After two years in the BCHL and with a Fred Page Cup and a Doyle Cup championship to his name, Wenatchee Wild goaltender Austin Park is heading back to his home state of Colorado as he has earned a scholarship to play for the Air Force Falcons in the 2019-20 season.
Park won 35 of his 66 regular-season appearances over his two years with the Wild and has a career 2.86 goals-against average. His best stretch of play came in the 2017-18 playoffs where he went 15-4 with a goals-against average of 2.20 and two shutouts, leading Wenatchee to their first-ever BCHL championship. He kept up his solid play in the 2018 Doyle Cup, finishing the series with a 4-1 record, a .926 save percentage, a 2.30 goals-against and one shutout as the Wild beat the Spruce Grove Saints in five games to advance to the national championship tournament.
Next season will be somewhat of a homecoming for Park. The Highlands Ranch, Colo, native will be playing his home games less than an hour away from his hometown at the Air Force Academy campus.
The Falcons are an NCAA Division I program playing out of the Atlantic Hockey conference, competing against American International, Army West Point, Bentley, Canisius, Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Niagara, Robert Morris, Rochester Institute of Technology and Sacred Heart.
Air Force had a strong season in 2018-19, finishing third in Atlantic Hockey with a conference record of 14-10-4, but lost to sixth-seeded Niagara in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals.
Last year’s Falcons roster featured a handful of former BCHL talent, including former Vernon Viper Tyler Jutting, Alberni Valley Bulldogs alum Billy Christopoulos and team captain and Penticton Vees grad Matt Serratore.
Park is the fifth current BCHL player to commit to Air Force, joining his Wenatchee teammate Brandon Koch, Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Trevor Adams and West Kelowna Warriors forwards Bennett Norlin and Willie Reim who are all committed for next season.