By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Scotty Swain has achieved two achievements that every USPHL Premier player would love to copy – a college commitment in hand and a National Championship title. What else is left to achieve? Uh, hello, another title maybe?
Swain and the Cyclones are gunning this year to be the first back-to-back winners of the Premier crown since the Hampton Roads Whalers did so in 2018 and 2019, the first two years of the league in its current incarnation.
The ‘03 from Nottingham, Md., is excited to be joining the Northeast-10 NCAA Division II institution based in Waterbury, Conn., and reflects on the beginning of the recruitment process.
“It was our first year of the game, against Hampton Roads on Sept. 29 at the BJB Shootout. Coach [Tim] Richter talked to me and a couple of my teammates,” said Swain, a veteran of 54 USPHL Premier regular season games in which he has 48 points.
He also put up 11 points in 11 playoff games to help the Cyclone reach the promised land. He hopes to be able to help deliver Post to the same level of achievement within the NE-10.
“I visited the campus with a couple teammates, and saw the community and the rink. It was a smaller campus and it reminded me of my high school. It was all there,” Swain added. “I think Post is an up-and-coming program, and Coach Richter is in one of his first years of coaching. They have a good amount of underclassmen so there’s nothing but promise. I’m looking forward to stepping in and playing for a spot right away.”
Academically, Swain is looking forward to working in the business school at Post. He is looking forward to someday building up his own hockey development and training school, which currently has more than 20 clients he works with during summers.
Capturing The Cup
Swain had originally signed a tender with the NCDC’s Mercer Chiefs, but when that situation did not pan out, he was able to utilize his network of hockey acquaintances to land a spot with the team that he would help lead to the top overall spot.
“I talked to Coach Oscar Richardson, who played for the Cyclones then went to Salem State University. I mentioned that I didn’t have anywhere to play, so he got me in touch with Coach Bill [Weiand],” said Swain. “He told me the Cyclones were ‘right up [my] alley,’ but I didn’t really listen to him, then I got here and I could see it immediately. Being able to wear a letter here and finish my junior career here is just an amazing opportunity.”
Obviously, he will always cherish the moment when he got to hold up the Premier championship trophy in Utica last year. The Cyclones went 6-0 at the event and 10-0 after losing their first playoff game.
“What a run, right? You lose that first game in Bridgewater in the local playoffs, but then we didn’t lose again with our backs against the wall after that first game,” he added. “It was just a resilient group. The Florida Eels gave us a great game in the semifinals and the Charlotte Rush are such a good team. You couldn’t have written the story any better. What the Cyclones put together and the culture they built, it’s something special.”
He’s really excited with the schedule that the Cyclones have put together this year, and how they’ve reacted to it. They were challenged right off the bat by Hampton Roads (4-3 Whalers win) and in the same measure, they were the second of only three teams so far to beat the Connecticut Jr. Rangers. They still have the Florida Eels and Charlotte Rush up ahead this weekend at the USPHL Florida College Showcase. Later in the year, at the Cyclones’ own hosted showcase, they will face another Nationals staple in the Metro Jets.
“Everyone has a junior hockey dream. The junior hockey experience is arguably the best time of your junior career. I love the league. You look at our division and Utica and Gatineau are very tough, and we have the Rush, Eels and Jets still coming up,” said Swain. “I’m hurt right now, but to be able to have those games and play teams that schools want to come watch, it’s great what the league has done to put guys in schools.”
As he looks forward to getting back to action with the Cyclones, he has a few areas of his game he wants to work on before becoming an NCAA athlete.
“I want to work on my defensive zone play. I’ve been flip-flopping between playing wing and center, and getting my timid down in terms of when I want to leave the zone, when to create ice for guys. You need to make the hit to make the play and just bear down,” said Swain. “I was playing well with Max Abramson and Mike Kennedy right before I got hurt and we were really starting to get the D zone down.”
The USPHL congratulates Scotty Swain, his family, the Northern Cyclones and Post University for his commitment.