Two more Rebels off to U.S. colleges

The Castlegar Rebels continue to move players on to higher levels of hockey, announcing a pair of U.S. college commitments.

The Castlegar Rebels continue to move players on to higher levels of hockey, announcing a pair of U.S. college commitments.

Overage forward Erik Wentzel has committed to Adrian College in Michigan, while defenceman Ryan Reid will skate next season at Iowa State.

“They showed a lot of interest in me from about December through to the end of our season,” Wentzel said.

“They invited me down to take a look at their campus, and I really liked what I saw there, really liked the coach, so it made for an easy decision.”

The Bulldogs Division I club finished fifth in the country in the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) tournament last season, and head coach Dan Phelps was named the ACHA coach of the year.

Wentzel has fond memories of his two stints with the Rebels, the least of which being the team’s run to the KIJHL finals in 2010-11.

“This past year was great,” Wentzel said, “we had a really good team, a really good group of guys, it was an awesome year.”

Reid said the interest shown in him by the Cyclones was a surprise.

“Coach [Steve Junker] pulled me aside, I wasn’t really expecting it,” the 19-year-old from Kelowna said.

“Right after the season ended I went down there and visited the campus, that was enough for me to make the decision to there, it was a really good experience.”

The long playoff run certainly helped expose the Rebels to college recruiters, as Wentzel and Reid are the third and fourth members of the team to commit to U.S. schools.

Earlier this year, leading scorer Ryan Aynsley booked his ticket to Northern Michigan, while fellow forward Anthony DeLong agreed to attend Central Oklahoma University.

Reid, for one, can’t wait to face DeLong, as his Cyclones beat the Castlegar native’s Bronchos three times last season.

“It’s always fun to play old teammates,” Reid opined, “it’ll be fun to go down there and check out where he’s going to school, and hopefully kick his butt.”