Taking His Talents Overseas
When Brenden Boyle began playing hockey at the age of five back in his hometown of Johnstown, Pa., he probably never imagined that one day he’d end up competing in Europe with some of the best players in the world. But that’s just what he’ll be doing this December as a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s (ACHA) Division III Select Team.
Boyle, a fifth-year senior and software engineering major at Robert Morris University, is a forward and captain for RMU’s men’s Division III club hockey team. He was chosen for the ACHA Division-III Select Team after playing in the league’s All-Star Challenge in Philadelphia last spring. This winter break he and his teammates will be taking on other all-star teams from Germany, Austria, and Slovenia.
“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen for this team,” says Boyle. “It’s rewarding to know that I have worked hard enough to accomplish a goal of mine to play overseas, and I’m proud to represent the United States and RMU in this showcase.”
Although he initially looked at other schools like Penn State, Pitt, and Ohio State, Boyle was drawn to Robert Morris because of its ice hockey programs and its strong engineering program. “I visited RMU my senior year in high school, liked what I saw, and decided it was the right fit.”
Originally he planned to play for RMU’s ACHA Division-I team. But after a couple of weeks, he decided to switch to the Division-III team, led by then new head coach Craig Bioni. Recently the two celebrated their 100th victory together.
“Brenden is a true leader,” says Bioni. “He leads by example, plays hard all the time, and probably has the best hands in Division III. Some of his goals and moves leave us all speechless. Off ice he is very approachable and good to the underclassmen. Just a real good kid.”
Boyle has been to Nationals three of his four years on the team and to the playoffs all four. In that time he’s played in four all-star games and for two ACHA Division-III Select teams. He’s also a First Team All-American and one of the top forwards in the country.
“And he qualified for the Select team on a sprained ankle,” adds Bioni.
Boyle says he chose to study engineering at RMU because he has always been good at math and finding solutions to problems. “I’ve always been good with computers, technically and mechanically, so I decided to go with software engineering to see where it would take me.”
This past summer, he landed a paid internship in Bayer Corporation’s I.T. department in nearby Robinson and is currently working at Bayer part-time over the fall semester. “For my career I’d like to either stay with Bayer or get a job in some area of software engineering, such as writing code, testing, design, or doing routine maintenance.”
While in Europe for ten days, Boyle will have the opportunity to tour historic sites such as the Dachau Prison Camp and the birthplace of Mozart. He’ll also get to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Munich, Germany.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he says. “Experiencing new cultures and new people, and getting to see the many historical sites will really be amazing. I am going to soak in everything I can, take a lot of pictures, make as many new friends as possible, and have a great time playing the game I love.”
Written by Valentine J. Brkich