BROOKS, AB (March 1, 2018) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are delighted to announce that 1997-born defenceman Shane Bear (Calgary, AB) has committed to attend and play for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), beginning in the 2018-19 NCAA hockey season.
Located in Troy, New York, the RPI Engineers compete in the NCAA’s Division I ECAC conference, under first year head coach Dave Smith, who is best known for leading Canisius College as head coach to its first NCAA Division I tournament appearance and conference title.
Bear, 21, returned to the Bandits in January of this year after spending the last two seasons with the University of Massachusetts, where he was the team’s highest-scoring defenceman in 2016-17 with 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 33 games.
“Shane's return to our program was a welcome addition after the Christmas break,” said Bandits Head Coach and General Manager Ryan Papaioannou. “He's been a great source of leadership and knowledge for our players along with getting himself back to top form on the ice.”
Prior to his Division I start, he played three seasons for the Bandits, recording 108 points (23 goals, 85 assists) in 156 regular season games played, and adding 23 post-season points (5 goals, 18 assists) in 42 playoff games. He served as an alternate captain when the Bandits won their third AJHL championship in 2016, and was the highest-scoring defenceman in the AJHL in 2014-15, recording 43 points (8 goals, 35 assists) in 60 games.
He won a gold medal with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in 2015, and was named to the AJHL South All-Rookie Team in 2014.
So far this season, Bear has recorded a further 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 21 games with Brooks.
“We are happy to have played a role in helping Shane get back to Division I hockey,” Papaioannou added. “RPI is a great school and Shane will undoubtedly be a model student-athlete for them.”
Bear is the eleventh player on the current Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I school, joining:
• Will Garin (Bentley University)
• Mitchel Benson (Colgate University)
• Nic Hamre (University of Vermont)
• Brandon Scanlin (Colgate University)
• Cale List (University of Massachusetts – Lowell)
• Matt Cassidy (Quinnipiac University)
• Simon Boyko (University of Vermont)
• Dennis Cesana (Michigan State University)
• Conner Jean (College of the Holy Cross)
• Arnaud Vachon (Colgate University)