Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Keaton Mastrodonato has committed to attend Canisius College and suit up for the NCAA Division I Golden Griffins for the 2019/20 season. SUBMITTED PHOTO

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Mastrodonato commits to Div. 1 college

Watch the 17-year-old forward Dec. 30-31 in a pair of games vs. Powell River Kings

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ rookie Keaton Mastrodonato has committed to an NCAA Div. 1 college for the 2019-20 season. The 17-year-old forward will suit up for the Canisius College Golden Griffins.

Mastrodonato has excelled during his rookie season in Port Alberni after signing with the team in the spring. He has scored a team-high 10 goals and added 12 assists for 22 points in 35 regular season games. “On behalf of the entire Bulldogs organization, I’d like to congratulate Keaton on this great accomplishment,” says head coach Matt Hughes.

“Keaton stepped in to our lineup in September and immediately showed that he could be a productive offensive player in a challenging league. He has the work ethic and competitive attitude that you need to get better every day, and we look forward to his continued development as a Bulldog before he embarks on his college hockey career.”

Before joining the Bulldogs, Mastrodonato spent two seasons with the BC Major Midget League’s North Island Silvertips. He captained the team during the 2016/17 campaign and led the team in scoring with 23 goals and 42 points.

“I’m beyond excited to have the opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey, especially at a program like Canisius College,” says Mastrodonato. “They showed a lot of interest in me right from the start and I’ve always wanted to play somewhere I’m wanted. Canisius offers a great program academically and hockey-wise, and when I had the chance to fly down to meet the staff, meet some of the players and experience their facilities first hand, it was clear to me Canisius was where I wanted to be. I’m excited to join the Griffs family and I can’t wait for what the future holds.”

Mastrodonato is full of thanks for the people who helped him achieve his goal of signing with an NCAA Div. 1 school ”I’d like to thank the entire Bulldogs organization as well as my current and past coaches, my teammates and my family and friends for their support along the way,” he said.

”I’d also like to thank Matt Hughes for everything he’s done to help me develop as a player on and off the ice and for his help and guidance throughout this process, as well as (team education advisor) Tom McEvay for everything he’s done for helping me prepare on the academic side of things.

“My experience so far playing in the Alberni Valley has been great and it continues to develop me into the player and person I aspire to be. The organization taught me the commitment and skill level that is needed to reach the next level. The Bulldogs have believed in me as a player and allowed me to earn opportunities that have helped contribute to my success and development in all aspects of my game.”

Mastrodonato is the second player from the Bulldogs’ 2017/18 roster to commit to play NCAA hockey. He joins defenceman Sami Pharaon, who will begin his college hockey career at Princeton University next season.

The Bulldogs host Powell River Kings tonight (Dec. 30) at 7 p.m. at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Roger Street, and again on Sunday, Dec. 31 for a 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are available at the Bulldogs’ office at the Multiplex.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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