Wayne, NJ- The Jersey Hitmen are proud to announce that rookie goaltender, Tanner Creel, has committed to attend West Point (United States Military Academy) in the fall of 2013. A native of Deer Park, Illinois, Creel played his midget hockey for Team Illinois in the High Performance League.
"I saw Tanner for the first time at our tryout camp last April," commented coach Harris. "We exchanged emails early in the recruiting process then Tanner came out to camp. The camp was full of excellent goaltenders (including fellow netminder Kollyn Jones) but we knew Creel had something special. On top of that he was a great student and came from a tremendous family. We knew he was a division one goaltender, so we offered him on the spot!"
Since signing with the Hitmen in April, Creel has gone on and performed magnificently for the Hitmen posting an overall record of 12-2 (including three shut-outs) and within the EJHL has posted a 2.23 goals against average and .915 save percentage.
Harris continued on Creel, "With Jack Riley (West Point head coach, Brian Riley's son) on our team our guys get seen a lot by West Point. In the past we sent defenseman Billy Day (West Point '12), goaltender AJ Drago (West Point '11) and most recently RJ Burns (West Point '16) to the Academy so we have a pretty stellar record and pipeline with the young men that we have sent to Brian. This season is no different as Creel joins Connor Costello, who committed 2 weeks ago to West Point. I am so happy for both players and know that both Creel and Costello will shine under coach Riley and Ward.
"One of the most regimented and hardworking players on and off ice in Hitmen history," said coach Harris, Creel seems to be a natural for West Point.
"I am very excited at the opportunity to go to West Point and play division one hockey," commented Tanner Creel. "I am so happy at the opportunity that the Hitmen gave me as a rookie in the EJHL. I cannot thank coach Harris and coach Hunt enough for exposing me to all the eastern division one schools. For developing me, both on and off the ice, and for marketing me off the ice. Playing in New Jersey has been a tremendous experience. I also have to thank our goalie coach Ryan Honick, for all the time and effort that he has put into my game, he has helped me grow a lot this season but none of this would have been attainable without the help and support from my family. This is for them as much as it is for me, and I would not have been able to get to West Point without them, Thank you so much!"
Creel becomes the Hitmen's 18th division one commitment.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)