Niagara Gazette

Niagara U.

October 8, 2010

RIT still the pick in Atlantic Hockey

NIAGARA FALLS — The common perception when the Niagara University men’s hockey team moved from College Hockey America to Atlantic Hockey was the program was taking a small step down.

Recent history, however, suggests otherwise.

With a top-heavy group of programs, the Purple Eagles will have their hands full in the league’s Western “pod,” which includes former CHA foe Robert Morris, archrival Canisius, up-and-coming Mercyhurst, and recent juggernauts RIT and Air Force. Niagara will meet each of these teams three times, while the Purple Eagles will do battle with the teams from the Western pod — American International, Army, Bentley, Connecticut, Holy Cross and Sacred Heart — two times apiece.

RIT is hoping to ride a wave after last season’s improbable run to the Frozen Four, in which the Tigers beat national powerhouses Denver and New Hampshire.

“We’re excited for a new year and know we have to prove ourselves all over again,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson, who was named the Division I coach of the year last season. “We know we will have a target on our back.”

There are holes to fill, however, as Atlantic Hockey rookie of the year Chris Tanev signed with Vancouver while all-league goalie Jared DeMichiel and conference defenseman of the year Dan Ringwald are both gone as well.

Still, with forwards Cameron Burt and Adrew Favot, RIT is the clearcut favorite in what could be an interesting mix of teams. 

Here’s a look at the other squads, in order of the preseason coaches poll:

• Mercyhurst (15-20-3, 15-10-3 AHA in 2009-10): With underwhelming but effectve Mike Gurtler, the Lakers can tangle with anyone, as was evidenced by a 4-4 tie at Michigan on Oct. 2.

• Air Force (16-15-6 overall; 14-8-6 AHA): After three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Falcons watched RIT grab national headlines with a Frozen Four run. The non-conference schedule is brutal, but former Hobey Baker candidate Jacques Lamoureux leads a solid bunch.

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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

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    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

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    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

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