Sea Captains forward Essing makes NCAA Commitment | North American Tier III Hockey League | NA3HL
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Sea Captains forward Essing makes NCAA Commitment

June 20, 2024

The Norwich Sea Captains of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) are thrilled to announce that forward Brian Essing has committed to attend Manhattanville University this fall to continue his academic and hockey careers. Essing joined the Sea Captains after the holiday break during the 2021-22 season. During his three seasons in Norwich Essing played in 122 games for the crimson and navy. He leaves Norwich as the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (51) assists (53) and total points (104). The 2003 Trumbull, Connecticut native will major in a business-related field at Manhattanville and play for the Valiants’ National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III program. Manhattanville plays in the highly competitive United Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Essing burst onto the scene when he joined the Sea Captains in January of 2022, recording points in 10 of his first 13 games. Twice during that span, February 1 and February 8 he was tabbed as an Honorable Mention in the Bauer NA3HL East Division Stars of the Week program. In 23 games that season, Essing scored 9 goals and added 12 assists to put up 21 points during his first season in Norwich. Essing had a strong 2022-23 campaign posting 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points in 43 games played. He finished tied for the team lead in game winning goals with linemate Jack Kinahan, as both netted four game deciders. Essing consistently strong play helped him earn Stars of the Week Honorable Mentions six times during the 2022-23 season (October 18 and 25, November 1, December 6, January 10 and 24). He also earned monthly honors as the Norwich Sea Captains Forward of the Month for October 2022 and February 2023 as well as being tabbed as an Honorable Mention for Forward of the Month by the NA3HL for the same two months. 

Also in February of 2023, Essing represented the Norwich Sea Captains as a member of the East Division Team at the 2023 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Finally, at the conclusion of the season he was named to the All-East Division Team as a part of the NA3HL’s end of the season awards. 

During his final season in Norwich, Essing set a franchise record for goals in a single season with 25, six of which were game-winners, which also led the team and set a team record for a single season. He also dished out 18 assists to bring his season point total to 43. His one goal, which was one of his game-winners, and five assists to tally six points in five playoff games also lead the team. He earned the Star of the Week on September 26 after scoring twice and assisting on three others as the Sea Captains swept the Long Beach Sharks by identical 5-1 scores on September 22 and 23. Essing was named the Second Star of the Week twice as well. The first time was November 7 after another five point weekend which saw him net a goal in a 5-4 loss to the Northeast Generals on November 3 before scoring twice, including the game-winner, and assisting on two others as Norwich topped the New Hampshire Mountain Kings 6-3 on November 4. He was also tabbed as the Second Star of the Week on December 21 after netting two goals for the Sea Captains at the 2023 NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. Essing also received Honorable Mentions on October 31, December 5 and March 5. He also was honored as the Joshua’s Worldwide Norwich Sea Captains Forward of the Month for September 2023, when he also received an Honorable Mention as the NA3HL Forward of the Month, and March 2024. Essing reached three significant milestones during the course of the 2023-24 season; he played his 100th game as a Sea Captain on December 18 in a 7-4 loss to Wausau despite him scoring twice in the game, he scored his 50th career goal on March 2 in a 3-1 win over Long Beach, and he recorded his 100th career point by netting the game winning goal on March 7 in Game One of the Sea Captains playoff win over New Jersey. At the conclusion of the season Essing was again selected to represent the Norwich Sea Captains at the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament, this time in Saint Peters, Missouri. He potted a goal and added an assist in two games for Team Blue at the event.

Essing spoke about his experiences in Norwich and his decision to attend Manhattanville saying, “My time in Norwich was spent with people who cared about working hard, developing, and most importantly, who cared about each other. Through the highs and the lows, I learned numerous lessons that have shaped the person that I am today. I am grateful for every day that I spent there and for the relationships I built that will last a lifetime. My decision to commit to Manhattanville was a simple one. Being a small school with strong academic programs as well as a successful, high caliber hockey program, the choice could not have been any easier for me.”

“I am extremely proud and excited that Brian was able to earn the opportunity to continue his education and hockey career at Manhattanville. Brian is a very talented player who was a consistent offensive catalyst for our program for his entire time with us. I set high expectations for him and I am so pleased that he was able to achieve so many outstanding accomplishments in a Sea Captains uniform. I am so thrilled for him and his family that he will be playing his college hockey at a top tier program and that his parents, who have always been fantastic supporters of both Brian and our program, will be able to see him play regularly. I look forward to seeing Brain continue his journey at Manhattanville,” said head coach Kevin Cunningham.

Essing becomes the second member of the 2023-24 Norwich Sea Captains to announce his college commitment. 

Click here for an updated NA3HL to College commitment list

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