Austin grad wraps up his run with Grand Canyon University hockey team – Austin Daily Herald

Austin grad wraps up his run with Grand Canyon University hockey team

Published 7:23 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Austin grad Kory Potach traveled halfway across the country to play the sport that he loves and now he’s ready to return to the area after seeing what it truly means to challenge yourself.

Potach spent the last five years at Grand Canyon University, which is located in Phoenix, Arizona, and he was a team captain of their Division 1 ACHA team for four of those seasons. In that time, he learned a lot about hockey and a lot about life.

“It’s been nothing short of awesome. It’s a different style of hockey than we had up north, but it’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” Potach said. “It’s a lot of time management. The most critical thing I’ve learned is how to manage my life outside of my parents’ influence. It was definitely a challenge at times, but as the years went on I learned to take advantage of the down time and I matured a lot. I’ve matured and I’ve made a lot of connections that will really help me in my career.” 

Potach recently wrapped up his hockey journey at GCU as the team lost to No. 1 ranked Minot State University 5-0 in the second round of the ACHA Division 1 men’s hockey championships in St. Louis on March 8.

This year was the first time GCU had ever competed in the ACHA Division 1 championships and the No. 17 seeded Lopes beat No. 16 Illinois State University in the first round.

He played in both playoff games for the Lopes, which was the first time he experienced postseason play in college.

“When I played my first game, it was the first year of us being a Division 1 team,” Potach said. “The competition was a shock to us, but as the years went on we brought in some top end players and we have a great coaching staff that knows the game. Being part of our growth is something I’ll never forget.”

At GCU, Potach has played with players from California, Washington, Colorado, Canada and Ukraine.

“We had a lot of guys bringing in a different style of play,” Potach said. “It was fun to get to know the game a little bit down here.”

Potach, who played junior hockey with Rochester Grizzlies before committing to GCU. This past season, Potach played 32 games at forward for the Lopes, finishing with a goal and an assist. Potach had eight career goals and eight career assists in a franchise record 83 total games played at GCU.

In his time out west, Potach made it through a jump in competition, a pandemic and a lot of hockey. 

I liked the part of being away from home and experiencing something new. It’s a different culture down here,” Potach said. “The pandemic was interesting to say the least. A lot of places were closed and the campus was very desolate with it being only half full, but it was nice to be a college student without a sport for a year.”

Potach is planning on returning to the area as he has a job set up at Majestic Events in Rochester. The company helps run special events like weddings and private parties. He’s looking forward to returning to his roots with a newfound dedication to hard work and commitment.

“It’s a great group of guys and it’s like being on a team in a sense,” Potach said of Majestic Events. “I worked with them last summer and I’m excited to do it again.”

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