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College commitment: Kalandyk to suit up for Liberty University

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — Texas Brahmas forward Jacob Kalandyk has committed to play ACHA Division 1 hockey at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

 

“I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life and continue my education and hockey career at Liberty University,” said Kalandyk, regarding his commitment. “I’d like to thank Ryan Anderson for all he’s done for me over the last season and all my teammates. I couldn’t have done it without them! I’m excited to see what the next few years have in store for me!”

 

Kalandyk is a two-season veteran of the Brahmas, accumulating 38 points (20g-18a) in 25 games played. The forward, originally from Saginaw, Mich., ended the 2020-21 season with a +36 rating. A known playmaker on the ice, the skater ranked within the top-five Texas Brahmas in goals, points, assists, and points per game (0.95). Kalandyk is a true testament to the ladder of development, playing games in the NAPHL at the 18U and 16U levels with the Meijer AAA hockey program.

 

“This is a great moment for Jacob and his family,” said head coach of the Texas Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “I know how excited he is to be able to attend Liberty and continue his hockey career. Kaly has been a part of our family for 2 years and in each of those seasons he was counted on to produce and he did. The veteran leadership he provided this season to our young guys was invaluable to our success. Coach Handy at Liberty is getting a complete 200-foot player who can be counted on 5 on 5, on the power play, and on the penalty kill. I was able to see Jacob’s work ethic and character for two seasons and I have no doubt that he will transition smoothly to the college game and be able to handle the pressures of school. I look forward to watching Jacob be successful on and off the ice in Lynchburg for Liberty. We will miss him greatly in Brahmaland!”

 

Kalandyk joins five other Brahmas to make college commitments this season: Leevi Selänne (Curry College) and Ian Erdman (Saint Mary’s), Jack Cooper (King’s College), Tyler Blanchard (King’s College) and Shane DiTullio (Aquinas College). Liberty plays in the ASUN Conference.

Texas Brahmas bring home NA3HL post-season awards

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Texas Brahmas are proud to announce the recognition of four skaters who received end-of-the-season recognition from the North American 3 Hockey League. Dolan Gilbert, Matthew Wheeler, Shane DiTullio and Tyler Blanchard were all selected for postseason honors from the league, with Gilbert receiving top honors in three out of nine categories. The Texas Brahmas tied the NA3HL South Division with the most recognition in the division. Congratulations to our skaters and continue reading to learn more about each award.

Dolan Gilbert, NA3HL South Division Goaltender and Rookie of the Year, 2020-21 All-South Division Team Goaltender selection

Dolan Gilbert made a splash in his rookie NA3HL season, ranking within the top goalies across the entire league. The tendy posted a 15-2-0-1 record (W-L-OTL-SOL) and ranked within the top-five across the league in shutouts with three. Gilbert also recorded a 1.53 goals-against average and 0.943% save percentage, solidifying him as a dominant wall between the pipes in his first year. 

Player’s words: “It’s an honor to be recognized with these awards. They are testaments to the hard work that our team put in this season. The coaching staff pushed us to get better every day and gave us what we needed to succeed. Christian Frey helped me improve my details significantly. Our team made my job a lot easier throughout the year with their play in front of me. They welcomed me in right away and made me feel at home, for that, I’m very grateful. I am excited to share these awards with them.”

Coach’s comments: “Doles was solid as a rock all season for us. Our team was able to take chances at times because we knew Doles could make the big save when called upon. He was an absolute pleasure to coach and his hunger to improve was second to none. He carried himself in a professional manner every day. His recognition as Goaltender and Rookie of the Year in an extremely deep and talented South Division is well deserved and we are very proud of his success!”

Matthew Wheeler, NA3HL South Division Academic Achievement Award

A product of the Texas Jr. Brahmas organization, Matthew Wheeler proved his abilities by simultaneously playing for the Texas Brahmas and Birdville High (USHS-TX) during the 2020-21 season. His first season on the squad, the skater notched his first point as a Brahma and ended the season with a +4 ranking. It’s safe to say that Wheeler has a bright future ahead of him, on and off the ice.

Player’s words: “This award means a lot to me, it was a very tough year of high school with all of the COVID-19 restrictions but I was up for the challenge. Balancing hockey and school was not easy, but I want to thank Coach Ryan Anderson and my teachers for helping me throughout the year.”

