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NU hockey's Arnold to Coyotes

Sophomore forward and cancer survivor Scott Arnold became the sixth Purple Eagle to ever sign an NHL contract, agreeing to a two-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday.

"It's an honor to sign a professional contract," Arnold said. "Growing up, I always dreamed of playing in the NHL and now I am one step closer to making my dream reality. I'm really looking forward to becoming a part of the Phoenix Coyotes organization and thank them for this opportunity."

The 6-foot-2 forward played in 67 games for Niagara, scoring 26 goals, 14 assists and 40 points.

The only two Purple Eagles to ever play in the NHL are Matt Ryan (Los Angeles Kings in 2003) and Sean Bentivoglio (N.Y. Islanders in 2007).

"We wish him all the best as he reports to the Coyotes," NU coach Dave Burkholder said. "Everyone associated with our program is proud."

The contract highlights quite the interesting year for Arnold, who overcame testicular cancer late last summer and worked his way back into the Niagara lineup in time for its season opener at Michigan. The only games he missed this year were four in February due to an upper body injury believed to have been a shoulder injury.

He came public with his story in February about being a cancer survivor in hopes of being an inspiration to others and also helped coordinate Niagara's "Get Checked" campaign against testicular cancer in conjunction with Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston.

"It feels a little surreal. I'm just trying to take it all in. It's a dream come true. I'm just really excited and really grateful to the Phoenix organization for giving me this opporutnity."

--Miguel Rodriguez

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Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

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Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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