ALPENA, Mich. — Wednesday night, former Alpena Wildcat goalie Cooper Black made history. He is the first male hockey player in the Alpena hockey program to commit to a Division 1 school. On his Twitter page, Black announced that he will be taking his talents to Dartmouth University.
I'm honored to announce my commitment to play D1 hockey for Dartmouth University. I'd like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, and everyone else who's helped me get to this point in my career. #gobiggreen pic.twitter.com/yuHOvBTLNZ
— CooperBlack31 (@Cooperblack311) November 19, 2020
“It’s unreal, I’ve dreamed of this since I was a little kid,” said Black. “To get to this point and see your hard work paying off just means a lot. If it weren’t for my team my senior year, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I owe them everything. So I made sure to send them texts and thank them.”
“This is great for our hockey community,” said Alpena hockey coach Chris Limback. “It gives the younger kids a chance to know that if they set their sights high enough, they can achieve their goals.”
It’s been a journey for Cooper Black, to say the least. In his senior year, Black led the state in save percentage (.964), goals-against average (0.87), and shutouts (8). In just 26 games, only 19 goals went by him. Because of his outstanding efforts in goal, he was named to the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association Dream Team and became the first Alpena hockey player to earn MHSHCA Dream Team honors.
After Black graduated from Alpena, he played in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Maryland Black Bears. He appeared in 19 games, recording a .916 save percentage. Fast forward to June of 2020, he was selected No. 81 overall in Phase II of the United States Hockey League (USHL) draft by the Omaha Lancers.
Black will stay with the Lancers until the end of the 2021-2022 season. Following that, he will head out to Dartmouth to continue his hockey career.