Two of the most accomplished recent members of the Washington Little Capitals will reunite next season at prestigious Amherst College. Goaltender Connor Leslie and defenseman Stephen ‘Max’ Thiessen, both honored in March 2020 for their 8-year careers with the club (read more here), have now committed to attend and play NCAA Division III hockey for Amherst College starting next season.
Connor Leslie spent the past season with the Twin City Thunder of the NCDC. He posted a solid regular season (18 GP, .899 Sv%, 3.20 GAA) but really found a new gear in the playoffs—posting the 3rd best save percentage (.933) and 5th best goals against average (2.48) among his peers.
"The development that WLC offers is nothing short of amazing,” recalls Leslie. “The coaching staff at WLC was one of my favorite parts about the program. Every season, no matter who the coach was, I knew I was in good hands. As a goalie, having Brent Johnson and Travis Russell as my goalie coaches was always amazing. And after my time with the Little Caps, I had many opportunities to continue my hockey career at the Junior level. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have in front of me with Amherst College but none of it would've been possible without the help of these extraordinary people in my life.”
Max Thiessen spent the past season at Northfield Mount Hermon as a post-graduate. Because of highly restrictive COVID protocols, Max and his teammates were allowed only a single scrimmage against a nearby opponent. When he arrives on the Amherst campus in the fall, his most recent game action will have been with the WLC 18u squad at USAH Southeast Districts in 2020.
“Getting the chance to play NCAA hockey at Amherst is a dream come true, and to do it with a friend like Connor is unbelievable,” remarked Max. “Connor is the most technically sound goalie I’ve ever played with. We always had a chance to win when he was in net. We’ve played together on every Little Caps team from peewee to U18, and now we’re playing college hockey together. It’s a testament to the development we got over eight years with the Little Caps. A lot of folks think you need to move away early to make it to college hockey, but we were both able to stay at home and finish high school with our friends and still achieve our dreams. That would not be possible without the Little Caps. I’m so grateful to all my Little Caps coaches who believed in me, especially Vic Hugo and Doug Plocki who turned me into a defenseman, and Matt Thomas who challenged me to find another gear and take my game to the next level.”
Congrats to these two lifelong Little Caps! Go Mammoths!