Two Meteors sign D3 commitments
Former Fort Erie Meteor Brendan Krawczyk has committed to Nichols College in Buffalo. Photo by BILL POTRECZ.
Two of the three graduating members of the Fort Erie Meteors have found homes next season at the NCAA Division 3 level.
Forward Brendan Krawczyk has committed to play for Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. while goaltender Duncan Nichols-Delay will suit up for Westfield State University in Westfield, Mass.
“I can’t say enough about either of those guys. They were both huge parts of our program on and off the ice,” Meteors coach/general manager Nik Passero said. “Dunc solidified our goalie tandem at the end of summer and was a real rock for us all season while Brendan came in at a huge time of uncertainty for our group right after we lost (Antonino) Pugliese and filled a big hole for us.
“I can go on and on about their play but what’s real special is the human beings they are. I’m glad they both found great homes for the next four years.”
Krawczyk, a 21-year-old native of Buffalo, is thrilled to be joining Nichols.
“I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” Krawczyk said. “From Day 1, the coaches made it sound amazing and I have a buddy there so it was a pretty easy choice.”
Nichols assistant coach Ryan Hunter loves what Krawczyk brings to the table.
“Brendan is a player that brings a well rounded game,” Hunter said. “He posses the talent to make plays and be used extensively in the offensive zone. However, he is very reliable in the defensive zone, which is very important. While he has a lot to work with on the ice he is a high character kid. Every coach I spoke to about Brendan mentioned that he’s a tremendous kid and a great person to have in the locker room. That’s something extremely important and something our staff values a lot in perspective players.
“Moving into next year, just like every incoming freshman we have, we expect Brendan to come ready to compete from the get-go. That versatility allows him to be thrown into a wide range of positions in the lineup.”
Krawczyk had a brief taste of NCAA action with Morrisville State College last season before joining the Mets.
“Having that experience and going into a new situation, I know what to expect,” he said. “I know I just need to work hard and crack the lineup.
“They told me they pretty much want me to continue to develop how I was playing in Fort Erie.”
Krawczyk was a huge addition for the Meteors down the stretch with nine goals and 27 points in the regular season before adding five goals and nine points in the playoffs as Fort Erie came within one game of qualifying for the Golden Horseshoe finals.
“I didn’t know what to expect at first but I made a team full of brothers,” he said. “I made a lot of friends I will have for the rest of my life. Once you play for the Meteors, you’re always a part of Fort Erie.
“I loved every part of it.”
Krawczyk credits Passero for his development.
“As an older guy being able to go out there and not only score goals, but also penalty killing and being the type of player who could go out and win a key face-off. I’ve never been known as that type of player but Nik allowed me to be that guy and taught me to be that guy.”
Nichols-Delay joins Passero’s alma mater following an outstanding season between the pipes that saw him fashion a 2.50 goals-against average in the regular season before taking his game to the next level in the playoffs where he played all 11 games and had a 1.92 GAA and .932 save percentage.
“Duncan comes highly recommended from my former player Nik Passero. He had a great season this year for Fort Erie. We followed him closely throughout the year and were excited to commit him in the end,” Westfield State University coach Bob Miele said.
Nichols-Delay, a 21-year-old native of Calgary, will be studying movement science with a concentration in exercise science.
“Right from the start they had my program and the goal was to play Division 3 hockey so it was right,” he said. “I waited a little bit but it was the best offer.”
Nichols-Delay loved his time in Fort Erie.
“The atmosphere was great, especially in playoffs,” he said. “Nothing compares to playoff hockey.
“I’m definitely going to miss it. It was a good crowd, a good team. I couldn’t have asked for a better final year.”
Nichols-Delay also gave props to Nik Passero and assistant coach Anthony Passero for giving him an opportunity.
“I had nowhere to play. At the end of the day I didn’t have many options and was very close to not playing. I owe it big time to them.”
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