Neither Alex Pernitsky nor Cole Josefchak have visited Colorado College yet. But after hearing about the school’s great academic record and its first class hockey program, it was an easy choice for both to make their commitments to attend in 2016-17.
The Lloydminster Bobcats defencemen each are coming off their rookie season with the club. Pernitsky, a Unity, Sask. native saw increased minutes over the course of the season and scored five goals and 12 points in 52 games.
Josefchak, a 17-year-old with midget eligibility, made the Bobcats out of camp and built a strong reputation as a shutdown defenceman, scoring only nine points in 52 games, but offering the Bobcats a large presence in front of the net.
Now, both are Colorado College Tiger commits and will play together following next season at the NCAA Division 1 level.
“We are really good friends,” said Pernitsky. “I couldn’t have asked for a better person to get committed with.”
The Tigers men’s hockey team plays out of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, one of the new conferences established in the NCAA, beginning play in 2013. It features quality hockey programs from the central United States, including the seven time NCAA champion University of Denver Pioneers and University of North Dakota. Other schools include the University of Minnesota Duluth and Miami University in Ohio.
Colorado has won the NCAA championship twice in school history, but both were back in the 1950s. While they have made only one Frozen Four tournament appearance in the last decade, the school offers quality education, as well as a chance to be a part of a new conference that is growing in power.
“I heard really positive things about Colorado overall,” said Josefchak. “It would be a great experience that I would get out of it. Their arena is great, they get good attendance for their games. I heard their staff is a good staff and everything I have heard about them is positive.”
For both Bobcats, business school seems to be what they are heading towards, and the education at Colorado College was a large selling point for the school. Playing hockey at the university level is as much about the education as it is the hockey, so for both Pernitsky and Josefchak, picking the place to continue their hockey careers wasn’t just about the on-ice product, but also about what the school could offer them in the classroom.
“It is a mixture between both of them,” said Pernitsky. “You obviously want a really good hockey team and really good coaches, but you are there a lot for school too. They are really good academically, which is something I want.”
Next year both will still man the blueline for the Lloydminster Bobcats. Both felt their rookie seasons had their ups and downs, but overall feel they have earned a place for now on next year’s roster that will compete for the RBC Cup.
However, neither is taking their spot for granted, and just because they are capable of playing NCAA Div. 1 in the future, doesn’t necessarily mean their spots on the Bobcats are secure. The work for them is just beginning.
See “Colorado,” Page 35
“If anybody doesn’t perform, doesn’t matter if you are committed or not, you can get traded,” said Pernitsky. “I got to go out there and train supper hard this year and just do my best.”
“You just got to come out and compete,” said Josefchak. “It’s a little scary for sure. It will be tough to make the team next year, but they will pick who they need and which roles they need filled.”
Both defencemen will get their first look at Colorado College on May 5 when they head down to Colorado Springs to take a tour of the campus and the 7,750 seat World Arena, the home of the Tigers.