Former Soo Thunderbird Nolan Ford commits to Ontario Tech Ridgebacks

By Matt Stefano

Fordy is now going to hit the ice in university!

It was announced on Friday that former Soo Thunderbirds captain Nolan Ford has committed to the Ontario Tech University Ridgebacks hockey club for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season.

Ford, who played three seasons with the Soo Thunderbirds from 2017-2020, tallied 19 goals and set up 49 others in 161 regular season games.

“It was a very good feeling being able to commit to Ontario Tech,” Ford said. “They have a really strong and competitive hockey program with a great coaching staff, so it was a really easy decision to join their club.”

During his time with the Thunderbirds, the Richards Landing, Ontario native played as a defenceman and as a forward.

In his graduating season with the Thunderbirds in 2019-2020, Ford was also the recipient of two team awards, including the team’s Scholastic Player Of The Year Award along with the team’s Player’s Player Award.

“My time with the Thunderbirds was some of the most memorable and fun years of hockey I’ve played in my career and I never had a day where I didn’t want to be at the rink,” Ford said. “I owe a lot of credit to my teammates as well as John Parco, Toots Kovacs and Marc Disano for my three years with the T-Birds and what they were able to teach me about the game. The T-Birds have had a huge impact on my hockey career and helping me with moving on to the next level.”

Ford, who will be now be playing hockey this year at Ontario Tech University, which is located in Oshawa, Ontario, is also currently studying Kinesiology now in his second year attending the school.

“I’m currently in my second year taking the Kinesiology program at Ontario Tech,” Ford said. “I always knew I wanted to go to school for Kinesiology because of my background in sports and how integrated the field is with athletics. I was also taking Physiotherapy Assistant at Sault College while I was playing for the T-Birds, which transfers with the Ontario Tech Kin program.”

Ford, who was hoping to suit up for the Ridgebacks last season, did not end up playing for them due to the fact that their season was cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“Last year was my first year attending Ontario Tech, but because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the hockey season was cancelled and school was strictly online, so I spent my first year at home doing online learning,” Ford said.

With the addition of Nolan Ford, the Ridgebacks now have a total of four former NOJHLers on their club, along with James White (Rayside Balfour Canadians), Stephen Calisti (French River Rapids) and Ryan Cullen (Blind River Beavers).

(Photo of Nolan Ford with the Soo Thunderbirds credit to Bob Davies)


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