Cory Conacher '11 made history on Saturday night, becoming the first Canisius College graduate to appear in an NHL game. A member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Conacher scored a goal and recorded an assist in his debut against the Washington Capitals.
"It was awesome," Conacher said. "I couldn't have done it without these guys. All game I just tried to skate hard and do the little things, but I was just so glad I could take advantage of the opportunity I was given. (Teddy) Purcell set me up nice."
The 2012 AHL MVP and Rookie of the Year, Conacher continued his strong NHL debut by posting two assists against the New York Islanders on Monday. The rookie now has four points in his first two NHL games, ranking eighth in the league in points.
"He fits right in," said head coach Guy Boucher. "This guy is ready. It's not a project and he's ready to go. He's got speed, he made some terrific plays, scored a goal and deserved it."
"We're all happy for (Cory), he deserves it," said linemate Vinny Lecavalier. "He is going to be a big part of our team."
During his collegiate career, Conacher set or matched 12 career, single-season and single-game records. The 2009-10 Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year owns the program's standards of 147 points, 62 goals and 12 game-winning tallies. He also set the school's records with 53 points and 33 assists during his junior campaign, while breaking the goals mark with 23 in his senior year.