From Virden Empire-Advance
By Robin Wark
This school year Elkhorn’s Pierce Martin returned to Dakota College at Bottineau men’s hockey team with a purpose.
In 2021, the son of Brad and Alanna Martin helped his North Dakota school squad post a 2-1 record at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II nationals – just missing out on making the ACHA DII’s version of the “Frozen Four.” Last spring Martin graduated from the business administration program. He opted to return to Bottineau to study marketing and advertising and play a big role on the Lumberjacks’ blue line.
“What drew me back the most to be honest was how last season ended and when I realized I could come back and we had another chance at winning a national championship this year I couldn’t pass up the offer,” Martin said. As of last Saturday, Dakota College sported a 13-6-1-3 record. The team was second in the ACHA Division II West rankings.
“What I’m enjoying most about this season is how close our team is,” Martin said. “How far we’ve come as a team from the start of the year to now gives me full confidence that this team can win it all this year.” As a third-year player, Martin helps lead the Lumberjacks. “Pierce is a quiet leader for us,” Dakota College head coach Travis Rybchinski said. “He goes about his business and does what he needs to do to get the job done.”
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Martin has three goals and six points through 24 games this season. He has already set a career high in goals and is approaching the eight points he recorded back in his first season.
“Pierce has been pretty steady back on the point for us,” Rybchinski said. “He has a very good first pass.” One aspect of playing for the Lumberjacks that Martin enjoys is competing at the Bottineau Arena. It is one of the oldest ice arenas in the state. “Home games in the Lumberdome are an experience of a lifetime,” Martin said. “Every game has tons of fans and shows how passionate they are and what this team means to the town, especially the students.”
During all of his playing career, Martin has had the backing of his family. “The support my family has given me in my career has been unmatched to anything else in my life and what they have all done for me will put me in their debt for the rest of my life,” he said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for what they’ve done for me and I’m thankful for everything they’ve done.”
In the future, Martin’s family could be travelling even further south to support him. He is considering attending the University of Nevada – Las Vegas in the fall. If that comes to fruition, Martin would major in entrepreneurship and play for UNLV in the ACHA ranks.
(Originally published at https://www.empireadvance.ca/local-news/martin-returns-to-help-jacks-5062045)