By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Ice Hockey team is thrilled to announce the signing of six new recruits for the 2019-20 season. Forwards Matt Mezik, Kory Potach, Tyler Millar and Ryan Gil along with defenseman Castor Mattos, and goalie Chad Duran shore up the final group of incoming Lopes.
Lopes Head Coach Danny Roy believes this group’s experience could be a real difference maker this season.
“We’re excited to add players who are on the older, more experienced side,” explained Roy. “Each of these six guys have been playing at a high level for a long time.”
Matt Mezik hails from Denville, New Jersey where he played for the South Shore Kings during his prep career. The junior forward brings plenty of experience at the collegiate level, since he transferred to GCU from Williston State in North Dakota. Mezik spent two seasons with the Tetons, finishingfifth on the team last season in points scored (32) while scoring 16 goals.
Originally from Austin, Minnesota, Kory Potach comes to GCU after spending one year with the Rochester Grizzlies in the North American Tier III Hockey League. The incoming freshman has a knack for getting the puck in the net, proven by his 27 goals during his high school career at Austin High School.
Tyler Millar makes his way to the United States from Vermilion, Alberta, Canada, and spent the past three years playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). The 22-year-old forward stands at an imposing 6-foot-5, and will surely add strength to the Lopes’ front line.
Ryan Gil, a native of Huntington Beach, California, also spent time in the SJHL, playing one season as a member of the Battlefords North Stars in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. Gil made quite an impression in his lone season with Battlefords, putting up 39 total points in 55 games played while being the team’sfourth-leading goal scorer with 19.
Hailing from Kaneohe, Hawaii, Castor Mattos has played the last four years in junior leagues around the country refining his game. Mattos has spent significant time with the St. Croix Valley Magicians, River Falls Renegades and the Minnesota Mullets of the United States Premier Hockey League. Mattos scored a total of 25 points with the three teams combined.
Chad Duran is a 6-foot goalie from Littleton, Colorado, who has also spent time in the SJHL as a teammate of Gil’s with the Battlefords North Stars. Duran finished his season strong for the North Stars, allowing just over two goals per game in his final eight games played, which was good for a 92.3% save percentage.
“This group of guys is another strong addition to the previous group,” Roy said. “To be able to add goaltending, scoring and strength is an all-around upgrade, and it should be able to complement the entire roster.”