Worcester Railers Junior Hockey Club defenseman P.J. Donahue has announced he has committed to play his college hockey at Suffolk University beginning with the 2021-22 season.
At Suffolk, Donahue will join Railers teammate Joey Lizotte, who committed to the Rams earlier this year.
Located in the heart of Boston, Suffolk, which plans to join the Commonwealth Coast Conference next season, won over Donahue in a number of ways.
“It is the perfect fit for me,” said Donahue, a native of Canton, MA. “The business school as a whole was a big draw for me. I see Suffolk as a ‘sleeper’ school that doesn’t like to brag about its reputation, which goes along with my personality. It is in a great place, you can’t beat the location, right in downtown Boston.”
Donahue spent six years at Boston College High School in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, starting in Grade 7 and graduating in 2019. He was an integral part of Massachusetts Super 8 title teams in both his junior and senior seasons patrolling the blue line for the Eagles.
“Suffolk being in Boston was definitely a factor,” he said. “Coming from BC High, I went to school in the city for six years, so I figured I might as well continue that. I talked with coach (Chris) Glionna and met some of the guys on the team and I knew the level of competition was the right fit for me.”
Following his graduation from BC High, Donahue attended Phillips Exeter for a PG year, playing a year in the prep ranks. He started the 20-21 season with the Twin City Thunder in the NCDC before joining the Railers in early November.
It proved to be a great move for him.
“If I didn’t leave Maine, I don’t think I would be where I am today,” Donahue said. “GM (Mike) Addesa and coach (Sean) Bertoni went to work for me right away. Day 1 coach Bertoni was on every coach he could think of. He also asked me for a list of schools I would be interested in. I didn’t have to reach out myself, which took some pressure off me. I was able to concentrate on my game and my courses. They were more than willing to do it.”
“PJ Donahue is the ultimate competitor, he works extremely hard and came in putting in extra time to learn our systems,” Bertoni said. “We are very excited for PJ’s acceptance at Suffolk University. I look forward to seeing him play at the next level.”
Donahue played 27 regular season games for the Railers, amassing three goals and four assists, and was able to play a key role in the Railers playoff run. Over that time, he definitely saw improvements in his game.
“They (Railers staff) definitely had me thinking about my position,” he said. “I was able to grow my game as a defenseman. They broke down what I needed to do, to become more methodical on the ice as a defenseman. They helped me grow my game, especially in the defensive zone. I am convinced that I am on the road to mastering my play at this position and therefore much better prepared to contribute at the college level.”
“This decision for PJ was a very difficult one,” Addesa said. “Guided by his family, he has always pursued excellence in academics, having attended BC High for six years and then Phillips Exeter. PJ was admitted to a number of the top academic institutions in the Northeast which made this final choice so much more difficult. I endorse his choice of Suffolk University that has a number of programs that are internationally renowned. They also have one of the nation’s finest law schools, something else PJ and I have discussed while talking about his many choices.
“I want to thank PJ for his great contribution to our program. He brought great character, great work ethic, a strong desire to learn, and he was a great teammate. I wish him the very best moving forward.”