March 9, 2012 : By Olivia Witherite
Liberty University’s Mike Morrison recently became the second Liberty hockey player to sign a professional contract.
The defenseman from Oakville, Ontario will be playing for the Dunedin Thunder, a team in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League. After graduating with a degree in kinesiology, Morrison will fly to New Zealand on May 13 to begin practicing with the team.
During his four years with the Flames, Morrison has played in 134 games and posted 13 goals and 49 assists for a total of 62 career points.
“Without me going to Liberty and developing my skill, I don’t think I’d be able to take the next step and go play,” Morrison said.
He first came to Liberty to attend a hockey camp while in high school.
“We’d been following Mike for a few years,” said Division I coach Kirk Handy. “He was the type of player we were looking for. He had the ability to play the game at Liberty, and Mike was a great fit.”
Although not planning on attending college after high school, after meeting with Liberty coaches and skating with current players, he changed his mind. He made the Division I team as a freshman.
“The Lord really blessed me with coming to school. I wasn’t planning on coming (but) the coaches made me feel really welcome,” he said. “From there, I got picked up. … Liberty has made me believe in myself more than I feel that I would have been able to in other places.”
Handy said Morrison quickly became a very involved, “great student athlete.”
Beyond participating in daily practice and weekly games in New Zealand, Morrison is also looking forward to representing God and Liberty.
“(I’ll be) a light out there. God is calling me there for hockey and for ministry. I’ve already contacted churches to get involved with.”
Morrison is the second player in Flames history to sign a professional hockey contract. Liberty’s current Division I assistant coach, Mike Binnie, signed with a Russian team four years ago.