Bears’ Purcell commits to Medicine Hat College

Herald File Photo. Bree Purcell of the Prince Albert Northern Bears handles the puck during SFU18AAAHL action earlier this season. She has committed to the Medicine Hat College Rattlers for the 2024-25 campaign.

Another Prince Albert Northern Bear is off to the college ranks.

Bree Purcell has committed to the Medicine Hat College Rattlers for the upcoming 2024-25 season where she will major in nursing while playing for the Rattlers women’s hockey program.

Purcell, who hails from Unity, says she is excited for the next chapter in her education and hockey career.

“I’m super excited to try something new, especially since it’s a building program. It’s going to be really good, they have an amazing nursing program, so that’s a huge aspect too.”

Purcell adds that she chose the nursing program because of the flexibility the program offers in terms of specialization.

“A big thing for me is that it’s a busy job and I like to be busy. I get to help people every day and you get to specialize in anything you want.”

A third year player with the Northern Bears, Purcell has recorded six goals and 14 assists in 97 career games at the U18 AAA level, including exhibition and postseason statistics.

Head coach Steve Young says Purcell possesses a strong work ethic that will be useful to her when she arrives on campus in the fall.

“It’s been three years here for Bree. She’s the type of player that she comes to work every day. She works hard, she grinds it out, and is well deserving of the opportunity. I think it’s important that these girls are all solidified by this time of the year, so it’s something off their shoulders and they can just play. She’s put in her time and now she is ready to move on.”

The 2023-24 season has been a breakout year for Purcell as she has recorded five goals in 27 games for the Bears this season. She had only recorded one career one goal back in an exhibition game in the 2021-22 campaign.

“Getting the opportunity on the offensive chances has helped me grow as a player.” She says. “On the power play and whatnot has helped me a lot and being confident in myself as a third year player.”

Purcell won’t be alone when she arrives on campus. Fellow graduating Northern Bear Maci Nowosad has also committed to Medicine Hat College for the upcoming fall.

Young says it will be beneficial for both players to have a teammate join them in the transition from high school to college.

“I think it helps, I think you always want that bit of comfort when you’re going into a new situation so obviously her and Maci (Nowosad) can help each other through the year for sure.”

Other Northern Bears committed to play hockey at a post-secondary level are Julia Cey (University of Prince Edward Island) and Tristyn Endicott (St. Thomas University).

Results from Tuesday’s Northern Bears game in Saskatoon were not available as of press time. Purcell and the Bears return to action on Saturday night when they travel to take on the Battlefords Sharks. Puck drops at 6:30 p.m.