Muto, Sarcona join ECHL

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – The seniors of this year’s Purple Eagles hockey team did not have their college-playing days end ideally. The team’s season ended in both heartbreak and controversy last week vs. Canisius and it proved to be the end of the line for the team’s five seniors. However, for two of them, things are looking up.

Niagara University Athletics announced on Saturday morning that two of the team’s newest alums, T.J. Sarcona and Vinny Muto, have signed with the Rapid City Rush of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), a league in the NHL’s farm system.

Sarcona recorded 62 points in his 136-game Niagara career, leading his class in scoring. Muto also played in 136 games for the Purple Eagles, scoring 50 points during that span. The Niagara Falls-native also posted three points in Niagara’s memorable playoff run this year that saw an unfathomable upset over RIT.

The renewed teammates joined the Rush on Wednesday and played in their first professional game that night against the Idaho Steelheads. Sarcona wore no.28 while Muto donned no.37.

Based in Rapid City, S.D., the Rush are the second-highest affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. Though Sarcona and Muto have a long way to go before they reach that level, the duo are continuing their careers in style while putting Niagara University hockey on the map.

Photo courtesy of


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