Bridgedale Academy Blog

    Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    Too Many Successes to be a Coincidence

    Successes at NTDP, NCAA, NHL Draft

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    How is it that one tiny school in Woodridge, Illinois can produce so many successes?

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    Friday, February 16, 2024

    Bridgedale Grads Perreault and Devine in Hobey Baker Hunt has them both as top contenders

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    Bridgedale Academy grads Gabe Perreault and Jack Devine were recently featured on the website in an article about the leading contenders for the 2024 Hobey Baker Award

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    Friday, January 5, 2024

    Bridgedale Grad Gabe Perreault Wins Gold at World Jrs.

    Team USA Beats Host Sweden in Final

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    We are proud to congratulate Bridgedale Academy grad Gabe Perreault and his USA Junior teammates for their Gold Medal victory at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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    Friday, June 30, 2023

    Gabe Perreault Selected in 1st Round of NHL Draft

    New York Rangers 

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    We are proud to congratulate Bridgedale Academy grad Gabe Perreault who was selected in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. He was the 23rd player chosen in this year's draft.

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    Sunday, June 18, 2023

    Where do Bridgedale grads go to college?

    Notre Dame, Harvard, Wisconsin and more!

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Founded in 2013, Bridgedale Academy recently wrapped up its 10th school year. At our year-end graduation/academic awards ceremony, one of the Bridgedale dads asked me if I had a listing of where our grads have gone to college.

    I was a little embarrassed to say that I hadn't really given it that much thought, as I was usually more focused on which high schools our grads were attending. That tended to be the question I fielded more often from the parents of prospective students.

    Be that as it may, I decided to reach out to our college-aged alumni and it turns out that our grads go on to some very prestigious colleges and universities.

    Here, in no particular order, is what I have so far (and the number of BA grads at each):

    • University of Notre Dame (3)
    • Harvard College (1) 
    • University of Michigan (2)  
    • Arizona State University (1)
    • Bentley University (1)
    • University of Colorado - Boulder (2) 
    • Denver University (3)
    • University of Wisconsin - Madison (3)
    • Miami of Ohio (3)
    • University of Iowa (1)
    • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (1)
    • Ohio State University (2)
    • University of Massachusetts (2)
    • University of Utah (2)
    • Michigan State University (1)
    • University of Wisconsin - Stout (1)
    • Bradley University (1)
    • Minnesota State University (1)
    • Rivier University (1)
    • University of Kentucky (1)
    • Eastern Kentucky University (1)
    • Adrian College (1)
    • Liberty University (1) 
    • Wentworth Institute of Technology (1)
    • Milwaukee School of Engineering (1) 
    • Western Michigan University (1)
    • Quinnipiac (1)
    • Trinity College (1) 
    • Tufts University (1) 
    • University of Northern Colorado (1)
    • University of Nebraska (1)

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    Sunday, June 18, 2023

    Thank You Note from a Bridgedale Grad's Parents

    Note: Printed below is a note I received at our graduation ceremony from Samantha and Ryan Burns, parents of Aiden, who graduated from Bridgedale this past school year. Aiden will be attending Benet Academy in the fall. Their thoughtful, handwritten note is also pictured below. 

    Bridgedale Headmaster Mike McPartlin

    Dear Mike,

    Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined our son would be attending school in an ice rink, and in the blink of an eye, our time is ending. Such an important decision for us. 

    These past four years have been a blessing. What you and your staff have provided Aiden will never be forgotten. 

    Starting a boy, quickly growing into a young man, Aiden has proved time and again that this decision was one of the best yet. 

    Although life at Bridgedale is vastly different than other schools, it works well for those willing to embrace it. 

    It provided education, athletic training, adversity, leadership, opportunity and guidance necessary to help him grow.

    He is a better friend, teammate, student and person because of each person encountered here.

    Thank you for giving us this opportunity to join this family, to share our son, our family life, our struggle as we navigated the last four years. 

    We are forever grateful for our Bridgedale family!

    Our best,

    Ryan and Sam




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    Sunday, June 18, 2023

    A Personal Email from a Bridgedale Dad


    Bridgedale dad Bill Vander Velde wrote about his sons' year at Bridgedale

    Note: Printed below is an unsolicited email I received from Bill Vander Velde, dad of Jake and Josh, Bridgedale 8th and 6th graders respectively during the 2022-23 school year. I've received Bill's permission to print his personal email in its entirety. It's a long note but I hope you'll take the time to read it.

    Bridgedale Headmaster Mike McPartlin


    Good morning Mike,

    Colette and I wanted to drop you an email regarding Bridgedale and Jake and Josh. We have been thinking about this quite a bit. We really don’t even know where to begin. Words cannot even begin to express what you and Bridgedale have done for both of our boys. Thinking back to the gracious offer you gave us last fall and where this ended up at graduation last week. It literally brings tears to our eyes on so many levels for so many different reasons.

