BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Steelheads have agreed to terms with rookie forward Matt Lippa for the 2019-20 season, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Everett Sheen announced Thursday.
“After playing college hockey over the last four years, you see kids move on to [the pro level] and have friends there,” said Lippa. “It becomes a goal that you want to reach, and signing that contract is unbelievable. I can’t wait to get started.”
Lippa, 24, concluded his collegiate career with Manhattanville College during the 2018-19 season, boasting 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 points with eight power play goals through 32 games, earning All-USCHO.com Second Team and United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Co-Player of the Year honors in the process while leading the roster in goals and scoring. The Richmond Hill, Ont. native served as an assistant captain during the 2018-19 season, and he skated in 107 games during his four-year collegiate career, tallying 60 goals and 58 assists for 118 points while tabbing back-to-back 30-point seasons and leading the roster in scoring during his junior and senior campaigns.The 5-foot-10, 181-pound forward has a nose for scoring, leading Manhattanville College in goals in three-straight seasons and increasing his total each year. His speed and playmaking ability have led him to success during his collegiate career, and he hopes that also translates to the professional level when making the next step.
“Being at school for four years, the coaching staff gave me opportunities to succeed and I think I took that and ran with it. Now at the professional level, everyone is just bigger, faster, stronger. I’ve got to keep it simple and do what got me to this level, and that’s what I’ve spent all summer doing: trying to get faster and stronger in all aspects of my game.”
“Matt is a skilled player coming out of Manhattanville College where he has put up very good numbers,” said Sheen. “He has an incredible shot release and can score from anywhere. He adds an offensive dynamic to our right side.”
Prior to his collegiate career, Lippa played for the Oakville Blades (OJHL) during the 2014-15 season, posting 22 goals and 24 assists for 46 points with eight power play goals through 51 games, leading the Blades in goals, power play goals, and scoring.
This marks the second non-returning player revealed to the Steelheads roster ahead of 2019 Training Camp, joining Ohio State University product Freddy Gerard. With the pair, nine players have been revealed for the 2019-20 season, including returning forwards Will Merchant, Mitch Moroz, Kyle Schempp and Captain A.J. White as well as defensemen Keegan Kanzig, Jeff King and Eric Sweetman.
Future player announcements will be made at a later date.
“I’ve never really been to the West Coast,” said Lippa. “I’ve been to California and Vancouver before, but I’ve heard so many great things about Idaho, the city of Boise and the fan support the team gets. The team is always at the top of their division. I can’t wait to see what the West Coast is all about and live there.”
The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Friday, Oct. 18 for the 2019-20 Home Opener against the Wichita Thunder. Season tickets and flex plans for the 2019-20 season are now available! Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for next season. Stay connected to the Steelheads throughout the summer on idahosteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.