Mercyhurst Adds Five For Upcoming Season

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Mercyhurst Adds Five For Upcoming Season July 25, 2012 6:51 AM

Mercyhurst University men’s ice hockey coach Rick Gotkin is pleased to announce that five student-athletes have chosen Mercyhurst to continue their playing careers beginning in the upcoming 2012-13 season.

Gotkin, who is entering his 25th season as the head coach of the Lakers, has added three defensemen and two forwards to a team that lost just three seniors due to graduation this past May – forward Derek Elliott and defensemen Kevin Noble and Patrick Goebel. Looking to fill the void left by those three players will be defensemen Anthony Mastrodicasa (6-1, 195, Woodbridge, Ontario), Mychal Monteith (5-9, 180, Toledo, Ohio), and Justin Stevens (5-11, 205, Brantford, Ontario), along with forwards Kyle Cook (6-4, 215, Middleburg Heights, Ohio) and Alec Shields (5-9, 180, Moon Township, Pennsylvania).

Mercyhurst is coming off of a successful 20-16-4 season a year ago, advancing to the Atlantic Hockey Association semifinals at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. after a hard-fought, three-game quarterfinal series win over Holy Cross at the Mercyhurst Ice Center last March. Despite losing to Air Force in the semifinals, it was a great year for the young Lakers, who had 19 of its 26 players competing in just their first or second season of college hockey. In fact, the 20 victories and the semifinal appearance occurred for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign.

Gotkin, who recently signed a four-year contract extension which will keep him at Mercyhurst through the 2015-16 season, has amassed 434 career victories at Mercyhurst – 28th among all NCAA men’s hockey coaches (DI, DII, or DIII). He is excited about the additions for the upcoming season.

"Our staff feels that we have brought in a handful of excellent student-athletes who should be able to gel immediately with our returning guys," said Gotkin. "While it’s always tough to say goodbye to our seniors, that is the nature of college athletics. They can’t stay forever. Derek (Elliott), Kevin (Noble), and Patrick (Goebel) had great careers for us and definitely helped get our program turned back in the right direction last year. We think that our five new players will help fill the holes, be able to contribute right away and, hopefully, help the team build off of the success we had last season."

Cook, who will bring a great deal of size (6-4, 215), is one of two forwards added to this year’s roster. A native of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, Cook played for the Springfield Jr. Blues in the North American Hockey League and finished sixth in the league in scoring last season with 31 goals and 39 assists for 70 points in 59 games. Thirteen of his 31 goals came on the power play and he also finished with a team-leading +28 rating. Cook added nine points (four goals, five assists) in nine playoff games with Springfield last season.

Hailing from Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Shields played for the Traverse City North Stars in the North American Hockey League. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in eight games with the North Stars last season before suffering an injury that kept him out of the lineup for the rest of the season. However, during the 2010-11 season, Shields scored 21 goals and added 30 assists in 50 games with Traverse City, while also finishing the year with a +12 rating. The torn tendon in his hand has healed and he will be ready for the start of the season.

On defense, Mercyhurst will look to Mastrodicasa, Monteith, and Stevens to step in and contribute right away.

A native of Woodbridge, Ontario, Mastrodicasa was a two-time team captain for the Vaughan Vipers in the Ontario Junior Hockey League and was named Defenseman of the Year during the 2010-11 season. A high-scoring defender, Mastrodicasa had 35 points (eight goals, 27 assists) in 39 games with the Vipers this past season after scoring 53 points (17 goals, 36 assists) in 50 games during 2010-11. Sixteen of his 25 career goals came on the power play. He also added 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 16 career postseason games with the Vipers.

Monteith, a native of Toledo, Ohio, helped lead the Texas Tornado to the 2012 Robertson Cup Championship in the North American Hockey League. After playing the first 17 games of the season with the Corpus Christi IceRays (one goal, seven assists), Monteith finished the season with Texas, scoring four goals and ten assists in 38 games with the Tornado. He added two points (one goal, one assist) in eight playoff games with Texas during its title run.

Finally, Stevens, who hails from Brantford, Ontario, played for the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canadian Hockey League last season. He led all Lumber King defensemen in scoring with four goals and 20 assists for 24 points in 43 games, while also leading the team with 97 penalty minutes. He added three goals and three assists in 12 postseason games.

Mercyhurst will begin the 2012-13 season with an exhibition game against Wilfrid Laurier on October 6 at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. Faceoff against the Golden Hawks is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

David Leisering • Mercyhurst Director of Athletic Communications

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