    First of all, we could never have imagined our boys attending Bridgedale. Second, your offer came at a time when financially things were really tough, as our business was still reeling from the COVID shutdowns. Third, the impact that Bridgedale has had on Jake and Josh is immeasurable from now and in the years to come. This impact, seriously, cannot even be measured yet because it’s still in its infancy! We are referring to not just Hockey skills, but, academics, responsibility, character and personal development. These boys KNEW that they mattered to Bridgedale staff and this inspired them to be better and strive to meet the expectations set for them.

    To say we are overwhelmed at what has happened to the boys in such a short period of time is understatement. Please indulge me as we list some of the positive attributes that have developed in just 7 months:

    1. Increased self confidence as individuals.Both are making decisions quicker and more freely for themselves.

    2. Character development on and off the ice. Both have strengthened their mental strength to make right decisions in adverse situations and not succumb to peer pressure.

    3. Personal responsibility has increased. They are quicker to be aware of what is going on around them and be part of a solution and not being a problem.

    4. Increased academically. They both care about their grades and monitor their progress and strived to be their best.

    5. Their hockey skills….this can’t even quantified. The growth disparity from when both started to now is immeasurable. It’s mind blowing.  Being at Bridgedale has opened many doors for both boys for hockey. Josh has moved up to what I believe as one of the top 2011 goalies in the country. These aren’t actually my words but from coaches. Jacob, what can we say, wow, he is showing some serious skills and looks to be carving out his own path to playing exceptional hockey.

    6. Their personal responsibility growth, for their own actions, as a classmate, teammate, student and as an individual has been outstanding.

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    Saturday, May 13, 2023

    Bridgedale Grad Jake Delaney Commits to Miami (OH)

    On a Hockey Scholarship

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    We are proud to congratulate Bridgedale Academy grad Jake Delaney for his recent commitment to attend and play his NCAA D1 college hockey at Miami of Ohio

    The Redhawks compete in the super-competitive National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) alongside perennial powerhouse programs like Denver, North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth.

    Jake a 6’1” 205 lb left-shooting defenseman, is a resident of Glen Ellyn, IL. He and his twin brother Nick (who has had his own hockey success recently) attended Bridgedale for four (4) years. 

    Jake spent most of last season with the Chicago Fury U18s before being called up to the Janesville (WI) Jets of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) where he joined fellow Bridgedale grad defensemen Gunnar Williams and Tyler Pfister. 

    Jake made an immediate impact at Janesville, impressing the coaches to such a degree that they tendered him for the 2023-24 season. In addition, he was drafted by the Tri-City Storm in this year’s USHL Phase II draft. 

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    Monday, May 8, 2023

    Bridgedale Grad Anton Sorensen Commits to Adrian College

    Will join D3 National Runner-Up in the Fall

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    We are proud to congratulate Bridgedale Academy grad Anton Sorensen for his recent commitment to attend and play his NCAA D3 college hockey at Adrian College

    Adrian is a powerhouse program, having won the NCAA national championship last season and finishing as runner-up this season to Bridgedale grad Tanner Hartman and his Hobart College Statesmen teammates.

    Anton, a right-shooting forward, is a resident of Wheaton, IL. His dad Anders, a former Bridgedale on-ice instructor, is now in his second year as Head Coach of the Rockford Ice Hogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. 

    Anton, in his second season as a member of the Ottawa Jr. Senators of the Central Canada Hockey League junior league (CCHL), attended Bridgedale for two years while competing for the Chicago Mission.

    Anton and his Jr. Senators teammates just hoisted the Bogart Cup for winning the CCHL playoffs and they will now compete in the prestigious Centennial Cup playoffs for Canada's National Junior A Championship. 

    Their first Centennial Cup game will be this Friday, May 12, 2023 against the champion of the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League.

    Anton has had a very productive year for the Jr. Senators this season, notching 54 points (18G 36A) in 53 games, good for 15th place in league scoring.

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    Sunday, April 2, 2023

    Bridgedale Grad Spencer Stastney makes NHL Debut

    Solid Performance helps Predators win 6-1 over the Blues

    Bridgedale grad Spencer Stastney made his NHL debut last night as his Nashville Predators won 6-1 over the St. Louis Blues. Spencer, a left-shooting defenseman, played more than 13 minutes in the game, ending up with an even plus/minus to go along with his 3 shots on goal and 1 blocked shot.

    After two years with USA Hockey's NTDP, Spencer starred for four seasons at Notre Dame. He signed with Nashville in 2022 after his senior season at ND and until last night had spent this entire season with the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville's AHL affiliate.

    (Scroll down to see 2020 video of Spencer talking about his time at Bridgedale.)

    Spencer received some very high praise from Predators Head Coach John Hynes (comments about Spencer's play begin at 4:26 of the post-game presser).

    "I thought Spencer was really good," said Coach Hynes. "I was really impressed with him tonight. I thought his skating was at an NHL level." He also praised Spencer's "puck poise (and) his ability to move the puck up the ice," adding that he "defended well" and "didn't miss a beat."

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