CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Another former IceRays goaltender has committed to play college hockey at a powerhouse program as Hayden Stewart will dress in net for the Cornell Big Red during the 2014-15 season. Stewart was a member of the 2012-13 Corpus Christi IceRays team that qualified for the NAHL Playoffs last season.
“It feels great,” said Stewart. “It's a unique opportunity to go to a school that does a great job of developing players, as well as be a top contender for a national championship, so from those aspects it's exciting.”
During his season between the pipes for the IceRays last year, the Illinois native played in 29 games and had a goals against average of 3.22 along with a save percentage of .912% while also playing in four games during the 2013 South Division Quarterfinal matchup against the Amarillo Bulls.
Stewart had several offers but the upstate New York school was the right one. “It was just the right fit for me. It just felt right,” Stewart added. “With some of the other schools I felt like maybe something just wasn't quite right, or I didn't feel comfortable, but with Cornell everything clicked. It's not every day you have the opportunity to go to a school that's great both academically and hockey wise.”
So far this year, Cornell has a 12-7-5 record in the ECAC with an in conference record 8-6-4. After the 2012-13 season with the IceRays, Stewart went back to the USHL to start this year with the Dubuque Fighting Saints before being sent to the Indiana Ice where he is currently undefeated with a 6-0-0 record, a .971 save percentage, and a 0.67 goals against average.
“Being in Corpus was a great experience for me,” Stewart finished. “It was a necessary stepping stone on the path, and one that I definitely needed and am very grateful for every single day. I can't say enough about what Justin Quenneville, Jeff Worlton, Pat Dunn, Dave DeSander and everyone else on staff did for not only my development and success, but everyone on the team's development and success. I really felt they gave us all the tools to succeed, supporting and guiding us along the way.”
Stewart is the fourth current/former IceRays goaltender to commit to a Division 1 school in only four season with the North American Hockey League. He joins a list with Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech), Anthony Stolarz (Nebraska-Omaha), and Matt LaPrade (Minnesota).
The IceRays are back at the American Bank Center this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow night is “Teen Night” presented by Whataburger along with Caller Times 4-Pack Night! Coverage begins at 15min prior to the puck drop with the IceRays Pregame Show on sportsjuice.com, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com. Click LISTEN LIVE for more broadcast information.
Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/corpuschristiicerays), Twitter (@goicerays), and the team’s Youtube channel ICERAYS TV (@goicerays)