Matt Bartel commits to Liberty
The Utah Outliers are proud to announce that Florida native, Matt Bartel, has committed to Liberty University to play for its men's hockey program for the 2019-2020 season.
Bartel proved to be an offensive force for the Outliers, scoring 34 goals and acquiring 37 assists for a total of 71 points in 47 games. He developed into an offensive power forward and shared the team lead in goals.
The Liberty Flames are a Div 1 team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. The program is one of the top ranked Div 1 ACHA teams in the country and consists of players from the NAHL, BCHL and other Canadian Junior Tier II leagues.
Bartel committed to Liberty after taking a campus visit during the Outliers season. "I knew as soon as I saw the campus, facilities, and met with the coaches and players that I had found the right college for me," stated Bartel. "Although I had numerous NCAA schools offering me opportunities I just felt this program was the best fit for me."
As for his time playing with the Outliers, Bartel had this to say, "After playing two seasons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), I wasn't sure what to expect in coming to Utah and the WSHL. However, my experience with the Outliers turned out to my best year of Junior hockey. My teammates were the closest group of guys I have ever played with and the coaching staff helped transform me into an offensive player. It was great to play for a group of coaches who cared not only about the success of the team but also in each individual's success. I am very grateful to have been part of the Outliers."
Assistant Coach Austin Balko believes Bartel will make an immediate impact at Liberty. "Matt has all the tools to be able to step in and be a big contributor at the college level. He can skate, has good hands and a lethal shot. He has a strong work ethic and is very competitive. I am excited to see him take this next step."
Head Coach Paul Taylor sees huge potential in Bartel. "Matt is a very good player. He has so many strong skill sets that make him an impact player on a nightly basis. He not only possesses the physical tools but he has a good feel for the game and is committed to playing on both sides of the puck. He is a very mature young man with a good head on his shoulders. I expect Matt to do very well at the college level and show that he is a top end player."
We wish Matt all the best and look forward to following his career at Liberty!