Dreams Come True for DeLaVergne


Buffalo State Sports Information

Senior Mike DeLaVergne will move on to play for ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators.

Francis Boeck, Associate Sports Editor

Mike DeLaVergne grew up dreaming that, one day, he would play professional hockey. Last week, DeLaVergne’s dream became a reality.

The Buffalo State senior was getting ready to leave town early last week after he received an offer to play professionally in the south. But before he left Monday morning, DeLaVergne got a call from Atlanta Gladiators head coach Andy Brandt and received an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“Brandt said to me that one of their guys went down and they wanted to give me a shot,” DeLaVergne said. “It all fell into place.”

So, DeLaVergne changed his flight and left for Atlanta on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, he signed his first-ever professional contract.

“It didn’t seem real at first. It’s one of those things you dream about,” DeLaVergne said. “I had a successful career at Buff State, and there were talks, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. It came out of nowhere.”

DeLaVergne ended his career at Buffalo State as one of the best to play in-between the pipes for the Bengals. The Pawling, New York-native holds the school record for career save percentage (.926), lowest career GAA (2.23) and wins in a season (18). DeLaVergne was named SUNYAC Goalie of the Year in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and finished with an overall record of 37-18-8-6 in four seasons.

“If I could do it all over again, I’d do the exact same thing,” DeLaVergne said. “I have made some life-long friends, played under some great coaching staffs. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

DeLaVergne is grateful for his coaches at Buffalo State and all the time and effort they gave to him. 

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the coaching staff, especially coach Steve Murphy and coach Nick Therrien, my teammates and all the people I’ve met along the way,” DeLaVergne said.

He had special thanks for Therrien, who talked to scouts and coaches about him and was key in getting the original offer to play in the southern league.

“He really put himself out there for me,” DeLaVergne said.

Between all the practices and classes at Buffalo State, DeLaVergne learned a simple but important lesson: never give up.

“I have had some ups and downs, including some injuries that I thought would be the end of my career, but now I have a professional contract,” DeLaVergne said. “I learned to never give up and put in that extra dedication.”

The Gladiators play in the ECHL and are the farm team for the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

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