The Okanagan Rockets are pleased to announce that 1997 born forward Liam Finlay has verbally committed to the Denver Pioneers NCAA Division 1 hockey program for the 2016-2017 season.
Okanagan Rockets general manager David Michaud said that this is an exciting time for Finlay and the entire Okanagan Rockets organization. "Liam's development has progressed rapidly since joining the British Columbia Major Midget League (BCMML) last season as a 15 year old. We are thrilled to have played a key role in Liam’s progression as a player. To have one of our players commit to an elite NCAA Division 1 hockey program early in his second year of midget hockey is a very rare occurrence and speaks to Liam's dedication and perseverance. This is a young player who combines elite skills with a terrific work ethic and is an ambassador for our program.”
To date with the Okanagan Rockets, Finlay has posted 16 goals and 52 assists in just 48 regular season games played. This season, he has 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points in just 7 BCMML games. Finlay recently committed to play the 2014-15 season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). As a reserve player for Penticton this season, Finlay has one assist in three games played.
Finlay is very excited about his decision to commit to the Pioneers. "In researching NCAA hockey programs with my family, we felt that the University of Denver (DU) was a model program. DU has an excellent reputation both academically and scholastically. I am very interested in their business program and, of course, the long track record of Denver Pioneer hockey success was very appealing.”
The Denver Pioneers men's ice hockey team is a NCAA Division I college hockey program that represents the University of Denver. The Pioneers currently play in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). The Pioneers rank second among all US Schools in all-time NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championships with 7, most recently in 2004 and 2005.
Over sixty Denver Pioneers have gone on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL), including Keith Magnuson and Kevin Dineen, and current NHL players 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Carle (Tampa Bay) Tyler Bozak (Toronto) Paul Stastny (Colorado) Chris Butler (Calgary) Matt Donovan (New York Islanders) Jason Zucker (Minnesota) Beau Bennett (Pittsburgh) Joe Colborne (Calgary) Patrick Wiercioch (Ottawa) and Drew Shore (Florida).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)