SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

September 18, 2012

Prep hockey standout commits to Providence

Great news apparently travels fast — faster than ever, it seems.

Just 20 minutes after making the decision to accept a hockey scholarship to Providence College, Brian Pinho was more than happy to share his thoughts on why he’s decided to become a Friar.

“I just really wanted to play Hockey East. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said the St. John’s Prep senior captain. “It’s a great school with a great business program and a hockey team that’s on the way up. It’s everything I wanted.”

The 17-year-old from North Andover, who centers the top line for the Eagles, will likely play junior hockey after graduating from the Prep before matriculating to Providence in the fall of 2014. A strong senior season of high school hockey, however, could expediate his heading to Rhode Island.

The Salem News and Catholic Conference all-star who was second on the Eagles last winter with 18 goals and 44 points. A smooth skating playmaker, Pinho was courted by dozens of schools for his hockey prowess, and had narrowed his list of suitors down to 10: Northeastern, Boston College, UMass Lowell, Merrimack, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Holy Cross, Union and Providence.

Last weekend, the 6-foot, 175-pounder made his official visit to Providence and ended up leaving the school more impressed than ever.

“I loved it,” he said. “The guys were great; there was a lot of camaraderie and great character. I knew some of their senior players from watching them but didn’t know any of the players personally, but they made me feel like I was already part of the team. They’re really good guys.

“The coaches were great, too. Coach (Nate) Leaman (the Friars’ head coach) was awesome; he’s been great to me for a few months now. I was actually just talking to my family advisor telling him I was choosing Providence, and two minutes later Coach Leaman called to congratulate me.”

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