Last season the University at Buffalo Hockey team returned to the ACHA National Tournament as an at-large-team for the first time in over ten years, and as a program that has been on the brink of the national tournament for the past few seasons, the 2014-2015 season can be considered a success. But with that success comes hunger from the returning players to make it back to the national tournament and make a deep run. It is no longer acceptable to talk about “maybe going to the tournament”, it is only acceptable to talk about how many W’s we can achieve during the tournament.
With a 33 game schedule (20 home and 13 away) this season the Bulls have their work cut out for them, this is most difficult schedule in recent memory. UB takes on numerous teams who played in the 14-15 national tournament; such as Rhode Island, Liberty, Davenport, RMU-PA, John Carroll, and Niagara all before Thanksgiving, and then they take on Minot State and Colorado during winter break. They also face-off against teams who have also been on the brink of a bid to the national tournament; Colorado State, Mercyhurst, Syracuse, Michigan-Dearborn.
Last season was almost 80% of the UB roster was made of Western New York hockey players, this season that number has grown more than 85% of the roster, this is something we are very proud of at the University at Buffalo Hockey.
With a strong two-man rotation (Dylan Arnold and Tyler Stark) in goal for most of last season and with 5 returning defenseman (4 seniors and 1 junior) especially 3-year Captain Sean Dungan, the strongest part of our team might be on the back end, which could end up being a huge key to Buffalo success this coming season.
With returning 11 players upfront, leadership won’t be issue with senior forwards Luke Swimline and Bobby Lang. There also shouldn’t be much drop-off in point production with Bobby Piotrowicz, Eric Szczecinski, Willie Sanchez, Gavin Evancho, and Nick Angelo all returning this season.
The additions of Ryall Ledyard (OJHL and GOJHL) and Cole Schiffman on offense and freshman goalie Ian Shorthouse (GOJHL) in net the future for the UB Hockey team looks promising.
UB will play their 2nd annual outdoor game on Saturday, December 5th vs. Mercyhurst at the Buffalo Riverworks. Last year’s 1st annual outdoor game was held at Healthy Zone Rink in East Aurora, NY, UB defeated Kent State 1-0.
Come on out a support your Western New York Hockey Team!!!