Minot forward Pionk makes NCAA commitment
June 22, 2017
By Ken Oda, Minot Minotauros
The Minot Minotauros, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are proud to announce that forward Nate Pionk has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for The College of St. Scholastica (CSS). The CSS Saints in Duluth, Minnesota are close to home for Pionk who is from Hermantown just seven miles away.
Pionk, 20, spent parts of two seasons with the Minotauros before becoming a fixture in his third and final season. Pionk (5’11/170) played nine games for the Tauros in the 2014-15 season after the Minnesota high school hockey season ended posting a goal and an assist.
Then the next year Pionk started the season in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars, he joined the Minotauros late playing in 30 games posting two goals and six assists.
In his final season of junior hockey Pionk thrived as a member of the Tauros top six posting 12 goals and 24 assists in his only full season in Minot. In total Pionk posted 15 goals and 31 assists in the cream and cardinal. Pionk also added four goals and four assists in 14 playoff games as a Tauro tying him with Nick Monfils for the Franchise all-time lead in playoff points.
Pionk was quick to thank those that have helped him achieve his goal of playing college hockey. “Thanks to the coaches in Minot, the my parents, my brothers and of course the big man upstairs have put me everywhere I want to be in life,” said the thankful Pionk. He said he chose CSS because “it has everything I want. It’s close to home, has the nursing program I want to go into, and there are a lot of guys I’ve played with or against.”
Tauros Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray was “very happy for Nate” he continued, “Nate had a strong year for us, better than the numbers indicated really. He was key to our top six.”