It’s rare that we have a local playing on the Orlando Solar Bears. This week Orlando brought back Drennen Atherton, an impressive goaltender from Winter Haven, Florida. Drennen appeared in two games with the Solar Bears during the 2022-23 season following the conclusion of his college career at Norwich University.
While at Norwich University, Atherton was on the ice for 42 games during his three seasons at the University, where he had a 28-9-5 record and a .946 save percentage. During his senior year at Norwich, Atherton was a finalist for the Sid Watson Award. This award is given to the top player in NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey. After his 2022-23 season, Atherton was named by the American Hockey Coaches Association to the first All-American Team following his .966 save percentage during his senior season. Prior to his collegiate career, Atherton played for the Northern Cyclones.
Growing up, Drennen chose roller hockey as his main focus. The Florida sun is no joke, but still, he decided to strap on the layers of goalie gear and work hard to have a successful future in hockey. Drennen spoke to The Lakeland Ledger, saying, “Not being able to slide or shuffle, you become a lot more athletic in terms of making those diving saves — sprawling across the crease,” he said. “If you make a save and a rebound comes back, you’re diving because you can’t slide.” Going from playing roller hockey to being on the ice is very different, but Drennen Atherton has become an excellent goalie on ice.