SAM BEST BECOMES FIRST CHARLOTTE RUSH ALUMNI TO PLAY NCAA D-1 HOCKEY
CHARLOTTE, NC: The Charlotte Rush are please to announce 2017-2018 USPHL Premier goaltender Sam Best has committed to American International College. Best becomes the first former Charlotte Rush player to play NCAA D-1 Hockey. Sam will arrive on campus immediately and join the team for the remainder of this season.
Best is one of seven former Charlotte Rush players currently playing at the Tier II level for the Corpus Christi IceRays. The IceRays who currently sit in 2nd place in their division are under the guidance of former Rush Head Coach Ryan Cruthers. “While with the Rush our philosophy was always to develop players and move them to the highest level possible. I was able to take those same beliefs with me to Corpus Christi and Sam is a perfect example of that.” – Former HC Ryan Cruthers.
Sam dedicated himself to the Charlotte Rush way of player dedication and commitment to developing into a high-level athlete. “I believe Sam’s work ethic matched with the dedication of our goaltending coach John Keating really helped his development. Their personal relationship and trust in each other were seen each day he got better. Coach Keating was day to day with Sam and brought out the best in him along with instruction from Coach Brian Haaland.”
Posting a 1.68 GAA and a .915 SV% last season for Charlotte, Best led his team to a regular season championship. “I can’t thank the Charlotte Rush enough for all they did for me and the amazing coaching I received. Coach Cruthers and his staff believed in me and developed me to a level in which I was able to get this great opportunity.” – Sam Best.
The Charlotte Rush who are only in their 4th season of existence have been a staple at the top of the USPHL standings while also being the leader in player development and advancement. Former Head Coach Ryan Cruthers had this to say about his program and the direction it is going. “I am beyond proud of what we built in Charlotte and the number of talented players which come out of there. We always put player advancement first and the wins second. We were lucky enough to do both while I was there.” The former bench boss believes Sam will not be the last player from his time in Charlotte to earn NCAA D-1 recognition. “Sam is the first from last years team but won’t be the last. I was surprised after last season that none of our Rush players were picked at the Tier II level. When I reached that level, I knew my guys were ready for the jump and I was happy to see them make my team. Now watching them get NCAA D-1 attention proves that what we did in Charlotte works and will continue to work there.”
Sam Best will go down in history as the first Charlotte Rush player to play NCAA D-1 hockey and we thank him for believing in us. Sam was the ultimate teammate and leader and represented all the Charlotte Rush stand for both on and off the ice.