NCAA hockey-champion Union welcomes 8 players
SCHENECTADY Union announced its 2014-15 recruiting class Monday. Eight players season — five forwards and three defensemen — make up the class.
The forwards are Roman Ammirato, Spencer Foo, Tyler Hynes, Ryan Scarfo and Kevin Shier. The defensemen are JC Brassard, Nick DeSimone and Connor Light.
They will help try to replace the six players — forwards Daniel Carr, Matt Hatch, Cole Ikkala and Kevin Sullivan and defensemen Mat Bodie and Shayne Gostisbehere — who left the team. Bodie, Carr, Hatch, Ikkala and Sullivan were seniors. Gostisbehere gave up his senior season to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.
"I want to commend [assistant coaches] Joe Dumais and Jason Tapp for their excellent work in putting together this class," Union coach Rick Bennett said. "It's a group that will establish its own identity over time and blend in well with the team we have in place."
Here is a look at Union’s new players.
Ammirato played for the North American Hockey League’s Amarillo Bulls last season. He had 17 goals and 30 assists 57 games. He was the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs with three goals and nine assists in eight games.
Ammirato grew up in the Philadelphia area and is good friends with former Boston College star and Hobey Baker Award winner Johnny Gaudreau.
After collecting 13 goals and 17 assists in 2012-13, Foo was the leading scorer for the Bonnyville Pontiacs with 40 goals and 27 assists in 60 games last season. His 67 points was sixth best in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
He topped the team in power-play goals (10), short-handed tallies (two) and game-winners (seven).
Hynes, who lives in Slinglerlands and was a teammate of Dutchmen defenseman Jeff Taylor at Albany Academy, completed his second season in the U.S. Hockey League. He played for the Omaha Lancers for a 1 1/2 years before being traded to the Fargo Force.
Between the two teams, Hynes combined for 20 goals and 15 assists in 59 games. Twelve of those goals came with Fargo, including five on the power play.
Scarfo had 17 goals and 31 assists in 50 games for the British Columbia Hockey League’s Powell River Kings. He tied for team lead in power-play goals with six, and was third in game-winners with four.
Shier had 21 goals and 33 assists on 46 games for the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. In leading the Patriots to the OJHL title, Shier was the team’s top playoff scorer with eight goals and 24 assists in 19 games. Shier made news on his recruiting trip to Union when he helped pull a driver out of a burning vehicle moments before it exploded.
Brassard, of Nobles Prep, was the top defensive scorer in New England Prep hockey with 11 goals and 32 assists in 27 games. He originally committed for the 2015-16 season. But with Gostisbehere’s departure, Union brought Brassard in a year early.
DeSimone of the OJHL’s Buffalo Jr. Sabres had 13 goals and 38 assists in 52 games, including five goals and 17 assists on the power play. His 52 points were second among OJHL defensemen.
Light had three goals and seven assists in 55 games for Omaha. At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Light gives the Dutchmen a physical presence on the blue line.