Hockey Heads To Air Force

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The Purple Eagles (6-12-2, 5-5-2-2 AHA) take their first conference road trip of 2022 when they head to Air Force (5-11-2, 3-7-2-2 AHA) for two games Jan. 14-15.

Last Time Out
• The Purple Eagles split with Sacred Heart Jan. 7-8. NU won the first game, 5-4, in overtime, and fell to the Pioneers, 2-1, in the final series.
Ryan Cox scored twice in game one, with Jack Zielinski, Jordan Wishman, Jesse Pomeroy and Brandon Stanley earning assists on his goals.
Brandon Stanley and Jack DeBoer each scored their first goals of the season. Walker Sommer and Ryan Cox had the helpers for Stanley and Ryan Naumovski and Albin Nilsson assisted DeBoer.
• In his first game back on the ice since November, Walker Sommer scored the game-winner less than one minute into the overtime period. He was assisted by Zac Herrmann and Albin Nilsson.
Chad Veltri (6-6-1) made 23 saves in goal.
Ryan Naumovski scored the lone goal for the Purple Eagles in game two and his breakaway goal was featured as the number two play on SportsCenter’s Top 10. Naumovski was assisted by Albin Nilsson and Zac Herrmann.
Jake Sibell (0-5-1) made 31 saves in the game.

Notes from the Nest
Albin Nilsson and Chad Veltri earned Atlantic Hockey weekly awards following the team’s two-game series against No. 10 Notre Dame. Nilsson was named the Player of the Week and Veltri earned Goaltender of the Week honors.
• The Purple Eagles played in front of fans at Dwyer Arena for the first time in 612 days when they hosted the Air Force Falcons Nov. 5-6.
• Senior Luke Edgerton played his 100th career game versus Canisius on Dec. 10.
• Graduate student Jack Zielinski suited up for his 100th career game against No. 8 North Dakota on Oct. 9.
• The Purple Eagles went 7-12-3 overall in 2020-21 and 3-9-3-1 in Atlantic Hockey play.
• The team advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament after a 3-2 victory over Mercyhurst in the first round and 3-2 (2OT) and 2-1 wins over Robert Morris in a three-game quarterfinals series. The Purple Eagles fell to AIC in the semifinals, 2-1.
Josef Mysak was named to the AHA West Pod All-Rookie Team and 24 Purple Eagles were named to the AHA All-Academic Team.
• Niagara returns 18 players from last year’s squad, including forwards Walker Sommer and Ryan Naumovski and goaltender Chad Veltri. Sommer led the team in scoring with eight goals and had a team-high 15 points and Naumovski had a team-best 10 assists. Veltri compiled a record of 5-7-2 and made 385 saves on the season and had a save percentage of .919.
• The Purple Eagles welcome 12 newcomers to the team, including transfers Alexandre Roy (University of Nebraska – Omaha), Albin Nilsson (Providence College), Olivier Gauthier (Alaska-Anchorage), Mike Faulkner (Hobart) and Jack DeBoer (Boston University).
Chris Harpur was selected as Niagara’s captain for the second straight season, while Jack Zielinski, Jon Hill and Walker Sommer were named alternates.
• Freshman goaltender Jake Sibell was named the AHA Preseason Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Preseason Rookie of the Year selection from NU since 2013. Sibell joins NU from the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL. During the 2020-21 season, Sibell made 1,105 saves and had a save percentage of 95.2%. He recoded 11 shutouts and compiled a record of 43-2-1, with a 1.19 goals against average. Sibell played in 11 playoff games and went 8-2-1 with a 1.93 goal against average and a 92.9% save percentage.
• Sibell was named the NAHL Goaltender of the Year and the NAHL Most Valuable Player. He had the best save percentage and goals against average in the NAHL and set NAHL single season records in both categories. Sibell also earned the USA Hockey Junior Goalie of the Year (Doug Peterson Award) and was a NAHL All-Central Division Team and NAHL First All-Star Team selection.

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