MARIETTA, GA -- Forwards Zac McKenna and Brendan Ferguson both closed their junior careers in the 2017-18 season, as both are ’97-born players. In February, Ferguson had announced his college commitment to the Milwaukee School Of Engineering. McKenna made his commitment to MSOE in March.
“MSOE came out and saw both players in Florida,” said Knights head coach Kevin St. Jacques. “Coach [Mike] Ostapina really liked both of them. Both had been talking to a few different schools, but they decided on MSOE.”
Ostapina is the only coach MSOE has ever had, as he was there for the start of the NCAA Division 3 program in 2001. MSOE made the NCAA tournament in 2012, and the team has finished above .500 in four of the last six years since then.
“Both families, once they got to the MSOE campus, really liked the setup and everything that the school has to offer, educationally,” said St. Jacques. “They also have a really good D-3 program.”
Ferguson had originally played with the Knights back between 2014 and 2016. This year, he played 23 National Collegiate Development Conference games between the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and Syracuse Stars, before finishing his junior career with the Knights. The Cummings, Ga., resident finished his junior career with 18 points in 20 games this year for Atlanta.
McKenna will give MSOE a true power forward, as he stands 6-feet-3-inches and weighs in at 220. The Powell, Ohio, resident scored 34 points in 41 USPHL Premier games this year. He was a third-year junior hockey veteran this year for the Knights.
Three other Knights – Marc Baron, Brendan Bishop and Evan Schieber – were still reviewing their Division 3 options as of late March.
Several other former Knights are moving on to the American College Hockey Association, including John Testino (Kenesaw State), Drew King (University of Tennessee), Kory McEnery (Virginia Commonwealth) and Sven Prins. The latter, the German-born Prins, is deciding between Harvard and Cornell, with eyes on playing for the ACHA teams at those schools.
Tryouts in April: The Atlanta Jr. Knights will hold its first 2018-19 tryout camp over the April 20-22 game at the Marietta Ice Center. Register by contacting Kevin St. Jacques by calling 804-335-5070 or e-mailing email@example.com.
“We’re excited,” said St. Jacques. “We’re in a great division for both the USPHL Premier and Elite levels, with both the champion and finalists coming out of the South Division.”