Fresno native, Golden Bears alum Morse finds right fit, commits to NCAA Division I Maine
Brian Morse was born in Fresno and played his early youth hockey with the California Golden Bears before leaving home prior to his 15U season in 2018-19.
Now playing his second season of junior hockey for the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs after two seasons of 18U AAA hockey with the NorthStar Christian Academy in Minnesota, Morse recently committed to play NCAA Division I hockey Maine (Hockey East) starting with the 2024-25 season.
“I am extremely excited and honored to be committing to such a historic program like Maine,” Morse said. “I’m looking forward to getting up there and putting the work in to extend my career as long as possible. I’d like to thank my friends, family, coaches, and most importantly, God, for helping me achieve this goal of mine.
“I chose Maine because of my connection with the coaching staff and the school’s emphasis on supporting the hockey program. I know they have some of the best fans in college hockey, and I can’t wait to play in front of them.”
In 42 games during the 2020-21 season, Morse tallied 21 points (two goals, 19 assists) while helping the Knights team win the NAPHL championship that season. During the 2021-22 season, Morse broke out to be one of the best defenseman at the 18U AAA level. In 55 games, Morse scored 74 points (13 goals, 61 assists) which ranked him first among all 18U AAA defenseman in the country. His production helped his team win another NAPHL championship as well as an invite to the 18U NAPHL All Star game.
After that successful season, Morse was drafted by the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms but chose to sign with Chilliwack.
Last year during his rookie season with the Chiefs, Morse posted 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 53 regular-season games and also added 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 15 playoff games. This season, he’s produced 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 20 games, which have him near the top of team scoring and scoring among all BCHL blueliners.
“We are thrilled for Brian and his commitment to Maine,” said NorthStar 18U Prep head coach Rylan Galiardi. “He was such a joy to coach while he was here, and I am thankful for our continued relationship. (Maine head coach) Ben Barr and his staff will be getting a ‘D’ that can play in every situation and plays like a NorthStar warrior. More importantly, Brian will be a leader both on the ice but off the ice for his teammates and team.”
“This is very much deserved for Brian,” added Chiefs head coach and general manager Brian Maloney. “He’s worked hard for this, has continued to improve every day, and has been very patient. He’s had to adapt and change his game to give him the best chance to be an excellent NCAA player.
“It’s paid off.”
Photo/Darren Francis Photography
— Matt Mackinder
(November 30, 2023)