Forest City, Iowa – The Waldorf University hockey is getting ready to start the 2019-2020 season next month in Ames. But before they do that, they have signed three more skaters. Warrior head coach Brett Shelanski announced the signing of Daniel McCormick from Barrie, Ontario, AJ Bailey from Conneaut, Ohio, and Ryan Stokes from North St. Paul, Minnesota, each to a letter-of-intent. All three will attend classes and play hockey for the Warriors as freshmen starting this fall.
Waldorf will compete in the newly formed Midwest Collegiate Hockey League along with Illinois State University (Normal, Ill.), Lindenwood University-Belleville (Belleville, Ill.), Maryville University (St. Louis, Mo.), McKendree University (Lebanon, Ill.), Midland University (Fremont, Neb.), and Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Ill.).
During the first year of ACHA Men’s Division I play, each MCH team will play a 20-game regular-season conference schedule, except for Illinois State (which will play a 16-game regular-season conference schedule due to existing scheduling commitments). The MCH Regular Season Champion in 2019-2020 will be determined using the winning percentage due to the uneven number of conference games played by conference members. The MCH will receive an auto bid beginning with the 2020-2021 season. In subsequent years, all MCH teams will play a 20-game regular-season conference schedule and the MCH Regular Season Champion will be determined on a points basis.
The Warriors start the season September 20th at Iowa State University.
Below is some information from each of the new signees:
Ryan Stokes, North St. Paul, Minn., left-handed forward
A 5-foot-10, left-handed winger from nearby Minnesota, Stokes graduated from North St. Paul High School in 2017 and spent the last two season playing junior hockey in the North American Tier III Hockey League (NA3HL) and the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).
“Growing up it’s always been a dream to play college hockey,” Stokes said. “I’ve dedicated myself to learn and improve my game as much as I can, and I am blessed to have an opportunity to further my career in this game.
“I chose Waldorf because I trust in my coaches and their facility to better myself in the game, and as a student at the school as well,” added Stokes, who plans to major in Business. “They offer an incredible facility to train and have what I asked for schooling.”
A three-year starter in high school who was twice named honorable mention all-conference, Stokes most recently scored 10 goals and assisted on 21 others in 35 games with the Kasson Vipers of the USPHL. Stokes added a combined nine goals and 22 assists in a total of 42 games playing for the Rochester Grizzlies and Bozeman Ice Dogs of the NA3HL, and the DME Hockey Academy of the USPHL, in 2017-18.
“Ryan has a great hockey background that has prepared him well for the jump to college hockey after playing for a very high-quality high school program and junior programs,” Waldorf’s Coach Shelanski said. “He has produced offensively at every level he has been at, and I expect that the college hockey will be the same for him.
“He sees the ice well and has the ability to set up scoring chances for his teammates,” Shelanski added. “He will help make us a deeper team offensively and he will be a great addition to both our hockey program and the Waldorf campus.”
AJ Bailey, Conneaut, Ohio, left-handed forward
A prolific playmaker who assisted on 20 goals in 42 games last season with the Tottenham Steam of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL), the 5-foot-10 left-hander also scored five goals last season for the Steam. That after scoring 10 goals and assisting on six others in 32 games with the Lake Erie Eagles of the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League (CPJHL) in 2017-18.
“It’s a great honor to be able to excel and continue my hockey career at the collegiate level and be able to get a degree at the same time,” Bailey said, adding that the small campus, the student-to-professor ratio, the family feel, and the excellent hockey program drew him to Waldorf. Bailey plans to major in Criminal Justice at Waldorf.
Bailey is a 2016 graduate of Conneaut High School in Ohio where he was an assistant team captain as a senior for the Spartans, who qualified three straight seasons for the state tournament.
“AJ is a mature player who has been a part of many successful teams in the past,” Coach Shelanski said. “He understands his game and what he needs to do to be successful and help his team win, and he excels at it.
“AJ’s game and personality will be a tremendous fit on and off the ice as far as our team chemistry goes, and I look forward to him joining us here soon.”
Daniel McCormick, Barrie, Ontario, right-handed forward
A 5-foot-9, right-handed shooter from Canada who spent the last three seasons playing junior hockey, McCormick is a 2018 graduate of Saint Joseph Catholic High School.
McCormick, who will study Sports Management, played two and a half seasons with the Bradford Bulls of the GMHL, scoring five goals in 42 games.
He finished last season with the Florida Eels of the USPHL where he had five goals and four assists in 10 games.
“Daniel is a physically strong center with a great skill set,” Shelanski said. “He skates and handles the puck well and has a good shot. Daniel also has a high compete level that enables him to consistently win one-on-one puck battles, and he has good vision on the ice.
“Daniel has always demonstrated strong character and a willingness to work to quickly prove himself to the coaching staff and move up the depth chart on every team that he has been on. He has shown the ability and the work ethic necessary to be successful and to help his team at every level he has played at, and will quickly do the same at the college level,” Waldorf’s coach added. “We are extremely excited to add Daniel to our roster and we look forward to welcoming him to campus this fall.”
Mike Stetson, SID, Waldorf University contributed to this story.
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