John Fisher.

Buffalo State, Medaille and Niagara County Community College will maintain their programs in the UNYCHL’s development division.

The UNYCHL is made up of 29 schools ranging from Erie PA to Castleton VT.