Montpetit will play hockey for University of Nebraska-OmahaSomerset’s Brock Montpetit has made his college decision. Next fall Montpetit will be attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha and will skate with the Mavericks’ men’s hockey team.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Somerset’s Brock Montpetit has made his college decision.
Next fall Montpetit will be attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha and will skate with the Mavericks’ men’s hockey team.
Montpetit currently is in his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. He is the Hawks’ team captain and leading scorer this season. Recently he was named as the USHL Offensive Player of the Week.
Montpetit will join New Richmond’s Kyle Ensign on the UNO roster. Ensign is a sophomore defenseman for the Mavericks.
UNO has had success recruiting Wisconsin products. Also on the current UNO roster are Andrew McCabe of Eau Claire, Dan Swanson of Menomonie and Brent Gwidt of Minocqua.
Montpetit seems to have been playing hockey for decades, but he is only 19. He originally committed when he was 16 to play for the University of Wisconsin, but then changed his mind. He said he is more mature now and was more patient and thorough in investigating which college to attend.
The Mavericks are coached by Dean Blais, who was the 2008-09 USHL Coach of the Year leading the Fargo Force to the Clark Cup Finals during their inaugural season. Before coaching in the USHL, Blais won NCAA Division I national championships as the head coach of the University of North Dakota in 1997 and 2000. The Fighting Sioux were runners up in 2001, the last of five straight NCAA appearances under Blais.
Blais’ reputation for success was one of the selling points that swayed Montpetit. The Maverick coaches said they liked what they saw in Montpetit’s skills.
“No promises were made (about playing time),” Montpetit said. “That’s the way I want it. I want to go in and have to earn everything I get.”
UNO will be moving into the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) next season, where it will face programs like, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and Colorado College.
With three years of USHL seasoning in, Montpetit feels ready to make the next step. His coaches do too.
“Brock has developed all the aspects of his game in his time here,” said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley. “Even before he came to the USHL, I don’t think there was any doubt he would eventually be a contributor with an NCAA program, but the work he has put in over two-and-a-half seasons has helped him become a very solid two-way player.”
Montpetit said his ultimate goal is to play in the National Hockey League. Several USHL players are the sons of former NHL players. He sought out the advice of former Chicago Black Hawk Ed Olycyk, whose son played with Montpetit.
“He told me the biggest thing is hard work,” Montpetit said. “I’m always trying to be the hardest worker, on and off the ice.”
Montpetit said academics played into his choice to attend UNO.
“I’m looking into a business major and their business program is one of the top in the nation,” he said.
Six other current USHL players are committed to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha; Bryce Aneloski (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Johnnie Searfoss (Fargo Force) Brian O’Rourke (Green Bay Gamblers), Nick Oddo (Omaha Lancers), Matt White (Omaha Lancers), and Patrick Borer (Sioux City Musketeers).
UNO has faithfully recruited players from the USHL. Nineteen of the current UNO players advanced to the Mavericks after playing in the USHL.