Release date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Photo credit: Randy Murray
Iron Rangers’ Madison commits to NCAA D-III Neumann University
HOYT LAKES, Minn. – The Minnesota Iron Rangers of the Superior International Junior Hockey League has announced that veteran forward Eric Madison has committed to attend school and play for NCAA D-III Neumann University in the fall.
A two-time captain and three-year member of the Iron Rangers, the 21-year-old native of St. Paul, Minn., skated in 152 career games for the Iron Rangers scoring 31 times and adding 40 assists for 71 points overall.
Madison was the only member left from the club’s playoff run to the Bill Salonen Cup finals against Fort Frances in year two of the organization.
Between regular season and playoffs he played the most games in Iron Rangers history at 180.
“I am very excited to announce that our Eric Madison has committed to play NCAA hockey at Division 3 Neumann College of the ECAC,” stated Minnesota head coach and general manager Chris Walby.
“Eric is one of the ultimate character type guys that we’ve had here in our short history as a franchise,” added Walby.
“His goals were simple and remained the same since the first day we met. In order, they were, get better every day. Be the best teammate you can be. Work harder than everyone else. Win a championship and then commit to the NCAA.”
“Eric is a competitor and one of the toughest guys to play against each night. When he first came to us, he was your typical meat and potatoes grinder guy. He has been dedicated and devoted to improving his skill level since his rookie season and has turned himself into a college bound player.”
“Eric has been critical to our team’s success over the past three years on the ice, but even bigger, he has made a huge impact here on the community as well. The kids absolutely love him, as do their parents and the rest of the locals. He has been a huge role model to so many of the youth in the area and someone they can truly look up to as a positive influence in their lives.”
“Over the years his gritty, gutsy, never quit or say die attitude has won over a lot of people here in Hoyt Lakes. So did the hours of community service he performed each year and the time he spent on his own making all of our lives just nicer, summarized Walby.”
As for Madison, he appreciated his time with the team and the town of Hoyt Lakes.
“I’d like to say thank you to the Ranger community as a whole,” said Madison.
“Without all of you this wouldn’t have been possible. The support you have given me has made for an incredible feeling. It was an honor putting on the Ranger uniform every night. I am very blessed with the opportunity to play NCAA hockey and the memories I have made with the Rangers will never be forgotten.”
On Madison’s departure to the next level and departure from Hoyt Lakes, Walby had these comments.
“It’s bittersweet and a reality that I knew was coming. He has been a big part of each day I’ve had here for three years and things most certainly will be different without him. Eric was the last member of a very special team and time we had here in Hoyt Lakes.”
“He learned from a great group of guys how to play the game the right way. How to lead by example. How to be coachable, accountable and how to be a great teammate. You don’t have to get along with everyone in the room and at times, being a good leader forces you to make decisions that aren’t always going to make you popular in the room, but when the puck dropped, everyone knew that Eric had their backs.”
Like so many of our guys, Eric is going to be missed, but forever appreciated and never forgotten here in Hoyt Lakes.”
The Iron Rangers expect to have a few more college commitments to announce down the road once their applications have been officially accepted and financial aid packages have been finalized.
Based in Aston, Penn., the Neumann Knights complete in the six-school ECAC West hockey conference.
Under head coach Matt Tendler, the Knights finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 15-9-3 overall record.
Coach/GM Walby would like to take this time to publicly thank another team captain, Gus Karkinen, for his years of hard work, dedication, commitment and service to our team, organization and community.
Unless something changes, Karkinen has turned down a couple of opportunities to continue his playing career and is off to the school of his choice and the Iron Rangers very excited for him and his decision.
He played a big part in the success we’ve all shared over the four years that our organization has been a part of the SIJHL. He was certainly another fan favorite in Hoyt Lakes and someone I certainly will miss in the locker room, out on the ice and during the day to day operations.
Karkinen played 172 games in a Rangers uniform and will fondly be remembered as the original and first face of the franchise.
Something the kids here won’t forget is the site of the “Gus Bus” and his mullet trailer rushing up the ice for a Ranger goal. Thanks Gus for a great four year run and best of luck in school.”