BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey has announced the addition of Tommy Muck and Ethan Somoza. Both players have signed the necessary NCAA paperwork and plan to begin their BSU hockey careers in the fall of 2016.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
“We are very excited to add both Tommy and Ethan to the Beaver Hockey family” said Belisle. “We have known these two athletes for a while. They are both junior hockey veterans who possess the skill level and character necessary to be successful as a Beaver.”
* Tommy Muck (D, 5-10, 170; 1/5/1996; Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) is in his second full season in the United States Hockey League with the Madison Capitols. In 13 games, the alternate captain has posted two goals and two assists for four points to lead all Capitols defenders and sit tenth on the team’s scoring list, while he carries a +1 plus/minus rating.
Madison is 6-7-0 this season and ranks eigth in the USHL’s Eastern Conference standings.
In his first junior hockey season, Muck was a key contributor to the defensive corps, dressing in all 60 games for the Capitals. As the second leading scorer among defenseman, Muck registered 20 points with four goals and 16 assists.
As a three-year letterwinner for Eagan High School from 2011-14, Muck helped guide the Wildcats to two state tournament appearances while scoring 60 points (12g-48a) in 80 career games. He was a 2014 finalist for the Reed Larson award, given each year to Minnesota top high school senior defenseman.
“Tommy is a smooth-skating defenseman who can contribute to the play in every zone,” commented Belisle. “He is currently an all-situational defenseman for his team in the USHL. We look forward to him continuing that play here in Bemidji.”
* Ethan Somoza (F, 5-11, 180; 5/7/1996; Simi Valley, Calif.) is in his third year of junior hockey, his first in the USHL with the Bloomington Thunder. In ten games, Somoza has one assist.
Bloomington is currently fourth in the USHL’s Eastern Conference standings with an overall record of 7-6-2.
Prior to joining the USHL, Somoza spent two seasons with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League. In 2014-15, Somoza led the Ice Dogs with 30 goals. He compiled a total of 65 points (30g-35a) in 60 games to rank sixth in league scoring. Somoza recorded a season-high 11-game point-streak from Oct. 11-Nov. 13 where he notched 20 points off eight goals and 12 assists. He was also a member of the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
In 2013-14, Somoza was a part of the NAHL Robertson Cup Champion Fairbanks squad, as he totaled 21 points (10g-11a) in 46 games played.
Somoza also played portions of two seasons with the California Titans of the NAPHL, where he totaled 48 points (27g-21a) for a league-best 48 points in 21 games in 2012-13. He also won the goal scoring title that season.
“Ethan is a talented winger that has a strong history of offensive production” commented Belisle. “He has the unique ability to get open for scoring opportunities and also to create offense through making plays.” I really like the fact that he has been a part of a championship team with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.” he added.
The 2015-16 class brings Bemidji State’s total of early signees since the program made the jump to Division I in 1999 to 35. Previous early signees include: Senior Markus Gerbrandt, juniors Brendan Harms, Phillip Marinaccio, and Charlie O’Connor, sophomores Brett Beauvais Gerry Fitzgerald, Myles Fitzgerald and Leo Fitzgerald and freshman Dillon Eichstadt and T.J. Roo.
The Beavers, now 2-5-2 overall and 1-4-1 in WCHA play, continue their home stretch at the Sanford Center this weekend to host Lake Superior State University for a league series. The weekend series will get underway at 7:37 p.m. Friday with a 7:07 p.m. start set for Saturday.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).