Coach’s comments: “ The amount of work that Wheels had on his plate due to his studies was incredible. There is always an adjustment when you make the jump from youth to junior hockey and for some players, it is a tough adjustment to make. When you couple that adjustment with the demands of his academics his success on the ice and in the classroom is extraordinary. I look forward to continuing to have Matt in our locker room next season!”

Shane DiTullio, NA3HL South Division Leadership Award

Rounding out his junior hockey career, Shane DiTullio was named the captain of the Texas Brahmas, after showing exemplary leadership skills in seasons past. A playmaker and dependable teammate on-and-off the ice, DiTullio is known for his ability to motivate his team. The skater is a valuable asset to any organization, hockey or otherwise, and will have success in his future.

Player’s words: “I am extremely honored to receive the leadership award. We had an excellent group of guys who made it a very easy experience throughout the entire season, from beginning to end. I have to attribute receiving this to the leaders of the teams in my first two seasons. I learned very much from guys like Michael Redmon, Findlay Wood, Andrue Trelstad, and several others, who were all great hockey players and paved the way to our success on and off the ice. And I cannot take all the credit as far as leadership goes; we had a great group of veterans who helped show the younger guys the way, and also our two fantastic coaches in Ryan Anderson and CJ Sweigert. Thanks to my teammates and coaches for a very fun age-out season, and allowing me to do my best in leading the way.”

Coach’s comments: “Coming into this season I thought it was extremely important to name a captain very early in training camp. Shane was a 3-year veteran of our club who was a perfect example of the type of character and attitude that we look for with our team. Shane was always a team-first player who would go out of his way to make sure his teammates were taken care of.  He brought an intensity and attitude to the rink every day that rubbed off on his team. I am very proud of Shane for his accomplishments as a Brahma and for earning this recognition. We look forward to announcing his plans for college in the near future!

Tyler Blanchard, NA3HL South Division 2020-21 All-South Division Team Forward selection

During his final season in the league, Tyler Blanchard did not disappoint. Ending the year as the third-highest scorer across the NA3HL, the skater proved himself as a force to be reckoned with on the ice scoring 75 points (26g-49a) in 39 games played; Blanchard’s final numbers widely surpassed his ending point totals for his previous two seasons on the Brahmas. The forward is committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at King’s College next season.

Player’s words: “I am both humbled and honored to be placed on this team. I think this is a great accomplishment to look back on as I move forward with hockey. Seeing the list of guys that did and didn’t make the cut definitely put into perspective how good of a season we had. I have to give a huge thanks to all my teammates. Individual success in hockey only happens when you’re surrounded by a great group of people.”

Coach’s comments: “There isn’t much more that can be said about Blanch and what he has meant to our team.  He was one of the most dynamic players in the South division and to be recognized as such by the Division is a great honor for him.  I expect to see the same level of success next season at King’s!”

Rothstein tenders with Lone Star Brahmas

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Texas Brahmas of the NA3HL are proud to announce the tendering of Brahma forward Blake Rothstein to Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League.

“It is a great honor to have the opportunity to continue my junior hockey career at the next level while still wearing a Brahmas jersey,” said Rothstein regarding his commitment. “With signing an NAHL tender for the Lone Star Brahmas, I look forward to my third season at the NYTEX Sports Centre. Playing for the Texas  Brahmas in the NA3HL over the past two years has helped me develop my game greatly. I would like to express my appreciation to the NYTEX ownership group and the entire Brahmas coaching staff for helping move me in the right direction. I would especially like to thank Coach Ryan Anderson for teaching me the systems and helping me become a stronger two-way player and of course Coach Wildfong for the opportunity to play in the NAHL last weekend and for his team next season.”

A veteran of the Texas Brahmas, Rothstein played 84 games and accumulated 61 points (33g-28a) over two seasons. In the 2020-21 season, the skater was one of the team’s few ironmen, appearing in every game of the season. In addition, Rothstein ranked within the top-five rankings of goals, assists, points, points per game and game-winning goals, while ranking first in power-play goals scored during the season. Rothstein was also an instrumental part of the 2021 Fraser Cup playoff run, totaling eight points (4g-4a) in eight games played. 

“I am very excited that Blake has the opportunity to play in the NAHL with the Lone Star Brahmas,” said head coach of the Texas Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “Blake’s development over the past two seasons is a testament to his work ethic and his drive to succeed. Blake has been an important piece for the Texas Brahmas, he contributed to our success on a nightly basis.  I look forward to being able to watch Blake continue his junior career at NYTEX and I wish him the best of luck in the NA next season with Lone Star.”

