Austria’s Dornbirner EC Once Again Heavy With OHL Alumni

ec dornbirn bulldogs austria ebel hockeyDornbirner EC are in their third year of action in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. Since their promotion to the elite league for 2012-13, the team has stocked their roster heavily with Ontario Hockey League grads. 2014-15 is no exception. There are five OHL alumni on the ice, along with a head coach and assistant coach who both played and coached in the OHL.

Nick Crawford

Crawford played four years in the OHL from 2006-07 to 2009-10 with the Saginaw Spirit and Barrie Colts. Nick was the 12th overall pick by the Spirit at the 2006 OHL Priority Selection. He was traded to the Colts 19 games into his final year. In 2009-10, Crawford led all OHL defensemen in assists and points.

The Buffalo Sabres selected Nick in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, 164th overall. He has played pro since 2010-11 in the AHL and ECHL. His past four years were spent with with affiliates of the Sabres. This is his first year with Dornbirn.

Jonathan D’Aversa

D’Aversa played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2003-04 to 2006-07 with the Sudbury Wolves. Jonathan was a fourth round pick by the Wolves in 2002, 71st overall.

Undrafted to the National Hockey League, D’Aversa signed an entry level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. He has played pro since 2007-08 in the AHL, ECHL, Germany’s DEL and the EBEL. Jonathan has been with Dornbirner EC since 2012-13 and wears the ‘A’ for the club.

Luciano Aquino

Aquino played two years in the OHL, 2004-05 and 2005-06, with the Brampton Battalion. He was an eighth round pick of the Oshawa Generals at the 2001 OHL Priority Selection, 142nd overall, but opted to play in the NCAA.

His first pro action came in 2005-06 when he appeared in three games with the Trenton Titans in the ECHL and nine games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL. Undrafted to the NHL, since 2006-07 Luch has played in the ECHL, AHL, IHL, Italy’s LIHG, Germany’s DEL, the EBEL and Sweden’s SHL.

In Europe since 2008-09, Aquino played for Dornbirn in 2012-13 and 2013-14, leading the league in assists and points in his first year. He started the 2014-15 campaign in Sweden with Farjestad, playing in 24 games and totalling eleven points. Luciano returned to Dornbirner in mid December.

Jamie Arniel

Arniel played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2005-06 to 2008-09 with the Guelph Storm and Sarnia Sting. He was a second round pick by the Storm in 2005, 25th overall. Jamie was traded to the Sting 20 games into the 2007-08 OHL season.

The Boston Bruins picked Arniel in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, 97th overall. His first pro action came in the form of eight Calder Cup playoff games with the Providence Bruins in 2008-09.

Since 2009-10, Arniel has played in the AHL, NHL, Germany’s DEL, Finland’s Liiga and the EBEL. His lone NHL game came during the 2010-11 season with the Bruins. Currently in his second year with Dornbirn, Jamie is producing at a point per game pace in 2014-15.

Justin DiBenedetto

DiBenedetto played five years in the OHL from 2004-05 to 2008-09. His first two years were with the Toronto Majors and his final three were with the Sarnia Sting. Justin was the 18th overall pick at the 2004 OHL Priority Selection by the Majors. In his final season, he scored 45 and assisted on 48 for 93 points over 62 games with the Sting and earned the Leo Lalonde Trophy as the top overage player in the league.

The New York Islanders took DiBenedetto in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, 175th overall. He saw his first pro action at the end of 2008-09, appearing in three Calder Cup playoff games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League.

Since 2009-10, Justin has played in the AHL, NHL, EBEL, Sweden’s SHL and Finland’s Liiga. He played eight games in the National Hockey League with the Islanders in 2010-11. DiBenedetto returns to the EBEL after splitting 2013-14 between Orebro in Sweden and Blues in Finland.

2014-15 is Justin’s first year with Dornbirner EC. He played in the EBEL for EC Salzburg in 2012-13.

Dave McQueen – Head Coach

McQueen played three years in the OHL from 1976-77 to 1978-79 with the Ottawa 67’s and Sudbury Wolves. He played pro from 1979-80 to 1985-86 in the EHL, IHL, ACHL and CHL.

Dave was a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League for nearly two full decades. He started out with the Peterborough Petes, coaching from 1993-94 to 1995-96. After a brief stint in the NHL, he returned to coach the Erie Otters from 1999-00 to 2005-06. With Erie, he was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL Coach of the Year in 2000-01.

His final run as head coach in the OHL was with the Sarnia Sting from 2006-07 to 2010-11. He has been head coach of Dornbirner since the team moved up to the EBEL.

Peter Sidorkiewicz – Assistant Coach / Goaltending Coach

Sidorkiewicz played four years in the OHL from 1980-81 to 1983-84 with the Oshawa Generals. Peter played pro from 1984-85 to 1997-98 in the AHL, IHL and NHL. In the National Hockey League, he played between the pipes for the Hartford Whalers, Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils.

Peter also had a lengthy coaching spell in the OHL. He was assistant coach for the Erie Otters from 1999-00 to 2012-13. The only exception was 2006-07 and part of 2007-08 when he took on the role of head coach with the club after McQueen departed for Sarnia. 2014-15 is his first year reunited with McQueen in Austria.

Dornbirner EC

In their third year in the EBEL after being promoted from the tier 2 league in Austria, Dornbirner EC is struggling a bit. The team currently sits eleventh in the 12 team league, six points up on last place. However, the EBEL is tight and Dornbirn is also just six points out of fourth place.

Home games are played at the Messestadion in Dornbirn, Austria. The venue was opened in 2003 and seats 4,270.


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