While Comox Valley residents are basking in sunny spring weather, Brian Rideout of Courtenay is preparing for the Frozen Four.
The NCAA Div. 1 men’s hockey championship gets underway today (April 9) at TD Gardens in Boston, and Rideout is a freshman defenceman with the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks, who take on Providence College at 2 p.m. The game is scheduled to be shown on ESPN 2.
The other semifinal pits Boston University against North Dakota. The winners meet April 11 at 4:30 p.m., with ESPN scheduled to broadcast the title tilt.
The 20-year-old Rideout played Junior B hockey with the VIJHL Comox Valley Glacier Kings in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He then moved up to Junior A hockey and skated for the BCHL Powell River Kings. He led all Powell River defencemen in scoring during the 2013-14 season with four goals and 26 assists for 30 points in 56 games.
Two of his goals were on the power play and two were game winners. The 6′,2″, 220-pounder also had 59 penalty minutes. In 11 playoff games, Rideout had a goal and three assists for four points along with 12 penalty minutes.
In more than two seasons with the PR Kings, he had four goals and 38 assists for 42 points and 84 penalty minutes in 107 career games.
The Mavericks finished the season with a 20-12-6 record and ranked eighth in Div. 1. Rideout played 11 games. The Mavs became the fourth and final team to qualify for the Frozen Four when they beat Rochester Institute of Technology 4-0 on March 29.