Playing his first game as an affiliate last weekend against the New Mexico IceWolves, Rothstein saw his first NAHL shift as a Lone Star Brahma in the second game of the series. Rothstein joins Matej Palfy in tendering to the NAHL this season, as Palfy is signed to the MN Wilderness. 

College commitment: Blanchard to play for King’s College

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — Texas Brahmas forward Tyler Blanchard has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

“I’m honored to announce that I will be continuing my education and playing NCAA hockey at King’s College,” said Blanchard, regarding his commitment. “I’d like to thank all of my friends, family, teammates, and coaches for all that they have done for me throughout this journey. I’d also like to give a huge thanks to Ryan Anderson and all he’s done over the last three years. He’s given me an indescribable amount of life and hockey advice, and it was a great privilege to play my junior career under him. I’m excited for the next four years. Go Monarchs!”

A three-season veteran and alternate captain of the Texas Brahmas, Tyler Blanchard amassed 200 (81g-119a) points during his career in the NA3HL. The skater has a +165 rating, averages 1.64 points per game, and was consistently one of the top-scorers on the squad and in the league overall. During the Fraser Cup Championship run this year, Blanchard recorded eight points (4g-4a) in eight games. In the 2020-21 regular season, Blanchard totaled 75 points (26g-49a), ranking him first on the Brahmas in goals scored, points and assists. A native of San Jose, Calif., Blanchard is a product of the San Jose Jr. Sharks organization, recording 171 points on the 16 and 18U levels.

“We are incredibly proud and excited for Tyler and his family with the announcement of his commitment to King’s College,” said head coach of the Texas Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “Blanch has been a key component to our success since he arrived in 2018-2019. It has been an absolute pleasure watching him grow on and off the ice. I will forever be grateful for what he has done for the Texas Brahmas program. King’s College is getting a 200-foot player that can play in all situations and brings a winning attitude to its program. I look forward to watching Blanch have success in the classroom and on the ice. I know that when Blanch has finished his career at King’s that they will struggle to replace him just like we will here in Brahmaland.”

“For the King’s Coaching staff, we genuinely believe Tyler’s commitment is a pivotal moment for our hockey program,” said head coach of the King’s College men’s hockey program, Tom Seravalli. “To commit one former Fraser champion is fantastic, but to get two is the cherry on top! When Tyler told us he was coming to King’s, we were beyond excited to have another Brahma join our hockey family. We believe that Tyler is a program-changing caliber player and he will make an immediate impact for us as we move into the next chapter of developing our program. When we got the great news, we already knew we had the perfect linemate for him to compliment his game (current teammate and fellow King’s commit Jack Cooper). Tyler is a smart, hard-nosed, transformative, prolific goal scorer which has led him to the top of the league in points this season. It’s rare to find a player with the natural ability to score and we believe Tyler is that piece to the puzzle for us. As for off the ice, Tyler is outgoing, respectful, bright, and a loyal individual who possesses all the intangibles that we look for in a recruit. We have no doubt that Tyler will continue to show strong character and work ethic here at King’s, the same attributes that led coach RA and the Brahmas to announce him as their alternate captain this season. We value everything Tyler brings to the table and we can’t wait to have him on the ice with us next season!”   

Blanchard joins the ranks of three other Brahmas to make college commitments this season: Leevi Selänne (Curry College) and Ian Erdman (Saint Mary’s) and Jack Cooper (King’s College). King’s College, located in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., plays in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

College commitment: Cooper to play at King’s College

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — Texas Brahmas forward Jack Cooper has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to get a great education and play college hockey at King’s College,” said Cooper, regarding his commitment. “I would like to thank my coaches Ryan Anderson and CJ Sweigert for all the hard work and countless hours they have dedicated to helping me get to this position. I also would like to thank my current and former teammates and my family.”

One of the remaining 2019 Fraser Cup champions on the Texas Brahmas, Cooper has tenured three seasons on the squad, totaling 202 points (78g-124a) in 133 games played. The skater has a +159 rating, as well as averages 1.52 points per game. During the championship run in 2019, Cooper recorded six points (4g-2a) in eight games. In the 2020-21 regular season, the forward had 66 points (26g-40a), ranking him second on the Brahmas in points and assists, and tying him for first in goals scored. A native of Santa Cruz, Calif., Cooper is a product of the San Jose Jr. Sharks organization, recording 142 points on the 16 and 18U levels.

