Top goal scorer for the Illinois State club hockey team Josh Ambrosat has been selected to join the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s (ACHA) National team. The team will travel to Europe this winter to compete with teams from all over the world.
“Josh is an outstanding player on and off the ice,” head coach Brian Corley said. “He was the leading goal scorer this past season and an all-around tremendous player.”
Now in their fourth year, the ACHA National team has traveled to Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia and holds an undefeated record of 17-0.
In order to choose who is invited to join the National team, every two years an all-star team is invited to play in Philadelphia.
“When I got selected to go to Philadelphia, my coach also told me that I was in the running to go to Europe this year,” Ambrosat said.
Corley had high hopes for Ambrosat’s appearance in Philadelphia due to his exposure during the regular season and in the ACHA Nationals the past year, during which the ISU club hockey team finished third.
“I was surprised,” Ambrosat said upon hearing that he had been selected to go to Europe. “I definitely didn’t think I was going to have a shot.”
While in Europe, Ambrosat and the rest of the ACHA National team will be playing five games and practicing between three and five times in its nearly two weeks abroad.
Ambrosat’s teammates include top hockey players from regions all over the country, which he finds more exciting than intimidating.
“I think he will have great success [in Europe],” Corley said. “He is a natural goal scorer and when he gets the puck in a scoring position he will come through and score quite a bit for the team.”
Before leaving for Europe, Ambrosat plans to focus on the current ISU season as he has recently been voted captain by his teammates.
“Josh is very well respected on the team which is a large factor in his being elected as the team captain,” Corley said. “It is a huge sign of honor and respect.”
Out of all the countries on his itinerary, Ambrosat is most excited to visit Germany. Having never left North America, he looks forward to visiting the land his family comes from.
“Any time Canadians or Americans have the opportunity to play in Europe, it exposes them to semi-pro leagues that exist across Europe that could lead to other professional opportunities for Josh after graduation,” Corley said.
The only thing about joining the ACHA National team Ambrosat said he is not looking forward to is the 12-hour plane ride.
“The part I am most looking forward to is playing in front of the amount of people we are told we will be playing in front of,” Ambrosat said.
He is told each game will be in front of an audience of between three and six thousand fans. The increase in spectators, however, only excites him more.
Between fielding his new responsibilities as team captain and preparing for ISU club hockey’s next game against the University of Iowa on October 27 at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, the only thing left for Ambrosat to do before taking off to Europe is to get a passport.