Bemidji State men’s hockey adds five during regular signing period
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Bemidji State men’s hockey adds five during regular signing period

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey program today announced the addition of Markus Gerbrandt (Edmonton, Alberta), James Hansen (Maple Grove, Minn.), Brad Robbins (Murrieta, Calif.), Fabian Sivnert (Höllviken, Sweden) and Cory Ward (Las Vegas, N.V.)  to the Beaver hockey program for the 2012-13 season. All five incoming student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent during the NCAA’s regular signing period that began April 11.

All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

• Markus Gerbrandt (5-11, 175, Forward, Edmonton, Alberta), a forward for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), has recorded 86 points (40g-46a) while leading his team to a 60-15-0-4 record and a run through the playoffs to the AJHL Championship Enerflex Cup.  In the postseason alone, he’s piled up 22 points (8g-14a) in 19 playoff games.  

A valued member of the Oil Barons’ power-play unit, Gerbrandt has collected 29 points (10g-19a) on the man advantage this season.

Gerbrandt finished the regular season tied for fifth in the AJHL in scoring and sits third in AJHL playoff scoring.

Gerbrandt has played three seasons of junior hockey with Fort McMurray.  In 167 games, he’s posted 74 goals and 86 assists for 160 points.  Following a 56-point (24g-32a) rookie campaign in 2009-10, Gerbrandt was named to the AJHL All-Rookie Team.  At the conclusion of the 2011-12 regular season, he was named to the AJHL Reebok North Division All-League Team.

“Markus is a very good player that has played a boatload of junior hockey,” commented Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Ted Belisle.  “He caught our eye a few years ago and has really blossomed into one of the top players in the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season.  He is a reliable player and has a very well-rounded game.  He’ll hit, skate, shoot and make plays.”

• James Hansen  (6-1, 201, Defenseman, Maple Grove, Minn.) is a 6-foot-1, 210-pound defenseman that is coming off a 14-point (3g-11a) season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Hansen played in each of the Black Hawks’ 60 games in 2011-12, saw time on Waterloo’s power-play and penalty-kill units, while he finished second among Waterloo blueliners with a +6 plus/minus rating.  Of his three goals, one came on the power-play and two stuck as game-winners.

In two seasons with Waterloo, the defenseman has accumulated 22 points (4g-18a) in 105 games.

Waterloo claimed third place in the USHL’s Western Conference and a 2012 playoff birth this season posting a 33-19-6 record. The Black Hawks are currently matched with Tri-City in the opening round of the USHL playoffs.

Hansen joins fellow Maple Grove native Sam Windle on the BSU blue line.

“We are excited about the strength, size and mobility James possesses” commented Belisle. “He will add several dynamics to our defensive corps moving forward.  He has great legs, he can eat up minutes and is a very good defender.”

• Brad Robbins  (5-8, 165, Forward, Murrieta, Calif.), a forward for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, has played in 57 of 60 contests for a team that clinched the USHL’s Western Conference playoff spot with a 28-29-1 record. He led Sioux City and finished the regular season tied for 18th in the league  in scoring with 49 points (25g-24a), which included 17 points on the power play (11g-6a) and four game-winning goals.

Robins, posted at least a point in 34 games for the Musketeers in 2011-12, which includes a streak of 14 consecutive games from Nov. 4-Dec. 16 during which he piled up 20 points (10g-10a). He recorded 13 multi-point games including a pair of three-point contests.

A two-year veteran of the USHL, Robbins has accumulated 83 points (38g-45a) in 97 games for Sioux City.  

“The wow factor about Brad is that he has very good skill,” commented Belisle. “He can score and he is a very good on the power play. He’s demonstrated that in the past and we are looking for him to bring that element to our roster.”

• Fabian Sivnert  (5-11, 185, Goaltender, Höllviken, Sweden), a goaltender that played the 2011-12 season for the Valley Jr. Warriors of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL), saw time in 30 of 45 games during the regular season and posted an overall record of 18-9-2. He led the team in minutes played (1710:14) and saves (903), while posting a .926 save percentage and 2.53 goals allowed average.  

Sivnert finished the season among the league’s elite goaltenders.  He was second in save percentage, third in goals against average, tied for fourth with three shut outs and was tied for fifth in victories.  His dominance garnered him a spot on the EJHL All-Star squad and EJHL Goaltender of the Year honors.

He posted at least 30 saves in 17 of 30 appearances, which included a season-high 47-stop performance Feb. 1.

The Warriors finished the regular season with a 27-16-2 record and earned an appearance in the EJHL Gary Dineen Cup Playoffs.  The Warriors defeated the New York Apple Core in the first round before having their season ended by the Jersey Hitmen.

Prior to his stint with the Warriors, Sivnert spent two season with the Malmö Redhawks, a Swedish Division I organization. He also has experience playing with the Swedish National Team at the U16 and U17 level.

“Fabian is an athletic goaltender that has a very good track record of stopping the puck,” said Belisle.  “He is technical goalie that has the ability to read plays and anticipate the puck coming his way. We are excited to see him continue his junior success into collegiate success.”  

• Cory Ward  (6-0, 200, Forward, Las Vegas, N.V.), a forward for the Aberdeen Wings of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), posted a team-best 35 goals and 63 points (35g-28a) to lead the Wings to a 29-24-7 record during the regular season. He played in 57 of 62 games for Aberdeen and ranks 11th in the league in scoring, fifth in goal scoring and his seven game-winning goals place him third among the league’s top scorers.

Ward solidified himself as vital power-play cog netting nine goals to go with 10 assists on the man advantage.  He also recorded a team-best three short-handed tallies.

Netting at least a point in 39 games, which included a season-long nine-game scoring streak stretching from Feb. 24 to March 23, Ward posted 16 multi-point games.  October 22, the Las Vegas native registered a season-best five points (1g-4a) in a 6-5 overtime loss to Bismarck. Ward also netted a hat trick Dec. 17 in a 5-1 victory over Minot.  He was selected as the NAHL’s First Star March 5 and earned Third Star accolades Dec. 20.

The Wings, the No. 4 seed in the NAHL’s Central Division were bumped from the postseason in the divisional semifinals by Central Division Champion Bismarck.

In 113 games during two seasons with Aberdeen, the 2010-11 NAHL ALL-Rookie First Team selection has recorded 120 points (67g-53a), has 42 power-play points (22g-20a) and 12 game-winners.

“Cory is a very exciting young prospect for us,” commented Belisle.  “He is a big, thick, strong player that has an incredible shot and has always been able to score.  In addition, he has a tremendous battle level and that competitive skill is something we are looking forward to.”

BSU’s regular period signees join Graeme McCormack (Thunder Bay, Ontario) a defenseman from the British Columbia Hockey League’s (BCHL) Nanaimo Clippers as a part of the Beavers’ 2012-13 class. McCormack signed a NCAA National Letter of Intent with BSU during the early signing period (Nov. 9-16).

Bemidji State, which finished 17-18-3 overall and posted an 11-14-3 mark in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play to finish ninth in the league, wrapped up the 2011-12 campaign with a trip to No. 12 University of North Dakota for the opening round of the WCHA playoffs.