ALBERNI VALLEY BULLDOGS’ CAPTAIN SECURES COLLEGE HOCKEY FUTURE WITH LAKERS
Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are thrilled to announce that 20-year old defenceman Mitch Oliver has committed to attend Lake Superior State University and suit up for the NCAA Division I Lakers for the 2018/19 season.
Oliver joined the Bulldogs prior to the start of the 2017/18 campaign in a trade with the AJHL’s Bonnyville Pontiacs and made an immediate impact both on and off the ice. He was one of the league’s top offensive defencemen, leading all blueliners in goals (12) and power-play goals (10) while finishing eighth in points (39). He began the season as one of the team’s three assistant captains and was named team captain in January following the trade of Ryan Steele to the West Kelowna Warriors.
“On behalf of the entire Bulldogs organization, I’d like to congratulate Mitch on earning a scholarship to play NCAA hockey,” says head coach Matt Hughes. “Mitch was a tremendous leader for our team over the past seven months, displaying great character at and away from the rink while giving his teammates someone to look up to, trust and respect. He was a key guy for us offensively with his powerful shot and his ability to move the puck, and he logged big minutes for us in all situations. We expect Mitch to be an impact player at the college level.”
Before coming to the Alberni Valley, Oliver spent two full seasons with the Vernon Vipers before joining the Pontiacs early in the 2016/17 season. His Junior A totals include 28 goals and 78 assists over 217 regular season games plus 11 points in 25 playoff contests.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey at a top-end school like Lake Superior State University,” says Oliver. “They have shown a lot of interest in me as a player and as a person and I can’t wait to be a part of the Lakers program. The university offers great academic options and after forming a strong relationship with the coaching staff it was clear that Lake Superior State was the right choice for me.”
“Playing in the Alberni Valley has helped me a tremendous amount on and off the ice and it continues to help me develop into the person I aspire to be. The Bulldogs’ culture has taught me what it takes to make the jump to the next level. I also truly believe that the BCHL is the top Junior A league in North America and I’m very fortunate to have played in it. I’d like to extend a big thank-you to my family for supporting me every step of the way, as well as the entire Bulldogs organization, my current and past coaches, and my teammates and friends for all their support. I’d also like to acknowledge our education advisor Tom McEvay for everything he has done to help prepare me academically.”
Oliver is the fourth player to commit to play NCAA hockey while a member of the Bulldogs this season. He joins Keaton Mastrodonato (Canisius College – 2019/20), Ryan Steele (Sacred Heart University – 2018/19) and defenceman Sami Pharaon (Princeton University – 2018/19).
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