NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX–
Let’s take a deeper dive into the blue crease with the red-hot Texas Brahmas – this time with a focus on the common paths of Brahma Goalies, Brendan Forden and Riley Gorman. The Brahmas Hockey organization has a long history and tradition of Goalkeeper excellence. A closer examination of this season’s good fortune will ultimately point in the familiar direction of this extraordinary Goalie duo.
The Great State of Texas, a thriving hotbed of ice hockey since the 1940s, is presently one of the fastest expanding regions in the US, by measurement of USA Hockey registrations according to their own data reporting. Both native Texans – Brendan hails from Plano, and Riley from Odessa – these goalies have arrived in Brahma Land by traveling upon a similar path. While every hockey journey is unique to the player and the specific resources available, it is important to note that both Forden and Riley were compelled to execute a very difficult decision at a critical juncture of hockey development: take leave of Texas to follow their Tier I paths.
BRENDAN FORDEN is having an impressive first year of Junior Hockey posting a 17-7 record, 2.23 goals against average, and healthy .920 save percentage. The manner in which this rookie goalie has earned his way to the NA3HL holds an increasing commonality among most top prospects starting a Junior Hockey career in Texas.
Brendan was indeed honored to play hockey for his hometown Frisco High School, a team which ended up winning a State Championship trophy. Prior to that distinction, Forden had already suited up for three different youth hockey clubs in the Dallas area, however never once for his nearest affiliate AAA Dallas Stars Elite. Fortunately, Forden did make his way on the roster a AAA Club at 16U in Omaha, Nebraska, and repeated the feat again the following year with the 18U AAA Windy City Storm. Surely, an early experience of leaving home, living with a Billet Family in a distant region, does prepare a player for the rigors of college hockey. Certainly it was Forden’s experience gained via the AAA systems which has honed his skills needed to become one of the top goalies in the NA3HL.
RILEY GORMAN grew up in Odessa Texas playing for the West Texas team at 16U. Like his Brahmas teammate, Riley also went looking for and eventually landed on a Tier I program, albeit outside of Texas. As luck would have it, the stars aligned just right and Gorman was able to remain within the Rocky Mountain District, and play Tier I 18U hockey for the Colorado College Tigers.
Traveling even further the next season, Gorman landed at the Tier I New Hampshire Avalanche and immediately made his presence known, and posted strong statistics within a different district far from home. Gorman maintains positive spin on the distances his path has covered, “It was great to make friends with players from all over the place, and then face some of them again here in the NA3HL.”
This year with the Texas Brahmas, Riley’s stats are an impressive 8-2, 2.33 goals against average, and a .923 save percentage.
Both Riley and Brendan are young goalies with a bright future ahead of them. The Texas Brahmas and HC John Goffredo are very happy the lads have found their way back to their Texas home. “These goalies are good friends who lift each other up, and both are playing at such an exceptionally high level; beyond their years. They will definitely contribute to whichever college team they would commit. Definitely.” said Goffredo at the Team Photograph session this week.
Riley Gorman and Brendan Forden are both eligible to return to the Brahmas in 2023-24.
This weekend the Texas Brahmas are at home, hosting a three game series against the Louisiana Drillers. Excellent seats are available and large crowds are expected for this weekend which includes “Family Day” on Saturday, where player’s families and billets converge for photos, recognitions, and special events held in honor and appreciation of the people who make all of this possible for Brahmas Hockey.