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February 7, 2013

Merrimack's Da Costa now back in NHL

Last week, former Merrimack College center Stephane Da Costa got the call he’s been waiting for all season. He was on his way back to the NHL.

Da Costa appeared in 26 games for the Ottawa Senators the past two seasons before being sent down to Binghamton, Ottawa’s American Hockey League affiliate, last year.

Since heading down on the farm, Da Costa has totaled 60 points (22 goals, 38 assists), in 77 games.

“Obviously I was pretty excited,” said Da Costa, who re-debuted in the NHL on Tuesday at home against the Buffalo Sabres. “I haven’t played in the NHL for a little while now so it was exciting.”

Da Costa had 24 points in 31 games in the AHL this season after spending much of the early parts of the season on the sidelines battling various injuries.

“I think I’ve been playing well,” he said. “You can always do better, it takes hard work every day.”

The Paris native, who would have been a senior on this year’s Merrimack team, hopes to stick with the NHL club this time around. He was brought up to the main roster after center Jason Spezza had back surgery last week. Da Costa saw time on the first power-play unit on Tuesday.

“I just want to keep it simple and bring up as much energy as I can,” he said.

Other Warrior alums

Karl Stollery, who graduated last spring as the highest scoring defenseman in Merrimack’s history, has 18 points in 42 games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League. Stollery, according to reports, has generated interest from NHL clubs.

Chris Barton, after scoring 21 points in 20 games with the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League, got the call up to Wilkes-Barre of the AHL and he’s appeared in four games.

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