NA3HL to NCAA pipeline significant at Bethel
October 30, 2015
As the NCAA Division III hockey season gets going this weekend, one school has a distinctive NA3HL flavor on their roster.
That school is Bethel University, a member of the MIAC conference, who plays their home games out of Rink #5 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN.
Bethel features seven NA3HL alumni on their players roster and the assistant coach at Bethel, Howie Borden, is also a former NA3HL assistant coach, having previously spent time with the Granite City Lumberjacks, winning two Silver Cups in the process.
“It was a great experiencing working the past six seasons in the NA3HL with the Granite City Lumberjacks. Each season the NA3HL has grown and raised the bar in comparison to other Tier III Hockey Leagues,” said Borden. “The league is a breeding ground for producing student-athletes. This season’s freshmen class has 8 of 12 athletes who have playing experience in the NA3HL. In knowing these players from the past few seasons it was no brainer to begin my recruiting process for Bethel University within the NA3HL. It is a league that we will continue to recruit to provide the depth we need in NCAA Division III College Hockey.”
Those former NA3HL players include:
-Dallas Marvin and Jesse Garcia of Granite City
-Nick Eytcheson of North Iowa/Sugarland
-George Splichal of Yellowstone Quake
-Nathan Klebe of Nashville
-David Becker of Alexandria Blizzard/Twin City Steel/Quad Cities
-Crosby Steen of Breezy Point
-Blake Olinyck of La Crosse Freeze
Other notable players on Bethel University’s roster who played in the NA3HL are TJ Christenson (Granite City Lumberjacks), Taylor Brown (Granite City Lumberjacks), Eric Szafranski (Chicago Hitmen), and Dylan Webster (Helena Bighorns).
Bethel’s first game is tonight, Friday, October 30th against St. Olaf, which also showcases former players from the NA3HL like Matt Kroska, Peter Linblad and Drew Otto.