June 8, 2010 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Bismarck Bobcats
BIG RAPIDS, MI - Bismarck Bobcats forward Dominic Panetta became the tenth member of the 2009-10 Robertson Cup Championship squad to secure a place to play hockey at the NCAA Division I level, committing to Ferris State University for the 2011-12 season.
"It's definitely a huge relief to know that I'll be playing at the D-I level," said Panetta, who led the NAHL in playoff scoring with 17 points on six goals and 11 assists. "Now that I have my deal in place, I can really focus on becoming the best player possible over the next year."
Panetta was the second-highest scoring rookie in the NAHL during the regular season with 24 goals and 28 assists, just two points behind top-scoring rookie Bryce Johnson of the Topeka Roadrunners (19-35-54).
For the Michigan native, it was a natural decision to not only play his collegiate hockey close to home, but also with a program with which he had a long-standing relationship.
"When everything was said and done, it was a pretty easy call to pick Ferris," noted Panetta, who resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., "I was talking to a lot of great programs, but I grew up in Big Rapids and I've known [Bulldogs Head] Coach [Bob] Daniels since I was three years old. It's a really comfortable fit for me."
The Bulldogs play in the storied Central Collegiate Hockey Association, home of national powerhouses such as Miami of Ohio, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State.
"Bobcat Hockey is extremely happy for Dominic and his family that he has earned such a great opportunity at the Division I level," said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. "We couldn't be more proud of Dom and we know that he'll be a big-time player for the Bulldogs in the CCHA."
Panetta plans to study green technology at Ferris State.
This latest commitment gives the Bobcats twelve players overall committed from 2009-10: Panetta, Rendle (Bemidji State), Gavin Hartzog (Wisconsin), Tom McCarthy (Merrimack), Ryan Faragher (Dartmouth), Jason Fabian (Air Force), Casey Kleisinger (Air Force), Ryan Jacobson (Air Force), Aaron Quick (Air Force), Ben Danford (Canisius), Tony Turgeon (alumnus, Nebraska-Omaha) and Blake Hietala (alumnus, Michigan Tech).
The Bobcats' busy offseason continues on June 21-July 2 as the team hosts its Seventh Annual Youth Camp at the VFW Sports Center. The 'Cats also have two open tryout camps coming up in Woodridge, IL (July 9-11), and Canton, MI (July 16-18).
For more information on Bobcat Hockey tryout camps or youth camp, log on to http:///www.BismarckBobcats.com.