The Powell River Kings are pleased to announce that forward Matt Scarth has committed to NCAA Div. I College of the Holy Cross for the 2014-15 season.
Scarth, a third-year King from Calgary has suited up 91 times for the team during his junior career, scoring 37 goals and adding 34 assists.
"I went on a campus visit this past weekend, and after seeing the facilities, the hockey rink, meeting the guys on the team, it was an easy decision" says Scarth. "Holy Cross has a great reputation nation-wide and I think it will help set me up for life."
Being a 20-year old veteran on the Kings roster this year, the NCAA was a primary goal for Scarth this season. The link to Holy Cross was made stronger by the inclusion of a King alumnus on their roster over the past four years. "I was fortunate to be able to use Erik Vos as a resource. He painted a pretty clear picture of the academics of the school and the opportunities he had playing there at the Division I level" says Scarth. "(He told me about) the opportunities for pro hockey after because that's the goal, to play hockey as long as you can and with Holy Cross I can get four more years and a degree."
For Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis, it's a reward for a player who has put in the work and persevered through setbacks with injuries.
"We're really happy for him; the academics, the lifestyle, the campus is fantastic at Holy Cross and we're excited to send another player there" says Lewis. "Right now, we just want to get Matt back healthy, and he's got to be really focused for the rest of his junior career, which will obviously propel him to a good start in his college career."
Scarth is currently injured and is expected to be out another month with a lower body injury. It's an injury that didn't impact the process of choosing his hockey and education future. "I was very happy with my start, thankfully Holy Cross was as well, and even though I got injured, they stayed true to their interests" says Scarth. "On my visit, they told me that I would have an opportunity to play as a freshman and that was something that appealed to me."
The Kings are eager to get Matt back into the lineup, with Lewis keen to see Matt prepare himself for the next level. "The next five months are going to be key. He needs to be dialed in and really just finish off his junior career the right way" says Lewis. "In college, he's going to be playing against men and he'll have his full run of junior to prepare for that, and going from our program to college won't be a huge adjustment in terms of what's expected of him."
As far as the rest of the season goes for Scarth, the weight of his future is off his shoulders, and he can focus on what's important. "With the commitment, it's going to allow me to focus a lot more" says Scarth. "I want to get healthy and bring a Royal Bank Cup to Powell River."
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)