Niagara Gazette — When asked about his young squad, which includes ten rookies, the coach praised them for being important contributors early in their careers, including goaltenders Adrian Ignagni and Jackson Teichroeb.
“I think our freshmen class have all chipped in and have contributed in different ways,” he said. “As far as our two goalies are concerned, I would say they’ve had an up-and-down start to their careers but that’s to be expected as freshman goaltenders at this level. They’ve both been stars of the game and they’ve both had games where they probably thought they could have been a little better.”
This weekend’s games will bring a five-game road trip to an end. While it sounds grueling, Burkholder points to the down time which allowed them to return home for a while before heading back on the road.
“I think with the week off, it broke it up for us, which really helped us with the guys in regards to rest and studies,” he said. “I think it’s so early in the year that the travel has not become a factor yet. Don’t get me wrong, I think we’re going to be excited next week to get back to the Dwyer to play Army but first things first, we’re excited about all the challenges that Ohio State’s going to present for us and the opportunity that waits for us in the next two days.”
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In other team news, senior defenseman Kevin Ryan was nominated for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes an NCAA hockey Division I senior that excels in academics, athletics, community service and character.
“He’s a class individual,” Burkholder said of the Eden, NY resident. “He’s done everything that we’ve asked since he came on campus at Niagara. He is an unbelievable student and always gives back. Whenever there’s a community service project, he’s at the front of the line. I can’t say enough good things about Kevin.”
Kyle Gibbons of Canisius is another candidate among the 20 nominees who will be cut down to 10 finalists later in the season.
Follow Niagara Gazette Sports Editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at @MrozGazette.