News & Announcements
FIRST TEAM ALL-MET BLUELINER PATRICK CHAPMAN COMMITS TO GMU

Patrick Chapman, the highly skilled captain of St. John’s varsity hockey team, will be trading grey and scarlet for green and gold this fall when he joins George Mason University’s hockey team. 

Chapman is now the fourth defenseman to commit to what is shaping up to be a dominant blue line next season in ACHA Division I.  

“Patrick was one of our most sought after recruits this year,” Head Coach Steve Hyjek said. “We see him as a player who will have an immediate impact on the ice and who will fit in very well as part of our program for the next four years.”

Chapman comes to Mason after a prolific senior year. He led St. John’s College High School to victory in the National Capital Hockey Tournament – known as the “Purple Puck” – as well as the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League (MAPHL) championship game, where the regular season champs lost a nail-biter in overtime to Landon School.

His performance garnered several awards. Chapman was named to the First team All-Conference (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) and First team All-League (MAPHL). The Washington Post selected him for the 2020 Winter All-Met First team for hockey due to his ability to move the puck and the “strong defense and leadership” he provided for St. John’s. (Fun fact: His mom, Scotti O’Connell, was also selected as one of NBC Sports Washington’s Honda Hockey Moms! Watch the video featuring mother and son on Twitter here.)

Chapman also served as captain of Team Maryland U18-AAA.

“I am very excited to join the green and gold and look forward to helping us get a bid at Nationals in this new chapter of Mason hockey,” said Chapman.

JUNIOR HOCKEY DEFENSEMAN JIMMY ZINTER COMMITS TO MASON

Jimmy Zinter, a former USPHL and EHL player, has committed to George Mason Hockey for next year, adding size and skills that will help the team compete in its first season in ACHA Division I.  

At 6’5” and 200 pounds, the 21-year-old defenseman comes to Mason with 134 games of junior hockey experience, during which he collected 31 points. 

"Jimmy is a big, tough defenseman who plays the game hard and is one of those players that forwards hate to play against,” said Mason Coach Alex Grose. “His maturity and ability to set the tone for the team is going to be a huge addition to our locker room.”

Head Coach Steve Hyjek said Zinter will add to the solid foundation Mason has built over the years and will help in its efforts to be a strong competitor in Division I.

“He brings the skills, the desire to compete and the quality of character we seek in candidates to be a part of our program,” Hyjek said.

A Leesburg, Va., native, Zinter played for Bishop O'Connell High School under Coach Flip Collins, who now also helps scout talent for Mason.

"Jimmy is one of the most determined and driven hockey players I have ever coached,” Collins said. “He will make everyone around him a better player." 

Zinter left O’Connell after two years to play junior hockey with the Islanders Hockey Club in the USPHL. After two seasons, he signed with the East Coast Wizards of the EHL. After a season and a half with the Wizards, Zinter finished his junior career with the Seahawks Hockey Club, also in the EHL, due to a trade deadline move.  

Grose said that Zinter has always been more of a defensive defenseman, because of his size.

“His decision to play with us is going to give him the chance to develop the offensive aspect of his game and become a force on both sides of the red line," Grose predicted. 

Zinter said that Mason’s coaching staff already has made him feel like a part of the family.

“Being part of a top program with great coaches and teammates is what hockey is all about,” Zinter said. “I’m equally excited to study at the GMU School of Business and about the many internship and career opportunities in the capital region.”

 

George Mason will soon release its 2020-21 game schedule, which will be available at www.gmuicehockey.com.

PATRIOTS ADD SMOOTH-SKATING DEFENSEMAN FROM HAGERSTOWN

Quinn Alley announced his commitment to George Mason University and will be joining the team’s blue line this fall. Alley most recently played for the Hagerstown Bulldogs U18-AA and Fredrick County High School. An assistant captain on the Bulldogs, Alley put up 10 goals and 19 assists in 58 games. Alley was also co-captain for his high school team, where he had six goals and nine assists in 15 games.  

Alley was selected to represent the Bulldogs at the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (EJEPL) All-Star game last season.

