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Texas Brahmas 2020-21 Season Preview

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — The reigning Fraser Cup champions enter their seventh season in the North American 3 Hockey League on Saturday, October 17 against the Louisiana Drillers. The Texas Brahmas were on a path to a second championship after finishing at the top of the NA3HL last year, only to have the playoffs canceled due to the COVID-19 health pandemic. After recording a total of 261 wins during their six-year tenure in the league, the team has been putting in the work during the extended break to result in another successful season. 

Head coach Ryan Andersen will spend his second season at the helm of the Brahmas and added new assistant coach CJ Sweigart to the leadership of the team. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to get the 2020-2021 NA3HL season started,” said Anderson.  “The Covid-19 pandemic obviously threw a wrench into what we hoped was a strong run at another Fraser Cup Championship.  Our organization worked unbelievably hard during the extended break.  We are very excited about the talent that has chosen to make Brahmaland their home.  I am also very excited to work alongside my new assistant coach CJ Sweigart.  CJ has come into our program and has added an extra dimension that was missing previously.  He is extremely knowledgeable and I am very excited to learn from him and work alongside him.  Training camp has been very competitive and I am pleased with where we are going into our first weekend of games.  It is a very long season and we are ready for the grind and the journey ahead.” 

The Brahmas return eleven skaters in Andrew Maccallum, Benjamin Mondou, Blake Rothstein, Danny Barry, Ian Erdman, Jack Cooper, Richard Indermill, Shane DiTullio, Tyler Blanchard, Leevi Selanne and Seth Wyatt-Manning. 

Several new faces will also be in the lineup this season, including Cameron Colberg (Texas Tigers), Danny Finegan (Team Illinois), Dolan Gilbert (Ohio AAA Blue Jackets), Gabe Coppo (Calumet High School), Jacob Kalandyk (Leamington Flyers), Jaron Ketterman (Gilmour Academy Prep U18AAA),Jaxon Taylor (Canton Chiefs Varsity), Joe Dorion (New Hampshire Junior Monarchs), J.P. Mariaro (Jr. Coyotes U18 AAA), Logan Gorbitz (Rocky Mountain RoughRiders 18U AAA), Luke Busher (Anaheim Jr. Ducks 18AA), Mason Mara (Florida Alliance 18U AAA), Matt Wheeler (Texas Jr Brahmas 16UAA), Michael Dalaly (Chicago Young American U18), Michael Imala (Team Illinois), Padraig McEnery (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs), Robby Rabroker (Notre Dame Argos), Tyler Larsen (L/A Nordiques), Alec Secord (Culver Academies Prep), Zach Crawley (Pens Elite U18) and Tyler Hildebrant (Chicago Mission). 

The 2020-21 Texas Brahmas season kicks off this weekend with a three-game home stint against the Louisiana Drillers. The contests will be played at NYTEX Sports Centre on October 17 (8:30 p.m.), October 18 (4:15 p.m.) and October 19 (12:00 p.m.), as well as broadcast on HockeyTV. 

Hill Named New Head Coach

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Texas Jr. Brahmas of the North American 3 Hockey League are proud to announce Michael Hill as the team’s new head coach.


Hill, 26, takes over for Al Rooney, who was announced as the new Lone Star Brahmas assistant coach earlier this week.


“I'm very excited for this opportunity. I'm ready to share my knowledge of the game to the players at this developing level,” the new bench boss said.  “I love being back home in the state of Texas and still seeing the game of hockey bloom.”


The new coach graduated from St. Norbert College earlier in 2016 and competed on their NCAA Division III ice hockey team for three years.  After winning a National Championship in 2014, the Fort Worth native concluded with his following senior season and then a handful of professional games in the ECHL with the Missouri Mavericks, before beginning the venture of his coaching career.


“I'm looking forward to creating opportunities for my players to move to the next level.  I'm also looking forward to having my wife and daughter be a part of the Brahmas organization.  So far, it's been easy to be here and around people who share the same passion for the sport as you do,” Hill continued.


Former NA3HL Head Coach Al Rooney, who last week was announced as the full-time Lone Star Brahmas Assistant Coach, will assist the newcomer in Hill.  The decision comes in light of Rooney being the key recruiter for the 2016-17 team.


