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Andrew’s west success nets scholarship

Virden product Hunter Andrew’s successful season in B.C. has earned him an NCAA Division I scholarship.
Hunter Andrew on the ice for the Powell River Kings

This winter Hunter Andrew, the son of Brock and Andrea Andrew is playing a top line role for the Powell River Kings of the B.C Hockey League. As of Monday, he was tied for second on the team in scoring. His play with the Kings earned him the opportunity to commit to play next season at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
“The major thing that really drew me into wanting to go to Canisius is their coaching staff,” said Andrew, who is interested in pursuing studies in law. “After meeting with them and seeing what they all bring to the table, it made the decision very easy. The education itself was another thing that I was impressed with while looking into the school.”

Andrew praised his family’s encouragement of his hockey career.

“Without the support from my family I wouldn’t be able to have the chance to play college hockey,” he said. “Anything I’ve been able to do with hockey has been because of them giving me the opportunity and I can’t thank them enough.”

Powell River

Andrew is having fun on and off the ice in B.C.

“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about playing for the Kings has to be the group of guys that I’ve gotten to know and play with,” Andrew said. “It’s an extremely tight locker room and it’s made my transition to B.C. super easy.”

The 6-foot, 170-pounder has been a key contributor for the squad. His 20 points was second on the team, as of Sunday. Andrew had nine goals in 32 games.

“He plays a skilled game, but he can also play a physical, heavy game and that resulted in opportunities for him,” Powell River head coach Brock Sawyer said. “When he shoots, he finds success. … He’s been a nice addition to the team.”

A 19-year-old, Andrew brought to a fairly young Powell River team his junior hockey experience from the Virden Oil Capitals (2019-2021) as well as what he learned winning a United States Premier Hockey League’s Premier Division championship with the Charlotte (N.C.) Rush last season. How does Andrew help lead the Kings?

“His calm demeanour at the rink. He’s not afraid to stand up and put his nose in an area to protect his teammates. He just goes about his business and guys feed off of that,” Sawyer said.

Off the ice, Andrew said living in the northern Sunshine Coast community of Powell River has been an awesome experience. The community had a population of 13,157 in the 2016 Canada Census.

“Getting to live in a beautiful place like this and seeing the ocean and mountains every day while also getting to play hockey has been unreal,” he said.

Canisius College

Andrew headed west in hopes of earning a scholarship while getting the experience of playing away from home. Sawyer said the forward has improved during his time in B.C. and has “good habits and a good stick. That’s the reason why he’s got an opportunity to go play at the next level. We’re happy for him. Obviously getting a commitment early is something he came here wanting to do. It is nice to help him accomplish that goal.”

The Kings' head coach said a number of school squads expressed interest in Andrew. After visiting Canisius College, Andrew chose the private Jesuit college that had a fall 2021 enrolment of 2,630. It was in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report's 2022 rankings of America's Best Regional Universities – North.

On the ice, the Golden Griffins compete in the American Hockey Association. The conference features a variety of schools, including U.S. military academies. It also includes the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, where Andrew’s older brother Tanner studies and plays.

“I’m really excited to get the chance to play against Tanner again and I think the same goes for him,” Andrew said. “It’ll be really cool to be able to be so close together with him in Rochester and me in Buffalo and it will also definitely cut down on the travel for our parents, which is really nice for them.”