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.
Finally, Joe Cannata moved to the AHL after the end of the NHL lockout. He’s 5-3 in eight starts with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. Cannata is the third goalie in line in the Vancouver system, meaning he’s just one injury away from a call to the big club.
Merrimack Alumni in Pro Hockey Player Team League Simon Demers Riviere LNAH Karl Stollery Lake Erie AHL Chris Barton Wilkes-Barre AHL Jesse Todd Reading ECHL Scott Drewicki Stony Plain Chinook Adam Ross Wheeling ECHL Stephane Da Costa Ottawa NHL Derek Pallardy Columbus SPHL Ryan Flanigan Wichita CHL Joe Cannata Chicago AHL Mike Vaskivuo Grenoble France Matt Foy Eisbaren DEL (Germany) Jordan Fox Nottingham EIHL (England) Pat Bowen Dundee EIHL Francois Ouimet Grenboble France Anthony Aquino Valpellice Italy Bryan Schmidt Starbulls Germany Rob Ricci Herning Denmark Greg Classen Kolner DEL Marco Rosa Blues SM-liiga (Sweden)