NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Last season The Niagara Purple Eagles hockey team went 11-22-3. The Purple Eagles look to do much better this season. Head Coach Jason Lammers is going into his second season behind the bench and is looking to improve. The Purple Eagles bring back 17 players from last season, and add 12 new players.
With all the new players on the team, Lammers talked about how the older guys are helping the younger guys adjust to the college hockey both on the ice and off the ice.
“We can all remember our first semester,” Lammers said. “Yes, hockey. Yes, school. Yes, social life and trying to work that all together to get everybody comfortable. I think if the upperclassman can continue to help our new guys take care of the social aspect of life the school aspect of life it all take care of itself on the ice.”
Of the 17 players coming back, defenseman Noah Delmas and Forward Eric Cooley both spent time with the Toronto Maple Leafs development camp this summer. Lammers spoke very highly of the experience they received with the Maple Leafs.
“When those guys came back from camp, and even now, they sat up a little taller, their shoulders are a little further back,” Lammers said. “They know a little more. They’ve been educated. It’s really been great to see their maturation, and that’s our goal. Again, we want to create men here and help them develop into men, but we also want to get them ready for life in professional hockey.”
After opening weekend at home which saw the Purple Eagles split two games with AIC, the Purple Eagles are on the road for three straight weekends. Lammers believes the tough opening month but should bring the team closer together.
“We get to bond,” Lammers said. “So, to me these are opportunities to see where we fall. Our goal again is to prove people wrong and we want to play those games that matter at the end of the year.”
The Purple Eagles will continue their difficult slate of road games with four games against conference opponents; two against Air Force and two against Robert Morris. The next time you can see the Purple Eagles at Dwyer Arena is when they take on Holy Cross on November 9th and 10th.
Statistics as of October 15, 2018.