(Spruce Grove, AB) – The Spruce Grove Saints proudly announce that rookie forward Graham Gamache has committed to the Minnesota State University Mavericks hockey program located in Mankato, Minnesota. The Mavericks compete in the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) of the NCAA Men?s Hockey Division I.
With a record of 22 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie the Mavericks are currently the #3 ranked team in the United States behind only the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (#2) and the top ranked Cornell University Big Red.
Gamache has taken the hockey world by storm this season, currently sitting 3rd in AJHL rookie scoring with 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) in 42 games played; his on ice play has produced an invite to the Canada West selection camp for the World Junior ?A? Challenge and a spot to take part in the annual CJHL Top Prospects Game earlier this month.
All of this has made Graham a highly sought-after prospect for NCAA schools. Ultimately the Edmonton, AB native chose to wear the purple and gold of Mavericks hockey.
?After going on a fly down last week, I was sold on becoming a Maverick. Campus reminded be a lot of home and the hockey facilities were amazing.? Exuberantly stated the normally reserved 17 ? year old. ?What impressed me the most was how tight knit the team was. It was something special and made me want to be part of that in the future.?
While the team camaraderie was evident the coaching staff impressed Gamache as well.
?My conversations with the coaches were amazing, they had all the right answers and checked off all the boxes for me. I felt very comfortable with them and the relationship we have built so far, it?s really exciting.? Exclaimed Gamache.
Finally Graham wanted to make sure he got a chance to extend a thank you those important to him.
?I just want to thank my parents and family, my teammates and coaches who have helped along the way, my agency and the Spruce Grove Saints for giving me the opportunity to succeed and move on. I can?t wait to play for the Mavericks.? Gamache finished.
When asked about the budding Saints star in Gamache, General Manager Rob Sklaruk had this to say.
?G is a special player; he came in this season and just continued to get better and better to the point where he has become an elite forward in our league at a young age.? Stated Sklaruk. ?It is so gratifying to see such a great kid like Graham get the opportunity to play for a highly regarded, National Championship calibre team like the Mavericks.?
The sky is the limit for Gamache according to Sklaruk
?He (Gamache) is really just scratching the surface of what he will become and scouts are recognising that. His mind for the game and the ability to create offense from turnovers is second to none, he?s extremely committed to the game and his hard work and dedication is paying off. We are just absolutely thrilled for Graham and his family.? Finished Sklaruk.
The 5?10? 165- pound right shooting forward joins former Saints stand out and fifty goal man Chris Van Os-Shaw as members of the Mavericks, where the team has six total NCAA tournament appearances while capturing 3 conference championships since 2014.
Head Coach Bram Stephen raved about Gamache
?Graham is the epitome of a mature and professional young man. He is diligent, smart and extremely hard working. What makes Graham special as a player is that he makes those around him better. He has an innate ability to mold his game to fit the playing style of teammates and that elevates theirs and his game to higher levels, it?s impressive.? explained Stephen.
?As a Saint, Graham has spent time on both wings, down the middle, on the penalty kill and powerplay and in all key situations. He?s very polished for 17 years old. It?s a credit to Graham, but also to the approach his family and advisors took in being patient in his development process. He didn?t rush to junior at 16, he stayed and played midget and became an elite player at that level before joining our team this season. I think that is a great blueprint for others follow and I applaud him for his patience and commitment in putting his long-term goals ahead of short-term feathers.?
?More than anything we just are so proud and happy for Graham. He?s going to be a great Maverick!? Stephen concluded.
Gamache joins teammates Cam Mitchell (Nebraska-Omaha), Stanley Cooley (North Eastern), Matthew Davis (Denver), than Edwards(Michigan) and Ryan Conroy(Yale) as the 6 players who have committed to an NCAA Division I Program and is the first Saint this season to secure a scholarship.
The entire Saints organization would like to congratulate Graham on his commitment.
You can catch Graham and the rest of the Saints when they host the Grande Prairie Storm tonight at the Grant Fuhr Arena at 7 pm and then on Friday for the CL12 & PT 30 Memorial game versus the Camrose Kodiaks. There will be a pregame ceremony and Saints players will wear special 3rd jerseys which will be auctioned off. All jersey proceeds will be donated to Victim Services Spruce Grove.
You can secure your tickets online now for each game at tickets.sprucegrovesaints.ca