The Gillette Wild are pleased to announce two more of their players from last season have committed to play college hockey. Bobby Solari and Ethan Hicks have both announced that they will be going to school and playing for the Lumberjacks of Dakota College at Bottineau.
Dakota College is a Junior College located in Northern North Dakota. They have won 8 NJCAA National Championships, the last in 2010, and have finished 12 times as Runner Up to the Champions. With players and alumni from Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Latvia, Czech Republic, Canada, and many U.S. states, DC-B hockey is truly international in scope. The fact that they can list two time Stanley Cup Champion Dustin Penner as an alumnus is a testament to their program. Lumberjack Hockey is coached by longtime coach Travis Rybchinski.
Coach Rybchinski is happy to announce their commitment. “We are very happy to get a couple players from the Wild as we have a lot of respect for Coach Winkler and Coach Adamek and what they do to develop their players. We needed to get some more experienced players and we really like what we get in Bobby and Ethan. They will provide some leadership and stability on the back end. We cannot wait to see them in Lumberjack jerseys and hope to recruit more players from the Wild organization in the future. ”
Solari (Bowie, MD) was recently named by the AWHL as the recipient of the Community Service Award. He has played in a Wild uniform for the last two seasons and put up a line of 1 Goal, 11 Assists, for 12 points in 40 Games last season. Bobby was a heart and soul player who made his presence felt in front of the opposing team’s goalie and defensemen. He plans to major in Social Science.
Solari added “Coach Winkler, Adamek and Rybchinski collectively made this an easy decision for me. I trusted Winkler and Adamek to find a good fit for me, and after talking to Rybchinski, I felt Bottineau is a place I can come in and try to help make a difference right away.”
Hicks has been a member of the Wild since its inception as well. The Golden, CO native registered 4 Assists in 41 games last season. Known for his defensive insticts, Hicks is a player who demonstates his ability to clear the front of the net and make opposing teams pay a price for puck possession in the Wild’s end.
Hicks went on to say “Dakota College is the perfect next step for me, to continue competitive hockey and to have the chance to move even higher." He plans to major in Athletic Training while patrolling the blue line for the Jacks.
These commitments do not come as a shocker for Coach Winkler. “Rybchinski is getting two players who have provided more to our organization then we could ask for. Ethan and Bobby will be a great fit in Dakota College Hockey. They have worked so hard the last two years to get this deserved opportunity.”