Share this article

print logo

BNRinkside: Summer notes on Niagara coaches, Canisius recruits and schedule

Time to clear out the summer notebook of news and notes from Western New York college hockey scene:

Niagara coaching changes
The Purple Eagles lost associated head coach Tim Madsen who took the job as head coach of the  Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in May. Then in July assistant coach Eddie Olczyk Jr. took a job with Bemidji State. On Tuesday, the Purple Eagles announced they filled one spot, hiring Michael Findorff as assistant coach. Findorff spent the 2015-16 as an assistant coach at Utica College. A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., he was a defenseman at Miami (Ohio) from 2005-09 and went to the natinal championship game as a senior.

Canisius recruiting class
Canisius added seven players in the late singing period, announcing its incoming freshman class last month. The Golden Griffns added three goaltenders as Reilly Turner decided not to return to Canisius after two seasons. In goal the Griffs added Daniel Urbani (Coquitlam, British Columbia), Blake Weyrick (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Charles Williams (Canton, Mich.)

Urbani helped lead the Trenton Golden Hawks to the 2016 OJHL Championship and Dudley Hewitt Cup. He led the league and posted the fourth-lowest goals against average in OJHL history en route to earning Top Goaltender and first-team all-star honors. He then was named playoff MVP with 16-2 record in the postseason and a 1.54 goals against average and .944 save percentage.  Weyrick spent the last two seasons with the Janesville Jets of the NAHL while Williams is a senior transfer from Ferris State.

The Griffs also added forwards Casey Jerry (River Falls, Wis.) and Jesse Pereira (Fort Erie, Ontario) and defensemen Dan Fritz (Annapolis, Md.) and Matt Stief (Weston, Fla.).

Jerry had 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) for the Minnesota Magicians of the NAHL while Pereira totaled 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) helping the Brooks Bandits win the AJHL Championship.

Fritz, a transfer from Quinnipiac, earned Defensive MVP honors in his final season of junior hockey with the Coquitlam Express of the BCH, leading defenders on the team with 38 points during the 2014-15 campaign. Stief was the first defenseman to lead the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL in scoring with 43 points (5 goals, 38 assists).

Griffs release schedule
Mark your calendars for the 2016-17 season with 16 games at HarborCenter for Canisius while the Griffs open the season racking up some serious frequent flier miles.

The Griffs open the regular season Oct. 7 with two games at North Dakota. It will be the first time the Griffs meet the defending national champion since playing Maine in 1999-00. Canisius continues its season-opening road trip with a two games in Alaska, playing host Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage Oct. 14-15.

The Griffs travel to Penn State Oct. 28-29 then host St. Lawrence at HarborCenter Jan. 6-7 to round out their non-conference schedule.

Best of all, Canisius plays regional rivals Niagara and RIT four times in conference play. The Griffs and RIT play home-and-home series Nov. 4 (Buffalo) and Nov. 5 (Rochester) and again on Jan. 20 (Rochester) and Jan. 21 (Buffalo).

The series with Niagara takes on non-traditional dates. Canisius hosts the Purple Eagles on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Feb. 15 while the series shifts to Niagara on Tuesday, Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 17.

The complete Canisius schedule:

Oct. 2 --  Guelph (exhibition) 5:05 p.m.
Oct. 7 -- at North Dakota 7:37 p.m. CT
Oct. 8 -- at North Dakota 7:07 p.m. CT
Oct. 14 -- at Alaska Fairbanks  7:07 p.m. AT
Oct. 15 -- vs. Alaska Anchorage, at Fairbanks 4:07 p.m.
Oct. 21 -- Robert Morris 7:35 p.m.
Oct. 22 -- Robert Morris 7:35 p.m.
Oct. 28 -- at Penn State 7:05 p.m.
Oct. 29 -- at Penn State  7:05 p.m.
Nov. 4 -- RIT  7:35 p.m.
Nov. 5 -- at RIT  7:05 p.m.
Nov. 11 -- at Army West Point 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 12 -- at Army West Point  7:05 p.m.
Nov. 18 -- AIC  7:35 p.m.
Nov. 19 -- AIC  4:05 p.m.
Nov. 25 -- Mercyhurst. 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 2 -- Bentley  7:35 p.m.
Dec. 3 -- Bentley  7:35 p.m.
Dec. 30 -- at Holy Cross 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 31 -- at Holy Cross 4:05 p.m.
Jan. 6 -- St. Lawrence 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 7 -- St. Lawrence 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 13 -- at Air Force  7:05 p.m. MT
Jan. 14 -- at Air Force  5:05 p.m. MT
Jan. 20 -- at RIT  7:05 p.m.
Jan. 21 -- RIT  7:35 p.m.
Jan. 24 -- Niagara 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 27 -- at AIC 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 28 -- at AIC  7:05 p.m.
Jan. 31 -- at Niagara 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 3 -- Army West Point 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 4 -- Army West Point 4:05 p.m.
Feb. 10 --  at Sacred Heart 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 11 -- at Sacred Heart  7:05 p.m.
Feb. 15 -- Niagara 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 17 -- at Niagara  7:05 p.m.
Feb. 23 -- Mercyhurst 7:35 p.m.
March 3-5 --  Atlantic Hockey First Round (Campus Sites)
March 10-12 -- Atlantic Quarterfinals (Campus Sties)
March 17 -- Atlantic Hockey Semifinals (Rochester, N.Y.)
March 18 -- Atlantic Hockey Championship (Rochester, N.Y.)

There are no comments - be the first to comment