Columbia Valley Rockies goalie Noah Decottignies was drawn to the Adrian College Bulldogs Division 1 program because of their winning pedigree.
The Bulldogs are among the top American Collegiate Hockey Association programs in the last four years. Under coach Gary Astalos, they won an ACHA National Championship in his first season in 2018. They have four Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League regular-season titles and he has a staggering 132-9 overall record, 58-1 conference mark, and three winning streaks of 20 games or more, while also earning three GLCHL Coach of the Year awards. The Bulldogs won the ACHA National championship this year.
Winning is an important goal for Decottignies, as is the education factor and will study business administration as he knows studying that field will open doors. Decottignies is also looking forward to the experience of moving east to Adrian, Michigan.
He was taken on a virtual tour of the campus and likes that it is small, and the class sizes will make for a great learning experience.
On the ice, the Calgary native is confident he is ready to take this step after working hard during the season, and he has continued that into the off-season. While the five-foot-11, 185 pound goalie realizes balancing school with hockey will be a challenge, he is ready for it.
“I’m excited and feel prepared for it,” he says.
During the practice sessions with the Rockies, Decottignies put a lot of time into his skating, and a lot of that was pushed by Rockies GM Wade Dubielewicz, who played in the NHL and understands the importance of that skill.
“Wade put a big emphasis on skating. He preached a lot about how important skating is as you move up,” says Decottignies.
While at home, Decottignies is focusing on the small aspects of his skills such as positioning in net and puck handling to make playing that much easier. Decottignies, who broke into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, says playing in the league helped his development a lot. He was able to improve how he plays in the crease to help him get this opportunity.
“The coaches I have had have been unbelieve,” he says. “Terry Jones in Beaver Valley, as well as Wade and Briar McNaney in Columbia Valley. “They have given me confidence to know that college hockey shouldn’t be the end of the road.”
Decottignies is excited about what doors will open for him and the opportunity to keep playing hockey for another four years.
“I’m really excited to be able to get an education through the sport,” he says.