Rick Gotkin (Contributed/USCHO.com)
Nine student-athletes have agreed to continue their playing careers with the Mercyhurst College men’s hockey team this fall, head coach Rick Gotkin announced today. The class of 2014, consisting of six forwards and three defensemen, will join 17 players returning from a team that finished 15-20-3 in 2009-10.
“We’re very excited about this year’s recruiting class,” Gotkin said. “We felt we really addressed our team’s needs for both the short term and long term. We feel a lot of these players will make an immediate impact this season.”
The class of 2014 brings together student-athletes from five different junior hockey leagues ranging across the United States and Canada. Geographically, three of the incoming freshmen hail from the state of New York, while two others come to Erie, Pa., from Minnesota. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and Ontario each supply Gotkin with one player.
Freshmen Randy Cure (Bloomington, Minn. / Springfield Jr. Blues – North American Hockey League), Trent Frey (River Falls, Wisc. / Springfield Jr. Blues – NAHL), Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif. / Youngstown Phantoms – United States Hockey League), Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn. / Tri-City Storm – USHL), Nick Jones (Cranberry Township, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen – Eastern Junior Hockey League), Kyle Just (Arnprior, Ontario / Pembroke Lumberkings – Central Junior Hockey League), John Mousso (Greece, N.Y. / Bridgewater Bandits – EJHL), Dan O’Donaghue (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. / Des Moines Buccaneers – USHL) and Rudy Sulmonte (Woodhaven, N.Y. / New Jersey Rockets – Atlantic Junior Hockey League) all come to Mercyhurst after accomplishing a great deal at the junior level.
Cure, a 6-foot 3 inch, 200-pound defenseman, joins the Lakers after spending two seasons with the Springfield Jr. Blues. In 41 games last season, he netted three goals and nine assists for 12 points while maintaining a –9 plus / minus rating.
Frey, a 6 foot, 190-pound forward, reunites with Cure as Blues teammate on the Mercyhurst roster this fall. During the 2008-09 season, Frey led the league with 35 goals and ranked third on his team with 52 points, earning himself a spot in the NAHL All-Star Game. His final season saw his production slip due to injuries, scoring 11 goals and accumulating 21 points through 42 games.
Holstrom, a 5 foot 9 inch, 170-pound forward, comes to Mercyhurst via the Youngstown Phantoms. In 2009-10, Holstrom found the back of the net 11 times and dished out 22 assists for 33 points. For his efforts he was named an all-star, joining Team CCM at the 2010 USHL All-Star Game.
Jensen, a 6 foot, 180-pound defenseman, makes his move to Erie after playing for the Tri-City Storm last season. An offensive defenseman, Jensen scored seven goals and added 20 assists for 27 points to rank first in defensemen scoring on the Storm and top-10 in the league.
Jones, a 6 foot 3 inch, 200-pound defenseman, played in 95 games over the past two seasons with the EJHL’s Jersey Hitmen. He made 50 appearances during the 2008-09 season when the Hitmen won the Dineen Championship and, most recently, contributed five goals and 20 assists in 45 games this past season.
Just, a 5 foot 11 inch, 190-pound forward, recorded 33 goals and 54 assists through 55 regular-season games with the Pembroke Lumber Kings in 2009-10. At the end of the 2008-09 campaign he exploded with 14 goals and eight assists in 18 playoff games, earning the league playoff MVP award. A two-time all-star selection, Just also led Team Canada East in scoring at the World Junior A Challenge in 2010.
Mousso, a 5 foot 11 inch, 190-pound forward, led the Bridgewater Bandits in scoring, tallying a team-leading 17 goals and 30 assists for 47 points through 43 games. An EJHL All-Star, he also competed with his high school team his junior season at the Bowman Cup, a New York State all-star game held at the HSBC Arena between the best players from Rochester and Buffalo.
O’Donaghue, a 6 foot 5 inch, 200-pound forward, scored six goals and added two assists for the Des Moines Buccaneers in 2009-10. A season earlier, he played for the New York Bobcats of the AJHL and became one of the team’s top players, showcasing his talents with the MVP award of the 2009 AJHL All-Star Game.
Sulmonte, a 5 foot 9 inch, 180-pound forward, was the fourth leading scorer in the AJHL last season, tallying 32 goals and 70 points through 40 games with the New Jersey Rockets. A true freshman to be at Mercyhurst, Sulmonte was ranked in the National Hockey League Central Scouting’s watch list and was invited to the New York Islanders’ developmental camp earlier this month.
With the additions, Mercyhurst will have 26 players – 16 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders – at for the 2010-11 season.
- From Mercyhurst College news release
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