by Niagara University Sports Information Office
NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – The Niagara men’s hockey team and head coach Dave Burkholder have announced seven new additions to the Purple Eagle family as the class of 2016. Joining the Purple Eagles as freshmen for the 2012-13 season will be Dan Kolenda, Hugo Turcotte, Matt Dineen, TJ Sarcona, Matt Chiarantano, Mike Conderman and Nick Cecere.
“As a staff we are all really pleased with the seven student-athletes that have chosen Niagara University and our program as their college of choice,” Burkholder said. “My staff is very diligent and hardworking in this area and these players will all be impact players on the ice thanks to their recruiting efforts.”
Dan Kolenda, a sizeable winger at 6-foot-4 from Superior, Wisc., scored 30 goals, 65 assists and 95 points in 111 games with the Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL). After tallying 20 goals and 37 assists last season, Kolenda was named to the 2011 Robinson Division’s CCHL All-Star team.
“At 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., Dan brings size and skill to our program,” assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Madsen said. “With Dan’s big frame and skill level, he will have the ability to wear down other teams’ defenseman.”
Hugo Turcotte comes to Monteagle Ridge after spending the last year with the Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL). He scored a team-high 23 goals, including four game-winning tallies and nine power-play goals and added 33 assists in 58 games. Turcotte, a native of Laval, Quebec City, had played a year of junior A with the Foxboro South Shore Kings (EJHL) in 2010-11 where he had 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) in 45 games. He also played a year at Winchendon Prep in Massachusetts in 2009-10 where he accumulated 27 goals and 26 assists and was the team’s scoring leader and Most Valuable Player.
“Hugo brings speed, skill and playmaking ability to our program,” Madsen said. “He has been a proven point producer at every level he has played at, and we fully expect that to translate to his college hockey career at Niagara.”
Matt Dineen has the potential to be a rock on the blueline for the Purple Eagles, having spent the last four seasons with the Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL). The 6-foot-1 captain steadily improved his point total each season, recording 14 goals, 59 assists for 73 points in his four-year stint with the Hurricanes. His 25 points in the 2011 season was tied for second best among defensemen on the club. The Newmarket, Ont. native has been a leader on and off the ice for the team as he was awarded the OJHL Humanitarian of the Year Award which is given to the player who has made the most notable contribution to his community, including, but not limited to charitable work, school visits and extra-curricular off-ice activities.
“Matt is a very simple, smart defenseman that plays with an edge,” Madsen said. “His competitiveness and ability to defend will make him a valuable penalty killer. Matt also brings tremendous character to our program as he was the recipient of his junior league’s Humanitarian of the Year Award last season for his efforts to give back to the community.”
T.J. Sarcona could play a pivotal role on the Purple Eagles special teams. Playing with the Amarillo Bulls (NAHL) the past two years, Sarcona scored 23 goals and added 35 assists for 58 points in 56 games this past season. The West Islip, N.Y. native collected four power play goals and added three more shorthanded. He was plus-36 and totaled 155 shots, helping the Bulls to the 2011 NAHL South Division Title.
“TJ is a very competitive, two-way forward who comes to Niagara after a very successful junior career,” Madsen said. “He is hard to play against and will help our penalty kill unit immensely.”
Matt Chiarantano, the 5-foot-9 defender has scored 18 goals, 80 assists and 98 points in 182 games in the OJHL, split between the Orangeville Crushers, Aurora Tigers and the Georgetown Raiders. He had a career-season in 2011-12 with the Raiders, scoring six goals, 27 assists and 33 points in 43 games. The Bolton, Ont. native was also a member of Canada East’s squad that participated in the World Junior A Challenge in 2010.
“Matt is a smooth, puck-moving defenseman,” Madsen said. “He is junior tested and will bring depth to our defensive core.”
The Purple Eagles have also added two strong transfers this season in Mike Conerman and Nick Cecere.
Rochester, N.Y. native, Mike Conderman, hopes to bring his tenacious offensive play to Dwyer Arena after having spending last year with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks. Prior to his stint with the River Hawks, Conderman suited up for 57 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) where he scored 11 goals, 21 assists for 32 points. He tallied 31 goals and added 41 assists for 72 points in 31 games for Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. His efforts landed him on the All-New England Team as an East Team all-star.
“Mike is a competitive, two-way forward who can play in all situations,” Madsen said. “He has the ability to make plays and creates chances for himself and his line-mates through his hard work.”
Nick Cecere, a defenseman from Des Moines, Iowa, played for the Michigan Tech Huskies last season. Cecere played the 2009-10 season with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) where he scored two goals, added assists and picked up 39 penalty minutes before joining the United States Hockey League’s Lincoln Stars the following season.
“Nick is a simple, stay-at-home defenseman that brings experience and character to our program,” Madsen said. “He also brings an element of size and toughness to our defensive core.”
Niagara begins its 17th season at Dwyer Arena when it plays host to Bowling Green State University on Oct. 6. Fans can purchase season tickets for the 2012-13 season by either calling 716-286-TIXX (8499), visitingwww.PurpleEagles.com/Tickets or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.