The Kenai River Brown Bears have announced that first-year forward Patrick Sullivan has committed to Canisius College (Atlantic Hockey) for the 2010-11 season.
After 25 games this year, Sullivan, an 18-year-old from Derby, N.Y., has totaled four goals and six assists.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be going to such a great institution, and especially one with such a great hockey tradition,” said Sullivan. “I’m also very fortunate that I will get to play my college career close to home in front of my friends and family.
“I want to thank the Brown Bears organization, our great fans and especially my family who have always supported me in this game. I wouldn't have this opportunity with out the sacrifices my parents have made.”
Last year, Sullivan played for the highly regarded St. Francis High School hockey program in New York where he registered over 60 points and held a 3.1 GPA in the classroom. He was also recognized on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's "Players to Watch" List for 2009 draft-eligibles released in October.
“I’m looking forward to taking the rest of this season and next to improve my game so I can be a big contributor for the Griffins in 2010,” said Sullivan. “Right now, my goal is to help the Brown Bears win a championship, and that’s where my major focus is.”
Sullivan is interested in a Sports Management or Business degree at Canisius, as well as pursuing a professional hockey career.
"I knew from the moment I saw Patrick play that he was going have great things in his future,” said Brown Bears head coach Brent Agrusa. “He has all the tools to go very far in this game. The Griffins aren't just getting a good hockey player; they’re getting a player that will be a tremendous person in their community as well.
“Patrick is a very focused and motivated player. He will be very successful at the college level, and will be an exciting player for the Griffins fans to watch. I also believe that he’ll have success in pursuing a pro career after school. It’s been pleasure to work with him this season.”
Sullivan is also the first Brown Bears player in the program’s two-year history to commit to a Division I program.
"On behalf of the Brown Bears organization, we’re very excited for Patrick,” said Brown Bears general manager Nate Kiel. “When (team owner) Barry Schoenly brought Junior A hockey to the Kenai Peninsula, he did it for this very reason; he wanted to give these young men the opportunity to advance their careers to the next level.
“This is a great day for all of us in Brown Bear country. Helping these players would not be possible without the help of our great sponsors and fans. Having our first player commit is just another step we’ve made to better this organization and to continue our goal of making this program one of the premier in the league.
“Everything takes time, but we’ve made great strides in just one season.”