EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Jake Howie, formerly of Marian University men’s hockey, has signed a professional contract with the Evansville Thunderbolts of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Howie and the opportunity that he has with Evansville,” commented Marian head men’s hockey coach Zach Gaynor. “Howie has worked so hard and his skating, high hockey IQ, and ability to contribute on special teams have prepared him for this moment. Howie played a crucial role in Marian’s successes during his four years and I look forward to watching him at the pro level for many years to come.”
Howie tied a program record playing in 111 games over his four years at Marian scoring 34 goals with 40 assists for a total of 74 points. He started his Sabre career strong scoring 10 goals with seven assists as a freshman to earn a spot on the NCHA All-Freshman team. Howie went on to post four multi-point games in his opening season as a Sabre including a multi-goal game against then-ranked No. 5 Adrian in a 4-4 tie against the Bulldogs with one of his goals serving as the game-tying goal. He also posted a five-point game in an 8-3 road win at Lake Forest where he scored twice and provided three helpers.
He only improved upon those numbers as a sophomore scoring eight goals with 16 assists for 24 points over the course of 27 games. Howie went on to add five more multi-point games that season including a multi-goal game in a 5-3 win at Northland. He also had a big finish to his sophomore campaign recording at least one point in the final eight games of the season with four of his multi-point games coming in that span. Howie also scored the only Sabre goal in the NCHA semifinals as Marian fell to then-ranked No. 4/5 Adrian. His final stretch saw him earn his only NCHA Offensive Player of the Week award after he posted a five-point weekend against Aurora with one goal and four assists.
His final two years as a Sabre he remained consist scoring eight goals with eight assists for 16 points as both a junior and senior. Howie went on to add six multi-point games in his final two seasons with two of those games being multi-goal games. Over the span of his career, he also scored six power play goals, four short-handed goals, and three game-winners. In the classroom, he was able to earn a spot on the NCHA All-Academic team twice in his Sabre career.
Howie becomes the eighth Sabre to sign a professional contract since 2016 joining Lonnie Clary from the class of 2019 after Clary signed with the Knoxville Ice Bears, also of the SPHL. Howie is the eighth forward from that group to sign professionally and joins Hunter Stewart who also started his professional career in Evansville.
The SPHL is a 10 team professional hockey league based out of Huntersville, North Carolina with teams located primarily in the southeastern portion of the United States. The league spans as far north as Evansville, Indiana and Peoria, Illinois. The Thunderbolts have 10 games remaining in the regular season with their next game coming tonight, Friday, March 8, at Quad City for a 7:10 p.m. puck drop.