The Texas Tornado, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that goaltender Hunter Leisner has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for American International College (AIC), who are members of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA).
Leisner, 20, just completed his NAHL career, which spanned the last three seasons. The last year and a half was spent with the Tornado, who acquired Leisner (6’0/170) from the Aberdeen Wings in the middle of the 2011-12 season. The native of Garland, Texas, then went onto lead the Tornado to the 2012 Robertson Cup National Championship.
This past season, Leisner led the NAHL in games played with 50 and minutes played with 2,962 minutes. He also ranked tied for 3rd in the league with 30 wins. He posted a 2.71 goals against average and a 90.6% save percentage during the 2012-13 season.
Back in January, Leisner was named the NAHL’s Goaltender of the Month as he posted a perfect 8-0 record during the month as the Tornado put together a 10-game winning streak. As a part of that streak, Leisner won 14 straight starts at one point. He also recorded his only shutout of the season during the month of January.
“I think every team needs a go-to goaltender and Hunter was that guy for us a year and half. He works very hard on the ice and is quick to analyze his game and be his own strongest critic,” said Tornado head coach Tony Curtale. “He has tremendous quickness and a calm confidence when he is in goal.”
During his three year NAHL career, Leisner appeared in 145 regular season games and another 13 in the playoffs. 78 of those games were with the Wings in his first year and a half. His best numbers came during his second season with the Wings during the first half of the 2011-12 season, when he posted a 2.53 goals against average and was one of the league-leaders with a 93.0% save percentage before being traded to Texas. He finished his NAHL career with a career goals against average of 2.89 and had a career save percentage of 91.1%.
Leisner is the seventh player from the 2012-13 Texas Tornado roster to commit to an NCAA Division I school, joining: Justin Greenberg (Miami), Brandon Hawkins (Bowling Green), Drew Mayer (Ferris St.), Nick Neville (Denver), CJ Reuschlein (Army) and Max Shuart (Michigan).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)