When former Triton hockey co-captain and center Mike Fish deferred his acceptance to Fitchburg State to play junior hockey for the New England Wolves last spring, he knew he was taking a chance.
But that chance has paid off as Fish has just been accepted to play for the Falcons next year.
“It’s a tribute to Mike Fish,” said Triton coach Drew Wile. “It’s a tribute to a kid who came up through the system and is off to play college hockey. Which he’s proven that you can do, coming from a school like Triton.”
This is the first player of Wile’s tenure who will be playing hockey at the college level, and it’s a big point of pride both for Wile and the system he and his coaches are trying to build.
“Newburyport has had numerous kids go play college hockey,” said Wile. “And, in my three years here, this is the first college hockey player that we’ve sent.
“That’s one of our goals as a program. We want to be able to tell the kids that you don’t need to play at other places. You could do the junior thing, you could do the prep school thing and go onto college hockey. And Mike Fish proved it.”
Currently playing a 65-game season with the Wolves against teams from the U.S. and Canada as part of the America Hockey Institute in Waterville Valley, N.H., Fish is happy to know his hard work has paid off.
“It’s just a big relief,” Fish said of getting into Fitchburg. “Especially when you’re playing juniors, you’re playing the year to see what happens and it’s hard to go to that next level.”
Fish, who played center for the Vikings and is currently playing wing for the Wolves, was known just as much for his presence in the locker room as on the ice.