Fort Smith’s Shaun MacPherson has achieved yet another accolade. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s (SJHL) top scoring defenceman recently committed to attend Mount Royal University in Calgary on a hockey scholarship starting in 2015-16. Typically such scholarships cover tuition and fees.
MacPherson’s 2014-15 team, the Kindersley Klippers, was eliminated from the SJHL playoffs by the Notre Dame Hounds a month ago. The Hounds lost in the league final to the Melfort Mustangs who in turn are in Portage La Prairie, Man. this week competing in the Royal Bank Cup – the national junior ‘A’ championship.
“I talked to other schools too, but I really liked Mount Royals’ coaches, Bert Gillings and Chase Fuchs,” MacPherson said. “I am doing open studies for the first semester and I will see what that inspires me to do.”
Mount Royal competes in Canada West with universities in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C.
“I always wanted to play at this level,” MacPherson said. “It was something I wanted to do.”
Former Kindersley coach Rockie Zinger connected MacPherson to Mount Royal, coach Gillings said.
“As the season went on, we were tracking Shaun,” Gillings said. “Our assistant coach watched him and really liked what he saw. His skill level, the way he handled the puck and started plays – that is what we needed.”
A former college turned university, Mount Royal was recently elevated to full Canadian athletic university status.
“We just completed our third year of Canada West,” Gillings said. “This extends to all university sports at the school. It gives the athletes exposure to not just Alberta but the whole country. Prior to this when Mount Royal was a college, they competed in only Alberta.”