May 12, 2005
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Providence College men's hockey coach Paul Pooley announced on Thursday, May 12 that eight student athletes will attend Providence College, beginning in 2005-06. The eight players are Brad Cooper (Dallas, Texas), Nick Mazzolini (Anchorage, Alaska), Austin Miller (Dallas, Texas), John Mori (Wesport, Conn.), Pierce Norton (South Boston, Mass.), Stephen Ritter (Tenafly, N.J.), Matt Taormina (Washington Township, Mich.) and Cody Wild (North Providence, R.I.).
Cooper is a 5-foot-10 inch, 175-pound center, who recently completed a stellar season with the Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League. In 56 games this season, Cooper, an assistant captain, led the NAHL in points (88), and assists (60) as the Tornado captured the NAHL Championship for the second consecutive season. For his efforts, he was named to the NAHL first team. Last season, he was named to the NAHL All-Rookie Team. He is the son of Lynn and David Cooper.
Mazzolini, who is a 6-foot-2, 210 pound center, also played for the Tornado this past season. Despite missing 17 regular season games because of injury, Mazzolini recorded 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 39 games. He led the league in short-handed goals (6) and finished fourth in game-winning tallies (7). He scored the game-winning goal in the Championship game to lead the Tornado to their second straight NAHL crown. In 2002, Mazzolini was named Alaska High School Player of the Year. He is the son of Kim and Paul Mazzolini.
Miller is the third member of this season's championship Texas Tornado team who will join the Friar squad in 2005-06. The 5-foot-10 inch, 175-pound defenseman played in 52 games and finished ranked tied for second among NAHL defensemen in points (44), game-winning goals (3) and led all defensemen with 37 assists. Miller, Mazzolini and Cooper all were selected to play in the NAHL All-Star game. Miller, who also served as an assistant captain, is the son of Lana and Doug Miller.
Mori, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound center, is a member of Avon Old Farms of the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association. This past season, Mori, the team captain, led Avon Old Farms to the Division I championship for the second consecutive year. He tallied 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 27 games. He is the son of Lori and John Mori.
Norton played for Thayer Academy of the NEPSIHA. He is a 6-foot-2 inch, 200-pound forward, who was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. As an assistant captain for Thayer Academy this past season, Norton played in 29 games and posted 50 points and led the NEPSIHA in goals scored (30). He was named to the All-NEPSIHA East First Team. Norton also was named Hockey Night In Boston Best Pro Prospect in 2003 and 2004. He is the son of Maureen and Larry Norton.
Ritter is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound goaltender, who played at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. He started 23 games this past season and posted a 12-8-3 record, a 2.90 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. In 2003-04, he led Tabor Academy to the NEPSIHA Division I championship game. Additionally, Ritter played at the prestigious Beantown Summer Classic Tournament in 2004 and was named most valuable player. He is the son of Mary and Wolfgang Ritter.
Taormina played for the Texarkana Bandits of the NAHL. In 52 games, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound defenseman recorded 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists). In addition, he ranked second in the league with five short-handed goals and finished tied for second in points among defensemen. He was named NAHL Rookie of the Year and garnered Second Team All-NAHL accolades. He is the son of Susan and Angelo Taormina.
Wild played high school locally for two years at LaSalle Academy before moving on to the Boston Junior Bruins of the Eastern Junior Hockey League this season. He is a 6-foot-1 inch, 185-pound defenseman, who led EJHL defensemen in points (49), assists (36) and short-handed goals (3) as his team captured the 2004-05 EJHL Championship. He was a First Team EJHL selection and a participant in the league's All-Star game. Wild is the son of Susan and Robert Wild.
"This class has the two essential ingredients for success: skill and character," Head Coach Paul Pooley said. "The addition of this group will help to address a lot of our weaknesses as a team from last season. We fully expect all of these players to compete to play immediately and help us compete for a Hockey East Championship. We are very excited to work to develop this group into one of the best classes we have had here at Providence College."
2005-06 PROVIDENCE COLLEGE INCOMING FRESHMAN CLASS Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/Last Team Brad Cooper C 5-10 175 Dallas, Texas/Texas Tornado (NAHL) Nick Mazzolini C 6-2 210 Anchorage, Alaska/Texas Tornado (NAHL) Austin Miller D 5-10 175 Dallas, Texas/Texas Tornado (NAHL) John Mori C 6-1 180 Wesport, Conn./Avon Old Farms (NEPSIHA) Pierce Norton RW 6-2 200 So. Boston, Mass./Thayer Acad. (NEPSIHA) Stephen Ritter G 6-3 200 Tenafly, N.J./Tabor Academy (NEPSIHA) Matt Taormina D 5-11 185 Wash.Township, Mich./Texarkana Bandits (NAHL) Cody Wild D 6-1 185 No. Providence, R.I./Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL)
Providence announced the addition of eight players to the 2005-06 men's ice hockey team on May 12.