|Marsh and his New Jersey Rockets team won the MJHL championship and competed at Tier III nationals.|
Penn State now has a recruiting class of 2015, as New Jersey's Alec Marsh became the first to commit to PSU for that year on March 29th.
New Jersey Rockets (MetJHL)
5'10", 165 pounds
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2009-10 New Jersey Colonials Bntm 36 21 37 58 88
2010-11 New Jersey Colonials Mdgt 20 8 13 21 36
2011-12 New Jersey Rockets AtJHL 4 0 0 0 2
2011-12 New Jersey Rockets MetJHL 35 36 43 79 79
Let's start, as we usually do, with the press release.
“This was the reward for all of the work Alec put in for the season,” commented New Jersey Rockets Head Coach and Director of Player Development Bob Thornton. “From the first game this year, Alec has been an integral part of the Rockets offense and we expect big things from Alec at Penn State.”Most recently, the Rockets competed at the USA Hockey Tier III national championships from March 30th through April 1st in Rochester, MN. While they won their first game, 2-1 over the South Oregon Spartans, they departed the tournament after subsequent losses to the Missoula Maulers and the Rochester Ice Hawks.
“I’m excited to be a part of a new program,” said Marsh. “This has been a great year for both myself and the team and I hope that it continues. I’d like to thank the entire Rockets organization for getting to this point in my career. I’m excited to be a Nittany Lion.”
New Jersey earned its spot at nationals by winning the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League's Keegan Cup final on March 18th over the Long Island Royals by a 4-3 count. Marsh had a goal and an assist in that game, as well as a hat trick in the championship weekend's opening win, 7-3 over the Hartford Junior Wolfpack.
“Getting off to a good start was vital,” said Thornton. “Getting four points [over the course of the weekend] would guarantee a spot for us in the finals and a trip to Nationals and Marsh, as he has done all year long, got us off to a great start.”Following a loss to Long Island and a tie against Central Penn, the Rockets gained a rematch with the Royals and rallied from a 2-0 hole to take the title with four third-period goals.
Marsh was certainly no small part of the Rockets' success this season. In 35 league games, he put up 79 points to tie for the scoring crown (for what it's worth, he played two fewer games than his co-winner) and take rookie of the year honors. He had at least three points in six consecutive games from November 27th through December 16th and burned the New York Saints for a season-high five in a 12-0 romp on February 27th. He developed instant chemistry with linemate Ryan Hitchcock, a 2014 Yale commit who will play for the U.S. National Team Development Program next season - in fact, both Marsh and Hitchcock cracked the century mark in points over the Rockets' full schedule (MJHL league games plus showcases, exhibitions, etc.). In some cases, one great player can carry a lesser-skilled linemate, but that's definitely not the case here.
“He is a natural goal scorer,” said Rockets assistant coach, and strength and conditioning coordinator Tony Samms. You don’t teach that skill. Combine that with the little bit of edge that he plays with on the ice and an amazing off-ice work ethic, and Alec really has some special moments ahead.”U.S. Hockey Report offered this assessment at the Junior Bruins Shootout last September:
Always around the puck. Seems to have a knack for scoring goals. Good stick and vision. Scored the OT winner on a penalty shot in the U19 semi-finals.So he scores goals, eh? Good thing the team with the most of those wins.
Prior to 2011-2012, Marsh was with the New Jersey Colonials organization, and he also played for Seton Hall Prep, his high school. He made the move to the Rockets, essentially, for increased exposure.
“In spite of Alec being on the ice and enjoying the high school playing experience, there was something missing,” said Greg Marsh, Alec’s father. “In spite of playing good competition, there were hardly any scouts at the Seton Hall games. Scouts were coming to watch the travel tournaments and showcases and, upon review at the end of the season, in order for Alec to advance onto higher playing levels, we needed to go the junior route. … We received such high recommendations from other players and coaches that Coach Thornton and the Rockets were the place for Alec to be and, nearly a year later, the results speak for themselves.”They certainly do. One tremendous season and one accepted NCAA Division I offer later, all that's left is for Marsh to continue to progress (he's mentioned the USHL as a possible future location for that progression) - and for us to wait through another three hockey seasons for his services.