Columbia Valley Rockies goalie Riley Wallace is a Beaver now.
Wallace earned a commitment to the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 1 program based in North Dakota.
“I’m really excited to head to Minot this fall,” says Wallace, who split the season between the Virden Oil Capitals in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Rockies. “It’s a real quick and competitive league and I’m really excited to get things started and to be going to school again and getting a degree.”
Wallace had been in touch with the Beavers since February as he’s familiar with the program knowing they have a great program not only for hockey, but for school also. The school is also very close to home – 2.5 hour drive so his family and friends are able to come to games.
“My mom was born and raised in Bottineau, North Dakota which is only an hour from Minot so my American family can come watch me as well,” says Wallace.
After just over a season in the MJHL, Wallace joined the Rockies winning five of his 11 games and had a 3.23 goals against average with a .887 save percentage in the regular season. Three of his wins came in his first five games after joining the Rockies in early December.
“I am excited to bring Riley into our locker room,” says head coach Wade Regier in a team statement. “He has been in contact for months and you could tell early on he was motivated to get his college hockey and studies going. Riley knows he has to put in a lot of work to be successful at the college level, but I am confident in working with Wyatt (Waselenchuk) he is going to be a big time goalie for us in the future. His potential is endless.”
While his time with Columbia Valley was short, Wallace praised it saying he had a lot of fun.
“Invermere is kinda smaller so it was a real easy transition for me coming from a small town in Manitoba and being so far away from home,” says the Oak Lake., Man., product. “They have an amazing staff and my teammates were awesome guys too, really close group.”
While in Columbia Valley, Wallace says he took a step forward in his development.
“With Wade (Dubielewicz) being an ex NHL goalie was really beneficial for me to have him coach me and help me improve my game everyday at the rink,” he says.