BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has announced the addition of Brendan Harris (F, Henderson, Nev.) and Ethan Somoza (F, Simi Valley, Calif.). Both players have signed the necessary NCAA paperwork and plan to begin their BSU hockey careers in the fall of 2017.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Brendan Harris (F, 5-9, 161; 7/10/1996; Henderson, Nev.) is in his second full season in the British Columbia Hockey League and fourth season with the Wenatchee Wild. In 19 games for the Wild Harris has nine goals and 31 assists for a league-best 40 points. His 31 assists also leads the league. Averaging more than 2.2 points per game, he has logged a point in 16-of-18 games and has posted 15 multi-point games, including a five-assist night Sept. 1.
Wenatchee is 15-2-1-0 this season and lead the Mainland Division BCHL’s standings.
In his first BCHL season, Harris was a key contributor, leading the team in scoring with 56 points (14g-42a) in 57 games. He also played a pivotal role on the Wenatchee power-play unit recording three goals and 17 assists for a team-leading 20 points on the man advantage. Leading the Wild to the postseason, he posted 14 points (3g-11a) in 10 games played.
Harris also played two seasons in the North American Hockey League, including parts of two seasons with the Wild. The Henderson, Nev. native recorded 25 points (7g-18a) in 53 games during the 2013-14 season with Bismarck and Wenatchee, netting four points (1g-3a) during the Wild’s playoff run. In 2014-15, Harris logged 50 games with the Wild, netting 16 goals and 28 assists before making his debut in the United State Hockey league with Cedar Rapids.
“Brendan is an electric playmaker and a dynamic skater.” said Eddie Olczyk, BSU’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. “His hockey sense, speed, skill and ability to see the ice so well are a few of the reasons why he is having the success he is having in the BCHL this season. He plays for a very respected coach in Bliss Littler in Wenatchee, and has developed tremendously over the last few years. We are expecting Brendan to come in and be an all-situations player for us next season. He will be a key piece to our special teams, lineup, and hockey program over the course of his four years here at Bemidji State.”
* Ethan Somoza (F, 5-11, 180; 5/7/1996; Simi Valley, Calif.) is in his fourth year of junior hockey, his second in the USHL with the Bloomington Thunder. In 13 games, Somoza has two goals and four assists. Oct. 22, he helped lead the Thunder to a 7-0 victory over Cedar Rapids netting two goals and an assist.
Bloomington is currently sixth in the USHL’s Eastern Conference standings with an overall record of 5-6-2-0.
He finished the 2015-16 campaign with four goals and nine assists for 13 points, including three multi-point games and a game-winning goal.
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 and tied for third among all players 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.
“Ethan is a hard working left shot forward who has a proven ability to produce. He has played a lot of junior hockey, which will suit him well in the transition to the Division-l level,” commented Olczyk. “His coach Dennis Williams in Bloomington has had a lot of success behind the bench, and we know Ethan has benefitted from playing for him. Ethan’s ability to skate and outwork the opposition on both sides of the puck are uncontested qualities that he possesses as a player. He has a nose for the net, and has shown that he can make plays in a number of different situations. We are thrilled that Ethan is going to be coming to Bemidji State in the fall.”
The 2016-17 class brings Bemidji State’s total of early signees since the program made the jump to Division I in 1999 to 36. Previous early signees include: seniors Brendan Harms, Phillip Marinaccio, and Charlie O’Connor, juniors Brett Beauvais Gerry Fitzgerald, Myles Fitzgerald and Leo Fitzgerald, sophomores Dillon Eichstadt and T.J. Roo and freshman Tommy Muck.
The No. 15 Beavers, now 8-2-0 overall and 8-0-0 in league play, continue WCHA play this week as they travel to Mankato, Minn. for a two-game series at No. 11 Minnesota State University, Mankato. Both games are set for a 7:07 p.m. start.
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).