Commitment Q&A: Ala.-Huntsville's Max McHugh
by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer
Earlier this week '93-born forward Max McHugh, currently playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League, committed to Alabama-Huntsville for next fall. CHN caught up with McHugh to talk about his commitment, his first season in the USHL with Dubuque and his trip to Russia with the Fighting Saints earlier this season.
CHN: First question is obvious, why UAH? What separated them from the rest of the schools you were looking at during the recruiting process?
McHugh: "UAH stood out to me and eventually was my decision because of numerous reasons: 1. It's an up-and-coming team that has a potential to make history and become something big. With their new league being the WCHA and a new coach in Coach (Mike) Corbett, that was huge in my decision. I have heard nothing but good things about him, and once I went on my visit I met him and understand why. He is a great guy that understands the game and understands players as individuals he allows them to be who they are. I know he will bring nothing but good to UAH.
Also, on my visit I learned how great the city is and the campus. It's a hidden gem. The boys are all great guys and just being there for a short time I found out how much support the hockey team already has and is getting. Including numerous donations to build the team."
CHN: What were some of the other schools you talked to or had visited?
McHugh: "Other schools I was talking to included Cornell, Union, Dartmouth RIT and Bentley. They're all great schools, but ultimately it came down to Coach Corbett and the thought of being a part of and up-and-coming hockey hotbed."
CHN: You've spent the last three years in the NAHL with Wenatchee and here you are in your first USHL season with Dubuque. How has that transition gone?
McHugh: "The transition from Wenatchee to Dubuque has been great. My experience in Wenatchee has helped me become a better player and also helped me have a great start in Dubuque. It is a faster game but playing against older players for three years and having a lot of travel has given me a lot of experience coming in to the USHL. ... One other thing I'd like to mention is that Seattle youth hockey brought me up. I played in Tacoma, Washington until bantams then I played with the Seattle Jr. Admirals. These are two organizations that don't get a lot of credit because hockey in Washington is not big. But without them I would not be here, and they deserve credit."
CHN: What was the trip to Russia like with Dubuque earlier this year?
McHugh: "The trip to Russia was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget. Playing for a medal was amazing, and winning one was even better. The best part was beating the home team from Omsk in a must win game with 10,000 Russian fans, and hearing our national anthem being played after the game. The experience helped our team quickly come together and come off to a great start."