FAIRBANKS-Before the Ice Dogs start their second round playoff series against the Wentachee Wild this weekend a couple of players had more important things in mind. Like committing to college.
On Monday forwards Todd Burgess and Viktor Liljegren both committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
This time the one hand not knowing what the other was doing turned to be a good thing as neither knew about the other's commitment until Monday. When they transition to college together they'll be in a highly competitive ECAC.
RPI finished 15-16-6 and 8-9-5 in conference play. Union won the national championship this year, Quinnipiac finished ranked 9th, Colgate 13th and Cornell 15th.
Former Ice Dog goalie Steve Perry is at Clarkson, forward Brett Gervais committed to Clarkson earlier this season as well.
RPI's upstate New York location was a big factor in both forwards deciding to be Engineers. Burgess has family in upstate New York while Liljegren, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, ill be only six hours behind Sweden. It's also a shorter flight from New York to Sweden.
Nine Ice Dogs have made commitments to division 1 programs this year.