Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dearborn's Fanto makes college choice

Omaha Lancers forward Nick Fanto, a Dearborn native, will remain in Omaha next season to play for Nebraska-Omaha of the CCHA.

Fanto, 19, pledged to UNO on Monday, becoming the 13th player from the Lancers' franchise to sign with the Mavericks.

"It just kind of happened in the last couple of weeks," Fanto told the Omaha World Herald. "I've been here in Omaha for two years and the town is great. The team is doing really well and I wanted to be a part of it."

Fanto, a second-year forward who was voted one of three assistant team captains, selected UNO over an offer from Western Michigan.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder plays a physical game. Points haven't come in bunches for Fanto, who has scored nine goals after collecting 10 a year ago, but he's been getting attention in other areas.

"Nick Fanto has turned a corner for us in the last two months," Lancers coach-GM Mike Hastings said in the same Herald story. "On and off the rink he's become very responsible. His best hockey is ahead of him, especially with the work he'll be doing with (UNO's strength coach) David Noonan."

Fanto stood out so much in Omaha's 5-2 loss to Indiana on Friday night that he was named the second star of the game despite not burying a goal or an assist.

"I'm just making a push for the playoffs and playing as hard as I can every shift," added Fanto.

As part of next year's freshman class, Fanto will be joining former Lancer Mick Lawrence on the UNO roster. He'll also be reacquainting with Brandon Scero, from Canton, who played against Fanto before junior hockey.

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