Thursday, December 20, 2012

McMullen To RIT

The Smokies have announced their third NCAA Division I scholarship of the season, with this afternoon's commitment from captain Garrett McMullen to his hometown Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. Each member of Trail's dynamic top line now have college commitments under their belts, and McMullen also becomes the second Smoke Eater to commit to RIT in the past two years (with blueliner Rajan Sidhu currently enjoying his freshman season in New York state).

The full release from the team is available here.

McMullen's rise with the Smoke Eaters is similar to that enjoyed by another recently-committed skater in Brent Baltus. He arrived in Trail in October of 2011 from Powell River and developed into one of the Smokies' most consistent offensive threats as the season wore on, scoring 17 goals and 36 points in a Trail uniform. Head coach Bill Birks named him captain this past August, and his game hit another level from then on.

The 20 year-old shot out of the gate like a cannon, and sits behind only Baltus in team scoring with 31 points (15 of which are goals). Maybe more importantly is McMullen's knack of scoring big goals for this team. So far, he has four game-winners (most recently on a tip-in Tuesday against Merritt), two of which have come in overtime (at Prince George and at Vernon).

It's clear as well that as McMullen goes, so go the Smokies. Trail has won only twice this year when McMullen has been held off the scoresheet (one of those wins coming in overtime, the other when McMullen was a scratch with the flu). On and off the ice, he's a role model for the younger skaters on the team, and a terrific ambassador for the organization. I can imagine he and his family will be even more excited that the next four years of his hockey future will be played in his home city of Rochester.

Congrats "Mully" on the terrific achievement!

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