WEST CHESTER, PA -- Mac Vail, a goalie for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, has committed to Manhattanville College for the Fall of 2017. After starting the season with the Connecticut Oilers, the '96 joined the Jr. Flyers in mid-November. The rest as they say is history, as Vail went on to win 26 games combined between the regular season and the playoffs, helping his team earn the title of Premier Division Champions.
“A year ago I remember playing against him and he would stone us multiple times and he kept the Oilers in games," said Jr. Flyers head coach and general manager Jerry Domish. "I knew he could be that goalie again with a little support. Mac is a very dedicated player. He is first in and last out on a daily basis. It’s just not an expression that hard work leads to success. He is an incredible competitor who hates to give up goals. His success comes from his hard work and how hard he competes on every play. I would be surprised if he is not the starting goalie soon after arriving, and I know he will work hard and compete until that happens. He is a great person who was a real pleasure to coach. I just wish I would have had the opportunity to work with him longer.”
With hockey, there is no position that feels pressure more than the goaltender. For Vail, his number was called upon for every minute of every game from late January through the end of the EHL Finals. The pressure and fatigue mounted as the season moved along, but with the victory at the end, Vail looks back on his team with the Jr. Flyers as the best hockey he has ever played.
“Overall, I had a great time in West Chester with the Junior Flyers," said Vail. "Going to the rink was something I could look forward to thanks to the coaches, trainers and all of my teammates. I have never seen an entire team get along as well as our team did, and they made it really easy to enjoy the time away from the rink as well. It couldn't have ended on any better note than it did. This season has taught me so much. The first half of the season did not really go the way I had hoped, but that adversity only helped me grow in the end. I got a chance to play a lot of games for the Junior Flyers in the second half of the season and that was another great learning experience for me. Being part of the teams’ streak at the end of the year and then the playoff run (a streak that reached 17 wins spanning into playoffs) really taught me a lot about what it takes for a team to be successful. The guys in our locker room showed up to the rink and gave it everything they had every single day. They pushed me every day and helped me learn a lot this year.”
After reflecting on the championship season, Vail went on to thank all of those who have helped him along the way.
“First, I thank my parents for their constant support in my hockey career. I would like to thank Coach Jerry Domish and Coach Jason Kilcoyne for giving me a chance in the middle of this season. I would also like to thank Coach Marshall, Coach Gumenyuk and Coach De Castro for giving me this opportunity to play college hockey at a great school. Last but not least, I would really like to thank all of my teammates in the last four years of junior hockey. I have made some great friends from all around the world throughout this process and I am grateful for all of them. I will always remember my time in West Chester with this group of guys. I'll never forget the camaraderie and work ethic of this team. I just want to wish all of them the best of luck as we go our own ways next year.”
Read the full commitment story on the official website of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, and check out the full list of 2017 NCAA Commitments.