Danbury Colonials goaltender Shane O’Brien has officially announced his commitment to Nichols College of the Commonwealth Coast Conference. O’Brien, who was the first signing in Colonials history last summer, becomes the first of the summer to ink a collegiate agreement, joining the Division III Bison this fall. He is the second Colonials player to earn a college commitment, with forward Kyle McEnany set to join the University of Southern Maine hockey team this fall.
“I committed to Nichols College because of the emphasis the hockey program puts on player experience and development on and off the ice,” O’Brien said. “They take pride in teaching strong work ethic and dedication to excellence.”
O’Brien, a Lynnfield, MA native, will essentially be splitting the difference between home and Danbury- a benefit O’Brien is looking forward to enjoying. He plans on majoring in sports management, with aspirations of interning with a Boston or New York sports organization.
The goaltender was one of six ’99ers to play for the Colonials this season, and the only one who patrolled the crease. He finished with a 14-11-0 record, a 3.28 goals-against average and .895 save percentage. He won seven of his last eight games, helping lead the Colonials on a torrid end-of-season run to second place in the Northeast Division.
“Danbury and the Colonials taught me what it means to be a leader day in and day out,” O’Brien explained. “The amount of responsibility put on each player was crucial in growing my game and my maturity level.”
“Shane’s play was outstanding and his work ethic set a standard for our younger players,” commented head coach Kevin Cunningham. “He was a very valuable mentor for our other goaltenders, and he gave his teammates confidence that they could find a way to win the tight games.”
When on, O’Brien excelled as one of the best goaltenders in his division, posting a 2.29 goals-against average in his 14 wins this season.
“I want to give a special thank you to Coach Cunningham and Coach Allen, who believed in me since day one,” O’Brien said. “They pushed me each and every day to be the best and never settle for average. They believed in me and took a chance on me. It was an unforgettable year!”