Friday, February 18, 2011

Muskegon's Lochner decides on Niagara

Muskegon Lumberjacks
center Chris Lochner, who has enjoyed an impressive rookie season in the United States Hockey League, recently verbally committed to Niagara University.

The 21-year-old Alpharetta, Ga., native has stuffed the stat sheet with 12 goals and 13 assists. His 25 points are the fifth highest on a Lumberjacks team that is third in the league in scoring at 3.33 goals per game.

A 5-foot-7, 155-pound pivot, Lochner is masterful in the faceoff circle and has impressed on the Jacks’ special team units. He’s posted three power-play goals, three power-play assists and two short-handed assists.

“Once he adjusted to this league, he became one of our most solid players,” Lumberjacks head coach Kevin Patrick said. ““He has been very good on the penalty kill and one of our top faceoff men all year.”

Lochner honed his skills with Atlanta Fire Youth Hockey and is in his fourth year of juniors. Last season he racked up 85 points in 56 games for the Villanova Knights of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He will join Jacks centerman Isaac Kohls at Niagara, which is a member of the Atlantic Hockey Association.

“After college, the sky’s the limit,” Lochner said. “Thanks to the USHL’s preparation – the speed of the league, the competition and what’s asked of you - the goal is to someday play the NHL. What’s most important is that I’ll have a career after college.”

Lochner heavily leaned on Patrick before pulling the trigger and accepting a full scholarship to play for the Purple Eagles.

“He drew attention from a number of Division I schools,” Patrick said. “Niagara saw his versatility and they see him being a great fit in their system.”

Photo by Dave Reginek

No comments: