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!”