By Mike Shalin March 16, 2005
Mark Roebothan (St. John?s, Newfoundland) and Dan Rossman (Boxford, Ma), two of the highest-scoring players in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, have made commitments to Hockey East Division 1 schools for the 2006-07 academic year.
Roebothan and Rossman join fellow Jr. Warriors Joe Cucci (Merrimack College) and David Strathman (Merrimack College) that have already this season been recruited by and committed to Hockey East Division 1 schools for the 2006-07 academic year.
The 5-11, 195-poind Roebothan, who was right at the top of the EJHL scoring list and is already taking college courses, will attend UMass-Lowell -- while Rossman, a 6-0, 185-puond junior at Masconomet Regional High School, is headed for Northeastern.
The announcements came as the Warriors, the third-place team in the overall EJHL standings, were getting ready to open their two-game playoff series against New York Apple Core ? at Holy Cross College Tuesday March 15th at 6:30 pm and Thursday March 17th at 6:30 pm.
?We?re really surprised they both lasted as long as they did (in the NCAA recruiting world),? said Warriors coach/general manager Andy Heinze. ?We thought they?d both be offered scholarship opportunities earlier. There had been considerable interest in both players all season but things really heated up the last three weeks. The Jr. Warriors believe these Hockey East schools are good fits for both the respective players and the schools.?
Both players along with Cucci and Strathman are again expected to be key returning members of the Warriors for their final junior season next fall before they move on to Hockey East. Recognized as one of the top NCAA college conference in the US. With such highly recruited players returning for their final year of junior hockey before matriculating to their respective colleges, the Warriors are looking forward to another promising year and successful year on the national junior hockey scene in 2005-2006.
Heinze says nothing gives him more satisfaction than college placement of Jr. Warrior players.
?We?ve said this before but this is our mission ? to match our guys with good college situations, not just for hockey but academically and for everything else the college environmental brings to a player,? he said. ?These are good choices for both of them.?
The two players, who hail from decidedly different parts of the world, have been so vital to the VJW attack all season and have also been quality kids off the ice. Heinze is looking forward to having them both return for the 2005-06 junior season.
But first, there?s work to be done ? and the Warriors (28-14-3-2 in the league and 31-16-4-3 overall) get right at it after the regular season was shortened by a game after a contest with the Falcons was snowed out not once, but twice.
?We?re coming into the playoffs on a high note,? said Heinze, whose team went 5-1-1 in its last seven games. ?We?re playing well right now.?
The format of this playoff series calls for two games. If the teams split or if both end in a tie, a 20-minute mini-game will be played, to completion, to determine who moves on.