"Michael came in here several months back and impressed all of us with his attention to details and enthusiasm for being a part of the Brahmas program,” Rooney said of Hill.  “Either way we were going to be working together this coming season, as it turns out we will essentially just be swapping roles and I think it's going to be a great match for our players to learn and develop from."


A former North American Hockey League player himself, Hill holds the all-time goals scored record for the Topeka RoadRunners.  As a member of the team in 2009 & 2010, the former lethal scorer deposited 68 goals in 89 regular season games.


“Throughout my youth and college hockey career I have had the honor and privilege of playing in five championship games.  After missed opportunities, in 2014 at the NCAA level, I learned precisely what it takes to reach the pinnacle of our sport. I am bringing that dedication, desire, work ethic and all-for-one attitude to Brahmas hockey,” Hill finished with.


Hill had the opportunity to meet some of his players at this weekend’s Open Camp and will have the next few weeks to prepare for the team’s Main Camp, which will take place August 19-21 at NYTEX Sports Centre.  For all information on the team and further announcements, stay tuned to “Texas Brahmas NA3HL” on Facebook and “@TXBrahmas” on Twitter.

Gagnon Commits To Westfield State

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Two-year Brahma Sam Gagnon announced his commitment to NCAA Division III Westfield State University on Thursday, becoming the third Brahma this offseason to announce his advancement to the next level.

Gagnon, 20, recorded 61 points in 45 games over the course of two seasons with the Brahmas and is now looking forward to his next challenge.

It was a hard decision to make.  I was talking to multiple schools and it came down what made sense financially and ultimately where it would be the best place to further my education,” the newest commit said.

The Montreal native came to the Brahmas in both of the past two seasons after beginning the year with Tier II Canadian teams.  With a bolt of offense, the forward averaged over a point per game and helped steer the team into the playoffs, including a Silver Cup appearance this past spring.

"I'm very pleased to see Sam have the opportunity to play NCAA hockey, it was his stated goal when he came here and it's always satisfying as a Coach to see your players reach their goals," former Head Coach Al Rooney said.  "Sam gave nothing but his full effort every day on and off the ice so it's great to see his hard work and dedication payoff with this commitment.  I think Westfield is getting a real diamond in the rough player who will grow into a significant role with that team before his time is over there."

Westfield State University is located in Westfield, Massachusetts and competes in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.  The school’s official nickname is the “Owls” and has a total enrollment of 5,500.

They have a beautiful campus, plus the fact that we are a short drive from Boston doesn’t hurt.  Also, I have the opportunity to play with one of my best friends from Montreal who also committed not too long ago,” continued.

Since the organization joined the NA3HL, Gagnon ranks fourth in franchise points.    His biggest, perhaps came with the teams back against the wall during Round One of the 2016 NA3HL Playoffs against the Atlanta Capitals.  With 2:15 remaining in the third period, Gagnon struck on the power play to force a decisive Game Three, which the Brahmas would eventually prevail and secure a spot to the organization’s first Silver Cup.

“My experience these past 2 years have been unbelievable, I am so blessed to have been able to experience it with such a great organization.  Coach Al was like a second father to me and always pushed me to get better everyday.  I was lucky enough to have the best billets as well, the Woogk Family.  They were one of the biggets reasons that I was able to perform in Texas.  Their support was unbelievable and I am so lucky to have met them.

For more information on Brahmas commitments, stay tuned to “Texas Brahmas NA3HL” on Facebook and “@TXBrahmas” on Twitter

Rooney Promoted To Lone Star

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – NYTEX Sports Co-Owner Frank Trazzera announced Wednesday that Texas Jr. Brahmas Head Coach Al Rooney has been promoted to full-time Assistant Coach of the North American Hockey League’s Lone Star Brahmas.

Rooney, who led the NA3HL affiliate to a 61-24-9 record and two playoff appearances in two seasons, additionally took the team to its first Silver Cup appearance this past spring.

“I’m very excited about this new position.  It's been nice to have served as goalie coach with the 'big' club these past two seasons, but this bigger role is something I've been anxious to get the opportunity to do,” Rooney expressed.  “Working alongside Dan will be an absolute pleasure and I know I have big shoes to fill, but I'm confident that we will succeed and have another outstanding team and season in Brahmaland.”

