Great Falls defenseman Link makes college commitment
June 14, 2016
The Great Falls Americans of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) are pleased to announce that defenseman Reed Link has decided to continued his education and hockey career at the collegiate level.
Link, a 21-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, will attend Dakota College of Bottineau and play for the Lumberjacks hockey team located in Bottineau, North Dakota beginning in the 2016-17 season. The junior college team is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) that won the 2016 NJCAA National Men’s Hockey Championship in February in Binghamton, New York where they defeated Erie (NY) Community College 4-3 in overtime in the title game.
Reed just completed his third season of junior hockey for the Great Falls Americans including one season while they were still members of the American West Hockey League (AWHL). Statistically, this past season was his best as he finished with 30 points (7 goals and 23 assists) in 47 appearances.
The 6’0” and 170 lb. hockey standout played in 105 career regular season contests for the Americans along with 44 points and a +75 rating. He also played in 18 playoff games and was a key member of back-to-back NA3HL Frontier Divisional championships.
The Great Falls squad finished the regular season with a 34-11-2 record with 18 wins at the Great Falls Ice Plex. After sweeping the Bozeman Ice Dogs in the semifinals and the Yellowstone (WY) Quake in the Frontier Finals, the Americans went 2-2 at the 2016 Silver Cup Championship Tournament in Illinois in March including an appearance in the semifinals where they fell to the Metro (MI) Jets, 5-4.
The college bound freshman was happy about his accomplishments with Great Falls this season. “The biggest achievements we had while I played for the Americans were winning back-to-back divisional titles,” said an excited Reed Link.
“Playing at the Junior A level (of hockey) gets you ready physically and gets you used to the speed of the game at the college level,” said the outgoing junior player as a way that playing junior hockey helped him prepare for his next phase of hockey.
The Missouri product thought highly of the coaching staff during his time with the Americans. “Jeff Heimel and the coaching staff gave us all the confidence in the world to be successful and at every practice they were on us to do all of the little things right. The coaching staff were great leaders in every aspect of the game.”
The undeclared major will take some time figuring out what he wants to pursue as a career and will be taking general study courses the first year at the North Dakota school in the fall. Until then, he is looking forward to playing hockey for four more years at a higher level and getting his education.
“Playing in Great Falls was one of the best experiences I have had in my junior hockey career,” said Link. “Developing friendships with the different players that come into the program every year that step up and play hard.”