Matthew Brille will always have positive memories of the Fall Beantown Classic showcase that only ended this past Monday, Oct. 28.
Two days earlier, at the Beantown, the Rockets Hockey Club forward officially gave his verbal commitment to Brown University, with the intent to start there in the Fall of 2022.
“It happened on Saturday [Oct. 26]. I had been talking to them for a couple weeks. They came and watched a bunch of our games,” said Brille, an ‘03-born native of Bethesda, Md. “I then went on a tour of the campus with a couple of their assistant coaches and I talked to the head coach.”
Brille was drawn to Brown in large part due to the experience and expertise of their coaching staff, formed by Head Coach Brendan Whittet and Assistant Coaches Jason Guerriero and Jason Smith. Ed Kesell is also on board as a Volunteer Goaltending Coach.
“They have an amazing coaching staff, and an excellent hockey program with very high expectations for the future. And they offer a world-class education,” said Brille. “They liked my compete level and hockey IQ, and those are strengths that I pride myself on.”
They also contribute to a Rockets Hockey Club that is currently ranked 12th in the nation among Tier-1 AAA 16U teams. He currently has seven points in the three USPHL games he has played.
“Matthew Brille has been our heart and soul this year. He is an elite penalty killer who rarely loses a battle and is a top shot blocker,” said Rockets Head Coach Noel Rubin. “He has a blend of speed, skill and toughness which makes him such a huge part of our team success. He can score, hit and make plays. We are proud and excited about his commitment to Brown University.”
Brille split last year between the Rockets’ USPHL 15U team and the 16U squad, and he scored at better than a point per game pace at both levels, just as he has done in the early going.
Being ranked 12th carries with it a big bullseye when the Rockets go out for game, such as this coming weekend when they play two games against Compuware, the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies and the Long Island Gulls, also highly ranked by MYHockeyrankings.
“It’s tough because everyone knows how high you’re ranked and everyone’s coming out to get you. There are no easy games,” said Brille. “It’s a great group of guys and the Rockets are a first-class organization.”
He has also enjoyed the games he’s played within the USPHL, where the Rockets were the top team in the 15U Division right up until the championship final.
“There are a lot of good teams. Every team is going to come out gunning, and we have more physical games there than we do against the top 10-type teams,” Brille added. “You have to come out prepared in the USPHL games.”
Brille has a few years ahead before he becomes an NCAA player, and he certainly has areas of his game he wants to improve upon before his full-time arrival in Providence. He gives a lot of credit to Coach Rubin for pushing him to be a more complete hockey player every time he steps on the ice.
“I’m hoping that I’ll be a 200-foot player, someone who is reliable in my zone and gets his chances,” said Brille. “I pride myself on defense, and I hope to keep that consistent before I get to Brown while also helping my team offensively.”