Niagara University men’s hockey coach Dave Burkholder has added former Purple Eagle standout goaltender Greg Gardner to his coaching staff.
“I am very excited to have Greg back at Niagara University hockey. We shared some very special times throughout his storied career here,” Burkholder said. “Add to that his professional experience and it makes him the perfect fit for our staff at this time. He was ready to retire and move into this next phase of his professional life.”
Gardner, who played for Niagara from 1996 to 2000, played professionally from 2000-01 until this past season. He attended three National Hockey League training camps (Buffalo: 2003; Columbus: 2000, 2001).
At Niagara, Gardner finished with a four-year record of 64-33-12, with 16 shutouts over 113 career games, including an NCAA record 12 shutouts during the 1999-00 season. He was named CHA Goaltender of the Year, Player of the Year and was named to the First All-Star Team in 1999-00.
Following his collegiate career, Gardner signed a NHL contract as a free agent with the Columbus Blue Jackets, becoming the first player to sign in Niagara history. He played professionally with the Dayton Bombers (ECHL) and the Syracuse Crunch (AHL), both affiliates of the Columbus Blue Jackets, from 2000 to 2002. Gardner signed a free agent contract with the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL) in 2002, playing the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. He went overseas for his final two seasons, playing in Germany for Bremerhaven. This past season he was named the top goalie in the Bundesliga league.