The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are excited to announce defenceman Akito Hirose has committed to join the Minnesota State – Mankato NCAA program. In his first two BCHL seasons, Hirose played in 99 BCHL regular season games recording 42 points. This pre-season he led the team in scoring with one goal and one assist. On opening night he recorded a goal and assist to spark the comeback against Merritt. His 2.00 points per games leads all BCHL defencemen. The Calgary, Alberta product joins the same NCAA program where current Assistant Coach and Silverback alumni Brett Knowles attended.
“The coaching staff and I are ecstatic with the news that Akito Hirose has accepted a full ride scholarship to Minnesota State University – Mankato. Akito is a highly skilled player with an exceptional hockey IQ and Mankato has an outstanding program, so I think it’s a great fit for both sides. I couldn’t be happier,” said GM and Head Coach Scott Atkinson.
“My years with the Silverbacks Organization has helped me grow as a player and a person. I chose Mankato over other programs because of the coaching staff and the trust they built with me. I also know I can learn a lot from all the coaches, but especially coach Hastings. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with one of the best coaches in college hockey. The Mankato program has a strong winning culture that puts emphasis on building relationships. Once you become part of the program you’re a Maverick for life,” added Akito Hirose.
This weekend, Hirose and his teammates take on the Smoke Eaters in Trail on Friday night followed by a rematch Saturday in Salmon Arm against Merritt who they defeated 4-2 last week. Both games begin at 7pm, with the pre-game show on 91.5 EZ Rock kicking off at 6:45. Tickets for Saturday’s contest can be purchased at the Shaw Centre box office.