Curran Lands Deal With Coventry Blaze
COVENTRY, England – Former Niagara men’s hockey player Johnny Curran (’19) has agreed to a deal to play professionally with the Coventry Blaze of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).
Curran recently completed a four-year career with the Purple Eagles that saw the 2018-19 squad reach its first appearance in the Atlantic Hockey championship game after nine years as a league member. In 131 games in the Purple and White, the forward tallied 26 goals and 29 assists. The native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, served as one of three alternate captains in his senior season and set career highs for assists (13) and points (20) to go along with seven goals, finishing sixth in team scoring.
Niagara’s current volunteer goaltending coach, Dr. Ian Burt, played for the Blaze during the 2001-02 season following a four-year career at Cornell University.
Former Niagara University captain Sean Bentivoglio (’07) has spent each of the past three seasons in the EIHL with the Cardiff Devils. Carsen Chubak (’13) played one season each with the Belfast Giants and Edinburgh Capitals. Chubak’s stint with Edinburgh in 2015-16 was shared with another Niagara alum, Paul Zanette (’11). In total, nine former Purple Eagles have played 13 seasons in the EIHL.
Coventry’s current roster features three players who have played at Atlantic Hockey schools: Ben Lake (Sacred Heart ’15), Kevin Noble (Mercyhurst ’12), and Shawn Pauly (UConn ’16), who competed for the Huskies during the program’s last two years in the AHA.
The Blaze have called Coventry home since 2000 but trace their roots back to 1965 and the Solihull Barons. Coventry finished the 2018-19 season with a 27-25-8 record (62 points), good enough for eighth place in the 11-team league and the final playoff spot. Coventry were dispatched, two games to none, in the opening round by the regular season-champion Belfast Giants. The team is a two-time EIHL playoff champion, most recently winning the Grand Final in 2014-15.