Commitment Profile: Eels’ Phillips To Rivier University

By Joshua Boyd / 


Mark Phillips can’t wait to get his NCAA career going when he gets to Rivier University in Nashua, N.H., this fall. After wrapping up a four-year career in the USPHL Premier, including three years with the Florida Eels, the Premier game has certainly prepared him to make the step up with his new team. 

“A few things really stuck out to me about Rivier compared to other schools. For example, Coach [Shaun] Millerick and his staff have all expressed to me that they are looking to become a top team in the MASCAC, and the mindset they all have about wanting to win and develop in every way,” said Phillips. “Also, being a newer program, it gives me the opportunity to be a part of a team that is looking to prove itself to everyone and a training staff that has so much experience around the game of hockey. 

“Academically, I am taking a course within the health field and Rivier has proven to be one of the best schools in the state for decades in that field,” Phillips added. “Rivier also has so many internship options for students and real-world experiences in whatever field you choose, making it an easy decision for me to make.”

After skating in the USPHL Premier briefly in 2020-21 with two other organizations – including the Motor City Gamblers – Phillips returned to the league in 2021-22 and signed with the Eels. He spent nine games early that season with the Eels Elite team and was then put on the Premier side for the rest of that season. He would go on to rank third on the Eels in defenseman regular season games played with 97. Overall, his Premier career consisted of 47 points in 106 regular season games, plus nine points in 19 postseason games – including trips to the USPHL Nationals the past three years in a row. The Eels made the National semifinals in each of those Nationals trips. 

“The whole experience with the Eels is world-class in my opinion. Every person there is dedicated to helping you improve on and off the ice no matter whether you are a current player or alumni or a future player,” said Phillips. “I loved my time there and only wish I had found out about the team earlier in my career. The development of players is a top priority to all the coaching staff and it shows with how many move on to the college level. I became a much better player while being there but also I developed tremendously off the ice. I am extremely thankful to everyone at the Eels organization and couldn’t have asked for a better team to be a part of.”

He will advance to Rivier alongside a couple other Eels teammates, with Jared Salminen joining him this fall, and goalie Dylan Boughen is slated to join Rivier after one more USPHL Premier campaign. 

“It is very exciting to be able to move on with my teammates. Anyone who has ever played for the Eels knows how close everyone becomes while being there. Having previous teammates on the team will make the whole process of moving in and getting to know everyone much easier as there are already previous connections with juniors,” said Jared and Dylan are both amazing players and I can’t wait to get back on the ice with them!” 

Phillips is keeping very busy this summer with work on his game en route to being a difference-maker in the NCAA. 

“I have always wanted my skating to improve and be quicker on the ice. This is something I have been working on my whole career and will continue, but specifically, I’m very excited to improve my vision of the ice and hockey IQ at a higher level,” he said. “ In general, I am just so excited to be a part of the Rivier Raiders and improve my game in all aspects possible!”

The USPHL congratulates Mark Phillips, his family, the Florida Eels and Rivier University for his commitment.