Head Coach Dan Wildfong is embracing the new face beside him on the bench, despite a highly successful 102-57-21 record with Jeff Potter as his assistant the past three years.

“Al’s done a great job with the NA3 program, and there’s so many reasons as to why I’m excited to be working with him.  He’s really knowledgeable with the game of hockey and I think he’s going to be great at the North American Hockey League level and even beyond that,” Wildfong said of the promotion.

The Texas Jr. Brahmas had four players called up to the NAHL last season, as a part of the NA3HL’s record advancement year.  On top of those four, Lone Star tendered Jr. Brahmas captain Brock Brown for the 2016-17 season.

“I'm looking forward to coaching in a tougher league with better players.  There are no 'nights off' in the NAHL schedule so I'm excited about this new challenge and rising to the occasion alongside Coach Wildfong to keep the Brahmas amongst the elite in the league,” Rooney continued on his new role.  “Recruiting and placements are in a whole different level as well, it's a much bigger and complicated picture but in a good way.  I feel confident and excited about everything, and I can't wait for the season to start.”

Rooney will still remain active among the NA3 program, however in a more of an assistant role.  He will assume his North American Hockey League coaching duties immediately, including with this weekend’s Open Camp.  For more information on the 16-17 season and the further coaching changes, be sure to stay tuned to the “Lone Star Brahmas” on Facebook and “@LoneStarBrahmas” on Twitter.

Brahmas Add Ten Via Draft

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The 2016 North American 3 Hockey League was conducted on Tuesday and the Brahmas selected the rights of 10 players.

In order, by selection, the players are as follows:

Round One: Hunter Bersani (F)

Round Two: Vincent Dekumbis (F), Bryce Pierce (F)

Round Three: Brett Dillon (F), Michael Alfaro (D)

Round Four: Anthony D’Aloisio (G)

Round Seven: Dustin Bolinger (D), Ben Dirks (F), Hunter Larsen (F)

Round Eight: J.R. Lesatz (F)

"I'm feeling good about our draft, it went as we planned,” said Brahmas Head Coach Al Rooney. “[We] had a couple guys off our board I was hoping to get but you're never going to get every guy you want.  We filled out needs as we wanted and expect to have a good bunch of these guys on our roster this coming season."

First round selection Hunter Bersani won’t have to travel very far to begin his career at NYTEX Sports Centre.  Hailing from Allen, TX, the 5’10” forward spent the past two seasons playing for the HC Dallas program, where he played alongside 2016-17 tendered defensemen, Todd Luther.

Speaking of familiar faces, second round selection Bryce Pierce is the younger brother of 2014-15 Brahma, Devin Pierce.  The 16-year-old forward comes from the über-successful TPH Thunder organization, which had a monumental amount of names on the NA3HL Draft board.

Pierce was one of two second round picks for the Brahmas, the other being Vincent Dekumbis.  The only international player selected by the franchise this year spent the past two seasons in the Western States Hockey League and averaged over a point per game through 84 regular season contests.  2016-17 will be the third year of North American hockey for the Swiss native.

Another interesting enigma that the team added on Draft Day was forward Brett Dillon.  The right-handed forward saw a massive surge in production last year for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes U18 program, posting 30 points in 32 games.  If last year was the spark that blossoms Dillon’s career, Brahmaland could be in for a real treat in the fall.

Beyond the Bersani-Luther HC Dallas and Pierce brother’s connections, Rooney added another when he added Michael Alfaro from Appleton, Wisconsin.  Appleton is also the hometown of Brahmas forward Bennett Weycker and the 18-year-old defensemen will hope to continue his warpath now in North Richland Hills.  Spending four years in the high school league, Alfaro logged 83 points in 94 games from the blue line and an additional 14 points in 14 post-season games. 

With the next two picks the Brahmas stayed close to home again by adding goaltender Anthony D’Aloisio and defensemen Dustin Bolinger.  D’Aloisio (Frisco) and Bolinger (Euless) come from the Dallas Stars junior program, where they join the long list of players who have transitioned to help the Brahmas organization.

Ben Dirks was the next selection for the team and he was followed by yet another connection-selection in Hunter Larsen.  Larsen played for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals U18 program along with tendered defensemen Jake Peterson.  The forward had 26 points in 30 games last year and will look to follow that near point-per-game average with the Brahmas.

