Amherst Hustle

AMHERST, MA – Emerson Auvenshine is the fifth 2010-11 Bismarck Bobcat to commit to a Division I program, announcing that he will head east to play at the University of Massachusetts starting in fall of 2011.

“I started getting into serious discussions with [Minutemen head] Coach [Don] Cahoon and his staff right after the Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor,” recalled Auvenshine, who struck for one of the most memorable goals of the 2010-11 season—a game-winner with 57 seconds left in regulation of Game Five against Alexandria in the Central Division Semifinals.

“From there I realized that it would be a good fit, since a lot of the bigger guys from this past season were graduating so I would have a chance to compete for playing time as an energy guy right away—something I did for two years as a Bobcat.”

Auvenshine’s story of perseverance is well-known in Bobcat country: originally cut out of training camp in 2009, Emerson stayed with the team as a practice player; eventually making the active roster two weeks into the season when Ryan Dunne suddenly left the team. Pressed into service in the team’s first road game of the year, he tallied a goal in his first contest at Alaska. From there he parlayed his tenure as a 2009-10 role player into a regular spot in 2010-11 and the assistant captain’s letter on his jersey.

Despite the allure of playing in one of college hockey’s headlining conferences, Hockey East, Auvenshine wanted to make completely sure that he was making the right choice.

“I told the coaches after the Bobcats season ended that I wanted to come take a tour of campus before I made my final decision, so I headed out east in May for an official visit to Amherst,” noted the Lansing, Mich., native. “When I got a chance to see the school and meet some of the guys who will be returning for next year’s team, I knew it felt right. UMass has a beautiful campus and is a great school, so being able to experience it first-hand made it an easy decision.”

With his collegiate plans in hand, Auvenshine will spend the summer preparing to compete for playing time with the Minutemen—something which says will be greatly aided by a specific aspect of his time as a Bobcat.

“Working with [Bobcats strength and conditioning coach] Mike [Salwei] at Healthways Gym for the last two years has shown me what it takes to be in top physical condition and the preparation and work ethic that he instilled in us with his program is going to help me hit the ground running as I start my UMass workout program.”

Auvenshine joins 2010-11 Bobcats Ryan Faragher (St. Cloud State), Matt Gates (Alaska-Fairbanks), Charlie Mosey (Dartmouth) and Castan Sommer (Holy Cross) as D-I commits, bringing the Cats’ total Division I list for the season to nine with the commitments of alums Dom Panetta (Ferris State), Dan Weissenhofer (Air Force), Ryan Jacobson (Brown) and Ryan Massa (Nebraska-Omaha).

Emerson’s decision to play for the Minutemen also marks the third straight season a Bobcat has committed to a Hockey East program, as he follows the footsteps of Myles Harvey (2008-09, Providence) and Tom McCarthy (2009-10, Merrimack) to the eastern seaboard.

The Bobcats continue their run up to 2011-12 with the team’s open camp, scheduled for July 15-17 at Arctic Edge Arena in Canton, Mich. Players interested in attending the 2011 open camp can sign up right now at http://www.BismarckBobcats.com.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email gobobcathockey@aol.com for more information on reserving your seats for next season!

Bobcat Hockey would like to once again thank all of its fans, staff and sponsors for a wonderful 2010-2011 season—you are part of the team!

BOBCAT HOCKEY

2011 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS