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After cracking USHL roster for ’21-22, Centennial’s Raftery commits to NCAA Division I Maine


It’s been quite the summer for Patrick Raftery.

First, the 2004-born forward earned a spot with the USHL’s Lincoln Stars for the upcoming 2021-22 season.

For an encore, the Centennial native committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of Maine, aiming to begin his freshman year in the fall of 2023.

“Maine had a coach at Lincoln’s main camp, and I received a call from the head coach, Ben Barr, after camp,” said Raftery. “Maine has been one of my dream schools and the opportunity to play at a great school in the Hockey East is such an honor.”

Plus, Raftery will be heading to familiar surroundings in Orono.

“I have family in Maine, so I have been there a couple times and I have always loved it there,” Raftery said. “The atmosphere is great and is always a fun time up there. As far as the school, Alfond Arena is one of the top places to play in all of college hockey and is called the Alfond MadHouse for a reason. Academically, Maine is great, too, and really sets people up for a bright future, which is very important.”

Raftery said he is very interested in majoring in Sports Management.

When making the life-changing commitment to the Black Bears, Raftery explained how it may be his decision, but it wasn’t one he made all on his own.

“Obviously, I cannot express how thankful I am for my family, coaches, and teammates,” said Raftery. “My family played a huge part in making all of this possible due to how supportive they have been and also how dedicated they have been to me. They have been amazing throughout this journey. I am extremely thankful for Angelo Ricci and the rest of the Colorado Thunderbirds organization that I have been a part of for the past seven years. I also couldn’t be here today without the amazing coaches I have had. Andrei Krivokrasov played a huge role in my early development and is great for young kids starting to get serious about hockey. Milan Hejduk helped me tremendously and was a huge part in where I am today. And then last year with David Clarkson, that was unbelievable. Clarkson helped me so much as a player and as a person. He not only made me better on the ice, but off the ice as well, which is very important. I have had many other great coaches who have helped me tremendously like Nick Combs, Zach Blom, Matt Frick, Ken Klee, and John Mitchell.

“I cannot express how thankful I am for all these coaches, but also my teammates who have always been so supportive and like a second family to me. It could not have been done without all these amazing people.”

— Matt Mackinder

(August 12, 2021)

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