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Peoria prospect signed by NCAA UMass-Lowell hockey program

PEORIA ― Dillan Bentley has signed with prestigious college hockey program UMass-Lowell, making him arguably the highest level college hockey signee ever to come out of Peoria.

The Peoria-born right wing and product of the Peoria Youth Hockey Association is believed to be just the third player from Peoria to sign with an NCAA Division I program.

He’s gone from a house league team in the PYHA, to a declaration at a restaurant in East Peoria, then a season in junior hockey with the Peoria Mustangs. Now he has a full ride with UMass-Lowell, which has six NCAA tournament appearances in the last decade, including a trip to the 2013 Frozen Four.

“It’s starting to sink in on me,” said Bentley, 21. “I arrived here July 5. We’ve been touring the school, drove in to Boston, then into Lowell. I’m in (summer conditioning) camp now and it’s so exciting to be part of such a respected program.

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