The Medicine Hat, Alta. product is off to a solid start with the Vees, posting nine goals and 16 points in 25 games, which puts him sixth in team scoring. Risling came to the Vees in an off-season trade with the Canmore Eagles of the Albert Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
The 20-year-old Risling said he was thoroughly impressed during his visit to the RMU campus.
“The players and staff were very good to me when I was down visiting. I felt comfortable as soon as I stepped foot on the campus. It wasn’t a tough decision for me to make.”
Last season, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound forward split time between Canmore and the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL). After returning to the Eagles, Risling was limited to just 15 games due to injury but still managed to average nearly a point per game, picking up five goals and nine assists. In the 2014-15 season he finished third in team scoring with 46 points in 54 regular season games. That season he led the Eagles in goals (26) and tied for the team-lead in power-play markers (10).
The Vees’ forward says RMU program’s track record drew him to the school.
“They’re an up-and-coming program that’s quickly developed a winning culture. Every year they’re in the mix to go to the (NCAA) tournament. That type of environment is big for me in my development moving forward and I can’t wait to get there.”
The Colonials play in the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) and they’re off to a 5-3-2 start this season. Other teams in their conference are Army West Point, American International College, Bentley, Air Force, Canisius, Sacred Heart, RIT, Niagara, Mercyhurst and Holy Cross.
Head coach Derek Schooley has been with the program since it moved to the NCAA Div. I level in 2004, and has guided the Colonials to back-to-back AHA regular-season conference championships. The school is located in Neville Township, Pennsylvania, which is just outside of Pittsburgh.
Other BCHL alums on the Colonials roster are Rob Mann, Kyle Horsman, Chris Schutz, Michael Coyne and Matt Graham.