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Halladay a Product of Growing Hockey Market in the Carolinas

Merrimack incoming freshman Logan Halladay is a product of a growing hockey market in the Carolinas …

When Merrimack Logan Halladay was a kid growing up in Cary, N.C., a suburb just outside Raleigh, his brother Kyle needed someone to shoot pucks on. That’s where Logan came in.

Now years later, those shots from his brother have paid off; Halladay is entering his freshman year with Merrimack this fall and after Collin Delia signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in July, he could see time right away splitting the work with junior Drew Vogler.

“My brother started to skate and then got into hockey,” Halladay said. “He needed someone to shoot on and they threw me in the net. I just stuck with it from there.”

Hockey wasn’t huge in the Carolinas until 2006, when the Hurricanes beat the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup. Halladay was only nine years old when that happened, and would turn 10 later that summer.

“It took off after that,” he said. “There were so many more youth teams and house leagues. There were a lot more hockey shops around town. All of a sudden everyone was interested.”

Just a few years later, Halladay would find himself in Austria playing for Team USA’s Youth Olympic Team. He manned a crease with a team in front of him that included Jack Eichel, Nick Schmaltz and Shane Gersich.

“That was an awesome experience being out there for two weeks,” he said. “It wasn’t the results we wanted, but being around that group was amazing, especially for me. It was, at the time, the top-20 players in our age group. Coming from North Carolina, I had never been around guys that played at such a high level like that.”

Returning from the Youth Olympics, Halladay was playing midget hockey for the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes and eventually was drafted by the Waterloo Blackhawks in the 2012 USHL Draft. During the 2013 season, while playing for the Janesville Jets of the NAHL, Halladay committed to the University of Minnesota.

Midway through the 2015-16 season, Halladay re-opened his commitment and eventually landed with the Warriors. In an article on this past spring, he said that “the recruiting process can be intimidating, exciting, scary and a whole lot of other things, but you can’t rush through it.”

Before committing to Merrimack, Halladay took his time, learning from his first experience through the cycle.

“I committed to Minnesota at a young age and I made a mistake,” he said. “I kind of knew it at the time, but I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was a young kid, and you feel a lot of pressure. The second time, I feel like I was more ready for that process and I made sure I took my time and the process was a lot slower. I wanted to make sure I took my time and made the right decision.

“Merrimack immediately felt like a place I would call home. That was a big deal for me. I came here on my visit and the coaches were awesome, the players I spoke to were great and I felt comfortable right away. It was a totally different experience. Committing to Merrimack was a very easy decision.”

Halladay has been described as an athletic goalie and admits he likes to play the puck. But, he said in recent years he’s refined his game.

He comes to Merrimack with loads of experience, appearing in 96 USHL games and 31 NAHL games. Last year, he was named the USHL’s Gentleman of the Year and was highly involved in the community.

“I would describe my style as a refined athletic style,” he said. “I use my athleticism a good amount, but it’s not to the point where it’s too much. I’ve calmed my game down a lot the last few years and made it more simple. I just try to be as simple as possible and not do too much, but I like to play the puck and communicate with my D.”

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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