The Ghostriders are saying goodbye to goalie Chris Solecki. The former Rider is moving on to play for the Thompson River University (TRU) WolfPack hockey team in Kamloops, with the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL).
The 21-year-old goaltender spent the 2012-13 season with the Ghostriders, appearing in 38 games – winning 24, losing 12, and tying one, with a goals against average of 2.88, and a saves percentage of .912.
With the WolfPack’s two starting goalies graduating this year and Solecki now past the age limit to stay in the KIJHL with the Riders, an opportunity presented itself.
“I was looking at some NCAA Division III schools and a few other teams in the BCIHL,” said Solecki. “I have heard many good things about the BCIHL. I have heard it is a high caliber league and is getting better every year. I am very excited to have the opportunity to play in it next year.”
“I am looking to pursue a career in agriculture,” he explained, adding that TRU was the closest option to his home where he could go to school and play hockey. “My family owns a cattle ranch in Burns Lake and I will be preparing to take it over eventually.”
While Ghostriders Head Coach Barry Wolff is sad to see his star goaltender go, he is happy to see him progress to another team and league.
“Chris is athletic, challenges well, has quick lateral movement, he’s strong at playing the puck, competes, and hates to lose whether it is a game or a practice. He is a very mature player, focused on and off the ice.”
Wolff went on to say, “Whenever you move up a level in hockey, there is generally an adjustment period, but I think Chris will settle in at the BCIHL level very well. The Fernie Ghostriders congratulate both Chris and Thompson Rivers University. The WolfPack not only got a great goalie, but a great person.”
WolfPack General Manager Chris Hans and Head Coach Don Schulz are pleased that Solecki has signed on with the team for the 2013-14 season.
“Chris is an accomplished junior goaltender who comes from a winning program in Fernie,” stated Hans. “We have had the luxury of solid goaltending the past few years with Shane Mainprize and Riley Wall. We made recruiting their replacements a high priority.”
“Chris is an athletic goalie, who moves well, competes, and handles the puck well,” added Schulz. “We are fortunate to get a goalie of Chris’ talents and experience to fill our void. I’m looking forward to working with Chris in the future and am most pleased with his addition to the WolfPack.”
Solecki is now the fifth player to commit to playing with the WolfPack at TRU next year.
“I’m excited for the season to start,” he remarked. “I am a very motivated and competitive guy and I think there may be an opportunity to get a lot of playing time here.