UPEI lands ju­nior A sniper

Red Deer na­tive Rauck­man com­mits to Pan­thers men’s team

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Derek Ry­ck­man has helped the UPEI Pan­thers landed a goalscor­ing left-winger from Western Canada.

Chris Rauck­man said he never put much em­pha­sis on play­ing in the Cana­dian In­teruni­ver­sity Sport un­til be­com­ing friends with the Pan­thers de­fence­man while train­ing to­gether in Red Deer, Alta.

“Ry­cks was al­ways talk­ing about how good the hockey was, about how awe­some P.E.I. is and this top-qual­ity col­lege hockey pro­gram at UPEI,” Rauck­man said. “When my fi­nal ju­nior sea­son ended, I started to give it a more se­ri­ous look, made a visit to P.E.I. and ev­ery­one was so nice . . . it made me con­fi­dent that I was mak­ing the right choice.”

Rauck­man, 20, has com­mit­ted to the Pan­thers for the up­com­ing sea­son and will en­roll in the univer­sity’s arts pro­gram.

“I’ve al­ways prided my­self on scor­ing goals and I am hop­ing to put my abil­ity to good use to help our team suc­ceed,” he said.

The six-foot, 190-pound Rauck­man played three sea­sons of ju­nior A hockey in Al­berta and Saskatchewan. He scored 39 goals and had 25 as­sists in 56 games last sea­son for the Flin Flon Bombers. In 2013-14, he had 33 goals and 17 as­sists in 59 games for the Drumheller Dragons.

“His coaches, op­po­nents’ coaches and scouts all kept say­ing the same thing - this is a guy who has a laser of a shot and who al­ways seems to ex­cel and score from the dirty ar­eas,” said Pan­thers coach Forbes MacPher­son. “He is a char­ac­ter player. He doesn’t mind pay­ing the price for a scor­ing chance and he just com­petes hard ev­ery night.”

Rauck­man joins an in­com­ing class of fresh­men that in­cludes de­fence­man Ryan MacKin­non, a Summerside na­tive and for­mer cap­tain of the Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders, and for­mer Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos winger Carter Rigby.

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