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Huntsmen Forward Finishes Climb to NCAA Hockey

EXTON, PA -- Andrew Blanchard, a forward for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen, has committed to SUNY Potsdam for the fall of 2024.

The '03 native of Wilton, NY recently finished his second and final season of the junior hockey, and now has officially climbed all the way up the ladder from the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP), to the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), to NCAA hockey.

Blanchard's junior hockey career began in the EHLP with the Adirondack Jr. Thunder, back in the 2022-23 season when he posted 55 points in 42 total games. Following that season, Blanchard made the jump up to the EHL this past year (2023-24), starting things off with the New Jersey 87's before finishing out the campaign with the Huntsmen. Overall, in 41 EHL games last year, Blanchard notched 11 more points to his name.

"We were excited when we traded for Andrew, his work ethic and leadership changed our room immediately," said former Huntsmen head coach Matt Reid. "He is a 200-foot, team-first guy, and we couldn’t be happier of the fact that he will be playing at Potsdam this fall. We know he will hit the ground running and be a force for the Bears."

When Blanchard arrives on campus, he will be part of a four-player class that the EHL is sending off to Potsdam. The veteran forward will quickly reunite with Ryan Bartlett from the Huntsmen, and then become new teammates with Lucas Salas from the 87's and WIlliam Walsh from the Railers Jr. Hockey Club.

"The excitement of being committed to a top tier division 3 school goes beyond what I can say on paper," said Blanchard. "It's going to be a new chapter for me and that's what I'm most excited about, growing as a person but also as a hockey player. The Huntsmen was a great organization to help me achieve my goal of playing NCAA hockey. Coach Reid brought me to the Huntsmen confident he could get me committed. Coach Reid helped me adjust to my new team and started talking to schools. Without him I'm sure I'd be in a different situation."

Learn more about the Huntsmen on the team's official website, and check out the full 2023-24 NCAA commitment list.

Huntsmen All-Star Forward Set to Join Golden Flyers this Fall

EXTON, PA -- Alex Erlain, a forward for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen, has committed to Nazareth College for the fall of 2024.

The '03 native of Gibsonia, PA spent two seasons in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), skating a year apiece with the Huntsmen and Team Maryland. Over the course of 95 career games in the EHL, Erlain tallied 51 total points to his credit on 29 goals and 22 assists.

"Alex was a key leader for us," said Huntsmen head coach Matt Reid. "He plays 200 feet and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is getting great coaching at Nazareth with George Roll, and Nazareth will be receiving a future leader of their program."

While Erlain is the first EHL player to chose Nazareth from the 2023-24 campaign, he's also the 29th player in league history to chose the Golden Flyers' program. Also, it's worth noting that with Erlain's commitment, Nazareth has now committed at least one player per season for all 11 years since the EHL was formed back in 2013.

"I am extremely excited to be committed to Nazareth College and play for Coach Roll and Coach McDonald for the next four years," said Erlain. "I thank my family, friends, and previous coaches who have helped me along the way. I also would like thank Coach Reid for all he has done for me this season. I have learned so much from him and I am forever grateful to have played for him. Thank you Zach [Overholtzer], my teammates, and the rest of Huntsmen organization for everything this year. I cannot wait for next season!"

Learn more about the Huntsmen on the team's official website, and check out the full 2023-24 NCAA commitment list.

Huntsmen All-Star Captain Set to Join Hawks this Fall

EXTON, PA -- Hunter Hoffman, a defenseman for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen, has committed to Saint Anselm College for the fall of 2024.

The '04 native of Stevensville, MD recently finish his second season in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), and first and only full year with the Huntsmen. Overall, combined between his season with the Huntsmen and one campaign with Team Maryland, Hoffman tallied 20 points to his credit over the course of 75 career games in the EHL.

"We are very proud of Hunter, he brings everything he has to the table every day, and was the perfect first captain for this organization," said Huntsmen head coach Matt Reid. "As an '04 he has definitely shown the maturity and work out there to be ready to contribute at the college level."

As Reid mentioned, as only an '04, Hoffman would be eligible to return to the Huntsmen and the EHL for one more season, but he feels strongly that he's ready for the next level right now.

"I'm beyond proud to announce my commitment to further my academic and hockey career at Saint Anselm College," said Hoffman. "I would like to thank my family, teammates, and the Huntsmen organization for their wonderful support throughout the year. I especially want to thank Coach Reid for all he's done for me and our organization, I would not be the player or person I am today without his guidance. I'm very excited to start my journey as a student-athlete at Saint Anselm this fall."

Hoffman is one of six players from the EHL that will be joining the Hawks this fall, as he will team up with Conor Kelly from the New Hampshire Avalanche, Brendan Manning from the Vermont Lumberjacks, Connor Peet of the Boston Jr. Terriers, Keaton Richards from the New Jersey 87's, and Nick Theodos from the New England Wolves when he arrives on campus.

Learn more about the Huntsmen on the team's official website, and check out the full 2023-24 NCAA commitment list.

Huntsmen Forward Set to Join Bears this Fall

EXTON, PA -- Ryan Bartlett, a forward for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen, has committed to SUNY Potsdam for the fall of 2024.

The '03 native of Oswego, NY chose the Huntsmen for his final season of junior hockey, and over the course of 29 total Eastern Hockey League (EHL) games to date, Bartlett has tallied nine points to his credit on three goals and six assists.

