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Louisville native, Bison, RoughRiders alum Tillinghast finds ‘perfect fit’ in NCAA D-III Lake Forest College


Jackson Tillinghast is finishing up his third season of junior hockey and already has a plan in place for next season.

The captain this season for the USPHL’s Northern Cyclones, Tillinghast will play NCAA Division III hockey next fall for Lake Forest College, an NCHA school located about 30 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan.

“My coach (Bill Weiand) does a great job promoting his players, so he has been in talks with lots of different schools this year for all his players,” Tillinghast said. “Lake Forest College was one of the schools I was interested in, and they were interested in me, so it ended up being the perfect fit. Obviously, the campus and facilities are very nice from what I have seen. Also, one thing that really drew me to them was talking with Coach (Sean) O’Malley about how they like to play a puck-possession game, which I think really fits my playing style.

“I think I trusted that this would eventually happen for me this year. We have a lot of guys that will be going to school next year.”

Now heading to USPHL Nationals in his home rink, Tillinghast said he is banking on the Cyclones making some noise.

“I think we have a great chance to win everything this year, so while this commitment is nice and all, we are all laser-focused on finishing the job,” said Tillinghast.

Playing the 2019-20 season in Canada for the Notre Dame Hounds, the Louisville native joined the Cyclones prior to the 2020-21 season and said his time in Hudson, N.H., has been “awesome.”

“I have developed as both a person and an athlete,” said Tillinghast. “I have made lifelong friendships with a lot of the guys here, but I think the thing I have enjoyed most is the culture of winning, not accepting losing by having winning habits day in and day out. I will definitely miss being a Cyclone.”

In college, Tillinghast said he would like to study Data Science.

“I would eventually like to turn that degree into a job working in the sports analytics field, but I also would like to play some professional hockey when I graduate, whether that is overseas or here in North America,” he said.

In his youth days, Tillinghast skated for the Boulder Bison and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.

— Matt Mackinder

(March 17, 2022)

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