Niagara Gazette


July 19, 2013

NF native Merante signs with Canadian school

Niagara Gazette — It's always been Vinny Merante's dream to play college hockey.

He just never imagined it'd turn out the way it has.

Merante, a Niagara Falls native who graduated from Niagara-Wheatfield, committed in June to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, to play goaltender for the Golden Eagles in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport conference, Canada's version of Division I.

"It's very competitive," the 21-year-old said. "Teams in CIS will play D-1 teams in exhibitions before the seasons starts. Guys (who play there) get looked at to go pro or go to AHL and NHL camps."

"The quickest way to go pro is to play in the U.S., D-1, or Canadian (universities)," said Merante's father, Tom. "The Canadian teams are loaded with CHL (the Canadian Hockey League, Canada's top junior circuit) kids."

Merante started playing with Western New York's youth teams as a child, including Grand Niagara, the Hamburg Hawks, West Seneca Wings and Buffalo Regals. He also played on to the junior B Buffalo Stars, a year at Niagara Falls High School and two years at N-W.

Out of high school, Merante tried out for a number of junior teams. After being cut from multiple camps, he made the junior B Fort Erie Meteors in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. After a season, he tried out for and made the Huntsville Otters, a team the junior A Ontario Junior Hockey League — the same league as the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.

Huntsville folded after his first season, but Merante caught on again in the GOJHL with the Thorold Blackhawks, where he was voted a unanimous All-Star.

"It was a big learning experience," Merante said. "You go, you try out, bounce around and try to find the right fit. It's a journey, that's for sure. The whole process is a journey, you just got to try to enjoy all of it."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
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 Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
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