Urbandale (IA) The Des Moines Buccaneers' are proud to announce that forward Patrick Kirtland has committed to play his collegiate hockey at the University of Connecticut beginning in the Fall of 2012. The announcement gives the Buccaneers 14 current players who have announced their collegiate commitments to Division I schools following their junior hockey careers.
The 20 year old resident of Cary, North Carolina is in his second season with the Des Moines Buccaneers and is tied for third on the team in points with 12 (6 goals, 6 assists). In 67 career games with the Buccaneers Kirtland has 26pts (12g, 14a) .
"We are all very happy and proud of Patrick for making this decision," said Buccaneers' head coach Regg Simon. "Every team needs players like him. He can play on any line because we know what kind of effort he'll bring every night and his intangibles are off the charts."
Connecticut is a member of the Atlantic Hockey League and is coached by Bruce Marshall who is in his 24th season with the program. The Buccaneers have a history of sending players to the program including former Buccaneers Andrew Olson and Bobby Reiners. Olson served as the Huskies' captain his junior and senior seasons.
Patrick isn't the only active junior hockey player in his family as his twin brother John is a defenseman for the Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League. Prior to coming to Des Moines, Patrick was named a NAHL Top Prospect during the 2009-2010 season while playing for the Topeka Roadrunners.
The Buccaneers (10-9-1) are home on Friday against Waterloo and Saturday against Youngstown with fans being encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to the DMARC Food Pantry. A donation will allow a fan to receive $3 off their arena-level ticket to either Friday or Saturday's game.