Written by Terry Errigo Vitale Friday, 09 March 2012 00:00
Former Farmingdale varsity black roller hockey player, Nicholas Vitale, was one of two freshmen picked for the University at Albany Great Danes Division II Roller Hockey Team. The Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (ECRHA) chose the defenseman to participate in the 2012 All Star Game played in Feasterville, PA.
At the Regional Playoff weekend festivities, the ECRHA announced Vitale as the 2012 Rookie of the Year. He joined a select group of nominees that included Nathan Gerger from the University of Pittsburgh who won Player of the Year. The other rookie candidates were Nick Carter from the University of Massachusetts, Sean Connolly at Binghamton, and Kevin Robitaille from Boston University.
In 18 games played in the regular season for the Great Danes, Vitale was the second leading scorer with 10 goals plus 18 assists for 28 points. He had four power play goals and the game winning goals in two contests. In their last regular season tournament, the Great Danes were fighting to reach the playoff bracket. They needed two wins to secure a spot.
The first victory came against the University of Vermont, 3-0. In a must win situation against Boston, Albany prevailed 3 -2. Albany’s goalie and Long Islander, Matthew Grieco of Roslyn, made some spectacular saves.
They became the 7th seed and knocked out Scranton University. Delaware was able to pick up the final playoff position because Boston was unable to beat Northeastern.
In the Regional playoffs, Albany made its first appearance in a while but was unable to advance. They lost to the higher seeded Northeastern, Queens, and Slippery Rock. Vitale finished the playoffs with three-points, including a breakaway goal and an assist against top ranked Northeastern. For his first collegiate season, the defenseman finished with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points.