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Ice Dogs pair announce collegiate commitments

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 8:05 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In the middle of the first round of the 2022 Robertson Cup Playoffs, a pair of Fairbanks Ice Dogs skaters have announced their collegiate commitments to play division one college hockey.

Forward, Cameron Ricotta, is from Buffalo, New York, and has spent the last two years very far from home playing for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. He will start his college hockey career closer to home at Mercyhurst University.

Ricotta will become a Laker in the fall. Through ninety three games with the Ice Dogs, he has scored 58 points (29 goals, 29 assists). Mercyhurst is a part of the Atlantic Hockey Association. The Lakers finished seventh (out of ten) in the conference this season with a 16-19-4 overall record in the 2021-22 season.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Ricotta. “We’re all here trying to do the same thing: trying to get a scholarship to play division one. It was a great offer they gave me, and it’s close to home. It’s going to be nice to be near family, and they’ll be able to watch me play almost every game.”

The other Ice Dog making his collegiate commitment is defenseman, Tristan Sarsland. He will head to Clarkson University to become a Golden Knight. Sarsland has spent portions this season and last with the Ice Dogs. Sarsland making the trip to Fairbanks following the conclusion of his high school hockey seasons with Benilde-St. Margaret’s (St. Louis Park, MN) in his junior and senior years.

Sarsland has played sixteen career games with Fairbanks in the last two seasons, and has a career point total of fourteen. Sarsland has especially had an immediate impact on the blue line this year. Sarsland has averaged one point per game during his 2021-22 stint.

The defenseman from Wayzata, Minnesota will do something rare in the world of college hockey. Most college hockey players utilize all of their potential time playing juniors hockey (until age 20) before entering the NCAA, but Sarsland will enter the Golden Knights program as an eighteen year old true freshman.

Sarsland will go from playing hockey in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Fairbanks, Alaska, to Potsdam, New York all in a matter of months. Despite the disparities in distance among the three cities, Sarsland looks forward to each of these opportunities.

“I think it was important to me,” said Sarsland. “I wanted to experience something new. I have really enjoyed my time in Fairbanks. It’s been incredible. I think it’s also going to be super fun next year in a new place on the east coast and experience something a lot different than Minnesota.

Clarkson University is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The Golden Knights finished second in the ECAC with a 21-10-6 record this past season.

This now marks the fifth and sixth college commitments for the Ice Dogs this season. Ricotta, Sarsland, and the rest of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs will look to finish off the Minnesota Wilderness in the Midwest Division semifinals tomorrow night in Cloquet, Minnesota (lead best of five series 2-0).

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