Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NAHL Scoring Champion Erik Higby to play for NMU

The North American Hockey League Scoring Champion Erik Higby has decided earlier this week that he will play College Hockey for Northern Michigan University (NMU) which is a part of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The native of New Braunfels, Texas is looking to prove critics wrong as he felt like he was under the radar for most of his hockey career with a strong NAHL Playoff Run and getting a chance to play for a Northern Michigan Team that got to the CCHA Conference Semifinals before losing to a very exciting double OT game to St. Cloud State back on March 27.

He's had a strong 2 year career in the NAHL where he has averaged a point a game in the NAHL (114 GP 114 PTS) (38G 76A).

In the playoffs, he's looking to get back to the NAHL Robertson Cup Tournament for the 2nd straight year after getting their with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms just missing out on the League Championship Game as the team finished 3rd as an OT Loss against the Wenatchee Wild knocked them out of contention for the Championship last year.

He's hoping to use his experience from last year to get the Roadrunners to the Robertson Cup, and having a shot at a championship before his junior career ends.

Here's a list of Southwest Based Players that have committed to different NCAA Division 1 Teams during the 2009-2010 season from both the USHL & NAHL.

Players that play for the Wichita Falls Wildcats & Texas Tornado are on this list as well, even if they not Southwest Natives. Good luck to all the players that are moving on to careers in the NCAA starting next year.

United States Hockey League

Chase Grant, Oklahoma City, OK. (Fargo Force/Minnesota State)

Johnnie Searfoss, Colleyville, TX. (Fargo Force/Nebraska-Omaha)

Blake Coleman, Plano, TX. (Indiana Ice/Miami (OH) University)

Jacob Fallon, Southlake, TX. (Indiana Ice/Michigan University)

Ryan Daugherty, Allen, TX. (Omaha Lancers/Northern Michigan University)

C.J. Ludwig, Little Elm, TX. (Omaha Lancers/Northern Michigan University)

North American Hockey League

Erik Higby, New Braunfels, TX. (Topeka Roadrunners/Northern Michigan University)

Zach Ledford, Folsom, Cali. (Wichita Falls Wildcats/Bentley University)

From the North American Hockey League Website:

Topeka Roadrunners forward have announced that forward Erik Higby has committed to Northern Michigan University (CCHA) for next season.

He's the eighth player who competed in January's Sherwood/NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a Division 1 School after the Event.

"It feels great", Higby said of his decision to attend NMU. "Getting College figured out was heavy on my mind. Now I can just concentrate on the rest of the season."

Higby, from New Braunfels, Texas, was the NAHL's Scoring Champion in the regular season, tallying 80 points on 27 goals in 57 games. He also led the league in +/- rating with a +36 rating.

"He's earned it, no question", Roadrunners head Coach Scott Langer said of Erik Higby's college commitment. "I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner. It's gratifying to see a player reach his goals with persistence and hard work."

"As an organization, we're very proud of what Erik's done. He's proven himself to be a true Roadrunner."

Higby, 20, plans on pursuing a degree in Sports Management at Northern Michigan. His long-term is to stay involved in hockey after his playing days are over.

"I'm relieved, really", he said. "It's taken a lot of stress off me".

The other top prospects players who have committed to Division 1 Schools after the event are: Bismarck Bobcats Forwards (Canisius College) and Casey Kleisinger (Air Force Academy); Fairbanks Ice Dogs defensemen Josh Nelson (Minnesota State); Janesville Jets forward Rui Encarnacao (University of Connecticut); Owatonna Express forward Cory Thorson (St. Cloud State University); and defenseman Jake Sloat (Bowling Green State University); and Wenatchee Wild Forward Shawn Pauly (Air Force Academy)

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