Bozeman forward Erickson makes NCAA commitment
April 22, 2015
The Bozeman Icedogs, proud members of the NA3HL, are pleased to announce that captain Ryan Erickson has committed to play NCAA hockey next season for the Finlandia Lions, in Hancock, Michigan. Finlandia is a NCAA Division III school that plays in the National Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). They are coached for former NAHL head coach Dane Litke.
Icedog Coach Mark Vichorek spoke about Ryan and his ability and opprtunity to play college hockey at the D III level. "Ryan has worked very hard for the last three years as a junior player to earn this opportunity. He has been a great leader for us and has worked very hard on his skills to be able to play at a high level in college. I think it is great for Ryan and his family to have been a part of the Icedog family and now move on for another four years of quality education and playing the sport he loves,” said Vichorek.
Erickson has played the last two seasons for the Bozeman Icedogs under Coach Vichorek. This past season, Erickson (6’2/190) finished 3rd on the team in scoring with 32 points in 44 games played.
Erickson was initially recruited by Vichorek to play for the Central Wisconsin Saints in the MnJHL, which he did. After one season and Coach Vichorek coming to the Icedogs, Erickson thought it best to follow his coach.
He had this to say about his coach and the Icedogs: "Playing for Coach Vichorek these past three years has been an amazing ride. I knew after my first year with coach he would be able to help me get to the next level and he has helped me achieve one of my goals. Coach told me if I worked my tail off for him he would do the same for me and he has. When Coach called me and said he was heading west to coach the Icedogs in Bozeman, Montana I couldn't wait to have that opportunity to continue my career with Coach in an extremely beautiful place,” said Erickson.
Erickson had 100 points in his Junior career and Coach Dane Litke is hoping for Ryan to bring his grit and game to Finlandia. Coach Litke said this of Ryan and his play. "Coach Vichorek told me of Ryan and his ability along the boards and in front of the net and I was sold after seeing that ability in some of his games. I am building my team around veteran players and quality people and Ryan certainly fits that mold very nicely."