Victoria Grizzlies’ Shawn O’Malley (left), T.J. Friedmann and Justin Michaelian played on the same AAA team in Plymouth, Michigan. They were spread out on different Junior hockey teams throughout North America but found their way back to each other. (Heather Clark /Victoria Grizzlies)

Three for three is how they spell Victory

Former Grizzlies’ Victoria Honda line all committed for college hockey

Former Victoria Grizzlies forward Justin Michaelian got a couple of texts from his Victory Honda line mates upon his acceptance of a scholarship to play NCAA Division I hockey at Ferris State.

They both congratulated him and they told him they were proud of him. Since he’s been back in Michigan, Michaelian and Shawn O’Malley see each other every so often. T.J. Friedmann is taking summer classes at Quinnipiac and training with the hockey team, so they see each other less, but are still just as close.

Friedmann talked to Michaelian the night before his visit to Ferris State, giving him tips if an offer was presented to him on his trip and how to accept it on the spot, something Friedmann did when he visited Quinnipiac last fall.

O’Malley announced his commitment to attend Aurora University at the end of May.

Ferris State is around three hours from where Michaelian lives and he would watch their team growing up. He said he really liked the coaches on his visit and he’s grateful for the opportunity to achieve one of his dreams.

“Ever since the year started [last season], I had one goal in mind, and it’s something I’ve been working for since I was a little kid,” Michaelian said. “I love the game and I love college hockey…the last year I had to prove myself.”

Michaelian had received an offer from the Military Academy in the beginning of the year, which he thought was a great school, but didn’t take it because it wasn’t the right fit.

After the season, Michaelian kept in contact with Craig Didmon and his coach from Victory Honda, who encouraged him and tried to help any way they could.

Didmon was confident something was going to come up for Michaelian, it was just a matter of time.

“I haven’t had too many kids that are as dedicated as him, he’s worked extremely hard with whatever is in front of him,” he said.

“For me it was a big relief, when they earn something and deserve something it’s nice to see them achieve it.”

Didmon coached Michaelian for two years and said he is the type of player you want to build a culture around in the locker room.


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