“I am extremely proud and happy that Coop has earned this fantastic opportunity to continue his hockey career and further his education at King’s College,” said head coach and general manager of the Texas Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “Coach Seravalli and King’s College are getting a fantastic person and one heck of a hockey player. Jack has been a part of our Brahma family for three seasons and has left a huge mark on the NYTEX Sports Center. He has developed into a 200-foot player who can be trusted in all situations. Coop leaves a legacy of selflessness, hard work, and success that will be very hard to replace in our locker room. We look forward to watching his continued success on and off the ice at King’s College!”

“We were on Cooper early and ecstatic when he announced that he would be coming to play for King’s College next year,” said men’s hockey head coach at King’s College, Tom Seravalli. “What’s most important is that we are getting an unbelievable individual. What we value most about Cooper are his characteristics and core beliefs – humble, respectful, a leader, hard work ethic, strives for perfection and treats every day as a professional. As for the hockey side, Coop’s game immediately jumped off the page: high hockey IQ, excellent stickhandling ability, a strong knack for scoring and his responsible two-way game. On top of that, it never hurts to have a former Fraser Cup Champion join the program as he knows what it takes to win at a high level. The coaching staff here at King’s has no doubt that Cooper will have a successful transition to the college game!”

Cooper joins the ranks of two other Brahmas to make college commitments this season: Leevi Selänne (Curry College) and Ian Erdman (Saint Mary’s). King’s College, located in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., plays in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

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Palfy signs tender with MN Wilderness

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — Veteran Texas Brahmas defenseman Matej Palfy has signed a tender with the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League, the organization announced Friday.

 

“I am really excited for this opportunity which the Minnesota Wilderness provided me and I am very happy that I will be joining such a great organization,” said Palfy, regarding his tender. “This has been my goal for a long time, but the hard work doesn’t stop here.”

 

Palfy is a three-season veteran of the NA3HL Texas Brahmas, totaling 73 points (23g-50a) in 98 games played. The 6’8 defenseman played a pivotal role in the 2019 Fraser Cup championship run, contributing five points (3g-2a) in eight games. 

 

Palfy is an outstanding two-way player, ranking within the top-scoring defenseman, on the team and across the league, during his tenure on the Brahmas. The Kosice, Slovakia native currently has a +92 rating and averages 0.74 points per game. Palfy also has experience playing for the U16 and U18 National Team in Slovakia. 

 

“This is a great day for Matej!” said head coach of the Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “Our club was so excited to get him back over for the second half of the year and for this to happen so soon for him is unbelievable. Matej has worked incredibly hard during his time with the Brahmas, each year he has added layers to his game and I look forward to watching his continued development next season under Coach Vaillancourt.:

 

The MN Wilderness has only had the opportunity to play six games during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 regulations. The team is based in Cloquet, Minn.

College Commitment: Selänne to play at Curry College

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — Texas Brahmas forward Leevi Selänne has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at Curry College in Milton, Mass.

 

“I am extremely excited and honored to announce my commitment to play NCAA Division III hockey at Curry College,” said Selänne regarding his commitment. “I will be joining my older brother Eetu for his final season, which will be an awesome experience. I could not have achieved this without my loving family, friends, coaches, and most importantly my teammates. I also want to thank all of the organizations I have played for and been a part of. Texas and the Texas Brahmas will always have a special place in my heart.”

 

The skater is a veteran for the Brahmas, as well as an alternate captain, appearing in 67 games for the squad over two seasons. Selänne so far has accumulated 73 points (37g-36a), with 12 in the past ten games played. A native of Coto De Caza, Calif., the forward averages a point per game in the 2020-21 season.

 

“The Texas Brahmas are extremely proud to be able to announce Leevi’s commitment to Curry College,” said head coach of the Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “Sels has been a crucial piece of our success in the past two seasons. He brings unbelievable energy and excitement to our locker room. On the ice, he has proven to be a consistent scoring threat with a physical edge as well. I look forward to watching Leevi continue to grow as a person and player at the collegiate level and wish him continued success.”

 

Selänne will be suiting up for Curry with his brother, veteran forward Eetu Selänne. Before the cancellation of the 2019-20 men’s hockey season, Curry recorded a record of 12-4-2 (W-L-OTL) and ranked third within their conference. 

