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Successful first season for local hockey player

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Successful first season for local hockey player
Brett Ouderkirk plays right wing and has had a successful first season at Norwich University. Submitted photo.

NORTHFIELD, Vt – Brett Ouderkirk, 21, of Monkland has proven successful in maintaining strong academics and athletics at Norwich University in Vermont.

The aspiring young local, who studies Education, made it on the Dean’s List for academic success this past semester. Ouderkirk is proud of his accomplishments thus far and is happy to be studying what he is passionate about.

From the age of three, Ouderkirk has known hockey as a second nature. Throughout his minor league experience, he called the Seaway Valley Rapids home before moving to Toronto to play in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Markham Royals. He was later offered a scholarship to Norwich University to play with the Norwich Cadets. Ouderkirk’s ultimate goal is to take up his favourite activity full-time.

“I would love to play professionally, maybe overseas,” said Ouderkirk. In high school, Ouderkirk knew that he wanted to play at a college level and strived to make his dream a reality.

With his team ranked fourth in the country, Ouderkirk is feeling optimistic. In 23 games played, he has scored 13 goals and 11 assists. He was also voted one of five all-rookie players to be named to the all star team at the New England Hockey Conference.

“I’m really excited,” said Ouderkirk, reflecting on his opportunity. “I’m focused and this is definitely what I wanted to do.”

Ouderkirk feels that he has learned rewarding life lessons over the last few years and hopes to continue with his achievements. He is grateful for the support of his parents Christine and Tim, and his sister Karleigh.

“They’re the best, they’re always cheering me on,” he said. He is always happy to see his family in the bleachers encouraging his dream.

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