Maryland commit heads to CC this fall

Fairbanks Ice Dogs defenseman Russell Finch is headed to Colorado Springs this fall according to the Daily News Miner.

One of the most consistent defensemen in coach Trevor Stewart’s lineup, Finch committed to play college hockey at Colorado College of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) starting this fall.

He would be the first Maryland native to play for the Tigers. He joins 2012-13 newcomers center Cody Bradley of Tampa, Fla., left wing Hunter Fejes of Anchorage, Alaska, and right wing Jared Hanson of Palmer, Alaska, along with defenseman Michael King of Prince George, British Columbia.

“He’s just a solid defender,” Stewart told the Fairbanks newspaper from Seattle earlier this week, as the Ice Dogs traveled to Dallas for the Robertson Cup on Thursday at the Dr. Pepper Center in Frisco, Texas.  “He’s good at the one-on-one game, he keeps things simple and he always makes a good first pass.”

Finch, 21, of Middleton, Maryland, has played the past two seasons in the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  The 6 foot, 205-pounder started his NAHL career in 2010-11 with the St. Louis Bandits, which defeated Fairbanks 3-1 in the Cup opener on Thursday. Here are his career stats.

After beginning this season with the Bandits, he was traded 10 games into the season to Fairbanks, where he flourished, recording 12 points in 40 regular season games with the Ice Dogs, including being a +26.  In 99 career NAHL regular season games, he has recorded 27 points.

He was then selected to participate in the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament this past February in Troy, Michigan, where he represented team West.

Stewart said Finch is a perfect fit for the Tigers, who play on an Olympic-size ice sheet.

“He’s an efficient skater and he has good stick control, which is beneficial on the big ice,” Stewart said.

Stewart said Finch should fit in well at Colorado College.

“He’s great academically and he’s a good team player,” Stewart said. “We’re excited that he’s going to be able to step in at a big-time school like Colorado College.”

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About paisleyhockey
I am the college hockey writer for the Colorado Springs Gazette focusing on the Atlantic Hockey Association, National Collegiate Hockey Conference and Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

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