Another Jamestown Ironmen player will be extending his hockey career to the college ranks.
Matt Lanzillotti, a 6’2”, 205 lbs defenseman from Lake Bluff, Illinois recently committed to play college hockey at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The UMass Boston Beacons Men’s Hockey program finished the 2013 season, ranking 14th in the Division III national polls.
“I am really excited, mainly because it is a great hockey city,” said Lanzillotti of the Boston area. In a recent visit to the school, he had an opportunity to tour campus and meet the staff. “It’s a great setting on the South side of Boston. Everyone there was welcoming and encouraging.”
“Matt has an impressive stature and has done everything we’ve asked of him since he has been here,” said Ironmen head coach Dan Daikawa about the player in which he acquired through trade very early in the season. “He has a very bright future in college hockey.”
Lanzillotti has scored a pair of goals, made nine assists and added great quality to the Ironmen defense in 53 games played this season.
The 20 year old has enjoyed his time in Jamestown and expressed appreciation for the tremendous hospitality he encountered. “Everyone associated with the Ironmen has been very helpful to me: from the coaches on the ice to the billet families who open their homes to us.
Although excited about the next step in his hockey journey, ‘Lanzo’ (as his teammates refer to him) knows that the Ironmen still have business to take care of as they are in the midst of the North American Hockey League Playoffs. “We are ready to finish off this series (with Kalamazoo) and move onto the next opponent.”
Jamestown leads the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings, 2-0 in a best-of-five divisional semi final series after a pair of home victories in Games 1 and 2 this past weekend. The Ironmen outscored the opponent, 10-2 in those two wins.
As Lanzo mentioned, the Ironmen have a chance to put the series in the books when the two teams square off in Kalamazoo for Game 3 on Wednesday at 7pm. If necessary, Game 4 will be in Kalamazoo on Thursday at 7pm, and the teams will travel back to Jamestown for a Game 5 on Sunday at 5pm.
“Best case scenario, we win Wednesday night and head back home, looking toward our next opponent,” said coach Daikawa. “The first ten minutes (of Wednesday’s game) will dictate a lot. We need to be prepared and ready to go, because I know (the K-Wings) will be refocused and prepared in their own building.”
Daikawa reiterated that the ultimate goal is to move on, no matter how many games it takes. If the Ironmen successfully move on, they will compete in another best-of five game series; the North Division finals with a chance to be crowned division champions and earn a spot to compete for the Robertson Cup (NAHL Championship) in Frisco, Texas.