The Topeka RoadRunners have announced that goaltender Rasmus Tirronen has committed to Merrimack College (Hockey East) beginning in the fall of 2011.
In six appearances this season, the Espoo, Finland, native holds a 4-2 record, including one shutout, to compliment a 2.13 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.
“I didn’t think at any point I’d be dealing with several schools at once, so I have to admit I found myself a bit overwhelmed in the beginning,” Tirronen said of the college decision-making process. “You could probably say it was a small distraction, but nothing that affected me catching the puck.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Tirronen is looking forward to pursuing a major in Sports Management at Merrimack, which is located in North Andover, Mass.
“A couple of things made the decision fairly easy,” the 19-year-old said of what he liked about Merrimack. “The coaching staff and the way they’ve turned the hockey program around during the last couple of years, and the fact that the campus has a really great feeling being a small school.”
And given all of his college options, Tirronen has no regrets in choosing to continue his development in Kansas’ capital.
“I had two goals coming to Topeka: winning the Robertson Cup and getting a full scholarship to a Division I school,” he said. “Now, with one goal out of the way, I can focus 100 percent on achieving the other one.”
RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer sees plenty of promise in store for Tirronen.
“Rasmus is extremely deserving of everything he earns,” said the coach. “He came to camp with a goal in mind and hasn't looked back since.
“Ras is not only a top-end athlete, but an even better young man filled with character. I truly believe he can accomplish big things.”
Tirronen says his family, which is still in Finland, was nothing but excited about the news of his college commitment.
“My family knew that one of my goals coming in to the season was to get a full scholarship, so they aren’t that surprised I got one, but they are surprised it came this early in the season,” he explained. “They really like the idea of me getting a degree while I’m playing hockey, so I’m pretty sure they’re OK with it.”
View the complete NAHL College Commitment List here.