Another former Cochrane General is making his name at the next level, as the team's leading scorer from last season, Braden Bain has signed on to play with Finlandia University Lions, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III school based out of Hancock, Michigan.
"Former Generals head coach Travis McMillan ran into one of the assistant coaches (with Finlandia), gave him my contact and it took off from there," Bain said of the opportunity to continue his hockey career. "I'm very excited to join Finlandia.
"I've been in Michigan for a week now, met with the coaches the first weekend I was here and got to see the rink and workout facility. A lot of the guys started to roll in just after I got to town so about 20 of us have been together the past few days. It's a great town and it's already a very tight group of guys. I think it's going to be awesome ... it's a huge hockey town and they really support this team and the school."
Bain spent the last three seasons with the Generals, where he tallied a total of 100 points in 84 games played over the course of his three seasons in the blue and red. His best season was his last where he suited up in 36 games, scored 25 goals and added 31 assists for 56 points, good for 1.6 points-per-game. He also showed he had some sandpaper to his game, where he finished with 82 penalty minutes this past season and 203 over his two years. The 22-year-old also added 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 27 playoff games. The former assistant captain will have to step up his game, as the Wisconsin Intercollege Athletic Conference (WIAC) is widely believed the be one of the best Division III leagues in the country.
"No disrespect to the Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL), it's a great junior league but what I've heard is the WIAC is definitely better and a step up from the HJHL," Bain said. "It's a lot of junior A players that have committed to this league as well as your top-end junior B players. This league is big and fast ... it's the best Division III conference in the country so every game is a playoff game."
"I just want to be playing games consistently. Be able to help this team win and putting points up is something I think will just fall into place."
Bain said he feels like he's representing the Town of Cochrane and the Generals organization while he also said he couldn't have made it this far without his time in Cochrane.
"I really, truly feel like I'm representing the town. I'm proud to show what the Generals program can do and hopefully other kids want to continue hockey after playing for the Gens," Bain said. "A lot of people have helped me along the way for sure ... to pick a couple out, I'd have to say (former Generals) Ty Robinson, Slater Ransom and Austin Keller helped me in my three years there. Just to believe in myself and help me get better every day."
"Travis McMillan developed me into a better player over the last two years I was with him as well. I'm thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to what it will bring."
Bain and his teammates will begin their season on Nov. 2 when they travel to take on the University of Wisconsin River Falls Falcons.