After playing much of the 2016-17 season for the USPHL Kalkaska Rhinos, Ryan Cote is heading closer to home for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
Cote, a 20-year-old goaltender out of Arlington, Massachusetts has committed to play NCAA Division III New England College and will start his freshman season this fall.
“My sister was going to go to school at New England College and when she went on her visit, my dad was saying that she had a brother that was a hockey player and it kind of just went from there,” said Cote. “The Rhinos have great resources here when it comes to video, so I was able to work with (Rhinos GM/Head Coach) Krzysztof Oliwa on producing video to send to New England College and then one thing led to another and I ended up committing. There are so many options and resources in Kalkaska when it comes to promoting their players and I can’t wait to get started in the fall.
“I want to come in and make an impact and help the team any way I can.”
The Pilgrims finished 19-8-0 last season, including a 13-5-0 mark in the NEHC and advanced to the NEHC championship game before falling to Norwich University.
In the classroom this fall, Cote is planning to major in Special Education with a focus on children with severe and profound disabilities.
Last season for the Rhinos, Cote went 10-7-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and one shutout.
“I started the year in New Jersey and things just weren’t working out and then I talked to Coach Oliwa and felt like it would be a great fit to come to Kalkaska,” said Cote. “Playing for an NHL veteran and a Stanley Cup champion was a very rewarding experience. He knows what it takes to make it to the next level. Coach Oliwa played a huge role in getting me a chance to play college hockey. His workouts and his practices are second to none and the people of Kalkaska couldn’t have been nicer.”
“I couldn’t be happier for Ryan,” added Oliwa. “He’s just a great kid, great attitude and very likeable. He’s consistent, on and off the ice, and even after his rough start on another team, he came in, worked hard and became our No. 1 goalie.
“As an organization, we wish him well in college. He has earned everything he has coming to him and it’s great to be able to send another player from our organization to college.”
Off the ice in Kalkaska also helped Cote decide on what curriculum he wanted to pursue in college.
“I was a volunteer helper in a class at the local elementary school (Birch Street Elementary School) for Ms. Mallory and Ms. Cathy in their special needs preschool class,” Cote said. “That’s how I decided I wanted to be a Special Education major.”
Looking ahead, Cote said his short-term goal is to have a successful freshman year and his long-term goal is to graduate from New England College and become a special education teacher.
He also has aspirations to continue his hockey career, while also reflecting on his time with the Rhinos.
“I want to take hockey as far as I possibly can because like Coach Oliwa says, ‘dream big and never give up,’” said Cote. “I would also like to thank our equipment manager ‘Cashy’ for always putting a smile on my face, win or lose, and the rest of the Kalkaska Rhinos organization and fan base. They were all great and I would highly recommend playing junior hockey in Kalkaska.”
Source: Kalkaska Rhinos