USHL players make college commitments

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – The United States Hockey League is about getting its players to the next level.

Most of the time that means getting to play college hockey, so the past week has been an important one for the league and its players, as several of the league’s stars made commitments to play Division I hockey.

Omaha Lancers goaltender Cole Bruns saw a “dream come true” for him this week, when he made a commitment to play college hockey with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.USHL new black

Bruns will be playing for the Black Knights with the start of the 2014-15 season.

“Growing up, I always wanted to join the service and now that this is set in stone, it’s just a really good feeling,” said Bruns. “To be able to serve my country and be a part of something that’s bigger than myself is what I’ve always wanted.”

Bruns said he has been interested in the military and when first-year coach Brian Kaufman was contacted by West Point about Bruns, “everything just clicked,” said Bruns, who enters weekend play with a 13-3-1 record and six shutouts already this year.

Bruns will have a teammate in Indiana Ice forward Tyler Pham, who also committed to the West Point program.

Pham has appeared in all 14 games for the Ice this season and collected six points (2g, 4a) with a plus-one rating.  He is currently riding a three-game point streak which included the game-winning goal in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Steel on November 9th.  The 19-year-old is also serving as a team captain this season.

Meanwhile, Ice blue liner Vince Pedrie has committed to play at Quinnipiac.  Pedrie has recorded four points (1g, 3a) and a plus-four rating in six games this season for the Ice.

Waterloo forward Patrick Russell this week committed to play at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.  A native of Denmark, Russell is the Black Hawks’ leading goal scorer with eight.

“Patrick’s experience has helped him become an immediate contributor to the Black Hawks, and I’m sure St. Cloud State believes he will be able to do the same thing when he arrives on campus,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley. “He came here hoping a season in North America would lead to an opportunity in the NCAA, and I’m very happy for him that he is a step closer to that goal.”

Three members of the Youngstown Phantoms inked letters of intent this week to play Division I college hockey.  The trio are Connor Hurley (Notre Dame), Janik Moeser (Ohio State), and Matt Iacopelli (Western Michigan).

The Phantoms also saw defenseman Tommy Parran commit to Brown University Tuesday.

“We couldn’t be more proud for Tommy,” head coach Anthony Noreen said. “Any time we can help a player achieve his dream – and Brown is Tommy’s dream school – it’s a special thing. Tommy’s really earned this commitment and I think it’s a great place to be for him.”

The USHL web site now proudly proclaims 231 NCAA Division I college commitments.

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