Cochrane’s Thielen and Viberg commit to NCAA programs


Media Update

Release date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cochrane’s Thielen and Viberg commit to NCAA programs

COCHRANE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League has announced that defenceman Joseph Thielen and forward Nate Viberg have both committed to NCAA programs to begin in the fall.

Thielen will be attending Curry College where the Colonels compete out of the Commonwealth Coast Conference and Viberg meanwhile is off to the University of Massachusetts-Boston to go to school and skate for the Beacons men’s program in the New England Hockey Conference.

The 19-year-old Thielen, who hails from Huntington Beach, Calif., played 85 career contests for the Crunch and contributed 71 points from the back end on 14 goals and 57 assists.

“Joe has played a big part in our programs success the last two years and we are happy to see him get this opportunity, even with one year left remaining of junior eligibility,” offered Cochrane Team President, head coach and general manager Ryan Leonard.

“Joey was named our Defenceman of the Year by his teammates for the Crunch and was also named to the NOJHL second All-Star team in the 2015-16 season.”

As for Viberg he’s accepted his offer to play hockey and attend school at UMass-Boston.

Viberg finished 14th overall in NOJHL scoring in 2016-17 averaging well over a point-per-game as he picked up 65 in total in 50 outings on 27 tallies and 38 helpers.

“Nate played a very big part for us when we traded for him, bringing in some more offence and character to the room,” stated Leonard.

“Coach Belisle at UMass-Boston tells me they are excited to be able to commit and look forward to adding him to their roster.”

This marks the sixth and seventh players from this year’s Crunch team to move onto the NCAA.

For more information on the Cochrane Crunch, visit the team website at or on social media at or