MAZZOLINI, MELE COMING BACK
The Alaska Aces have re-signed forwards Nick Mazzolini (Mazz-oh-LEE-nee) and Tom Mele (MEE-lee) for the 2013-14 season, Aces head coach Rob Murray announced today.
Mazzolini is an Anchorage native who returns for his fourth season with the Aces and Mele is slated for his second season in Alaska. The duo boosts the total to seven players returning from last season’s Aces team that captured their third straight Brabham Cup title for the ECHL’s top regular season record.
“We’re excited to bring back two important pieces of our lineup,” said Murray. “Nick has elevated his game to become an elite and dynamic playmaker at our level. Tom’s strong finish to last season proved he has the ability to perform as a key contributor. Having those elements in place help in our goal with maintaining our team identity.”
Mazzolini, 29, earned a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team last season, leading the Aces and finishing tied for second in the ECHL with 36 goals. Serving as an alternate captain, he also led Alaska and was tied for ninth in league scoring with 71 points (36g-35a) in 68 games, additionally finishing +13 and tying the league lead with four shorthanded goals. He added six points (3g-3a) in 11 playoff games.
The 6-foot-2, 209-pound forward has notched 191 points (84g-107a) and a +40 rating in 200 career games with the Aces. He skated in the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game for the National Conference and led the Aces in points (64), goals (27) and assists (37) in his 2009-10 rookie season.
Mazzolini suited up for HC Bolzano (Italy) in 2010-11 and ranked second on the team with 38 points (15g-23a) in 39 games. Before turning pro, he skated in 128 career games with Providence College (NCAA) and collected 67 points.
Mele, 27, earned 11 goals and 21 points in 43 games with the Aces last season and skated in four Kelly Cup Playoff games. The Bronx, N.Y. native also has 51 games of playing experience in the Central Hockey League with the Fort Wayne Komets, helping guide the team to a President’s Cup championship in 2011-12 with 17 points (6g-11a) and a +10 rating. He contributed with five points in 17 playoff games.
He began that season by adding American Hockey League training camp experience with the Springfield Falcons. The 6-foot, 176-pound forward was a captain during his 2010-11 senior campaign at American International College (NCAA) and posted 55 points (32g-23a) in 132 career college games.
Aces training camp information for the 2013-14 season will be announced soon.
The Aces will begin their 2013-14 season at home on Friday, Oct. 18 at Sullivan Arena when they host the San Francisco Bulls. Season ticket and sponsorship packages are currently available through the Aces office at 15th & Gambell. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.