The New Jersey 87's are proud to announce that Matt Herrick has committed to play Division II hockey at Saint Anselm College for the 2022-2023 season.
Herrick, a 19-year-old defenseman from Jackson, NJ, is playing his second year with the 87's EHL team. After joining the team midway through the 2020-21 season, he recorded 20 points (2g, 18a) through 27 games. This year Herrick has 10 points (1g, 9a) through his first 10 games of the season.
"Matt has worked extremely hard since he got here last year, he's one of the hardest working guys off the ice, his on-ice play has tremendously improved and he's been a leader so it was really exciting to see him get something that he was excited about from the start," said 87's head coach Adam Houli. "He did his due-diligence and it was a school high on his list and he performed when he needed to."
Saint Anselm College is a Division II program located in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Competing in the Northeast 10 Conference, the Hawks are led by head coach Larry Rocha.
Herrick spoke about his commitment and what it means to join a program such as Saint Anselm.
"I wouldn't be here without coach (Adam) Houli, coach Matty (Kiernan), all the boys. It's a team effort that I got the commitment, and I'm just so happy that I finally got it," Herrick said. "I love the way Saint Anselm plays, the NE10, the competition of the league, I think it's just a great fit for me, I think I'm going to fit their style of play very nicely, I met a lot of the guys when I went up there for my visit and everyone was super cool. I felt like I was with the 87's, it felt like home."
Since arriving to the 87's last year, Herrick quickly established himself as a staple on the team's blue line. His ability to break up plays in his own end while leading the rush up ice helped the team reach its first ever Frozen Finals last spring while leading the current team to a 6-3-1 record.
Houli discussed how Herrick's game improved since joining the 87's. "He's a guy who came from what is considered Tier II and had some adjustments and realized how good this league can be and I thought he adjusted really well. Now he's a guy who is impactful on the ice every time he steps on and that's a difference-maker and a college hockey player."
When discussing his own growth with the team, Herrick gave credit to assistant coach Matt Kiernan and his work with the defense corps last season.
"He would give defensemen extra reps after practice of keeping the puck in the zone, getting it on net, different kinds of breakouts and everything," he said. "Obviously coach Houli was the one who brought me to the team and welcomed me with open arms just like all the boys did last year, and without them I wouldn't be the player I am today."
The 87's organization would like to congratulate Matt and his family as he gets ready to advance his hockey career to the Division II collegiate level.
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