Rochester, NY- Rochester Stars forward Craig Pierce has committed to attend University of Alabama-Huntsville for the fall of 2011. Alabama-Huntsville currently plays an NCAA Division One Independent schedule and has made two trips to the NCAA tournament, including one last season, since the program attained Division One status in 1999.
Pierce, a native of St. Louis, MO, who grew up in Roswell, GA, started playing roller hockey before switching to ice hockey and joining the Atlanta Fire organization. When he was 16 years old, he joined the storied Compuware Midget AAA program and playing junior hockey in Ohio before joining the Stars this past fall.
“In my last year of juniors I wanted to play in the EJHL because of the great exposure to colleges. I have to thank my coaches Tony Maksymiu and Craig Carlyle for giving me the opportunity and believing in me that I could reach my goal of playing college hockey. The high expectations the coaches had for me and the training facilities made the decision to play in Rochester easy. I have enjoyed playing here and making new friendships with teammates. I think that the Stars organization and playing in this league has been great in preparing me for college,” said Pierce.
The 1990-born forward, who has nine goals and eleven assists (20 points) in 31 EJHL games, jumped at the chance to play in Huntsville.
“My parents Joe and Nancy couldn't be happier about me committing to UAH, especially since the school is only three hours from home. They have been behind me the whole way. They never stopped believing in me and that I would someday reach my dream. I think they can agree with the fact that even though moving away from home at age 16 was tough, it was all worth it now. I can’t thank them enough for all that they have done and sacrificed for me,” he noted.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)