Marc Zanette is the fourth Niagara hockey player this offseason to sign a professional contract.
Zanette agreed to a deal with Reading of the East Coast Hockey League. He was coming off a season in which he recorded a career-high 15 assists and 28 points. He earned Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, helping Niagara earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Zanette finished with 32 goals and 77 points in 142 career games with NU. Other members of last year’s Niagara team to ink pro deals include goalie and Hobey Baker Award finalist Carsen Chubak (Adirondack), forward Giancarlo Iuoroio (VIK Vasteras, Sweden) and defenseman Jason Beattie (Rochester).
Ice Griffs open with Niagara
Coming off its Atlantic Hockey Association playoff championship and first appearance in the NCAA Hockey Tournament, Canisius will get right down to business in the 2013-14 season. After a home exhibition game against Brock (Ont.) University on Oct. 6, the Golden Griffins will open their official schedule against rival Niagara on Oct. 12. Niagara is the defending AHA regular season champion.
Besides 27 games in Atlantic Hockey, the schedule is highlighted by a game at Denver on Oct. 26, two games at Miami (Ohio) Nov. 1-2, two games at Ohio State Nov. 15-16 and an appearance in the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup in Burlington, Vt. against UMass Lowell and host Vermont (Dec. 28-29).
Canisius will play its home opener against Mercyhurst on Nov. 9 in a rematch of the Atlantic Hockey tournament championship game. Canisius will be playing its final season at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. The newly constructed HarborCenter will be the Griffs’ home rink starting in 2014-15.
Meanwhile, forward Preston Shupe, who captained Canisius to its first Atlantic Hockey Championship and NCAA Tournament, will continue his career with the Bakersfield Condors of the East Coast Hockey league.
A two-year captain, Shupe had 38 goals and 48 assists in 142 carer games with the Griffs. He had 16 goals and 29 points in his senior season. A key penalty killer, he had three short-handed tallies, tying the Canisius record.
“Preston is coming off a big year in college last season, was captain for his team, and came highly recommended from his college coach Dave Smith,” said Condors coach Troy Mann. Bakersfield is an affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL and Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.