This season, for his performance with his high school team on and off the ice, Alley was selected to the MVHL All-Conference First Team and won the National Hobey Baker Character Builds Excellence Award. 

"Quinn Alley is the prime example of the 'modern defenseman.' He is a great skater, moves the puck well and is not afraid to jump into the play. We are very excited to be adding him to the locker room," commented Coach Alex Grose. 

“I am most excited to live my childhood dream of playing college hockey and having a great chance to play at Nationals while representing the gold and green," Alley said, when asked what he was looking forward to about joining the team.

HOWARD HUSKIES FORWARD CHRISTIAN BARRETT IS LATEST TO COMMIT TO GMU

Christian Barrett, a Fairfax County native, will be joining GMU Hockey next fall after a great senior year with the Howard Huskies 18U-AA team. 

Barrett is a small, fast and skilled forward who is capable of putting the puck in the net. In 57 games for the Huskies this year, Barrett punched in 28 goals and 15 assist for a total of 43 points. The Howard Huskies 18U-AA team won the Maryland state championship this year and received a bid to the USA Hockey Tier II 2A National Championship Tournament. However, the tournament was unfortunately canceled due to coronavirus concerns. 

"We like the potential we see in Christian. We see a lot of room for development in his game and his potential to become a top player at the ACHA Division I level," said Coach Alex Grose.

EIGHT PLAYERS RECEIVE ACADEMIC HONORS

The ACHA announcedthe 2019-20 Academic All-Americans and Mason had eight players honored for their academic achievements this year:

  • - Andrew Cox (graduate student)
  • - Nick Grose (graduate student)
  • - Nigel Grove (junior)
  • - Jackson Harnois (junior)
  • - Collin Henley (senior)
  • - Frank Lackey (junior)
  • - David Leitzel (senior)
  • - Cameron Smith (junior)

 

Players must be at least a junior and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher in order to qualify for the Academic All-American award.

Fifteen out of thirty-three teams in the Atlantic Region had players qualify for the award, and only two teams, one of which was Ivy League, had more players than Mason: Dartmouth College (11) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (18). (Fun Fact: Mason had more players qualify than Harvard.)

This is the fifth postseason award Cam Smith has received this season and the third for Nick Grose.

Congratulations to our players for a great year on and off the ice!

MASON PLAYERS RECEIVE NATIONAL RECOGNITION IN FINAL D3 SEASON

After a record-breaking season for George Mason University Hockey, four Mason players received prestigious awards from the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA)

Cameron Smith was honored with several awards. He was named as the ACHA Division III Player of the Year for the first time. It’s also the first time Mason has had a player selected for the league’s highest honor. 

Smith also was selected as the Atlantic Region Player of the Year, marking the second time in three years that he has received this recognition for his efforts at Mason. He previously received the award after his first season at Mason in 2017-18.

In addition, Smith and Nick Grose were both named to the ACHA First Team All-American. This is the first time for Grose and the second time for Smith, who made the First Team following his breakout season in 2017-18. The First and Second All-American Teams are selected from players on the four All-Region teams. 

At the regional level, Smith, Grose and two other Mason players were chosen for All-Atlantic Region teams: 

 

This is the third year in a row that Smith and Mack have been selected for the All-Atlantic Region teams. 

Grose and Campbell were selected for ACHA regional honors for the first time after breakout seasons. Grose ranked in the Top 20 scoring leaders in the country. Campbell was undefeated between the posts with a 0.919 save percentage.

In a statement announcing Smith’s award as the Division III Player of the Year, the ACHA said, “This junior from Arlington, Va., led Men’s D3 in goals this past season with 58 tallies and was fourth in the nation with 86 points. Smith helped lead the Patriots to their highest regional ranking ever at #2 in the Atlantic, thus securing an automatic bid to the 2020 Men’s D3 National Championships.”

Smith posted a 58-28—86 record and 20 PIM in 25 games played. He also led the country with 22 power play goals, followed by teammate Nick Grose who had 11. 

