NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – After two full seasons playing in the North American Hockey League, the Lone Star Brahmas currently have 29 alumni playing NCAA DI and DIII hockey and a handful of other players still competing across the country.
Each month, LoneStarBrahmas.com will help the fans keep tabs on our alumni. In this edition of Brahmas Alumni Update brought to you by Thumbtechs, we take a look at everything from NCAA honors to first career points.
After his first full month in college, Oskar Andren (Boston), tallied two assists and blocked a shot in seven games played. He played top line wing alongside NHL Draft picks on Monday night’s historic Beanpot matchup against Northeastern in which Andren’s Terriers won 3-1. The Swede’s former teammates Alexey Solovyev (Bentley) and Hayden Hansen (Utica) also recorded their first collegiate point (both via assist) in January. Solovyev scored it against American International on January 22 where he finished as a plus-3 skater.
This weekend, Solovyev will play against Derek Barach’s (Mercyhurst) Lakers. The 2013 Brahma had a monster month, scoring four goals and four assists in eight games and he now leads his team in scoring. This past weekend, he scored three goals (including the game winner on Friday) and an assist on seven shots en route to a weekend sweep against American International.
Over that same weekend, Mitchell Mueller (American International) was named the Atlantic Hockey Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Mercyhurst. The freshman collected two goals and an assist against the Lakers. His first collegiate goal came on Friday, January 29. In his last five games, Mueller has four points and ten blocked shots.
Alex Carle (Merrimack) found his confidence against Arizona State on January 31. The Anchorage, Alaska native scored his first NCAA goal and added two more assists to propel the Warriors to a 10-0 win. He now has seven points in his freshman campaign heading into the final month of the regular season. His teammate Ludvig Larsson (Merrimack) missed most of January. He registered five shots in three games played.
Forward Pat Egan (SUNY-Plattsburgh) continues to take New York by storm. The freshman from Rochester leads his team in scoring with 22 points and is in contention to win the SUNYAC Freshman of the Year.
Goaltender TJ Black (St. Norbert) has also been hot. One week ago, the two-year Brahma was named to the NCAA DIII National Team of the Week and NCHA Defensive Player of the Week. Black took on now-No.1 Adrian and stopped 31 of 32 shots to secure a 2-1 win for the Green Knights. He went on to win two more games before the end of the month. In eight season appearances, Black is 6-1-1 with an impressive 1.29 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Roman Uchyn (St. Norbert) scored twice and assisted two other goals in five January games while Storm Wahlrab (St. Norbert) added two points this month.
Jake Kupsky (Union) started against Merrimack College on January 2 (his first appearance since November 6) and he recorded the “W.” Kupsky stopped 24 of 26 shots in the victory and he did it while facing former Topeka RoadRunner goaltender, Drew Vogler. Kupsky had a tough task against Cornell and Princeton in late January, but he and Sebastian Vidmar did enough to give their team two ties.
Vidmar, a regular in the Dutchmen line-up, scored three times and assisted another in those games against Cornell and Princeton. He also blocked five shots this past month.
Thomas Aldworth (Quinnipiac) scored twice in January, including once against Union. In his last five games, Todd Koritzinsky (Wisconsin Eau-Claire) has two goals, three assists, and a plus-6 rating. Matt Lison (Bowdoin) has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last eight games. Sophomore Ben Owen (Northland) has three points in his last three games.
Taking a look inside the crease, Mattias Soderqvist (Lawrence) registered two shutouts this month and is now 6-9-1 on the season. Jacob Nehama (Colorado) had a solid month for the Tigers, beating ranked opponent St. Cloud State 5-2 after stopping 47 shots, his second most saves in his career. The win secured Colorado College its first conference road win in almost a year. Nehama made 36 saves against the University of Omaha-Nebraska in a 5-1 win last weekend.
Forward AJ Vanderbeck (Sioux Falls Stampede) had a quiet month, finding just one assist through his last eight games. Defenseman Johan Steen recorded three assists, eight shots, and eight penalty minutes for the Omaha Lancers in eight January games.
Nick Ford (Brookings) was named to the Central Division Top Prospects Tournament roster for the February competition. The former NAHL and NA3HL Brahma had five points in ten January games. Patrick Gazich (Brookings) made his Blizzard debut in January with a fight, but he is currently not on their roster.
Gunner Rivers (Minot) was traded earlier this month by Odessa for netminder Jon Flanke (who beat the Brahmas 4-1 on Saturday). Rivers didn’t miss a beat considering he was named the Central Division Star of the Week. The Atlanta native stopped 52 of 55 shots over the weekend and he shut out the Aberdeen Wings on January 30 to keep the Minotauros in contention from the Central Crown.
Janesville got a solid addition up front with Peter Bates. The Chicago native is playing for his fourth NAHL team in the last two seasons, but “Batesy” is making the most of his time up north. Through seven games, Bates has five points and he led the Jets with a plus-4 rating in January.
Kyle Patava (Minnesota) joined his team last week and played his first weekend for Corey Millen’s Wilderness. Patava skated in both games against Janesville, finishing with one shot and a plus-1 rating.
Liam Stirtzinger (Fairbanks) had five assists, seven points, and a team-high 49 penalty minutes in January. Eric Carreras (Odessa) added six points to his season total this past month and then was traded to the Aston Rebels before the 1st of the month. Carreras will play closer to home and leaves the ‘Jacks as their second leading scorer (14 goals). Odessa acquired former Amarillo Bull and Rio Grande Valley forward Connor Wood through the trade.
Carreras’ future teammate Darion Hanson (Aston) wrapped up a very strong start to 2016, winning four games and posting an impressive 1.87 goals against average and a .941 save percentage, which ranks second in the league over the last 31 days (minimum 100 minutes played).
Defenseman Anton Santesson is playing professional hockey for Helsingborgs HC, a member of the highest division in Sweden. Santesson has 11 assists and 12 points in 28 games.