Source: Ton von Richter,WesternSportsInfo
LONDON, Ont. – Western Mustangs men’s hockey players JoshUnice and Daniel Erlich will be continuing their hockey careers innew locations this coming season as both have signed professionalcontracts for the 2014-15 campaign. Unice will join the MissouriMavericks of the Central Hockey League while Erlich will headacross the Atlantic to play for Mariestad Bois of Sweden’sHockeyettan league.
“The Missouri Mavericks are a top organization in pro hockey andthis was certainly an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Unice.”Head coach Richard Matvichuk played 13 years in the NHL and has alot of connections in pro hockey, so it was an opportunity I jumpedon and I felt that it was the best decision for my career movingforward. I’m going to a great organization, team, and coachingstaff, and I’m really looking forward to getting down there andgetting to work on bringing a championship to Independence.”
“Playing for the Mustangs was an amazing experience,” said Erlich,last year’s CIS scoring champion. “It was a tough decision to leavethe program and I loved every day I was here. I appreciate theamazing work of the coaching staff and the great group of guys thatI will never forget. Clarke [Singer] taught me a lot both on andoff the ice.
“I am extremely excited to start my pro career. Sweden is mydream place to play, and hopefully I’ll be there for a longtime.”
Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Unice wrapped up his CIS career in2013-14, helping the Mustangs capture their fifth consecutive OUAWest Division regular season title and earning a spot on the OUAWest First All-Star Team and the division’s Top GoaltenderAward.
In five seasons with the Mustangs Unice posted an impressive 59-21regular season record, including seven shutouts, with a career 2.47goals against average and a .922 save percentage. He was equally asimpressive in the post-season, registering a 14-7 record with oneshutout, and posting a 2.23 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He is athree-time OUA all-star, earning first team honours in 2014 and2012, along with a second team selection in 2013.
A former third-round draft pick (86th overall) of the ChicagoBlackhawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Unice has previouslyattended training camp with the Blackhawks in 2007 and with theAtlanta Thrashers in 2009, as well as with the Toronto Maple Leafsin 2013. Prior to his CIS career, he was a member of the 2009Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires as well as a member of TeamUSA in the 2009 World Junior Championships.
Unice joins a Missouri squad that captured the CHL’s regular seasontitle last year with a 44-20-2 record. The CHL is comprised of 10teams located in eight states and Ontario.
Erlich arrived at Western in 2012 and the Thornhill, Ont., nativemade an instant impact, recording 30 points in 27 regular seasongames before adding three goals and nine assists for 12 points infive playoff games. In his sophomore season Erlich took his game toanother level, registering a CIS-high 40 assists and 50 points over28 games and dishing out five more assists in the playoffs.
Erlich earned post-season honours in both of his seasons with theMustangs, as he was named to the OUA West All-Rookie Team in2012-13 and the OUA West First All-Star Team in 2013-14. He leavesthe CIS with an impressive 1.45 point-per-game average in 55regular season games and a 1.55 average in 11 playoff matches.
Prior to wearing the purple and white Erlich had already made hismark on the London hockey scene as a member of the OHL’s LondonKnights. The speedy playmaker spent much of his four year OHLcareer with the Knights, putting up an impressive 192 points over223 regular season and playoffs games with the team before beingtraded in 2011 to Guelph, where he averaged over a point-per-gamefor the Storm in 35 appearances.
Erlich will join a Mariestad Bois team that is set to play inHockeyettan’s Western Division under the league’s new format.Previously known as Division I, Hockeyettan was Sweden’s highestleague between 1944 and 1975, when it was repurposed to serve asthe country’s second-tier league. The league then served as thecountry’s second-tier league until 1999, when Allsvenskan wascreated to take its place.