NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – After three full seasons playing in the North American Hockey League, the Lone Star Brahmas currently have nearly 50 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 our first installment of Brahmas Alumni brought to you by Thumbtechs, we take a look at everything from opening weekend points to player of the week recognition.
Bentley University defenseman Alexey Solovyev is a goal-per-game player through mid-October, scoring in each of the Falcon’s first three games. After amassing 50 points with the Brahmas from 2013-15, Solovyev is looking to continue that pace in the NCAA ranks. Solovyev was honored as the Atlantic Hockey Defenseman of the Week.
Sebastian Vidmar leads all Brahmas Alumni in the NCAA as a point-per-game player. The Sweden native started the season as a top six forward for Union College and has produced, scoring four points in four games. Vidmar was influential in Union’s season opener at now ranked #11 Michigan, assisting twice in the 4-3 win.
San Jose Shark draft pick Jake Kupsky, also playing with Union, should see considerable time in net this season as a sophomore. Kupsky lost his first start against the Michigan Wolverines, but then helped his team to an overtime-draw against Sacred Heart. Through two games, the former NAHL All-Rookie Team goaltender has 53 saves.
Alex Berardinelli has three points in four games this season with the Colorado College Tigers. His two goals this season, one of which was short-handed, ties him for the most on the team. Last season, Berardinelli led the North America Hockey League with seven short-handed goals.
Berardinelli is one of the go-to players on the Colorado College offense with 11 total shots and has wasted no time adjusting to the speed of college hockey. Teammate and goaltender Jacob Nehama has yet to see the ice for CC.
Junior Thomas Aldworth has a pair of goals and is second on the the team with 14 shots on goal through the first five games. His goal on Wednesday night proved to be the game winner against University of Connecticut. Aldworth and his fourth ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats are looking to repeat last year’s success and return to the National Championship Title Game.
On Tuesday night, Derek Barach scored once and assisted two other goals as the Mercyhurst Lakers beat Niagara 4-2.
Cam Clarke, Ferris State University, has played four games in a Bulldogs jersey, but has yet to register his first point of the season. Being one of last year’s statistical leaders for the Brahmas, Clarke has a good chance of being a breakout star for Ferris State once he adjusts to the WCHA conference.
Tyler Drevitch and Alex Carle with Merrimack College, Martin Mellberg with American International College, Sean Giles and Alex Dagnal with Robert Morris University, and Dalton Skelly with the College of the Holy Cross have all played a couple games with their respective teams, but have yet to tally a point in their games.
Drevitch, did however, waste no time in pre-season play scoring his first goal one minute in to his first collegiate game.
Corbin Kaczperski (Yale) opens the season next weekend against Sacred Heart and Joey Fallon (Princeton) travels to Michigan State for the Tigers first game of the year. Oskar Andren (Boston) has yet to play this season.
All NCAA Division III programs began official practice this past Monday.
Brandon Estes and Darion Hanson, teammates on the Youngstown Phantoms, are currently the only Brahmas alumni playing in the United States Hockey League. Estes has tallied one point with the Phantoms, but has been one of the more steady blueliners for Jeff Potter’s new team. Last year with Lone Star, Estes was a powerful playmaker, helping his teammates score with 19 assists in 53 games.
Hanson is 1-2-0 in net and has stopped 77 of 86 shots so far this season. Last year, Hanson ranked sixth among NAHL goaltenders in wins and goals against average so expect the Minnesota native’s numbers to rise.
Next year, the two are set to join some former Brahmas at Union College.
Former teammates AJ Vanderbeck and Johan Steen two notable alumni playing in the BCHL for the 2016-17 season.
The 6-foot-2 Steen has been strong offensively, scoring 7 points in 16 games as a defneseman for the Powell River Kings. Current Brahma Austin Kamer spent the last two season with the River Kings.
Vandy has been on a tear to start the season. Picking up after a strong pre-season, the Colorado native has nine goals and 12 points through nine games this season. The nine goals put him tied for third in the league in goal scoring. Next year, Vanderbeck is off to Colorado College to play with Berardinelli and Nehama.
Johan Lundgren, Anton Santesson, and Samu Suominen are three notable alumni playing overseas.
Lundgren is playing with Helsingborgs Hockey Club in Sweden and he already has six points in eight games. The former 40-point scorer in the NAHL hopes to continue the upward trend in his home town.
Believe it or not, Santesson and Lundgren are now teammates with Helsingborgs HC. The former Brahmas defenseman has four points and a plus-6 rating on the ice over the same stretch of games.
Suominen has already scored twice for TUTO Hockey (Finland) in 12 games and sports an impressive plus-6 rating. Suominen is the youngest player on his team, but certainly is not showing signs of being too in-experienced for the league.