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Canisius and Niagara's Class of 2014 in the pros: An update

by Amy Moritz

Ben Danford never missed a game in his four-year career at Canisius College. Not one single game. The defenseman from Minnesota played in 158 games for the Golden Griffins -- the 13th longest streak in NCAA history.

So of course he gets injured in his first pro hockey stint.

Danford signed an amateur tryout contract with the Manchester Monarchs, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, when the Griffs' season ended in the Atlantic Hockey title game.

He played in three games for the Monarchs and had a plus-one rating before injuring his knee last Sunday. Danford said it was an awkward hit where his knee bent inwards. The injury appears to be short term and Danford is already working out and putting the knee through rehab.

Catching up on the other seniors who signed professional deals first for Canisius:

Kyle Gibbons -- signed with the Toledo Walleye of the East Coast Hockey League. The Walleye did not make the playoffs but Gibbons recorded three assists in 10 games.

Taylor Law --  played in four games and scored two goals for the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL. The Jackals played their last game on Sunday and Law was released from his amateur tryout contract on Monday.

Duncan McKellar -- played in one game for Elmira and was released from his ATO on March 31.

Tony Capobianco -- signed with Elmira and was released by the team. He then signed an amateur tryout contract on Monday with the Adirondack Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. Capobianco, the most decorated goalie in Canisius history, played in two games with Elmira recording 38 saves including 31 in his only start for the Jackals. He joins a goaltending corps in Glens Falls which includes, wait for it, Carsen Chubak who left Niagara after his junior season last year to pursue pro hockey opportunities.

Speaking of Niagara:

Kevin Ryan -- signed with with the South Carolina Stingrays. The defenseman was officially named to the team's playoff roster as the Stingrays compete for the Kelly Cup. Ryan played in eight regular season games and has a goal and two assists.

Ryan Rashid -- played six game with the Elmira Jackals with two goals and two assists.

Matt Williams -- went the Central Hockey League (CHL) route and signed with the Brampton Beast. He had one goal in three games for the Beast, who were eliminated from the playoffs.

Patrick Divjak -- also signed with the CHL making the Rapid City Rush roster for the playoffs. He has yet to play a game.

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About Campus Watch

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.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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