Niagara Hockey adds to coaching staff

August 2, 2011 Updated Aug 2, 2011 at 5:11 PM EDT

By WKBW News

August 2, 2011 Updated Aug 2, 2011 at 5:11 PM EDT

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. - The Niagara men's hockey team rounded out its coaching staff with the addition of alum Pat Oliveto ('07) as an assistant coach.

“I am very pleased to welcome Pat and his family back to the Niagara University community,” Niagara head coach Dave Burkholder said. “He was a role model on and off the ice as a student-athlete. His experience as a professional player and his most recent coaching tenure at Buffalo State made him the best candidate for the coaching vacancy with Niagara Hockey. He brings a great deal of passion and energy back to his alma mater .He truly is the perfect fit to our staff.”

Oliveto (2003-07) was a pivotal blueliner for the Purps. The Rochester, N.Y. native recorded 10 goals, 46 assists and 56 points in 138 games with the Purple Eagles. Oliveto was a member of the 2004 NCAA Tournament team while earning CHA All-Rookie team honors and was on consecutive CHA regular season championship teams (2005-06 and 2006-07) including serving as team captain his senior season. Oliveto, who was a three-time CHA All-Academic team selection, was named Niagara’s male student-athlete of the year in 2007.

Following graduation Oliveto spent two seasons in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with the Mississippi Sea Wolves, before heading back to Western New York as an assistant coach with the Buffalo State Bengals. With the Bengals, Oliveto was in charge of recruiting, while assisting with practices, video sessions and scouting.

Oliveto was a big help in a huge turnaround for the Bengals, taking the Buffalo State team from a ninth place finish in the State University of New York Athletic Conference in the 2009-10 season, to a third place finish the following season.

Niagara opens the 2011-12 campaign with an exhibition game against Queen’s University on Oct. 1 at Dwyer Arena, before hitting the road to start the regular season versus the 2011 NCAA National Runner-Up Michigan Wolverines on Oct. 4.