BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
It is 8:30 on a Thursday morning in early December as the Erie Community College men’s hockey team skates off the ice at the Cheektowaga Recreational Ice Arena in Cheektowaga, NY. Dominic Galanti is among the skaters heading to the Kats locker room.
Within minutes Galanti is on his way to the ECC North Campus where he attends classes. For the second year ECC student and hockey player, attending the Buffalo-based college is special.
For hockey fans who have followed ECC hockey over the past four decades the Galanti name is synonymous with the College. Dominic is the third generation of Galanti’s associated with ECC and the Kats hockey program.
Ralph Galanti, Jr. is the former ECC Athletic Director and Dominic’s grandfather. Michael Galanti played goal for ECC and is Dominic’s father.
As head coach of the Kats men’s hockey team, Ralph’s teams won five regional titles and made eight appearances in the NJCAA national championships. For his efforts Ralph was inducted into the NJCAA Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame, was regional coach of the year five times and International Collegiate Hockey coach of the year four times.
Ralph is also a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame for his overall efforts putting together an outstanding athletic program at ECC.
So was it a natural thing for Dominic to attend ECC?
“It’s almost like a legacy to fulfill,” remarked Dominic, a second-year student at ECC. “My grandfather was the AD and the first coach of the Kats. He was coach for 20-plus years.
“Then my dad came here. And my grandfather coached my dad. So now I’m carrying on that legacy by attending and playing hockey at ECC.”
Does Dominic feel any pressure knowing that he is the third generation Galanti to have ECC as a part of his life, especially his hockey life?
“No, not really,” answered Dominic, a 2017 graduate of St. Francis High School in nearby Hamburg, NY.
Do a lot of Dominic’s ECC hockey teammates ever ask him about his grandfather?
“They’re always asking questions about my grandfather,” stated Dominic, a native of Lackawanna, NY. “They want to know what kind of a coach he was.
“At one of our home games this year there was an older guy sitting near the entrance. They wanted to know if it was my grandfather.
“It wasn’t. He was just a friend of the family. A lot of my teammates want to meet him.
“I think it’s cool.”
Has Dom’s grandfather worked with him throughout his hockey playing career?
“He’s always giving me tips when he comes to my games,” explained Dom, the son of Lisa and Michael Galanti. “We will text or call each other after games.
“Again, I think it is something that is pretty cool.”
For Kats hockey head coach, Gary Rost, having Dom on his team has been a great experience.
“Dom is a great kid and a good student.” stated Rost. “He does everything you ask him to do.
“He contributes a lot to the team and is a solid team player.”
What is in the future for Dominic?
“I’m not really sure,” said Dom, who played his youth hockey for the West Seneca Hockey Association and the Southtowns Stars Hockey Association. “I would like to go to a four-year college around here.
“I would also like to stay in hockey in some capacity. Not necessarily as a player. But in some other role.
“What that role will be remains to be seen. I just want to stay in the game.”