College Commitment: Erdman to play at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — Texas Brahmas defenseman Ian Erdman has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to play collegiate hockey while furthering my education at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota,” said Erdman, regarding his commitment. “I am deeply appreciative of my family, coaches, and teammates for their support and motivation over the years. I’m excited and proud to represent Texas hockey in Minnesota.”

 

Erdman is a three-season veteran defenseman for the Brahmas, as well as an alternate captain, playing 106 games for the team. In his tenure, the defenseman tallied 46 points (15g-31a), as well as played in the 2019 Fraser Cup Championship run. A Flower Mound, Texas native, Erdman has been a staple leader for the squad on and off the ice. The skater’s play during his time with the Texas Brahmas has also earned him a call up to the NAHL on two separate occasions; once during the 2019-2020 season to the Springfield Blues and also in the 2020-2021 season to the Lone Star Brahmas. He was also selected to participate in the 2019-2020 NA3HL Top Prospects tournament.

 

“I am so proud of this accomplishment for Ian. It has been a pleasure watching his progress over the past three seasons. His work ethic and dedication are second to none. His goal was to commit to an NCAA hockey program and he did everything possible to make it a reality. Ian has never shied away from doing the extra work that it takes to make your dreams come true. I can’t wait to see what he becomes at Saint Mary’s. It will be impossible to replace what Ian has meant to the Texas Brahmas and the NYTEX Sports Center. Coach Egan and Coach Elliot are getting a player who will do anything for his team and will be a great addition to the university.”

 

Saint Mary’s Assistant Coach Jonathan Elliot had this to say about the addition of Erdman. 

 

“We’re excited to add Ian to our program. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ian both on and off the ice over the last few years. His compete and work ethic will be a great addition to our team. Ian is a first-class human being as well who will excel not only on the ice but also in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community.”

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is located in Winona, Minn., and plays in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).

Erdman called up to NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — The Texas Brahmas continue to climb the ladder of development, as defenseman and alternate captain Ian Erdman was called up to the Lone Star Brahmas in the North American Hockey League, head coach Ryan Anderson announced Friday.

The 2020-21 season is Erdman’s third season in the NA3HL with the Texas Brahmas, with his veteran status earning the title of alternate captain of the squad. In 105 games played, Erdman has tallied 44 points (15g-29a). This is not the skater’s first game in the NAHL however; the Flower Mound, Texas native laced up for one game during the 2019-20 season for the Springfield Jr. Blues.

“We are incredibly proud of Ian and his call up to Lone Star,” said head coach of the Texas Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “Ian is a leader on and off the ice, with the skills to be successful in any offensive and defensive situation. He has proven to have the power, character and skill it takes to play at the North American League level. We wish him the best in the upcoming games.”

The Lone Star Brahmas take on the Odessa Jackalopes tonight and tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. CST in Odessa, Texas. Both games are available to stream on HockeyTV.com.

Series preview: Brahmas match up with Atlanta at home

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — The NA3HL Texas Brahmas host the Atlanta Capitals for the first time in the 2020-21 regular season this weekend, embarking in the first series against Capitals of the year. The Brahmas went 11-0 against the Capitals during the 2019-20 regular season, posting a perfect record.

 

“It will be nice to get back in action in front of our fans on home ice,” said head coach of the Brahmas, Ryan Anderson. “We’ve only played one game since November 8. We have been competing very hard in practice and we have also used this time to become a tighter knit group.  Atlanta has had a very successful start to the season and I was very impressed by the quality of their play on video. Our group must understand that last year was last year; this weekend will provide a very strong test and I look forward to seeing how our group responds.”

 

Many of the team’s offensive and defensive core will lace up against Atlanta after recovering from injury. Forward Benjamin Mondou was named the NA3HL South Division Bauer Star of the Week, after a standout offensive performance against the Jr. Stars where he recorded two goals and one assist. 

 

The Brahmas are third in the NA3HL South Division Standings behind the Atlanta Capitals and the Oklahoma City Blazers, posting a record of 9-2-0. Overall, the team is placed ninth within the NA3HL, accumulating 18 points.

 

The puck drops at NYTEX Sports Centre on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CST and Sunday at 8:00 p.m. CST. Tickets will be available at the door for $5 and broadcasted on HockeyTV.com.