(ISN) – PENTICTON, BC –The Penticton Vees are pleased to announce defenseman Gabe Bast (96) has committed to the University of North Dakota (UND) for the 2016-2017 season.
“Gabe has been a steady presence on our backend, a two way Defenseman that can play in all situations, says President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. “This is a great opportunity for Gabe to play for one of the premier NCAA programs. “
Bast, 18, is enjoying a great rookie campaign in the BCHL, as the blue-liner leads all Vees defensemen in scoring and is seventh in team scoring with 24 points in 32 games. The Red Deer, Alberta product is coming off a strong weekend, where he picked up a goal and two points in the Vees 3-0 win Friday against Vernon. Last month Bast dawned the maple leaf for the first time in his career, as he suited up for Team Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Bast had two goals in four games for Canada West as they finished sixth.
Prior to joining the Vees, Bast spent the past two seasons in the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League (AMHL) with his hometown Reed Deer Optimist Chiefs. Bast won back-to-back AMHL Championships in 2013 and 2014 and in 2013 he won the Telus Cup Midget National Championship in Sault St. Marie, Ontario, as the Chiefs blanked Ottawa 5-0 in the Championship game; Bast was named the tournament’s top defenseman.
Bast is the 15th player on the Vees roster to secure a college commitment in Division l men’s hockey. Penticton is very familiar with North Dakota, as four Vees alumni are currently on UND’s roster. Mark MacMillan, Brendan O’Donnell, Troy Stecher and Wade Murphy are currently wearing the white and Kelly green of UND. UND is currently the top ranked team in college hockey in both national polls.