Greeley native, Colorado hockey lifer McFarland moving on to NCAA D-III game at Saint Michael’s
Brennan McFarland grew up playing hockey in Colorado and that continued into his junior hockey career.
This past season, the Greeley native wrapped up his three-year career with the Northern Colorado Eagles and will play NCAA Division III hockey next season at Saint Michael’s College, a small school located in Colchester, Vt.
“Saint Michael’s was recruiting Marshall Murphy, I played with him last year, and I guess they saw me play and were interested in me, so throughout the year, they kept in touch with me and expressed their interest,” said McFarland, a 2018 graduate of Resurrection Christian High School. “I liked how they have a smaller campus, and the town is really a cool place. Marshall is a really good buddy of mine and he was telling me all about the school and the team and I was really interested as well. They were also interested in recruiting Case Kantgias, who I played with this year, and we became really close friends. When we found out that we might be going to the same school, it made it even better.”
In 121 games with the Eagles, McFarland’s 141 points place him fourth-all time in franchise history and his 60 goals are good for fifth all-time in franchise history.
“I’m very thankful for my time with and around the Eagles organization,” said McFarland. “I feel I’ve grown not only as a player but as a man as well. I really enjoyed my time with the Eagles. Every year, I felt like I was becoming a better player. That’s all because we were a competitive group of guys, so we pushed each other every day because our goal was the same, to win a championship. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to win one during my time.”
“McFarland ‘s work ethic, drive and commitment each day add to his ultra-competitive nature and will definitely give him an edge when he competes for ice time as a freshman next season,” added Eagles coach-GM Steve Haddon. “Myself and the organization would like to thank him for all his hard work on and off the ice, as well as in the community. We wish him all the best in his next chapter.”
The first chapter began nearly 20 years ago, remembered McFarland.
“I originally got started playing hockey because of my dad,” McFarland said. “He played in a local beer league and my mom would always take my sister and I to the games. One day, he took me to the Ice Haus in Greeley, where I was born and raised, and he put me on skates, and I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time. So they put me in a beginners league and that’s where it all started for me.”
As a youth, McFarland skated for the Greeley Stampede, Mountain States Renegades, NCYH Eagles, and then at Resurrection Christian before joining the Eagles.
“Some of the coaches that had positive influences on me were one of my youth coaches Roger Gill, my high school coach Jake Pence, and my junior coach Steve Haddon,” McFarland said. “They all had a different coaching style, but all of them helped me be the player I am today.”
Going forward, McFarland wants to “take hockey as far as I can because no one really wants to quit playing.”
In school, McFarland said he’s going to pursue physical therapy.
— Matt Mackinder
(April 22, 2021)