August 9, 2012

Sacred Hockey Announces Incomming Recruiting Class

(Fairfield, CT) – Sacred Heart University Men's Hockey Head Coach C.J. Marottolo announced the incoming recruiting class for the upcoming 2012-13 season. The newest Pioneers include four forwards, three defenseman, and two goalies.

"I'm very excited about our incoming freshman class," said Marottolo.  "They all possess a high competitive drive, great character, and skill.  They will compete for regular roles in their rookie seasons."

Joining the Pioneers up front are Morgan Bonner (Aurora, ON), Beau Walker (West Richland, WA), Jake Lynes (Ellicott City, MD), and Nick Curry (August, GA).

Bonner (5-10/185) scored 36 goals with 28 assists in 64 games for the Newmarket Hurricanes of the OJHL last year. "He's a skilled, fast, and tenacious player," said Marottolo.  "He has a very good nose for the net."

Walker (6-0/180) comes from the Corpus Christi Ice Rays of the NAHL.  In 58 games, he registered 12 goals with 33 assists for 45 points.  "He's a good playmaker with a skilled right shot," said Marottolo.  "He has the skills to contribute on the power play."

Lynes (6-2/180) projects to be a physical and powerful forward, having scored 15 goals with 22 assists for 37 points in 59 games for the Topeka Road Runners of the NAHL. "A big physical right shot and good all-around guy," Marottolo said of Lynes. "He's had a great junior career in USHL and NAHL."

Curry is a transfer from UMass-Lowell, and is eligible to play this season after sitting out all of last year.  He tallied two assists in 16 games as a freshman in 2010 for the River Hawks.  "He will bring leadership and competitive fire to our team," said Marottolo.  "He has very good offensive skills."

On the blue line, the Pioneers welcome Jacob Brightbill (Anneville, PA), Josh Phillips (Toronto, ON), and Matthew Solomon (Toronto, ON).

Brightbill (5-8/170) played for the Walpole Express of the AJHL last season.  "He's a smooth-skating, puck-moving, offensive-minded defenseman who should help create offense from the back end," said Marottolo.

Phillips (6-3/190) brings size and shooting ability to the defense core after scoring two goals with 18 assists for 20 points last season for the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL.  "He is a big right shot and a steady all-around defenseman," said Marottolo.  "We'll look for him to contribute in all situations."

Solomon (6-2/190) scored 10 goals with 30 assists and 40 points for the Boston Bandits of the EJHL last year.  He also accumulated 123 penalty minutes in 44 games.  "He's a big left shot defenseman with a powerful shot from the blue line," said Marottolo.

Fredrik Melander (Uppsala, Sweeden) and Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, CT) join the goaltending core, although Vazzano will not be eligible to play until next season per NCAA transfer rule.

Melander (5-8/165) posted a .903 save percentage in 960 minutes for Trinity Pawling Prep School last year.  "He is avery athletic and mobile goaltender with great competitiveness," said Marottolo.

While Melander comes to Fairfield all the way from Sweeden, Vazzano comes to SHU in somewhat of a homecoming as a local product from nearby Trumbull.  "Pure athletic ability and size," Marottolo said of the transfer from the University of Vermont. "He has a great work ethic." In seven games for the Catamounts last year, Vannano (6-2/192) went 1-4 with a .890 save percentage and 3.62 GAA.

"I think this incoming class, mixed with our returning veterans will enable the 2012-13 Sacred Heart Hockey team to take great strides," said Marottolo.

The Pioneers open the 2012-13 season on the road against Providence College on October 12.