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Ice Teammates Choose College Hockey Programs

01/16/2014, 8:00am CST
By bwerger

Two players from the Indiana Ice have recently made college commitments as defenseman Austin Kosack has chosen Ferris State University and forward Denis Smirnov will attend Penn State University.

Kosack has appeared in all 30 games for the Ice this season and recorded 17 points (3g, 14), which is currently tied for seventh in scoring among all USHL defensemen.  The 18-year-old has at least one point in nine of the last 10 games (1g, 10a).  He has also posted a plus-11 rating over that span.  The cumulative plus-25 rating this season for the Oakville, Ontario native is the fourth best mark in the League.  Prior to his arrival in Indiana, he spent the last two seasons playing in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Kosack is joined by Ice teammate Tyler Andrew who is also committed to Ferris State University, along with two other current USHL players – Tyler Dorantes (Green Bay Gamblers) and Drew Mayer (Tri-City Storm).

Ferris State University is located in Big Rapids, Michigan and is a member of the WCHA.  A total of 16 USHL alumni are on the Bulldogs roster this season, helping them to their current #2 ranking in the nation; Scott Czarnowczan (Green Bay Gamblers), Kyle Schempp (Sioux Falls Stampede), Seth Adams (Des Moines Buccaneers), Jason Binkley (Tri-City Storm), Chad McDonald (Muskegon/Des Moines), Ryan Lowney (Youngstown Phantoms), Kenny Babinski (Omaha Lancers), T.J. Schlueter (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Justin DeMartino (Waterloo Black Hawks), Gerald Mayhew (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Simon Denis (Tri-City Storm), Dakota Klecha (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Dominic Panetta (Tri-City/Indiana), Travis White (Green Bay Gamblers), Charles Williams (Lincoln/Des Moines), and C.J. Motte (Waterloo Black Hawks).

Smirnov ranks second on the Ice in scoring with 24 points (9g, 15a) over 28 games, while leading the team with 15 assists.  He has produced eight points (4g, 4a) over his last five games, included a pair of two-goal efforts.  He netted his first USHL goal on October 26th, which proved to be the game-winner.  Smirnov is one of the youngest players in the League.  The 16-year-old was signed to a tender by the Ice prior to the 2013 USHL Draft.  Originally from Russia, he spent the previous two seasons playing youth hockey for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in Pennsylvania.

The forward is joined by teammate, and Ice leading scorer Scott Conway, who is also committed to Penn State University.  Four other current USHL players are also committed to play hockey at the school; Alec Marsh (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Chase Berger (Tri-City Storm), Kevin Kerr (Tri-City Storm), and Bo Pellah (Youngstown Phantoms).

Penn State University is a member of the newly-formed Big Ten Conference for hockey and has 14 USHL alumni on the Nittany Lions roster this season; Connor Varley (Des Moines Buccaneers), Patrick Koudys (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Mark Yanis (Muskegon Lumberjacks), David Goodwin (Cedar Rapids/Sioux City/Green Bay), Kenny Brooks (Tri-City Storm), Tommy Olczyk (Sioux City Musketeers), Zach Saar (Muskegon/Des Moines/Chicago), Eric Scheid (Lincoln Stars), Nate Jensen (Tri-City/Cedar Rapids), Casey Bailey (Omaha Lancers), Max Gardiner (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Taylor Holstrom (Youngstown/Omaha), Matt Skoff (Sioux City Musketeers), and Eamon McAdam (Waterloo Black Hawks).

USHL stats – Austin Kosack

USHL stats – Denis Smirnov


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14.  A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (, twitter (, and YouTube (  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

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