California Rubber

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USPHL standout, Moreno Valley native Bugarin heading east to Framingham State after recent NCAA D-III commitment


The end of an era is coming, as Scott Bugarin is ready to lead the Pueblo Bulls to the end of their season – hopefully for them at USPHL Nationals – before becoming a Framingham Ram next fall.

It’s the end of a Premier career forged in 2019-20. It’s also the end of a three-year Premier run for the Bulls, as they transition to the NCDC West in 2023-24.

Wearing No. 2 for the Bulls, Bugarin, a 2002 birth year from Moreno Valley, has just committed to Framingham (Mass.) State University. He will be majoring in Business Information and Technology.

Bugarin started speaking with Framingham around the Christmas break after the Bulls finished their run at the USPHL Chicago Showcase.

“Coach (Mike) Bailey liked my two-way game coupled with my ability to make plays and finish. I felt the play style and composition of the team offered an opportunity to play and be successful as a freshman,” said Bugarin, who has posted 44 points in 43 Bulls games this year.

As for the academic side of Framingham, Bugarin was interested in the number of different majors and paths that they had to offer that suited his interest in finance.

“This major intrigued me with its wide range of applications in the business world to start my career,” he said.

Going from California to Colorado is already a big enough jump, going to Massachusetts is a huge commitment. When discussing his commitment and the move, Bugarin had plenty to say.

“I have been fortunate enough to previously have played in Massachusetts and the New England area for about a year and a half,” said Bugarin. “The familiarity with the area, and the unique opportunity the hockey presented made it an easy choice.”

He has played in a total of 98 games (through Feb. 9) in his USPHL career, 43 of those with the Bulls. This season so far, the center has posted a 21-23-44 line with three game-winning goals. There’s no other team he would rather have by his side.

“The Pueblo Bulls organization has done an excellent job in not only helping me earn my college commitment but has molded me into a better person in my time as a Bull,” said Bugarin. “The treatment of the players as professionals, and their unwavering dedication to the community makes the Bulls a very special place to play.”

Prior to the Bulls, Bugarin also played for Ogden Mustangs, Bridgewater Bandits, the former Anaheim Avalanche and the Twin City Thunder, over which his career scoring line was 38-40-78.

“The USPHL Premier provided me with a highly competitive landscape to showcase my skills for college,” said Bugarin. “The Mountain Division in particular is extremely tight and fast paced division. The level of competition is ultimately what put me in the position to succeed.”

With the exciting news of a commitment to a higher level of playing sometimes its easy to get distracted, but not Bugarin, he has plans for his last USPHL season.

“I want to focus on my faceoffs as well as my 200-foot game in order to be prepared to play in the rigorous system of the NCAA level,” Bugarin said.

Continuing to off-season plans, “the emphasis will be placed on building speed and agility, with a base in heavy lifts,” he said.

— Marlee Bulman/

(February 12, 2023)

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