Ashley, Andrews commit to playing for UPEI

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A pair of Islanders are coming home to play university hockey next season.

Halifax Mooseheads forwards Darcy Ashley and Brent Andrews have committed to the UPEI Panthers for the 2014-15 season.

“These two guys are winners, they are strong and responsible players in all facets of the game, and they are proud Islanders,” said coach Forbes MacPherson. “This is a great announcement for the future of our program.”

Ashley, a native of Alberton, and Andrews, of Hunter River, are completing their final season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Halifax. The two were key contributors to the Mooseheads’ QMJHL Championship and Memorial Cup Championship wins last season.

Andrews said choosing UPEI came down to a desire to help build a championship team in his home province.

“It will be great to be part of something special at UPEI. Islanders are hard working hockey people and true hockey fans that deserve a championship,” said Andrews, a six-foot-two, 205-pound centre. “It will be nice to be able to play at home after five years of being away.”

These two guys are winners, they are strong and responsible players in all facets of the game, and they are proud Islanders Forbes MacPherson, UPEI Panthers men's hockey head coach

Ashley said playing with the Panthers is an honour and is hoping to add to his championship résumé.

“After winning (the Memorial Cup), you are always left with a taste for it and the will to keep winning,” said the five-foot-five, 175-pound right-winger, who has scored more than 20 goals in each of the past two seasons.

“It would be great to win a championship at home and play in front of family and friends on a regular basis. The team has been taking great steps forward and I hope to be a big part of the next steps.”

Both forwards are in the midst of career-best seasons in the QMJHL. Andrews has 16 goals and 37 points, while Ashley has contributed 14 goals and 41 points. Though they will remain focused on the remainder of their junior season, the pair will be keeping a close eye on the Panthers.

“The Panthers have a lot of talent and character and are an exciting team to watch. Darcy and I often talk about it, and we are excited to be part of it all next season,” said Andrews.

Organizations: UPEI Panthers, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Alberton, Hunter River

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