By Patrick Ramsdale / USPHL.com
The Utica Jr. Comets have had a lot to celebrate this season, having recently clinched home ice advantage in for the Mid-Atlantic Playoffs.
The team has now added another reason to celebrate, with defenseman Jeremy McDonald (‘03/Lockport, N.Y.) announcing that he will continue his academic and athletic career at Framingham State in Massachusetts.
The second year blueliner has found plenty of success this season, posting 29 points in 29 games with Utica.
For McDonald, Framingham was an easy choice when it came to both academics and athletics.
“Framingham State gives me the opportunity to continue and advance my education. I was drawn to Framingham’s small class size and talented professors that will help me on my political science/pre-law track,” said McDonald. “From the hockey side, I was drawn to a program with a tight knit culture. Framingham’s hockey program is a program on the rise with a very high level of talent, and I’m very excited to get the opportunity to play alongside other players from the USPHL \ and watch Framingham rise through the ranks of NCAA Division III hockey.”
McDonald joins three other USPHL Premier players in committing to Framingham this season. The Lockport native will join a college that is known for having a tight knit community, an atmosphere McDonald believes is the perfect fit for him.
“I enjoyed speaking with students that I’d known from prep school about how the small classroom size and accessible professors and student tutors allowed for them to be successful in the classroom,” said McDonald. “I made my commitment official because I believe in Framingham both on and off the ice as a vessel to help me excel in where I wish to go in life.”
While McDonald has yet to official pick a course of study, he is planning on entering a pre-law
program or studying political science.
“Either way, law school is the end goal of my four years at Framingham State University.”
After debuting in the final two games of the 2021-22 season with the Buffalo Stampede, the
offensive-defenseman made his way to Utica to play under head coach Nicholas Pagliacci.
McDonald believes the Jr. Comets are more than just a hockey team and after missing two
months of the season due to injury, his belief was reassured.
“I was blessed in Utica to have a head coach, Nicholas Pagliacci, and manager, Jason Shaya, that believed in me fully and stopped at nothing to help me reach this opportunity,” McDonald stated. “I suffered a mid-season injury this year that kept me sidelined for two months, and throughout that time at home, training and recovering, Coach Pagliacci and Mr. Shaya continuously reached out to me to monitor my progress and helped me feel appreciated as part of something bigger than just a hockey team.”
McDonald says he is honored to play for a program like Utica and under a head coach like Pagliacci. He thinks one of the biggest improvements to his game has been the trust built between a player and a coach.
“Coach Pagliacci believes in me and gave me the opportunity to make mistakes, learn from them, and improve my game as I adjusted to the junior landscape.”
The USPHL congratulates Jeremy McDonald, his family, the Utica Jr. Comets, and Framingham State University for his commitment.