A towering 6’6″, solid in the faceoff circle, and offensively talented, it’s no wonder Matt Ustaski was sought after by several big name Division I schools. Earlier this week the Glenview, Illinois native decided to commit to the University of Wisconsin, the 7th member of the Rivermen to set his college future in place.
The now future Badger had several options but a couple of visits to the campus just three hours from his hometown made up his mind. The issue of committing for College is obviously a huge one for any BCHL player. Afterall, the league is built on providing the best opportunity for young players to be able to secure their education and playing future. But that huge task can mean a lot of uncertainty and pressure, so for Ustaski it’s a relief to also have that taken care of early in the season.
Ustaski is in his second year with the Riv having put up 27 points in 55 games as a rookie last season. As a 19-year old veteran, Ustaski has a lot more team responsibilities on his big shoulders. He wears an “A” on his jersey and centres a line with a pair of other experienced BCHLers in Will Cook and Captain Mitch McLain. So to hear and see the calmness in his voice and demeanor a day after a disappointing loss to the Chiefs is more telling than it might seem at first. The team is loose and ready to avenge the shutout loss this weekend. Short memories are just as important as learning lessons and it sure seems Ustaski and the rest of the Rivermen have quickly reset their focus to a big two-game weekend. The surging Penticton Vees are up first Saturday night while the Prince George Spruce Kings play Langley for the first time Sunday afternoon, both at the LEC.
I spoke with Matt about his big news, what happened last night, and what needs to happen now.