"Ryan has tremendous speed and the ability to create plays," said Huntsmen head coach Matt Reid. "He’s done a great job adding details to his game in his last year of juniors. We look forward to watching him play next season for the Bears and making an immediate impact."

With Bartlett's commitment, the EHL has now seen 25 total players in league history choose the SUNY Potsdam program, and that includes at least one per season for every year dating back to the inception of the league in 2013.

"I’m excited to join the team and coaching staff at SUNY Potsdam," said Bartlett. "The path to get to college from youth hockey, to prep school, and finishing up in junior hockey has developed me as a player and created this opportunity. The time I spent with Bridgton Academy and with the Huntsmen in the EHL is exactly what set me up for success in the college game. Coach Reid works tirelessly for the boys, both on and off the ice. The environment of accountability and culture he has created in the first year at the EHL level is unreal. I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates that have helped me along the way. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without their support."

With his commitment now official, Barlett will focus all of his attention towards the stretch run, which will surely be entertaining in the South Division. At the current moment, 3rd place and 6th place in the standings are separated by just three total points. The Huntsmen will surely lean on Bartlett's leadership heading towards March, with hope it leads Pennsylvania into the postseason.

Learn more about the Huntsmen on the team's official website, and check out the full 2023-24 NCAA commitment list.

Huntsmen Forward Makes History as Program's First NCAA Commitment

EXTON, PA -- Max Finkeldey, a forward for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen, has committed to Arcadia University for the fall of 2023.

The '02 native of Namibia, Africa told his family he was 'Heading West' back in September, and took them totally by surprise.

“I called my family to tell them I'm moving to America to play ice hockey, and they thought I was crazy,” said Finkeldey.

What followed upon Finkeldey's arrival was a memorable season that saw him post 22 points in 42 total games in the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP). The 6'3 forward played a big role for his team, while helping to lead the Huntsmen to the Mid-Atlantic Division Finals.

"Fink was determined to keep playing after aging out and only playing ice hockey for 8 months," said Huntsmen general manager Zach Overholtzer. "He was looking for a situation where he could continue to develop his game. When the season ended, he had been talking with a few schools. When Arcadia came into the picture it changed the game. They say that 'hard work creates opportunities', and Coach [Vince] Pietrangelo had heard his story and spent some time with him over a weekend camp we hosted at Exton. I had told Vince when Max was making his way over from Africa, and I thought I was crazy and hoped for the best. There is no way I could of predicted his exponential development over the course of the 2022-23 season. However, Arcadia is getting more than a hockey player. Max Finkeldey is the most determined person I've come across in this game. He consistently exceeds the goals he sets for himself while making the others around him better, both on and off the ice. He's a natural leader and an extension of the coaching staff. We started the Huntsmen because we wanted to give back to the game and give opportunities to guys aspiring to play NCAA hockey. Finkeldey is the first of what we hope to be many NCAA Commitments to announce in the future."

Finkeldey's coach this past season was Blaise Kilroy, who also happened to be is his first season behind the bench of the a junior program.

"Max is the epitome of what it means to be a teammate, team player, and leader on and off the ice," said Kilroy. "8 months ago Max had only ice skated a handful of times. He didn’t let that define who he was as an ice hockey player. He put in the work, the time on and off the ice, and most importantly, created teaching moments from every failure, both big and small. In his first few months not only learning how to ice skate, Max needed to learn the rules of ice hockey and all its nuances, he became a true student of the game, calling me at every hour asking questions. With his hard work, dedication to getting better each and every day, and coming to the rink with a great attitude, Max truly earned this in every sense. I could not be more proud of Max, he deserves this and I cannot wait to continue to watch how he develops over the next 4 years."

The feeling that a person can get from hearing both Overholtzer and Kilroy talk about Finkeldey, is that the Huntsmen only wish they were able to keep the forward in their program for a longer period of time. This is especially the case when you factor in Pennsylvania adding an EHL team under their umbrella this upcoming year, set to be led by Matt Reid.

"What Blaise and Zach did to develop Max throughout the year was truly amazing," said Reid. "When I jumped on board late in the season, it was incredible to watch his progress. He literally got better every day, and became one of the toughest players in the league to play against as a coach. A player has to check all the boxes to put your name on him and Max certainly does that. He will be a great fit at Arcadia with Coach Pietrangelo."

In addition to seeing his hard work recognized, Finkeldey's comments over his decision echo a similar sentiment to one that the coaching staff has. While they are beyond proud of what the forward accomplished, this ending to a relatively quick year in Pennsylvania is an absolutely dream scenario.

"It's hard to believe, but I have made the next step to college hockey," said Finkeldey. "I would have never thought that I would be playing NCAA Hockey ever in my life. It was just 8 months ago when I didn't even know what NCAA was, and now I am playing at the next level and going to college. Life is crazy and that is the perfect example of how you can achieve anything you put your mind to. This is all I wanted and now it finally happened and I am more proud and honored then words can describe, over the opportunity that I have received. I am finally rewarded for all the hard work that myself and my coaches have put in over the course of the last 8 months. I am so happy and so grateful to everyone that made this possible."

Learn more about the Huntsmen on the team's official website, and check out the full 2022-23 NCAA commitment list.