Founded in 2000, originally by six members, the league now boasts 10 Division I prep teams throughout the United States and Canada, and strives to produce well-prepared student athletes who succeed in the college hockey environment. Many former MPHL players are in fact found on top university rosters across North America. “MPHL is excited to add Bishop's College School to the league and expand our footprint in prep school hockey. We feel that from the rich academic history to the most recent hockey the school has played, BCS is a great fit for MPHL,” said league commissioner Jonathan Johnson.
That most recent BCS hockey includes a Tiger Cup Tournament victory and a league-winning season for the U18’s, along with a huge overtime win by the U16’s that claimed the league playoff banner. Playing an unprecedented number of league and exhibition games this past season, as well as a variety of strong opponents, BCS Hockey displayed impressive strength, depth, and growth. The move to a league of this reputation and calibre only further highlights that development and success. “When we first set out to build up this program, this is one of the leagues we envisioned being a part of one day,” explained Director of Athletics Jeff Bray. “The opportunity for BCS to become a member of the MPHL brings our hockey program to yet another new height. It is very rewarding and exciting to know that our student athletes will be competing against like-minded schools and players who display the same degree of passion for the game of hockey in a high-achieving scholastic environment.”
U18 Head Coach Mike Couch, who is quick to state that the MPHL’s reputation speaks for itself, echoed Bray’s sentiments. “The schools and hockey programs that make up the league are well-established and first-class all the way,” he shared. “It goes without saying that they will always ice quality, competitive teams. That type of competition brings out the best in all players so it’s no surprise that this league is heavily scouted by the NHL, NCAA, and all Junior leagues across the country. This has been a key goal of ours, and we’re looking forward to next season and an even higher level of play.”
BCS will be the first new member of the MPHL in three seasons, when St. Michael’s College School joined the ranks. “Throughout the process, and in talking with Mike and the coaches of other teams who have played BCS, the feedback has been nothing but positive,” said Johnson. “Our member schools are excited to compete against BCS and watch the program continue to grow.”
Further evidence of this expansion and success was displayed this weekend when the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) selected two current BCS Hockey players and four alumni in its 2016 draft. Noah Dobson, a defenceman who hails from PEI and spent the 2014-15 season at BCS before leaving to play in Austria, was drafted sixth overall. The Acadie-Bathurst Titan used their first round pick to seize the sixteen-year-old who has spent the last two years away from family working toward this achievement. Former Bears Adam McCormick, Justin Bergeron, and Frederic Abraham were also drafted in the third, fourth, and tenth rounds, respectively. Current BCS students Liam Leonard and Cédric Matte were also given cause to celebrate: U16 forward Leonard was taken by the Quebec Remparts (7th round, 116th overall), while his teammate and captain Matte was chosen by the Halifax Mooseheads (14th round, 237th overall).
Having been through the draft himself, Couch knows a thing or two about the experience and what it takes to get there: “The fact that Noah went sixth overall shows what an elite defenceman he truly is, and you could see that dominance when he played here. As a team sport, it’s very rare that individual achievement gets pointed out over the team’s success – especially at the Prep school and Junior levels. But in the case of a draft, it’s an opportunity for these players to be singularly acknowledged. We are extremely proud of all our current and former players, and would like to congratulate these young men on their individual success.”
The future is looking bright at Memorial Arena as the coaching staff prepares the schedule for next season. The U16’s will remain as members of the Prep School Hockey Federation and will be looking to develop with the league as it enters its sophomore season. The U18’s will be taking on new opponents in the MPHL and are excited for new contests. Said Bray: “We look forward to our new association with the schools representing the MPHL from both the United States and Canada who will offer great new challenges and opportunities for our players and coaching staff.”