Sioux City Musketeers goaltender Kyle Hayton has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at St. Lawrence University following his USHL career.
Hayton posted a 13-8-4 record during his rookie USHL season in 2012-13. After winning just one of his first 11 starts, he was one of the hottest goaltenders in the League during the second half of the season as he won 12 of his final 14 appearances in net for the Musketeers. The Faribault, Minnesota native finished the year riding an eight-game win streak, tying a team record in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) shared by Matt Skoff (2010-11) and Jerry Kuhn (2006-07) for consecutive victories by a goaltender. Hayton compiled a stellar 1.59 GAA and .943 SV% during the win streak, and he shared honors as the Reebok Goaltender of the Week during the final week of the regular season.
The recently turned 19-year-old tied for fourth among USHL goaltenders this past season in both GAA (2.65) and SV% (.911). He is set to return to the Musketeers for the 2013-14 season.
Eight other players who competed in the USHL this season are committed to St. Lawrence University; Drew Smolcynski (Chicago Steel), Michael Marnell (Des Moines Buccaneers), Gavin Bayreuther (Fargo Force), R.J. Gicewicz (Green Bay Gamblers), Nolan Gluchowski (Tri-City Storm), Brian Ward (Tri-City Storm), Alexander Dahl (Youngstown Phantoms), and Eric Sweetman (Youngstown Phantoms).
St. Lawrence University is a member of the ECAC and had six USHL alumni on the roster this season; Kyle Flanagan (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), George Hughes (Waterloo Black Hawks), Gunnar Hughes (Waterloo Black Hawks), Justin Bruckel (Lincoln/Cedar Rapids), Patrick Raley (Chicago Steel), and Chris Martin (Indiana Ice).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)