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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
By +Craig Bacon

Jacob Burford
Lockport Express defenseman, Jacob Burford, has committed to play hockey at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Rochester College Warriors are a Division 1 member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). A native of Grand Island, Burford graduated from Canisius High School in Buffalo in 2014.

In 40 games as a top defenseman with the Express, Burford scored 3 goals and had 10 assists. He is listed in the program as 6’ and 185 pounds.

“Jacob impressed us with his competitiveness and play making ability.  He has a very high compete level and sees the ice well to make smart plays.  I was also impressed with his character and level of integrity.  We are excited to have him on board and help us make a run this season,” said  Warriors head coach, Nick Tomczyk.

“Junior A programs help tremendously in developing players.  Most of the players on our team come from the Junior A level here in the states, and Junior A and Junior B in Canada.”

More high praises came from Lockport Express general manager and coach, Frank Vecchio. When asked about what other coaches saw in his player, he responded, “A really big thing is his work ethic and his vision on the ice. He sees the ice really well and he gives you an honest effort every shift.”

“We’re happy for him. The whole idea of our program is to help guys move onto the next level. He’s a super smart kid. At the end of the day, he knows he needs his college degree. He’s at a good school, and he’ll get to play some good, competitive hockey in the meantime.”

Burford credits the Express coaching staff and his teammates for pushing him to be a better player. “My skill work with Coach Kasperek really helped me to improve my game and bring it to the next level.”

His college education was also a factor in choosing Rochester College. “It gives me the opportunity to continue my education to be what I want to be someday in the real world. And it gives me an opportunity to play hockey at a high level.”

Rochester College is in its third year as a college hockey program. Some of the highlights from this past season include a ranking as high as #20 in the country, and they were victorious in the Battle of the Jug against Oakland University. Being from the same city, there is a rivalry between Rochester and Oakland, and the Battle of the Jug gives one team bragging rights.

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