Defenseman the Latest Tie to the Buckeyes
Defenseman Grant Gabriele will join the Ohio State Buckeyes at the conclusion of his junior hockey career, the Waterloo Black Hawks announced on Tuesday.
The six-foot-two-inch Brighton, Michigan native became a Black Hawks near midseason and has been a steady two-way contributor. During 19 appearances, Gabriele has three goals and six assists with a +3 plus/minus differential. All three of his goals have come in power play situations. Six of Gabriele’s points (one goal, five assists) have been recorded in the last six games.
“Experience and size are two of the valuable assets Grant brought to Waterloo just after Christmas,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley. “He has played in every game since the holiday break and given us valuable minutes both at even-strength and on special teams.”
Gabriele spent two years with the U.S. National Team Development Program, skating in 47 USHL games during that time. Then in 2015/16, he made 62 total appearances while splitting his season between the Omaha Lancers, Chicago Steel, and Muskegon Lumberjacks. Gabriele produced nine goals and 17 assists as one of only eight players to dress for more than 60 regular season contests last year.
The current Ohio State roster includes three former Black Hawks forwards. Sophomore John Wiitala spent three seasons in Waterloo and was a member of the Hawks’ 2013/14 Anderson Cup Championship team. Freshman Ronnie Hein was Waterloo’s captain last winner. Freshman Sam McCormack – like Gabriele – was a midseason addition to the Hawks and ended last season tied as the USHL’s eighth-leading scorer with 57 points.
Waterloo now has 19 players with NCAA Division I college commitments.
Gabriele and the Hawks play twice on home ice this weekend. Waterloo’s games against the Bloomington Thunder and Omaha Lancers each begin at 7:05 on Friday and Saturday. College students are invited to enjoy either game for $7 (or $8 on game day) by showing their student ID at the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office. For tickets, call (319) 291-7680.