FOREST CITY – Continuing to build for the future, the Waldorf University hockey team has added Ian Gately to its roster as the first member of the 2018-19 recruiting class.
Gately, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound forward from Goffstown, N.H., spent the past two seasons playing for the New England Stars in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), signed a letter of intent with the Warriors on April 21.
"We are extremely pleased to make Ian our first official signing for our 2018-19 recruiting class," Waldorf coach Brett Shelanski said. "He is a talented offensive player who sees the ice well and will certainly help to add scoring depth to our lineup."
A 2015 Goffstown High School graduate, Gately was a three-year varsity starter and letter winner for the Grizzlies. He was honored as an all-state selection during his senior season and then made the transition to the NA3HL.
Gately recorded 15 points as he scored five goals and added 10 assists while playing in 37 games for New England's U20 team during the 2015-16 campaign. He racked up 45 points for the Stars last season, notching 19 goals and providing 26 assists in 51 games.
During the 2016-17 season, New England posted a 33-20 record and closed out the regular season on a 10-game winning streak. The Stars topped the Cape Cod Islanders 2-1 in a best-of-three series during the NA3HL Coastal Division playoff semifinals to advance to the divisional title round against the Long Beach Sharks. Last season, Gately was teammates with two of Waldorf's 2017-18 recruits – Alexei Pilatsky, a forward from Cape May, N.J., and Oceanside, N.Y. goaltender Dominic Lamanno.
Finding success playing junior hockey, Gately is looking forward to the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level when he joins the Warriors next season.
"It means a lot to me seeing all the hard work I've put into hockey over the years to pay off and be able to play at the collegiate level," Gately said.
Gately is the son of Kenneth and Martha Gately. He plans to study business at Waldorf and said the university's campus size was a factor in his decision to join the Warriors.
"As important as it is to play hockey, my education is very important," Gately said. "With the small size, I'll be able to have a closer relationship with the professors, as well as the other students."
Waldorf continued its tradition of success last year, rolling to the program's fifth straight season with at least 20 victories. The Warriors finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 21-11-1 record, which included nine wins over regionally-ranked opponents. During Waldorf's final season in the Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL), the Warriors put together a 9-3 conference record to claim the No. 2 seed in the NCHL Tournament and also secured their fourth consecutive American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II Central Region Tournament appearance.
Waldorf is set to become a charter member of the ACHA's newly-formed National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division this season. The Warriors open the 2017-18 schedule with a pair of exhibition contests as they host the Chicago Cougars on Sept. 8 at Albert Lea, Minn. and then entertain the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings at Albert Lea City Arena the following night.
Gately will play this season for Boden J20 of the J20 Elit, which is the tier-2 junior league in Sweden. He'll then make his debut for the Warriors during the 2018-19 campaign.
"Ian has a great opportunity this upcoming season in Sweden that will allow him to develop his game even further in preparation for college hockey," Shelanski said. "We look forward to adding Ian to our lineup for the 2018-19 season."