Rounding out the draft for Rooney’s Brahmas was forward J.R. Lesatz.  At 6’0” – 175 lbs., the Howard, Wisconsin native spent last season with Notre Dame Academy. 

When all was said and done, the Brahmas concluded with seven forwards, two defensemen, and one goalie.  "It was important and part of our game plan to lean towards it being a forward heavy draft for us. We are secure in our goaltending depth, and our tender list was chock full of high-end defenseman so we needed to load ourselves up front,” Rooney continued.

The next event for the team will be next weekend when the team hits the ice for Open Camp.  Along with the Lone Star Brahmas, the organization will take the ice at NYTEX Sports Centre to inspect players who were not selected in the draft or tendered, but still want to display their talents.  For more information on the Brahmas, follow Texas Brahmas NA3HL on Facebook and @TXBrahmas on Twitter.

Greene Commits To Grand Canyon University

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Forward Trey Greene announced he’ll be playing hockey at the collegiate level this weekend, declaring his commitment to Grand Canyon University.

The first member of the 2015-16 roster to make the advancement official, the Moorhead, Minnesota native is elated for the opportunity.

“I’m absolutely excited.  I just visited the school last week and fell in love with it.  They were all so very welcoming and that was part of the reason I couldn't say no,” Greene said of his new home.

Brahmas Head Coach Al Rooney seconded the great feeling, remarking, “I am very excited for him and the opportunity to keep playing during his college years.  He was a fantastic addition to us this past season and I think GCU has gotten themselves a good player and an even better person.”

Acquired on January 22nd from the Alexandria Blizzard, Greene posted the best production of his junior hockey career with the Brahmas.  In 13 regular season games, the 5’11” – 170 lbs. presence concluded with 10 points and +10 ratings.

“Once I came down to Texas my game changed for the better.  Coach Al took very good care of us individually and as a team.  He improved my game all around.  He knew my style of play and was able to play me the way that most benefitted the team and I,” the newest commit said of his time in Brahamaland.

The feeling was mutual though, as Rooney spoke high praises of Greene being the perfect piece to the puzzle.  “He was a great fit on our third line with Sam Gagnon and Oliver Hay.  There was a lot of transition on our third line throughout the season until we put those three together and they stayed together for much of the remainder of the season.  He brought an element of speed and smarts to our lineup that was needed when he arrived.  We had just lost Dakota Davis to a season ending injury so he was a much needed addition for us.”

Grand Canyon University is located in Phoenix, Arizona and is a non-profit liberal arts college.  The hockey team competes in Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Make no mistake though; Trey is excited to get back to the books, not just the ice.  “I’m very excited to get back into school. I’m planning on being a sports management major and thinking about minoring in business management.  But I am excited to be a part of the first hockey team GCU has.  Be a little bit of history and do what I can to help start this program.  Being a student athlete isn't easy but I think I am ready to do so again.  Overall I think I would be most excited to get back into school as weird as that may sound, but so happy to be able to keep playing as well.”

For Rooney there’s not much that compares to this feeling either, “It's very satisfying, much more so than wins.  The real goal of junior hockey is player advancement.  So as a coach to see a player take that next step is a rewarding experience.  Especially when it's a good fit academically and athletically for the player.  It's great to see for any of my boys.”

For more news on commitments and all things Texas Jr. Brahmas, be sure to “Like” us on Facebook under “Texas Brahmas NA3HL” and follow us on Twitter at “@TXBrahmas”.

Brown Signs NAHL Tender With Lone Star

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Brahmas officially announced on Monday that they have signed Texas Jr. Brahmas forward Brock Brown as their North American 3 Hockey League tender.

In 45 games with the Brahmas NA3HL affiliate this season, Brown had eight goals and 36 assists for a total of 44 points.  The 2015-16 campaign was the second one in a Brahmas sweater for the Hendersonville, Tennessee native and he is thrilled to have the opportunity to be spending his third with the North American Hockey League team.

“These past six months I've been more dedicated to hockey and improving my level of play than I ever have in my life.   When I got the call and they told me my whole body got the chills,” Brown said.

