BOSTON, Mass. - Providence College men's hockey senior forward Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) has signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League, the team announced today (June 8).
Acciari, who recently graduated from the College with a degree in marketing, served as a co-captain during the 2014-15 season and helped lead Providence to the program's first NCAA Championship, with a 4-3 win over Boston University at the TD Garden (April 11). A free agent, Acciari had one year of eligibility remaining after sitting out his freshman season.
"Growing up in Rhode Island it was a dream of mine to become a Friar," Acciari said. "With the support of my friends and family I was able to accomplish that dream. My success at Providence was due to my amazing teammates and coaches. My teammates have been the greatest group of brothers I could have asked for and together, along with the coaches and staff, we accomplished something truly unimaginable, a national championship."
"We are very excited and happy for Noel to have earned this opportunity," Providence College Head Coach Nate Leaman said. "He's had a tremendous career at Providence, he's been a great player and a great leader and he was an important part of building our culture. Noel will always be a Friar."
"I will always be grateful for my coaches and how much they believed in me and allowing me the opportunity to become a Friar," Acciari added. "I have mixed emotions announcing I will not be returning, but I'm excited to pursue another dream. I will never forget the love and support of my family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff and everyone at Providence and I am forever a Friar."
Acciari finished the 2014-15 season with 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points, all of which were career-high totals. His 32 points tied for second on the team, while his 15 goals tied for first. He tied for the team lead in points during the NCAA Tournament (3-2-5) and was named the NCAA East Regional's Most Outstanding Player. In the NCAA Championship semifinal game versus Omaha, Acciari opened the scoring at 11:02 of the second period and the Friars went on to post a 4-1 victory to advance to the NCAA Championship game. He then notched an assist on Anthony Florentino's goal against Boston University in Providence's 4-3 NCAA Championship victory (April 11).
After returning from the semester break (Dec. 28), Acciari paced the Friar offense with 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points in 25 games. He finished the season on a career-long, five-game point streak.
Acciari was selected as the 2015 Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year and named the All-New England Best Defensive Forward of the Year. He played significant time on the power play and penalty-killing units, scoring four power-play goals, while adding a short-handed tally and two game winners in 2014-15. He posted a team-best +22 plus/minus rating this season and he had a .560 faceoff win percentage. He blocked 38 shots to lead all Friar forwards.
After leading Providence to a weekend sweep of UMass Lowell (Jan. 23-24) with two goals and two assists, Acciari was named the Hockey East Player of the Week (Jan. 26).
For his Friar career, Acciari played in 113 games, while scoring 32 goals and adding 33 assists for 65 points. The hard hitting forward also closed his Friar career by playing in 98-consecutive games.
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