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Bova commits to UML hockey

By Used with permission from the Lowell Sun Online. By BARRY SCANLON Sun Staff

LOWELL -- He lives in North Andover and will play college hockey at nearby Merrimack College.

But only as a visitor.

Brian Bova, a 6-1, 190-pound left wing, will skate for the University of Massachusetts Lowell beginning in the fall of 2002.

Bova, about to enter his senior year at Northfield Mount Hermon, recently gave new coach Blaise MacDonald a verbal commitment.

"It's a place I really want to be," Bova said. "It's a program on the rise, so I'm excited about it. UMass Amherst was also interested. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do before I visited Lowell. After I came out of the first visit with Blaise and Ken (assistant coach Rausch), I knew that was exactly where I wanted to be. They sold me."

Bova scored 49 points in 26 games for the Hoggers last winter, 23 of them coming on goals.

Bova is described as a hard-nosed player with excellent character who excels in all three zones.

"Blaise compared me to Jay Pandolfo," said Bova, referring to the former Burlington High and Boston University skater who now plays for the New Jersey Devils. "I think I'm more of a playmaker than a goal scorer."

He began his high school career at St. John's Prep. After two years at the Danvers school, however, Bova transferred to Northfield, where he repeated his sophomore year.

The 19-year-old said he was "definitely happy to make a decision, to get it over with."

Bova, whose goal was to attract interest from Hockey East schools, said he canceled a visit to the University of Vermont after committing to UMass Lowell. He also visited Northeastern and received interest from Quinnipiac.