Kolenda to play D-1 hockey at Niagara UniversityKolenda, who graduated from SHS in 2009, played the past two seasons with the Carleton Place (Ontario) Canadians in the Central Canada Hockey League. While with the Canadians, the winger scored 30 goals and 95 points in 111 games. He also scored a goal and dished out five assists in 10 playoff games.
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Former Superior High School hockey standout Dan Kolenda has committed to attend Niagara University (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) and play hockey for the Purple Eagles beginning with the 2012-13 season.
Kolenda is among seven new additions to the Purple Eagle squad, joining Hugo Turcotte, Matt Dineen, TJ Sarcona, Matt Chiarantano, Mike Conderman and Nick Cecere.
“As a staff we are all really pleased with the seven student-athletes that have chosen Niagara University and our program as their college of choice,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. “My staff is very diligent and hardworking in this area and these players will all be impact players on the ice thanks to their recruiting efforts.”
Kolenda, who graduated from SHS in 2009, played the past two seasons with the Carleton Place (Ontario) Canadians in the Central Canada Hockey League. While with the Canadians, Kolenda scored 30 goals and 95 points in 111 games. He also scored a goal and dished out five assists in 10 playoff games.
After tallying 20 goals and 37 assists for 57 points in 59 games, Kolenda was named to the 2011 Robinson Division’s CCHL All-Star team.
“At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Dan brings size and skill to our program,” assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Madsen said. “With Dan’s big frame and skill level, he will have the ability to wear down other teams’ defensemen.”
Niagara is a member of the Atlantic Hockey Association, which includes such teams as Mercyhurst, RIT, Air Force and Holy Cross.
In preparation for the jump to the Division 1 level, Kolenda has been in New York this summer working out with some of his new teammates.
“I’m really excited about the chance to play at the Division 1 level,” Kolenda said. “There’s been about six of us working out together and getting in some time on the ice.”
Prior to playing at Carleton Place, Kolenda spent a season with Dubuque, Iowa in the CSHL.
Soon after Kolenda committed to Niagara, teammate Christian Weidauer, a defenseman from Keswick, Ontario, followed suit and will join the Purple Eagle roster for the 2013-14 season.
“Niagara actually signed three guys off our team,” Kolenda said. “We had a pretty good team last year and we were winning, which drew a lot of college coaches to our games. They eventually liked what they saw and signed myself and two of my teammates.”
Niagara begins its 17th season at Dwyer Arena when it plays host to Bowling Green State University on Oct. 6.
NOTES: Kolenda will major in biology. … Carlton Place is about 10 miles from Ottawa. … As a senior at SHS, Kolenda and the Spartans advanced to the WIAA state tournament where they lost in the semifinals … As a senior at SHS, Kolenda had 30 points with 18 goals and 13 assists. … Dan is the son of Superior’s Joe and Candace Kolenda.