The Waterloo Black Hawks announced that defenseman Tony Turgeon has committed to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Fargo Force announced that forward Johnnie Searfoss will also attend the school following his USHL career.
They are the second and third players to commit to the University of Nebraska at Omaha this week after Cedar Rapids RoughRiders defenseman Bryce Aneloski also selected the school.
Turgeon is in his first USHL season and is the tenth Black Hawks player this season to commit to a NCAA Division I school. The 20-year-old native of Grand Forks, North Dakota currently ranks second in the League with 36 penalty minutes through six games.
"Tony is the kind of player any coach would want to have on their team," said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O'Handley. "Not only is his physical style of play well suited to the WCHA, but as a coach, when you challenge him, he rises to the occasion."
Searfoss is in his second season with the Fargo Force and currently ranks tied for second in team scoring with six points (4g, 2a). The native of Colleyville, Texas has a goal in four straight games and three of those have been game-winners, which leads the USHL.
The 19-year-old forward played all 60 games last season scoring 34 points (15g, 19a). He added four points (2g, 2a) in 10 playoff contests as the Force advanced to the Clark Cup Finals. Searfoss was originally committed to the University of Maine, but at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he will be reunited with head coach Dean Blais, who was the USHL Coach of the Year after guiding the Fargo Force during the 2008-09 campaign.
Four other current USHL players are committed to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha; Brian O'Rourke (Green Bay Gamblers), Nick Oddo (Omaha Lancers), Matt White (Omaha Lancers), and Patrick Borer (Sioux City Musketeers).
The University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks have an impressive 19 former USHL players on their roster for the 2009-10 season; Matt Smith (Indiana Ice), Kyle Ensign (Tri-City Storm), Pasko Skarica (Waterloo Black Hawks), Eddie DeGrosso (Indiana Ice), Jake Skjodt (Indiana Ice), Rich Purslow (Des Moines Buccaneers), Mike Phillippi (Indiana Ice), J.J. Koehler (Lincoln Stars), Jordan Willert (Tri-City Storm), Terry Broadhurst (Sioux Falls Stampede), Nick Fanto (Omaha Lancers), Ryan Kretzer (Lincoln Stars), Brandon Richardson (Indiana Ice), Mark Bernier (Tri-City Storm), Eric Olimb (Indiana Ice), John Kemp (Indiana Ice), Brent Gwidt (Indiana Ice), Alex Hudson (Tri-City Storm), and Matt Ambroz (Tri-City Storm).
Mavericks Associate Head Coach Mike Hastings is the USHL's all-time leader in coaching victories (529) after guiding the Omaha Lancers for 14 seasons (1994-2008). Assistant Coach Nick Fohr was a player for the Lincoln Stars for two seasons (1996-98)
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)