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Calvin College Ice Hockey Coach and Goalie Named to ACHA National Selects European Travel Team

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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By Mark DeHaan

In his 17 seasons at the helm of the Calvin College ACHA hockey team, Head Coach Mike Petrusma has built an impressive resumé.

Under Petrusma’s direction, the Knights have amassed an overall record of 337-117-7, appeared in the Final Four in 1993, 2003, 2004, and 2006, winning the National Championship in 2004. Petrusma was named the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference Coach of the Year in 2006, but, despite his established success, hadn’t received much national recognition – until this year.

Petrusma, along with senior goaltender Trevor Boardway, were recently selected to be part of the 2012 ACHA Division III National Selects Team. The National Selects Team, which consists of three coaches and 24 players from around the country, will travel to Europe for ten days over Christmas break and play six games against semi-professional and professional teams.

“It was definitely an honor for the ACHA to call and ask me to participate,” said Petrusma. “Not everybody gets to do this, and it just goes to show over 17 years of coaching at Calvin how many good teams and how many good players we’ve had over that span of time. As a coach, you’re only as good as your players are, and people have recognized that we’ve had one of the more successful programs in the ACHA.”

Petrusma, who was chosen as an assistant coach, may get a chance at being the head coach in a few years.

“The way the ACHA likes to do this process is you go as an assistant coach in the hopes that two years from now you’re selected as the head coach,” commented Petrusma. “(This opportunity) is a direct result of the types of players we’ve had.”

One play that has made Calvin so successful is Boardway, who has been a three-year starter for the Knights in net.

Boardway was originally drawn to Calvin because of hockey, but says that Calvin has impacted him in more ways that just on-ice.

Boardway hails from Stellarton, Nova Scotia, and says that hockey helped him make the transition from living and going to school in Canada to attending Calvin in Grand Rapids.

Said Boardway: “It kind of took a little bit of time to get adapted, but once I did, I realized that (coming to Calvin) was a life-changing experience for me and it really helped me develop as a person.”

Because hockey is a two-semester sport, players do not often get the opportunity to travel off-campus. This opportunity came at just the right time for Boardway.

“It’s a dream come true. (Making the Selects team) has been a personal goal for me, and now I’ve reached that goal because I’ve been selected to go. The fact that I’m able to go to Europe while being able to play hockey is awesome. It’s the trip of a lifetime.”

The senior netminder says that he was surprised that he received the selection to the team because he hadn’t had the exposure of many other goalkeepers around the country.

“I was kind of surprised at the time because I didn’t have as much national exposure as goalies that made the national tournament. I kind of put it on the back burner that I was going to make the team,” said Boardway. “Turns out with all the hard work we’ve all put in, with the recognition I was getting from the league by receiving awards the past two years, it really helped me by because I was getting recognized by the coaching staff for being the top member of my team.”

According to Petrusma, Boardway’s selection to the team is well deserved.

“Trevor has been outstanding for us, from the first day he stepped on campus,” said Petrusma. “Trevor is one of the best goalies we’ve had during my tenure. He has been the consummate team player and is known as one of the best goalies in the country. The opportunity for him to go to Europe and showcase his talents over there is a terrific opportunity for him. I’m really proud of Trevor and all the hard work he has put in since he came to Calvin. It has really paid off.”

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