The Steinbach Pistons are excited to announce that graduating forward Brendan Martin has committed to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves of U Sports for next season.
Martin spent the last year and a half of his junior career with the Pistons after coming to Steinbach in a trade with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on October 13, 2017. He played in 96 regular season games and 32 postseason games with Steinbach over the next two seasons.
“As a kid, I grew up watching the Thunderwolves play and always looked up to them,“ Martin explained. “Getting the opportunity to play high caliber hockey for my hometown team was something I couldn’t pass up on.”
Lakehead University is located in Thunder Bay, Martin’s hometown, and currently houses about 9,000 students across three campuses. The Thunderwolves hockey team plays in the OUA West Division and will be looking to get back into the playoffs this upcoming season.
Martin, who plans to head into the Business program at Lakehead, will have a familiar face when he arrives on campus this fall. Former Pistons teammate Daniel McKitrick will be entering his second season with the Thunderwolves. “We’ve talked about the team and how it would be to reunite and be teammates again,” Martin said when asked about McKitrick. “I’m super excited to be playing on the same team with Dan.”
The 20-year-old should provide some offensive punch for Lakehead, just as he did when he arrived in the Automobile City. He spent much of the 2017-18 season as a depth forward, but ended up with 15 goals and 24 points and put forward a five point night during one game. He notched 3 goals and 2 assists in the playoffs that year and scored a goal at the 2018 RBC Cup against the Ottawa Jr. Senators.
But his most important goal in Steinbach colors came in Game #6 of the Turnbull Cup series against Virden. He scored the game-winner to help the Pistons win 2-1, which helped give the franchise its second Turnbull Cup and eventually the ANAVET Cup a few weeks later.
According to Martin, the series against Virden was his favorite memory during his time in Steinbach. “We had a very talented team and being part of it was something I’ll never forget,” Martin reflected. “My favorite part of playing in Steinbach is how good our fan support was. On and off the ice, our fan support was unreal. It helped motivate the team to succeed.”
Martin stepped it up a notch to become the Pistons leading scorer during the 2018-19 season, as he notched 31 goals and 58 points in 55 games played and was named to the MJHL 2nd All-Star Team. He put up 4 goals and 4 assists in 12 playoff games, and was also a part of the 2019 MJHL/SJHL Showcase in Regina this season. He is tied for 5th all-time in Pistons history with 10 game-winning goals.
“The Pistons organization has helped me move onto the next level in so many ways, starting with (Head Coach/GM) Paul Dyck,” he said. “Through his experiences in hockey, he knows what it takes to get to the next level. He helped me improve many aspects of my game which has helped me develop into the player I am.
“Secondly, the Pistons staff as a whole and the volunteers. They put in so much time in to help the organization succeed, and I can’t thank them enough.”