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Class started at Niagara University this week and the hockey team welcomed its freshman class to campus.

The Purple Eagles added seven freshmen to their program, looking to add depth and build upon last year's run to the Atlantic Hockey semifinals.

Grand Island native Lawrence Smith joins Niagara after the defenseman played two years with the Carelton Place Canadians of the CCHL. Last year he was a CCHL All-Star with a career-high 47 points.

Also joining the Purple Eagles are forwards Robert Angiolella (Richmond, Ontario), Stanislav Dzakhov (Moscow, Russia), Luke Edwards (Kingston, Ontario), Albin Karlsson (Sigtuno, Sweden), Derian Plouffe (Shawville, Quebec) and defenseman Keegan Harper (Ottawa, Ontario)

  • Angiolella played with the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL for the past two seasons, scoring 49 goals with 50 assists in his time with the Tigers.
  • Dzakhov played with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), winning the Robertson Cup All-Tourmanment Forward  in 2013 and led the team last season with 25 goals.
  • Edwads joins his older brother, sophomore Brock Edwards. The center had 113 points (39 goals, 74 assists) in 145 games for Carleton Place of the Central Canada Hockey League.
  • Harper played five years for the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CCHL, splitting time between between the Cumberland Grads and Pembroke Lumber Kings. In his last two seasons with the Luimber Kings, he scored 23 goals with 48 assists in 120 games.
  • Karlsson scored 25 goals with 47 assists in 106 games with the Kenai Brown Bears of the NAHL.
  • Plouffe had a standout season in 2012-13 when he tallied a career-best 68 points (35 goals, 33 assists) with the Kanata Stallions (CCHL).

Niagara opens the season at Dwyer Arena, hosting Clarkson on Oct. 10 and St. Lawrence on Oct. 11.