Jeremy Johnson and Patrick Martens aren't planning on hanging up the skates anytime soon.
The former Yorkton Terriers forwards are poised to take the next step in their hockey careers after committing to secondary schools.
Johnson, 21, is heading south of the border to play for the Minot State Beavers of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. He chose to go to the Division 1 team because he felt it was the right fit for him.
"They showed a lot of interest in me, especially during the playoffs," said Johnson, who potted 14 points in 17 post-season games. "Since they seemed so interested and really made me feel they really wanted me to play there, I thought it was the right fit for me."
Minot State's 2012-13 national championship was enticing to Johnson, but it was essentially just the icing on the cake in his decision to join the Beavers.
"I think I still would have committed if they didn't win it, but it definitely is nice to go to a school with a winning tradition," he said.
Martens, meanwhile, is headed to Alberta to play for Red Deer College.
"I'm really excited to go on to play there next year," said Martens. "They have great coaches and strong programs as a school. I'm excited for the opportunity."
Although Martens grew up in British Columbia, he has family in the Red Deer area. The familiar faces and a strong electrical engineering program swayed his final decision towards the college.
"I'm looking forward to seeing my family that lives in Alberta," said the Maple Ridge, B.C., native. "I haven't been able to see them that much and they haven't been able to really see me play, so it will be nice to see them and everything… Electrical engineering is something I have wanted to pursue since last summer. I decided it would be a good career for me and I'm excited to take that course in Red Deer."
Johnson and Martens looked at NCAA options, but decided to go a different direction.
"I looked at some NCAA schools, but the Beavers had a lot of interest in me and I felt that was the best school for me," said Johnson, who is a native of Yorkton.
"I had some interest from some Division 3 NCAA schools," added Martens. "In the end, with me having family around Red Deer and their strong electrical engineering program, I felt Red Deer was a good fit."
Before blossoming into star forwards with the Terriers, Johnson and Martens had to work their way up to the SJHL by biding time in junior 'B' leagues. Johnson suited up for the Ochapowace Thunder in the PJHL as an 18-year-old; Martens played for the Nelson Leafs in the KIJHL in British Columbia in his 18 and 19-year-old seasons.
"I didn't play 'AA' or 'AAA' midget, so I guess I was a longshot for the SJHL," said Johnson, who scored 28 goals and 41 points in 51 games this year. "I played a year of junior B and that helped me make the jump to the SJHL. I just worked hard and it paid off."
"Things didn't seem to workout in B.C.," added 20-year-old Martens, who scored 23 goals and 41 points in 53 games. "I was happy to get the opportunity to play in Yorkton. They gave me a chance to play and that helped me take some big strides in my game."
Martens especially turned on the gas in the second season for Yorkton, notching 11 goals and 13 points in 15 contests.
"The puck bounced my way and my hard work was paying off," said Martens. "I was just happy to help the team anyway I could."
The snipers are excited for the next chapter in their hockey careers. It wasn't, however, easy to say goodbye the Terriers organization, especially after winning the Canalta Cup this past year.
"I had a great year in Yorkton," said Martens. "To win a championship and make so many friends, it would have nice to spend more than one year there."
"It was great to end my junior career with a championship," said Johnson. "I am grateful for the opportunity the Terriers gave me and I'll definitely miss playing for them."