Subscribe

Away Games: DiMatteo starring in Michigan; spotlight on Haley out east

Former Cornwall Jr. A Colts goaltender Rico DiMatteo has gotten his NCAA Division I career off to a great start.

At Northern Michigan University in Marquette, DiMatteo is 3-0-0 in his first three starts at the collegiate level – and the stellar work is getting noticed.

Distroscale

DiMatteo, who’s from Brasher Falls just south of Massena, N.Y., has been named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Rookie of the Week, after the Wildcats completed a weekend sweep of Bemidji State. DiMatteo joined the Wildcats prior to the start of the second semester, and in a league news release announcing the top rookie honour, he’s being called an essential addition.

On the weekend, he made a total of 47 saves for .940 save percentage and 1.46 goals against average.

The stellar start comes as no surprise to Colts head coach Ian MacInnis, who last season said DiMatteo was one of the best puck-blockers to put on a Cornwall jersey in the last decade.

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Correction: The very best.

“This is the best (goaltender) I’ve had (in Cornwall),” MacInnis said after a win against the Ottawa Jr. Senators at the civic complex last winter. “DiMatteo – he’s a pro. He’s getting better every day. He knows what to do and how to prepare away from the rink, which most players can’t figure out.

“He’s for real. I’m happy for him, (and) I expect him to be getting a scholarship before the season’s out.”

DiMatteo, who turned 20 on New Year’s Day, was groomed for the starting position in Cornwall playing behind veteran goalie Michael Carr two seasons ago. Once he became the Colts starter, DiMatteo was a workhorse, playing in 55 games last season and recording a solid 3.15 goals against average with a non-playoff-bound team.

DiMatteo previously played at St. Lawrence Central High in Brasher Falls, then at the Northwood Prep School in the Lake Placid area.

This season, DiMatteo started the year in Texas, with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Jr. Hockey League.

Northern Michigan is third place in the eight-team WCHA, and the Wildcats this late-starting season with a conference record of 5-4-0 (7-12-0 overall). The WCHA has 10 teams, but Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks have opted out of the 2020-21 campaign.

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

The aforementioned Carr, of Columbus, Ohio, is now 22, and continuing his collegiate career at Bemidji State in Minnesota.

Carr has played in two games so far this campaign with the Beavers, and he’s 1-0 with a 2.57 goals against average.

He was with the Colts for two seasons, from 2017-19. Carr in his second year inherited the starting role from Liam Lascelle, of Cornwall, who two years ago went on to play at Hobart College in the Rochester, N.Y. area.

Lascelle, 23, has played in 25 games during his career at Hobart and he has an overall 18-2-4 record, each year posting a g.a.a. under 2.00.

Lascelle and the Statesmen are not playing hockey this season, as the NCAA cancelled Division III winter championships due to the pandemic.


Out east, Acadia University Athletics has been featuring an athlete from a different sport each week, and the spotlight this week in Wolfville, N.S., shines on Cornwall’s Olivia Haley, a women’s varsity volleyball team player.

It’s a 100-second video, Get to know your Acadia Axewomen and Axemen, and Haley, while walking through the gym with a volleyball, fields 15 questions from the videographer.

What’s the best part of her day so far, she’s asked?

“Probably knowing there is an intrasquad game later,” said the first-year English major.

It’s been a late and slow start to the university sports seasons, of course, but college life goes on— and hey, Olivia, what’s your favourite place to eat in Wolfville?

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

“The Naked Crepe,” said Haley, who, among the other questions, was asked what one of her guilty pleasures is (watching The Bachelor TV show), where she would most like to travel to (Japan or the south of France), and why she chose Acadia?

“I actually didn’t visit – I just knew,” she said.

Late in the interview, Haley was asked what one of her favourite memories so far has been at Acadia. Perhaps in the video-editing process, the question should have been changed to most traumatic memory.

“Actually, funny story,” Haley said. “On move-in day, my car caught on fire and the firetrucks had to come and put it out! And we actually didn’t get it back.”

Haley was a key player for many years on the volleyball court at L’Heritage, and last season was a special one for several reasons, including because her mom Allison was the head coach.

L’Heritage’s senior girls’ team last winter took the Eastern Ontario title in Brockville, and went on to compete at the provincials in Walkerton, Ont., held just before the onset of the pandemic. The Dragons won consolation gold at OFSAA and later learned they were winners of the 2020 provincial award for sportsmanship.

This Week in Flyers