By Peter Kung
Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars have announced that two more of their players from their championship 2011-2012 team have made commitments to U.S. based colleges, as Kurtis Kunz will be heading to the University of Utah and Colin Minardi will be going to Finlandia University in Michigan.
Kurtis Kunz has committed to playing hockey for the University of Utah in 2012-13.
University of Utah is located in Salt Lake City and has an enrollment of over 30,000 students.
“I am so pleased to see all of Kurtis’ hard work pay off,” Cougars head coach Mark Van Helvoirt said. “He came to us late in the season and was a perfect fit from the time he arrived. Kurtis brought leadership, work ethic, and a positive attitude to the rink every day.”
The 6’0, 200 lb. defenseman collected six assists in 16 regular season games during his brief stay with Victoria.
“Kurtis is a great kid and I know he will have a bright future. On behalf of the coaching staff, we wish him the best of luck and would like to thank him for his commitment to the Cougars program,” Van Helvoirt said.
Soon to be playing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, Kunz is excited to be facing off against his former teammate and friend Josh Wyatt who earlier inked with Weber State University.
“Playing in Victoria really made me grow as a hockey player and person,” Kunz said. “The coaching staff really got the best out of every player and nobody had any questions when it came down to game time.”
Kunz also went on to say that Victoria was a great city to live in and he was thankful for his host family there.
Colin Minardi has committed to playing hockey for Finlandia University in 2012-13.
Finlandia University is located in Hancock, Michigan and has an enrollment of over 600 students.
“We are thrilled about Colin committing to Finlandia University,” Cougars assistant coach Thomas Kala said. “He came to us late in the season and was a key piece to our team. We like to thank Colin for choosing the Cougars to finish off his junior career after having many other options presented to him.”
The 6’2, 190 lb. forward collected three goals and eight assists in ten regular season games during his brief stay with Victoria.
“Colin added great character and leadership to our program. We wish him the very best and are pleased that he has the opportunity to continue his hockey career as well as pursuing an education at a well-known university,” Kala said.
The feelings are mutual.
“As soon as I arrived, everyone made me feel comfortable,” Minardi said. “Mark Van Helvoirt and the coaches made me a better player and even though I was only here for a short time, my play and my hockey knowledge improved more than I thought possible.”
Acquired from the Summerland Steam, Minardi thanks everyone involved in bringing him out to Vancouver Island so he could be involved in a successful playoff run.
“The Cougars are a very professional organization; from the coaches to the training staff and to all the volunteers. Everyone takes pride in doing things the right way,” Minardi said.