RALSTON, NE – Omaha Lancers second-year goaltender Cole Bruns has committed to play Division 1 NCAA college hockey for the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in the Atlantic Hockey Association beginning in the 2014-15 season, the team announced Tuesday.
“I know he’s really excited about it and it’s well deserved,” said Lancers Head Coach and General Manager Brian Kaufman Tuesday. “He put in his time last year, working hard every day, not getting a ton of opportunities, and then this year to come back and have the start he’s had, it’s impressive. This is a great opportunity for Cole not only in hockey but in life.”
After serving as a backup to former Lancers goalie and current Yale Bulldog Alex Lyon during the 2012-13 season, Bruns took full advantage of his first opportunity as a number-one goaltender, setting an all-time USHL record and garnering international press with five consecutive shutouts to start the 2013-14 season. At 9-3-1, the Prairie Grove, Illinois native currently leads the league in wins, shutouts (6), goals-against average (1.77) and save percentage (.934) and says his joining the military will fulfill a childhood dream.
“Growing up, I always wanted to join the service and now that this is set in stone, it’s just a really good feeling,” said Bruns Tuesday. “To be able to serve my country and be a part of something that’s bigger than myself is what I’ve always wanted.” The 5’10”, 187 lb. goaltender says the Lancers had a major hand in his commitment. “[The Lancers organization] played a huge role,” said Bruns, “I told Coach Kaufman earlier in the season that I was interested in the military and when [Army] called him, everything just clicked.”
With Tuesday’s announcement, Bruns joins the likes of fellow college-committed Lancers Connor Light and Tyler Hynes (Union College), Anthony Angello and Alex Rauter (Cornell University), Jake Randolph and Tyler Vesel (University of Nebraska-Omaha), Steven Johnson (University of Minnesota), Tucker Poolman (University of North Dakota), Ryan Tait (Providence College), Jimmy Schuldt (St. Cloud State University), Matt Nelson (Princeton University) and Luca Frigo (Minnesota State University-Mankato).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)