NU Ranked No. 20 in First USCHO.com Poll of Season
NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – The Niagara hockey team will start the 2013-14 season ranked No. 20 in the USCHO.com Division I poll.
After finishing last season at No. 15, the Purple Eagles earned 94 votes in the poll released Monday to hold the last spot in the top-20 poll. Niagara was the only Atlantic Hockey program ranked, but other AHA teams receiving votes were Air Force (14), Canisius (12), RIT (5) and Robert Morris (2).
Last season the 15th place finish was the best in program history and continued a record 19-week run in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll.
The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.
Niagara opens the regular season with a home-opening series against Clarkson on Oct. 5-6 at Dwyer Arena. Saturday's game is scheduled to being at 7 p.m., with Sunday's puck drop set for 2 p.m.
To purchase tickets, contact the Niagara athletic ticket office at 716-286-TIXX (8499) or visit www.PurpleEagles.com/Tickets.
Purple Eagles Pocket Preseason Honors
NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Four Purple Eagles from the hockey team earned Preseason Atlantic Hockey honors by SB Nation. Seniors Ryan Murphy and Kevin Ryan were named to the Preseason All-Atlantic Hockey Second Team, freshman goaltender Adrian Ignagni pocketed Preseason Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year, and joined fellow rookie Vincent Muto on the all-rookie squad. Murphy put together his most impressive season during the 2012-13 season, as the 6-foot-1, 195 pounder finished his junior year with 15 goals, 21 assists and 36 points in 36 games, which were all career-highs in all categories. The Stratford, Ont. native finished tops on the squad in both power play (5) and game-winning goals (4). Ryan was named to the Third Team All-Conference Team after finishing the year as one of the league's top offensive defensemen. The Eden, N.Y. native earned a career-high 24 points, while his 23 assists was fourth in the league, while finishing 24th in the nation in points among defensemen (0.63). He was a threat on the man-advantage, where more than half of his assists were pocketed. Ignagni came to Monteagle Ridge after three years with the St. Michael's Buzzers Jr. of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. A co-captain for the 2012-13 season, the Mississauga, Ont. native helped the Buzzers capture the OJHL Championship with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. Ignagni finished regular season third among all netminders with .927 save percentage, while posting a 2.54 goals-against average and four shutouts, and became only goalie in OJHL to have back-to-back 30+ regular season wins. Muto played in the backline for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League during the 2012-13 season where the Niagara Falls, N.Y. native pocketed 16 points on four goals and 12 assists while leading the team with a plus-34 rating. The team opens the 2013-14 season with a two-game home slate against the Clarkson Golden Knights beginning on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. and wrapping up the following day at 2 p.m. Niagara will salute the accomplishments of the 2012-13 team one final time, as a pair of banners commemorating last season (Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Champions, NCAA Tournament), will be unveiled in the rafters of Dwyer Arena before puck drop on Saturday. To purchase tickets, contact the Niagara athletic ticket office at 716-286-TIXX (8499) or visit www.PurpleEagles.com/Tickets.