DUBUQUE, Iowa — Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi (Pietarsaari, Finland) has committed to the University of Maine, making his college choice for the future. This is Tiuraniemi’s first season with the Saints, in which he excelled as an offensively-minded presence on the blue line.
Tiuraniemi was selected by the Fighting Saints in the eighth round of the 2016 Phase II Draft with accolades such as being a Jr. A SM-Liiga First Team All-Star, and the most points scored by any defenseman at that level with 38.
Combined between the regular season and the playoffs, Tiuraniemi has scored 4 goals and 22 assists in 59 games of action. He finished tied for 13th in defensive scoring with 22 points in the regular season, with 2 of his 3 goals on the power play, and 13 of his 19 assists on the man advantage as well.
The Finnish defenseman will join a Black Bears team with defenseman Patrick Holway on the roster, who played with the Saints during the 2015–16 season. Maine is led by head coach Red Gendron, who will be entering his fifth season behind the bench of the Hockey East program in 2017–18, looking to make a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.