The latest RoadRunner to lock down his college plans is defenseman Nickolas Gatt, who on Sunday committed to the University Of Alabama-Huntsville. Gatt will skate for the Chargers next season.
The 6\’3\”, 195 lb. blueliner is playing in his first season with the RoadRunners, drafted straight out of Detroit Catholic Central High School. As an NAHL rookie, he put up a very respectable 16 points (2 goals and 14 assists) and fashioned an equally solid plus +18 rating. \”It didn\’t take Nickolas long to adjust to the speed of juniors\”, said Head Coach / GM Scott Langer. \”He very quickly played himself into an every night role.\” Indeed, Gatt played in 54 of the 58 RoadRunners games in 2009-10. While the adjustment he\’ll need to make into college hockey is another step entirely, Langer has complete confidence. \”Nickolas will work hard to bring his game up to what UAH is expecting of him. He\’s proven that here.\” His accomplishments and strong finish to the season culminated with him being honored as the NAHL South Division Player Of The Week in the final week of the season.
Gatt came to Topeka with his long term goals in place. \”My main goal was to play one year and get started with my academics\”, he said. Then he reflected, \”But two years would not have been the worst thing in the world for me.\” The decision to go to Alabama-Huntsville was one he carefully considered, but feels very good about. \”I chose UAH because I think it is an upcoming program that showed great success by making it to the (NCAA) tournament this year. I am also thrilled about the competitive schedule they will have.\” His course of study is also something he he\’s had in his sights since before coming to Topeka. \”I will be majoring in pyschology and a foreign language in hopes to pursue an FBI career.\”
The University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers have played the last 11 seasons in the now disbanded CHA. They were denied an application to join the CCHA this season and will play an independent schedule in 2010-11. The Chargers made the NCAA Hockey Tournament this season but were defeated by the #1 ranked University of Miami-Ohio Redhawks.
Nickolas will always treasure his time as a RoadRunner. \”The fans in Topeka are great and the dedication is unbelievable. It went by faster than expected and I am glad I chose to play here.\” He went on to say, \”The behind the scenes work by the coaching staff is unnoticed sometimes, but very helpful for moving me and my teammates to the next level. They do a great job with that.\”
Gatt is the third RoadRunner in 10 days to commit to a Division I college. His high school and current teammate Tony Thomas commited to Air Force Academy on March 25 while Erik Higby committed to Northern Michigan on Saturday. Other current RoadRunners headed to college include Kevin Ryan (Niagara University) and Cole Schneider (University of Connecticut).