Thunderbolts busy building team for inaugural season
July 22, 2015
When Evansville’s newly-minted junior hockey team, the Evansville ThunderBolts of the NA3HL launch
their maiden voyage campaign for 2015-16, they will present their first-ever lineup graced by three of the
community’s more prominent, premiere local hockey products.
ThunderBolts General Manager/Head Coach Scott Fankhouser announced on this date that goaltender BRYSON LINENBURG and forward ZACK FAITH have joined previously acquired forward JON GRIMM in making it a veritable “Trifecta” of local standouts who have carved-out their respective hockey niches right here in Evansville.
Recognized as the top triumvirate of formative hockey talent here in the Tri-State region, LINENBURG, FAITH and GRIMM will exude a pre-eminent presence on the ice when GM/Coach Fankhouser sounds early reveille for the hockey club’s initial training camp sessions coming up the latter part of next month in August.
“I am very proud to have these local young men be a part of our inaugural season with the ThunderBolts,” exulted Evansville junior team’s head master. “Our goal from the beginning is to create a place where Indiana players have a clear path for their hockey development and advancement to college hockey.”
LINENBURG touches down on the Evansville hockey scene armed with a portfolio laced with positive, polished puck prevention attention. In the 2014-15 season, he rose to star-studded status for the Evansville Thunder High School program, earning a coveted berth on the Indiana State High School Hockey League All-Star Team. In the preceding campaign of 2013-14, the ThunderBolts newest human puck barricade, again, saw superlative service with Evansville Thunder High School as well as the Hoosier Wings U16 Team.
He, himself a former pro goaltender of stout and sound reputation during his active playing career, Coach Fankhouser flashes his goalkeeping seal of approval when the subject matter is LINENBURG. “Bryson is a young goalie who has the perfect building blocks to become a great goaltender in the league. I have been on the ice with Bryson and worked with him this summer. I am very excited to continue his development and sharpen the skills that he already possesses. He is a very quick and technically sound goaltender. I think his best attribute is his compete level. He never gives up on a play. I look forward to working with Bryson during the season and seeing him improve and compete at this level. Being an ex-goaltender myself, I enjoy teaching the position and helping with the mental side of the game which is overlooked by most coaches.”
As for FAITH, the speedy forward is also an alumnus of the Evansville Thunder High School program, having served as team captain in 2014-15. During that season, he, too, attained Indiana State High School Hockey League All-Star status while also infusing his on-ice prowess with Team Indiana U18. In 2013-14, still with the Thunder organization, he was named team alternate captain also seeing standout duty with the Hoosier Wings U16 squadron.
Coach Fankhouser amplifies on his feelings of faith with FAITH. “ZACK FAITH is another hometown addition to our organization and one, I think, will have a great first year of top-flight junior hockey. Zack is one of those players who every team needs. He can play both forward and defense and has great hands. He is a tenacious player who will take the body all over the ice. This is a trait that I admire about him and will make his transition to junior hockey ever so smoother. Zack is someone who over the last year has helped the TPH organization in Swonder Ice Arena and knows what we are all about in terms of development and exposure. I look forward to helping Zack this year. He is going to have an outstanding season and will emerge as one of the players visiting teams are going to remember playing against.”
Previously obtained through a trade with NA3HL fellow member club, the Texas Junior Brahmas, GRIMM returns to his hockey homestead roots after registering 18-points in 43-outings last season with the Fort Worth-based club. The local product authored 6-goals, 12-assists in his baptismal junior hockey campaign, following a highly-prolific, terrific Evansville Thunder High School career. Seeing action in 76-career games, GRIMM amassed 87-points on 43-goals, 44-assists. In 2013-14, the top-drawer forward starred for Team Indiana U18 club as well as for the Evansville Thunder High School program. He also earned Indiana State High School Hockey League All-Star Team honors.
Fankhouser saw the acquisition of GRIMM as first and foremost on his agenda. “Our first job as an organization was to make a trade for JON GRIMM from Texas. Jon is going to be one of the leaders for our team, someone who has played in the league last year and can help our players understand what it takes to play junior hockey. I am excited to keep developing his skill set and help him achieve his goals in hockey. Jon is a big kid with speed and playmaking ability. I am looking forward for him to have a big year with us. It will be great for our fans to have him on the ice as many people in the community have helped him as a young boy in youth hockey here in Evansville.”
BRYSON LINENBURG, ZACK FAITH and JON GRIMM will hit the ice at Swonder Ice Arena the latter part of next month for the beginning of the ThunderBolts first-ever training camp at their home of Swonder Ice Arena.