- Scott Barboza, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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We caught up with the South Boston native earlier today in between his commitments playing with the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League to talk about his decision and the adjustment he's made playing out west:
On choosing UMass: “I made Amherst my destination because my dream was always to play Hockey East. But also, I know it’s a great school and a great hockey program to be a part of to try to get me to the next level. I’m very excited to throw on that jersey.”
On choosing Minutemen over other Hockey East programs: “I’ve been in contact with UMass for a while now. They have always showed interest in me and that is another huge part of my decision making because they really wanted me to be a part of their program. But I also chose UMass because I know it’s a great school, with a great education and I can’t wait to enroll next fall.”
On coaching staff and his role: “Dealing with the UMass coaching staff was another reason for me going there. They are all great guys who really want me to be a part of their program. I met the coaching staff before I came to Vernon on a visit, and after seeing the rink and meeting the staff, I knew I could play there and be an impact player. We haven’t really discussed my role yet, but I’ll bring my physical play, but also use that to put the puck in the net.”
On the adjustment to playing in the BCHL: “Life in the BCHL is a rare experience and I am very happy on my decision to come out here and play. [I play] hockey every day and my team is full of great guys. It’s a pleasure playing with them. Most importantly, the Vipers will prepare me for college hockey. The adjustment I had to make was the pace of the game, but I got used to that real quick.”
During the weekend, former Catholic Memorial hockey standout and ESPN Boston All-State selection Liam Coughlin announced his verbal commitment to UMass-Amherst for the upcoming 2014-15 season.