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Patrick takes next step to NAHL

Hudson's Garrett Patrick, center, is flanked by his new coaches Mike Adamek, left, and head coach Adam Kostichka at the North American Prospect Hockey League's Top Prospects Tournament in Blaine over the weekend. Submitted photo

Mitch Patrick said his son Garret's decision to leave Hudson to play for the Chadders AAA Midget Major hockey team in Salt Lake City, Utah, this season was a tough one.

"It's bittersweet for him," Mitch said. "He grew up here and he has lots of friends here. We'll miss him and he'll miss us, but it's a great opportunity."

Sixteen year-old Garrett Patrick, who earned honorable mention to the All-Big Rivers Conference hockey team last year as a sophomore goalkeeper with the Raiders, decided to accept the offer from the USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier 1 Chadders team after catching the eye of the team's coaching staff through the GDI Goalie Training Camp.

"They asked if he'd be interested in flying out to Salt Lake and they worked with him for four days," his dad Mitch said. "The coaches were excited, and a few days later they offered him a spot on the team."

Garrett posted a record of 13-6-1 with four shutouts and a 2.30 goals-against-average last season for the Raiders. So far he is 2-1-1 with Chadders, including going 1-1 at the North American Prospect Hockey League's (NAPHL) Top Prospects Tournament in Blaine over the weekend.

The NAPHL, part of the North American Hockey League, is in its inaugural season and consists of 20 Midget Major teams from across the country. Both the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals and the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers are also part of the league. The teams will compete in five NAHL Future Prospects Tournaments, which will culminate with the NAPHL Top Prospects Tournament at the NAHL's 2010 Robertson Cup in late April.

In addition to last weekend's tournament in Blaine, other tournaments are scheduled for Oct. 9-12 in St. Louis, Mo.; Dec. 3-6 in Rochester, N.Y.; Jan. 15-18 in Ann Arbor, Mich. and Feb. 12-15 in San Jose, Calif.

Mitch Patrick said he was glad the first tournament was in Blaine last weekend.

"We'll try to get to as many as we can, but that's the hard part," he said.

Garrett will also play a regular league schedule with Chadders and continue his schooling at Bingham High School in Salt Lake City. Mitch said the ultimate goal is to catch the eye of a college scout and continue to play hockey at a high level in college.

"He's really taking responsibility for himself," Mitch Patrick said. "He's maturing and it's fun to see."

Mitch said although it will be hard not seeing Garrett on the ice with the Raiders this season, he is confident his son will make the best of his opportunity.

"The consensus is it's a good move for him, hockey-wise, and life-wise," Mitch said.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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