Niagara University club hockey player dies in Niagara Falls fire

Local News

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Niagara Falls Police tell News 4 Patrick Romano, a member of Niagara University’s club hockey team, died in the Wyoming Avenue house fire in Niagara Falls early Saturday morning.

In an e-mail to staff and students obtained by News 4, Niagara University President James Maher says words “can’t express the deep sadness experienced across the university community.”

The university says Romano was a junior in the sport and recreation management program. Maher also says he was “instrumental in the production and streaming of athletic events with ESPN.”

“This news is devastating to our university community, and the pain that we are feeling, the emptiness that Patrick’s passing leaves for all of us is far-reaching. Together, we are heartbroken by this tragic loss of life,” Maher added.

According to Maher, the university has been in touch with Patrick’s family and will continue to offer any support to them that they need.

During NU’s Palm Sunday Mass, the community will join in prayer to honor Patrick and celebrate his life, Maher wrote in the email.

Family and friends are welcome to attend the remembrance at 7 p.m. Sunday at Alumni Chapel or can watch it via livestream here.

Maher says counseling services, the Office of Campus Ministry, and residence life staff will remain available for any individual who may need support. Counseling services can be reached at 716-286-8536 and the Office of Campus Ministry can be reached at 716-286-8400.

Club hockey head coach and GM Tom Mooradian released a statement to News 4 on Sunday calling him the “heartbeat of the Niagara University ACHA Men’s Division 1 Ice Hockey Program.”

“The overall value he carried into our locker room and the Niagara University community as a whole is simply immeasurable. There was never an instance where he wasn’t smiling, picking others up, and providing an outlet for those suffering through some of life’s most difficult facets. Yesterday, we lost a brother. However, the world lost one of its most beautiful souls,” Mooradian added.

Mooradian tells us Romano’s been a member of the team for three years and they will be dedicating the entire 2021-2022 season to his memory.

“We ask that you direct all of your thoughts prayers and care to his family, friends, and teammates. #One9,” Mooradian said.

You can read President Maher’s full email to the Niagara University community below:

March 28, 2021

Dear members of the Niagara University Community,

We are now able to share with you that it is our student, Patrick Romano, who passed away tragically in the house fire in Niagara Falls early Saturday morning. Words cannot express the deep sadness experienced across the University community – the club hockey team and their coach, our students, our faculty and our staff. 

Patrick, a junior in the sport and recreation management program, was a member of the university’s club hockey team and was instrumental in the production and streaming of athletic events with ESPN. This news is devastating to our university community, and the pain that we are feeling, the emptiness that Patrick’s passing leaves for all of us is far-reaching. Together, we are heartbroken by this tragic loss of life.

Please know that Patrick’s teammates and coach have gathered together to support one another; members of our Vincentian community and Campus Ministry have been with our students and staff in the Chapel to pray; we have notified faculty and they are reaching out; and Niagara’s counseling staff has been and continues to be available for anyone in our community.  We have been in touch with Patrick’s family, and we will continue to offer any support to them that they may need.  I ask that we embrace one another, our Niagara family, with the support that is needed at this time. 

During this evening’s Palm Sunday Mass, the Niagara community will join in prayer to honor Patrick and celebrate his life. The Mass will take place at 7 p.m. in Alumni Chapel.  Family and friends are welcome to attend in the remembrance in person, or via livestream at www.facebook.com/NUMinistry.

Counseling Services, the Office of Campus Ministry and residence life staff will remain available for any individual who may need support in the days and weeks to come. Counseling Services can be reached at 716-286-8536 and the Office of Campus Ministry can be reached at 716-286-8400.

Please join me in praying for Patrick’s family – may God watch over them during this time of profound sorrow. May He bring blessings of hope to our community of students, faculty and staff in that we know He is with us, especially in this most difficult time.    

With my prayers,

James J. Maher, C.M.

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