Smith was set to be honored at the National Championship this week, but the tournament was canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Mason was one of only three teams from the Atlantic Region that had players on the ACHA All-American Teams list. Dartmouth College, ranked first in the Atlantic, had its starting goalie chosen for the First Team, and a forward from Columbia University, ranked 15th in the Atlantic Region, was selected for the Second Team.

Additionally, Mason was the only team other than Michigan State University to have two players chosen for the national All-American teams. Mason had two players on the First All-American team and MSU had two on the Second All-American team.

Mason ended its last season at the Division III level with a 19-4-1-1 record in 25 games, at one point holding a 17-game win streak despite a challenging lineup of opponents. As a result of the team’s strong showing, Mason ranked second in the Atlantic Region – its highest final ranking in program history – and received its first automatic bid to compete at the National Championship. (The tournament was later canceled.)

Next season, Mason will move up to ACHA Division I as the newest member of the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association, facing new division rivals including DMV-area opponents such as the United States Naval Academy and Towson University.

PHILADELPHIA LITTLE FLYERS’ DAVID WILF COMMITS TO GEORGE MASON HOCKEY

George Mason University Hockey is excited to announce their second commitment of the 2020-2021 recruiting class, David Wilf. 

Wilf played for the Philadelphia Little Flyers, in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) Premier Division, and the Lower Merion High Varsity Hockey team this past season. In 33 games for the Little Flyers, the defenseman collected 17 points. Wilf put up 58 points in 63 games through his high school career with Lower Merion and was an assistant captain this season. 

"David is a hard-working, smooth-skating player, who has a great sense for the game. He has played both forward and defense and can fill in where needed. He will be a great addition to the team for the next four years. His attitude, work ethic and leadership qualities are exactly what we are looking for when we are recruiting players," commented Coach Alex Grose.

Wilf is the second player to commit to George Mason for their first year at the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I level. 

"I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and getting to work with the coaches and all my new teammates. Mason's competitiveness in their league has shown what is expected of their incoming players, and I am motivated to fill that role for them," said Wilf.

GEORGE MASON ICE HOCKEY ANNOUNCES FIRST D-I COMMITMENT

Matthew Price is Mason’s first American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I commitment as the program prepares to make the transition from Division III next season. 

Price comes out of the local youth hockey powerhouse program, Ashburn Xtreme. As captain of the U18-AA team, Price led the Xtreme through the Chesapeake Bay Hockey League (CBHL) Championship and the State Championship to clinch their spot at Nationals. Price, who posted 133 points in 80 games with the U16 team last season, has put up 47 goals and 57 assists for 104 points in 64 games this year. 

Price also played for Broad Run High School’s varsity hockey team, posting 39 points in 10 games this season, and received Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League (NVSHL) First Team All-League Selection. Price joins current Mason players Trevor Mack (2013) and Max Campbell (2019) in receiving this honor.

 Price is a dynamic offensive talent who was highly sought after by Mason’s coaching staff.  

"We are excited to be getting another Ashburn Xtreme product,” said Alex Grose, GMU Assistant Coach and Head of Recruitment. “As a top player in Virginia, Price will now get to play college hockey at a very competitive level without having to postpone going to school to play juniors. Mason is the first Virginia school to have an ACHA Division I program, so we see this as a new and exciting opportunity that has never been available in the past for players who want to stay in state."  

"I'm looking forward to playing with an incredibly talented team of players and coaches. I am very excited and honored to soon be a part of the GMU Hockey team" Price said. 

GMU RANKED SECOND IN ATLANTIC REGION; RECEIVES AUTO-BID TO NATIONALS

George Mason University has been ranked second in the Atlantic Region for the 2019-2020 season – its highest final ranking in program history. 

As a result, Mason secured its first automatic bid to compete at the National Championship for Men’s Division III in Frisco, Texas, March 24-28. 

The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) announced the final rankings for the 2019-20 season last week.

The team is in the process of raising $25,000 to cover travel costs for the tournament. Donations can be made at either of the links at the bottom of the page. As a thank you gift, the first 100 donors of $125 or more will receive a pair of tickets to the Washington Capitals game on either March 31 or April 2 (first come, first served).

