The Eastern Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights have found their third committed player to NCAA Division III hockey this year, as forward Matt Mood has officially made his decision to join Chatham University.
“Chatham is the perfect fit for me,” said Mood after announcing his commitment. “They have the perfect program for me academically and they also have a great hockey program in a highly competitive division, so I’m pretty excited to see how I match up against those guys. I couldn’t be more excited to get started next year.”
Mood, like fellow committed teammate Matt Passaretti, shares the road of coming to the Knights in the later stages of junior eligibility with the hope of gaining further exposure to get to the next level. While the player and their family always are excited once the announcement is made, EHL Knights head coach Josh Fusco gets just as much out of it.
“We take a lot of pride in our players and their goals,” said Fusco. It’s a great feeling seeing those kids achieve their goals under the Knights program. They came here for a reason and that reason is being fulfilled. I take a great level of pride in the success here all across the board, both on and off the ice.”
The 19-year-old from Palmyra, NJ has skated in 17 games for the EHL Knights this season, posting five goals and 11 points. Mood’s youth ties come from playing in the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers and New Jersey Jr. Titans programs, where he spent time on a line with current Knights teammate Johnny Jackson. In his last season of youth hockey, Mood scored a career-best 15 goals. It’s for reasons like this that Josh Fusco believes his forward still has more to bring.
“Matt is a worker and works hard consistently,” said Fusco. “You can put him in any spot and any situation. He has really elevated his game and he hasn’t peaked. That’s a big factor about him and what got him to Chatham and why he will have success at the collegiate level.
The Chatham Cougars are a member of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC). Matt Mood joins Matt Passaretti (SUNY Canton) and goaltender Thomas Walker (Albertus Magnus) as the three members of the EHL Knights who will officially take the next step in their hockey careers.
“I’ve worked almost my whole life with hopes that I’d get an opportunity to play college hockey. After working hard on and off the ice for all these years, it’s a great feeling to finally reach my goal.”