Zach Rose always had his sights set on U.S. college hockey, which is one of the reasons the goalie from Paradise opted to head west and the British Columbia Hockey League this season.
The BCHL is junior A calibre, one of the top Tier II junior circuits in the country, and a breeding ground for potential NCAA-bound players.
Rose’s teammate on the Victoria Grizzlies, Alex Newhook of St. John’s, has also chosen the U.S. college route, and committed as a 16-year-old to Boston College.
Former Victoria forward Matt Kennedy of Mount Pearl is a junior on Wentworth Institute of Technology’s DIII team in Boston.
Now Rose can boast that he, too, is bound for the NCAA after signing a Letter of Intent this week to join the Bowling Green State University Falcons on a full athletic scholarship for the 2019-2020 season.
The plan now is to have Rose, 18, return to Victoria for one more season of junior hockey, but that could change depending on the status of current Falcons netminder Ryan Bednard, who is a Florida Panthers 2015 draft pick.
Bowling Green plays in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and the Falcons are currently second in the conference at 13-4-5.
The Ohio university is the 14th-ranked men’s hockey team in the NCAA.
Before joining the Grizzlies, Rose played three seasons of U.S. prep school hockey at Lake Forest Academy in the Chicago suburbs. Prior to that, he played minor hockey in the Don Johnson Hockey League.
Rose generated a lot of attention prior to the Christmas holidays with his play at the 2017 World Junior A Hockey Challenge in Truro, N.S., where he backstopped Canada West to the gold medal.
He allowed only seven goals on 120 shots for a 1.58 goals against average and .942 save percentage, and was named tournament’s MVP and all-star netminder.
He made 35 saves in a 5-1 win over the United States in the tournament final.
Entering Friday’s slate of games, Rose was 14-12-0-1 for the Grizzlies, with a 3.07 GAA and .918 save percentage.