Mason’s annual alumni game on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 1:30 pm at the Prince William Ice Center in Woodbridge, VA, will also be part of that fundraising effort. There will be Chuck-A-Puck and 50/50 and memorabilia raffles. All proceeds from admission will go towards funding the trip. Tickets can be purchased at the door and will be $5 for students and $10 for adults.

This season, Mason jumped out to an impressively strong start, at one point holding a 17-game win streak. Despite a schedule stacked with Division I and II opponents in preparation for its jump to D-I next year, the team posted a 19-4-1-1 record in 25 games.

Mason’s first trip to the National Championship was in 2018. After ranking third in the Atlantic Region, the team defeated the University of Delaware and Fordham University at the regional qualifying tournament to win one of two remaining bids to Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Mason went 1-1-1 in pool play and finished the tournament in the Top 20 teams in the country.

The tournament is a 16-team, pool play format where the winner from each four-team pool advances to the single elimination semifinal round, after which the top two teams face off for the national title. 

Mason will be the second seed in Pool A, competing against first-seeded University of South Florida (20-6-1), who also received an auto-bid to Nationals as the number 1 team in the South Region. The last two slots in Pool A are pending the outcome of the regional tournaments. The third seed will go to the highest-ranked team to emerge from the Pacific Region and the fourth seed will go to the second-highest ranked team from the North Region.

The National Championship tournament will take place at the Comerica Center and Children’s Health StarCenter-Plano in Frisco. The Comerica Center is the practice facility of local National Hockey League (NHL) team and ACHA tournament partner, the Dallas Stars.

For more information, please go to www.gmuicehockey.com or the tournament website, http://pointstreaksites.com/view/achanationals/home-page-657

Donations can be made at www.bit.ly/nationalsfundraiser or www.bit.ly/gmucrowdfunding

 

MEET THE PLAYERS: MASON ADDS FOUR NEW PLAYERS TO SUPPORT NATIONALS PUSH

Mason’s road to Nationals just got smoother: Four new players are joining the team for the second half of the season. They provide added depth and skill to Mason’s roster on defense, offense and special teams. 

The newest members of the Patriots include senior forward David Leitzel, who is rejoining the team after a hiatus; defenseman Nick Baltas, who transferred from Clemson University; and forwards Patrick Fergus and Eric Smith.

David Leitzel was a big part of Mason’s first trip to Nationals in March 2018 before stepping away from the team last season. He played 46 games and notched 32 points in his first two seasons with the Patriots. A local product, Leitzel brings a veteran presence to the locker room and on the ice through his work ethic, speed and skill on special teams – especially his ability to block shots. David is an alumnus of the Washington Little Caps, where he averaged .60 points per game, as well as Lake Braddock’s varsity team in the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League (NVSHL). 

Patrick Fergus, a 22-year-old sophomore transfer, is expected to make a huge impact on the team. The Herndon, Va., native comes to Mason after transferring from NCAA DII Stonehill College. Before Stonehill, Fergus played for the South Shore Kings USPHL Premier team in his last year of juniors. Fergus also played for Gonzaga High School's varsity team from 2013 to 2015. In 2014, he helped Gonzaga steamroll their opponents to finish with a 26-0 season and win the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League (MAPHL). Fergus followed that performance with an impressive 29 points in 12 games during his senior year, earning him MAPHL First team honors.

Eric Smith brings a great physical presence and work ethic to the team in addition to his leadership skills. He grew up in Rochester, NY, and played for the Rochester Americans U18 team before switching to roller hockey in college. He played two seasons of DII roller hockey at Oswego State from 2012 to 2014. Smith then served as a Captain in the U.S. Army until 2018, and played on the Fort Drum hockey team for a spell while assigned there with the 10th Mountain Division. 

Nick Baltas joins Mason’s defense corps after transferring from Clemson University, where he had three goals and four assists in 10 games. Baltas, who is from Fairfax, Va., will continue the family legacy: his dad, Bruce, and his uncle, Eric, were members of the inaugural Mason Hockey team in 1989. During Baltas’s senior year at Oakton High School, he played for the Reston Raiders 18U-AA team and was the captain of his high school varsity team, where he was also selected for the NVSHL All-Star game.