Aaron Pietila of the Marquette Rangers has become the third member of this year's squad to commit to playing Division I hockey as he has committed to play at Michigan Tech University, a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, starting in 2009.
“This is something I’ve always wanted,” Pietila said. “Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to play at Tech, so this is really just a dream come true. My dad went there, they’ve got great tradition, it’s a great school and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to play at that level and to play for the Huskies.”
The Brighton native is in his second year in a Rangers uniform. He played for Traverse City before coming to Marquette in a trade between the two clubs prior to the 2007-08 North American Hockey League season. The 20-year-old Piteila also serves as the Rangers' team captain.
Rangers head coach Kenny Miller said Pietila is a natural leader who should do very well at the next level.
“Aaron’s a guy who’s played junior hockey for awhile now, so he knows what will be expected of him,” Miller said. "He’s the kind of guy who will do everything it takes to be successful and we’re confident he’ll go up to Tech and be a great addition for them. We’re thrilled for him and his family and we know he’ll represent our organization well at the college level.”
Pietila is currently tied with two others as the team's leading goal scorer with 11 on the season, and is third in overall scoring with 26 points. Pietila led the team in scoring in 2007-08 with 52 points (20g, 32a).