By Jean DePlacido
---- — Former Bishop Fenwick star goalie Brad Rocheville has sharpened his game in two years of Junior A hockey, and is now ready to take the next step. The Saugus native is having a great year with the Boston Junior Rangers in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, and after being recruiting by several schools has committed to play at Division 3 St. Anselm College.
This season, Rocheville has appeared in 19 games with a 10-5-3 record, a 2.50 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. He’s helped the Jr. Rangers already qualify for the playoffs in the AJHL, a 12 team league with teams from seven different states.
The 5 foot-11, 170 pounder blanked the Laconia Leafs this past weekend for his second shutout of the year. The Rangers are 21-11-9 and in fifth place in the league with playoffs beginning this coming weekend.
“It’s been a good year for me, but it’s easy being a goaltender when you have an excellent coaching staff and strong defense,” said Rocheville. “All the guys are great; we’re like brothers. Our goal is to win the President’s Cup, and I think we can do it.”
Rangers head coach Mario Martiniello praised his goalie in a press release: “Brad is a very talented goaltender who’ll be a great addition at St. Anselm. He has a bright future ahead of him, and we couldn’t be happier to see him reach his goal of playing NCAA hockey.”
The Junior A season begins in August, and it didn’t take long for Rocheville to start attracting the attention of college scouts. He had his choice of several colleges, and after making a round of visits decided on St. A’s and a chance to play in the ECAC East.
“Academics were the biggest selling point,” said Rocheville. “I visited the school a couple of times and fell in love with everything about it. I like the location (Manchester, NH), and the campus is beautiful. I’ll get a great education and have the opportunity to play hockey for the next four years in a very competitive league.
“I’m not sure what I want to major in, but I’ve been narrowing it down. I have a tutor once a week now to help me get ready to return to the classroom. It has been two years since I’ve been there, and I want to make that transition as easy as possible. Knowing where I’ll be spending the next four years is a big weight off my mind.”
College coaches began talking to Rocheville following the Rangers first showcase when he posted a shutout. At Fenwick he broke the school record for most shutouts (with seven) and recorded a 1.62 GAA. Rocheville led the Crusaders to their first tournament victory in 16 years and was named both team and Catholic Central League MVP.
He played for the Palm Beach (Florida) Junior Hawks in 2011-12, posting a 16-5 record and .854 save percentage before joining the Junior Rangers this season. St. Anselm plays in the Northeast-10 Conference and is coached by Ed Seney, who has been at the helm for 11 seasons.
“I visited Plymouth State and a couple of colleges in New York,” said Rocheville. “I was all over the place at first, but the monkey is off my back now that I know where I’ll be playing. We’ve been going non-stop since August, but the season is winding down with the playoffs.
“Playing hockey is always fun, and this year has been easy for me because the team has been doing so well. I want to be in good shape when I get to St. Anselm so I’ll do a lot of tough offseason training to prepare. It’s been a long journey, but now I see the light at the end of the tunnel.”