ROCKFORD, Ill. – Making the announcement during the team’s trip to Michigan, Tri-City Storm goalie Pheonix Copley made his commitment official Wednesday to the Michigan Technological University Huskies for the Fall of 2012.
Copley, who is in his first season in the USHL, has played in 11 of the team’s first 13 games and has posted a record of 3-8-0, two shutouts, 3.49 goals-against average and .893 save percentage. The 19-year old goaltender recorded a 1-0 shutout victory in his first career start in the season-opener against Sioux City. Copley was named the Co-Reebok Goalie of the Week for week one in the USHL following the win against Sioux City.
“I really liked the school when I went on the visit and thought it was a good coaching staff,” said Copley, who is a native of North Pole, Alaska. “I think it was a great opportunity to play and develop with the coaching staff there and get a solid education.”
Michigan Tech is a NCAA Division I college hockey program located in Houghton, Mich. and competes in the WCHA hockey conference with the likes of Denver, Colorado College, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
“As an organization, we are happy and proud of Pheonix, and his opportunity to play college hockey,” said Head Coach/General Manager Drew Schoneck. “We look forward to his development this season with the Storm.”
Last season, Copley played for the Corpus Christi IceRays, where he played in 42 of the team’s 58 games. His record for the IceRays was 14-23-4, recording a 4.17 GAA and .880 save percentage. The 6-foot-3 and 180-pound goalie was named the NAHL Goalie of the Month last November (2010) after posting a 4-3-0 record in the month with a 2.56 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Later in the season, he would be named as the IceRays Rookie of the Year.
“Biggest thing for me now is to help this team (the Storm) win hockey games and improve throughout the rest of this season,” Copley added.
Copley, who will be playing next season in college, says that his choice of major will likely be premed at Michigan Tech.
With Copley’s commitment, Tri-City currently has nine players who are committed to NCAA Division I schools – Desmond Bergin (Harvard University), Tim Bonner (Yale University), Kenny Brooks (Penn State University), Nick Lappin (Brown University), Dylan Maller (University of New Hampshire), Trevor Moore (Denver University), Brad Schierhorn (Dartmouth College), and Michael Vecchione (University of New Hampshire).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)