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Saints Affiliate Spotlight: Ian Pierce

November 7, 2018 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Dubuque Fighting Saints News Release

Throughout the season, we will continue to highlight Saints affiliates as part of our Affiliate Spotlight. During the month of October, we highlighted Wyatt Kaiser, a skilled defenseman. This month we will also be taking a look at a defenseman for the Fighting Saints, one who is currently up with the club and has been for the last week or so. This month's Affiliate Spotlight focuses on Ian Pierce.

Pierce came to the Saints couple weeks ago after Aidan Fulp headed to the Injured Reserve. Pierce skated with the Saints over the summer during their main camp, and also played four games last season with the team. The left-handed shooting 17-year old has been with the Saints for two games so far this season. Pierce is a Dartmouth commit and his smarts translate to the way he plays the game on the ice.

What was your first hockey memory?

My dad played football so after he retired a friend of his introduced him to hockey. Once I was born I was too small to play football, so I got in to hockey. My first memory is just getting my hockey gear from my dad. People called me "buzzy-boy" because of my buzz cut haircut and the Buzz Lightyear jersey he got me.

When did you realize hockey could be more than just a hobby?

My dad realized it first I think. I didn't realize it until we moved to New Jersey and that was when I was about nine. I started to realize it was more serious than just pickup hockey with friends and that it was at a much more competitive level.

Take us through your hockey journey.

I played at Chelsea Piers and practiced and played house league for a while. Then when we moved to New Jersey I tried out for the North Jersey Avalanche. I played up with the 2000 year group, I'm a 2001 myself. I played with that same team for six or seven years and then I went down to my own age group in the same program. I ended up getting looked by boarding schools like Kent School in Connecticut. For the past two years I've been at Kent.

What was the feeling like when you were drafted by Dubuque?

During the draft I was just hoping that I would be drafted, I had no idea that it would be by the Saints. After being drafted it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I really felt like I accomplished something in hockey, something I've dedicated my entire to and that my parents have dedicated their entire lives to as well. From then on it's been a great experience, an eye-opener and just a great learning experience for me.

What has your experience been like with the team the last week or so?

Now it's just getting a feel for how far I've come and understanding what I need to do not only just to compete but also to play and produce for the team. Right now I'm really looking at it as a learning experience. This week I'm relearning things that I kind of forgot about over the course of a year. It's a great refresher and lets me know where I stand at this level.

Take us through the process of you committing to Dartmouth.

My mom was born in Korea so her background tends to lean towards education first. She really harped on the fact that she wanted me to go to a good school before playing hockey. I always kept that in the back of my head. I had interest from a few other schools but none of them offered. After my first Kent season last year Dartmouth asked me to come up for a visit and then they offered. Going to play D1 at an ivy league school has always been my dream so I said yes and just like that it was complete.

What is your biggest goal this next year?

I just want to become the absolute best player, teammate and person that I can possibly become. Right now I have a plan, in order to get to college I have a definite plan to do things that I want to accomplish in that time frame. One of things is being a guy that all my coaches can rely on. I want to be that guy who can be looked at to get the job done no matter what. I just want to continue to build my character and also become bigger, faster and stronger so that hopefully one day when I come here and one day when I walk in to Dartmouth, I'll be ready.

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