His head coach Al Rooney seconded the happiness for his player stating, "I'm very excited for Brock and this opportunity that lay ahead of him. I have complete faith in him as a player and person. His work ethic and commitment will have him ready for this step next season."

Brown was named as the captain of the NA3HL Brahmas in November and his production skyrocketed following.  The early-1997 born took a crucial part on the team’s penalty kill, which finished the best of all 34 teams in the league upon conclusion of the regular season.  Furthermore, #12 ended the season with points in eight-straight games, propelling his team to the organization’s first ever Silver Cup appearance.

"I think the job he did this season – top penalty killer, faceoff guy, 200 foot player – was fantastic for us and he will need to up his game from that to be a difference maker for Lone Star next season.  He played a variety of roles for us this season so I think that multidimensional ability will serve both him and Lone Star well next season," Rooney continued of his now former-player.

“[As a Brahma] I've learned more about playing a well-rounded game.  I’m making sure I contribute offensively and defensively, so overall becoming a more dependable player for my coach.  This summer I'm committed to working on bettering my conditioning, my shot power, plus my lower body and core strength.  I'm more excited to play and more motivated to work and train than I have ever been.  Everything is up from here.”

Brock is now guaranteed a spot at the Brahmas Main Camp, which takes place July 21 – 24 in Detroit, MI.  The camp is invitation only.

For more information on the Brahmas advancement of players, be sure to like the “Lone Star Brahmas” and “Texas Brahmas NA3HL”, as well as following them on Twitter at “@LoneStarBrahmas” and @TXBrahmas”.

Kraft Hockeyville Voting Now Open!

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Voting for Kraft Hockeyville USA is now open and NYTEX Sports Centre needs your help.

Between now and Thursday, every fan is able to vote 100 times per day, 50 via text message and 50 on KraftHockeyville.com.

To vote via text, send the word NYTEX to 35350.

To vote online, go to KraftHockeyville.com, scroll down to NYTEX Sports Centre, enter your email adress, and click VOTE and VOTE AGAIN.

First round of voting runs until Thursday night at 11 P.M. Central.  If the Brahmas advance to the next round, the process will then be repeated next week.  Ultimately, NYTEX has the chance to win $150,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft.

Let’s help make NYTEX an even better place.

Twin City downs Texas, 5-2

Joe Costello registered two points to lead Twin City to a 5-2 victory over Texas.

In a losing effort, Texas was led by Bryan Whelan, who tallied two goals. Whelan scored the first of his two goals at 45 seconds into the third period to make the score 1-1. George Hansen picked up the assist. Whelan\’s next tally made the score 3-2 Twin City with 13:07 left in the third period. Hansen assisted on the tally.

Twin City additionally got points from Paul Stehr, who also grabbed one goal and one assist. Twin City also had goals scored by Nicholas Campbell, Alex Egle, and Yannick Zehnder, who scored one goal each. In addition, Twin City received assists from Tyler Nystrom, James Hale, Luc Kreuser, and Jay Paul, who each chipped in one.

Gunnar Howg made 17 saves for Twin City on 19 shots. Twin City incurred four minutes in penalty time with two minors. Texas\’ Brandon Perrone stopped 23 shots out of the 27 that he faced. Texas incurred four minutes in penalty time with two minors.

Texas beats St. Louis 4-2 after comeback scare

St. Louis tried its best to erase a three-goal deficit, but Texas would not be denied the victory and hung on to win, 4-2.

A goal by Zack Andersen put Texas up 4-1 in the third period, but St. Louis pulled to within two on Joe Nolan\’s tally 18:39 into the third period.

Texas was led by Bryan Whelan, who tallied three goals. More assists for Texas came via Hunter Frado and Kyle Galloway, who each chipped in one and George Hansen and Ryan Dunner, who contributed two each.

St. Louis also got points from Tomas Loeffelman, who also had one goal and one assist. In addition, St. Louis received assists from Dominic Caito, who had one and Chris Brown, who had two.

Texas\’ Brandon Perrone stopped 22 shots out of the 24 that he faced. Texas incurred six minutes in penalty time with three minors. St. Louis\’ starting goalie, Jacob Weatherly, made eight saves and finished with the loss before he was taken out in favor of Zach Young, who stopped eight shots. St. Louis incurred four minutes in penalty time with two minors.