Niagara Gazette

Niagara U.

November 19, 2010

NU's Iuorio adds speed to his arsenal

NIAGARA FALLS — Squaring up to his own defenseman, hoping for a shot to deflect while expecting a stick planted squarely across his shoulders, seems to come natural to Giancarlo Iuorio.

The Niagara University sophomore has a knack for getting around the net on the team’s power play, and became a fixture on the second unit in his first season on Monteagle Ridge before getting a promotion to the top group this fall.

But to become the well-rounded player the Purple Eagles’ coaching staff wanted him to be, Iuorio spent the summer picking up the pace with a number of drills. When he suits up for a huge home weekend at Dwyer Arena that includes dates with RIT (tonight) and Air Force (Saturday), Iuorio’s newfound acceleration will be an integral part of his team’s game plan.

“I just focused on working on my speed,” Iuorio said. “Coach (Dave Burkholder) told me before the offseason that he wanted me to focus on my speed and I was hoping to be a big part of this team. It seems to be working.”

Indeed it does. Through 10 games, the 5-foot-11 forward has five goals and six assists for 11 points, exactly what he finished with after 26 games as a freshman.

Burkholder isn’t surprised by the rise in productivity. He and his assistants gave Iuorio a map to follow after his promising debut season and they were happy to find the winger eager to follow.

“We tell guys the biggest jump you can make is the off-season between your freshman and sophomore years. Giancarlo maxed out last summer, with the strides he made and the work he put in,” Burkholder said. “It was like night and day when we first saw him on the ice, we were like, ‘oh my God, he’s a new player.’ He took care of what he’s needed to take care of.”

And while that means more ice time during five-on-five play, Iuorio still makes his loudest noise on the power-play, where he’s currently tied for fifth in the nation with four goals. And it’s not just Iuorio who’s excelling, the Purple Eagles as a group are currently ranked 14th, hitting on 222 percent of their chances.

Burkholder said Iuorio’s early-season success isn’t just a flash in the pan.

“He’s so versatile. Besides his conditioning and work ethic, the kid can make plays,” Burkholder said. “He’s got a skillset that people are starting to take notice of. And he did it in juniors. His numbers were outstanding, he was one of the more offensive players coming out of Toronto. Usually that translates out, and we’re expecting that to continue.”

As for this weekend, there are plenty of historical connections with RIT and Air Force, although both meetings will be firsts in terms of Atlantic Hockey play. Burkholder attended RIT, where he led the Tigers to the 1983 Division III national championship. He’s never lost coaching against his alma mater, with a 6-0-2 mark against the Tigers. Meanwhile, Air Force was a founding member of College Hockey America before leaving after 2006.

As Burkholder said Thursday, the two programs have been the class of Atlantic Hockey in recent seasons, with each finishing in the top three the last three years. Air Force made the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and 2009, winning a game in the latter, while RIT was the Cinderella story of last year’s event, shocking top-seeded Denver and New Hampshire in earning a trip to the Frozen Four.

“You have so much respect for both programs for what they’ve done in the last three seasons,” Burkholder said. “The noise and respect garnered for Atlantic Hockey has been incredible, and to finally we get them both on home ice, I don’t think we’ve had as big a weekend here at Dwyer, except maybe with the CHA Tournament when there was a bid on the line.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Niagara U.
  • Niagara shuts out Canisius

    Paul Zanette had a goal and assist while goaltender Chris Noonan made 29 saves to propel the Niagara University men’s hockey team to a critical 3-0 victory over Canisius at the Buffalo State College Sports Complex.

    February 17, 2011

  • Situation getting worse for Niagara basketball team

    Niagara sank into last place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 51-49 loss at Manhattan, which came into the game on a 15-game losing streak Monday. And that was hardly the most ominous news to come out of the lost weekend, which also included Saturday’s setback at Saint Peter’s.

    January 17, 2011

  • 110107 NU-Rider.jpg Niagara falls hard in big game

    With Calvin Murphy being honored at halftime and ESPNU showing the game nationwide, the Purple Eagles missed more than twice as many shots as they made and lost 82-65 to visiting Metro Atlantic Athletic foe Rider before a crowd of 1,275.

    January 8, 2011 1 Photo

  • 110107 Calvin Murphy 2.jpg A legend holds court at NU

    Calvin Murphy adds to his legend in return

    January 7, 2011 3 Photos

  • Calvin Murphy excited to come back to Niagara

    Murphy is passionate about showing his loyalty to Niagara because the university has done the same for him over the years.

    January 6, 2011

  • Niagara loses by 45 at Drexel

    The Niagara men’s basketball team suffered through its most lopsided loss in over a decade on its worst offensive night in almost a century.

    December 28, 2010

  • 101203 NU Hockey 2.jpg Niagara making impression in Atlantic Hockey

    As second semester approaches, Purple Eagles have rebounded after down year

    December 27, 2010 1 Photo

  • Purple Eagles encouraged to follow the leader

    Having lost seven of eight games for just the second time in his 12 years at Niagara, coach Joe Mihalich is concerned that his roster of mostly freshmen and sophomores is not responding to the leadership being provided by his lone senior.

    December 27, 2010

  • Dobrich pursues his passion coaching the Purple Eagles

    Luke Dobrich, 32, is in his eighth season as a men’s basketball assistant coach at Niagara, and his first as the senior member of head coach Joe Mihalich’s staff.

    December 22, 2010

  • Nelson’s basket lifts NU past Bowling Green

    Anthony Nelson’s basket with just a second left on the shot clock proved the game’s winning play as the Purple Eagles evened their record at 2-2 with a 65-61 victory over Bowling Green on Friday. 

    November 26, 2010

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page