Niagara Hockey: An Uncommon group ready for an uncommon challenge

Photo Credit:Niagara University Athletics

The Purple Eagles of Niagara University face tough non conference schedules to start the year whenever they can. Head Coch Jason Lammers’ goal for his program is to become “regionally dominant and nationally prominent.” This weekend they face an Omaha team just outside the top 20, that earned a 7-2 exhibition win over yearly powerhouse Minnesota State. The Purple Eagles had a scrimmage against Canisius. Lammers said, “I was impressed by our guys I thought they did a phenomenal job. Everybody earned an opportunity to play.” Lammers played every skater and goalie that could.

In net Omaha will see Chad Veltri starting this Friday. As Lammers said “we did some internal competition, with the eye test, analytics and conversation he’s the guy that earned the job. He’s earned the opportunity for Friday.”

Lammers praised new Assistant Coach Nate Skidmore for bringing a fresh perspective to the goaltending side of things. Skid more and the staff think that Veltri handles the first shot well, and likes his rebound tracking. “What you put your heart behind is what you get.” Lammers said good things about his goalie group and knows the competition will continue all year among three good goalies.

As for who stood out to him in camp the answer is clear. “The most impresuve person conjn out of our camp is David Posma. His confidence, composure, and he’s only 18, I wish I was like that I’m, 47 and he’s about 30 years ahead of me.”Posma brings offensive upside, composure, and a Robertson Cup on the ice from his time with the New Jersey Titans. Lammers was honest about Posma and how ready he thinks David is for college hockey. Lammers said, “What else can he possibly do, he put his resume on the table and basically said ‘what else can we do’ and we agreed. How do you not bring him to campus?”

Lammers also said of Posma and the value of getting him to campus, “let’s teach him about what it means to be uncommon.”

Of Posma and Lucas Bahn on the back end, Lammers said that, “both of those guys help give our team a different attitude.”Bahn and Posma both came to college with the ability to play at least one more year and wanted to prove themselves. Both bring different things to a blue line that looks to play offensive to compliment their perpetual truculence.

Lammers also talked about some under the radar guys he’s looking to see have big years. Josef Mysak and Carter Randklev are two of quite a few players he thinks can have a big season.

This year against Omaha Lammers notes that this group has done something different. He said that “I think the amount of work that the guys put in while the coaches weren’t there was the difference.”

On playing Omaha he said , “We know they’re a good team and have got great pace to their game.” Puck management and limiting odd man rushes limiting are the two biggest things to watch this week from Niagara. Lammers was also frank about how last weekend looked for Omaha. He said “it’s hard not to see the score and go oh boy.”

This weekend the Purple Eagles have 14 forwards and a full compliment of defenders and goalies available in a series that will give us an early sense of what Atlantic Hockey can do as a conference this year.

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