Friday, December 27, 2013

Stars forward commits to University of North Dakota

Press Release

 Lincoln Stars forward John Simonson has committed to play college hockey at the University of North Dakota beginning next season.

Simonson has appeared in all 24 games for the Stars this season and leads the team with 18 points (10g, 8a).  The 20-year-old scored a goal during his USHL debut on September 27th and went on to net three goals over his first five games in the League.  He is currently riding a five-game point streak in which he has accumulated seven points (4g, 3a) and a plus-three rating.  Simonson is also serving as one of Lincoln’s team captains.

The forward joined the Stars after being selected in the 2013 USHL Draft.  It will be a homecoming for Simonson when he begins his NCAA career as he is a native of Grand Forks, North Dakota and played hockey at Grand Forks Central High School before spending the last two seasons playing in the NAHL.

Simonson joins Stars teammate Luke Voltin who is also committed to the University of North Dakota.  Eleven other players who have hit the ice in the USHL this season are also committed to the University of North Dakota, including Christian Cakebread (Fargo Force), Cam Johnson (Fargo Force), Jack Rowe (Fargo Force), Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers), Tucker Poolman (Omaha Lancers), Ryan Mantha (Sioux City Musketeers), Trevor Olson (Sioux City Musketeers), Austin Poganski (Tri-City Storm), Chris Wilkie (Tri-City Storm), Christian Evers (Team USA), and Brandon Fortunato (Team USA).

The University of North Dakota is a member of the newly-formed NCHC and has 13 USHL alumni on the roster this season; Keaton Thompson (Team USA/Fargo Force), Nick Mattson (Indiana Ice), Paul LaDue (Lincoln Stars), Drake Caggiula (Des Moines Buccaneers), Michael Parks (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Colten St. Clair (Fargo Force), Rocco Grimaldi (Team USA), Gage Ausmus (Team USA), Andrew Panzarella (Waterloo/Tri-City/Des Moines), Jordan Schmaltz(Green Bay/Sioux City), Luke Johnson (Lincoln Stars), Bryn Chyzyk (Fargo Force), and Zane Gothberg (Fargo Force).  Additionally, North Dakota head coachDave Hakstol began his coaching career in the USHL as he spent four seasons as head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers (1996-2000).

 (Nathan can be reached at

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