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Leahy inks with Big Red

The Penticton Vees are pleased to announce defenceman Joe Leahy has committed to Cornell University for the 2018-19 season.

“Joe has really impressed since the onset of training camp. He not only has great size but excellent mobility and sees the game very well, said president, general manager and head coach Fred Harbinson. “We’re excited to have him on our blue-line not only this year but the year after too.”

In five preseason games, Leahy picked a pair of goals and three points, as the Vees went undefeated in six games.

Leahy, 19, comes to Penticton from the Stratford Cullitons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). The Waterloo, Ont. product had an excellent season on the blue-line last year, as he was named the Midwest Conference Defenceman of the Year and First Team All-Star, after racking up 19 goals and 48 points in 44 regular season games. He was fifth in team scoring and fourth among defencemen in the GOJHL. The 6-foot-4, 204-pound rearguard averaged a point per-game in the playoffs, scoring six goals and 21 points, helping lead the Cullitons to a Cherry Cup title as Midwest Conference champions.

In 82 career regular season games in the GOJHL, Leahy amassed 28 goals and 70 points and another 25 points in 36 career playoff games.

Cornell University is located in Ithaca, N.Y. and their men’s hockey team is a member of ECAC Hockey where they compete against Yale, Harvard, Quinnipiac, Brown, St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Princeton, Dartmouth, Colgate, Union and RPI. BCHL alums on the Big Red roster this season will be Mitch Gillam, John Knisley and Corey Hofman.

This is the second commitment of the 2016-17 season to Cornell as Victoria Grizzlies goalie Matthew Galajda committed last week. Other current BCHLers committed to Cornell are Tristan Mullin and Kyle Betts of the Powell River Kings.

The Big Red has won two NCAA championships in 1967 and 1970, and has won the ECAC championship 12 times. Notable alumni include Joe Nieuwendyk and Ken Dryden.

With his commitment, Leahy is the eleventh player on the Vees roster to have secured an NCAA scholarship.