By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., May 13, 2022 — The North American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Great Falls Americans are happy to announce that forward Hunter Maschke, will continue his education and hockey career at a ACHA Division III school in Michigan for the upcoming 2022-23 season.
Hunter, who calls Kalamazoo, Michigan home, joins the Hope College Flying Dutchmen men’s club hockey team located in Holland, Michigan. Hope College is a private liberal arts college with about 3,100 students attending and the college has over 91 majors, minors and pre-professional programs located 66 miles from his hometown of Kalamazoo. The Flying Dutchmen club hockey team is under the direction of head coach Chris Van Timmeren, who just claimed their second consecutive American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division III National Championship in March 2022 in a 2-1 win over the University of Michigan in St. Louis, Missouri. The men’s hockey program competes in the ACHA’s Michigan College Hockey Conference.
The former Great Falls American standout enters his freshman year (5’9”, 160 lbs.) appearing in 66 regular season contests and eight playoff games for Great Falls. Greg Sears was Maschke’s head coach for both of his junior hockey seasons (2020-22) where he contributed a total of 16 goals and 27 assists. He started the 2020-21 season as a member of the NA3HL’s Bozeman Ice Dogs, a rival to the Americans by gathering 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in 14 games before joining the Americans. The 20-year-old’s best regular season game came against the Badlands (SD) Sabres during the 2021-22 season when he scored twice and dished out one assist in a 7-3 home victory on November 27, 2021.
The Michigan skater earned one NA3HL Frontier Division (Honorable Mention) Star of the Week (2020-21, February 14, 2021) and one 2nd Star (2021-22, September 26, 2022) and one NA3HL Honorable Mention Star of the Month (September 2022) for his play during his two-year stint with Great Falls.
Prior to his junior hockey career in Bozeman and Great Falls, he attended high school in Portage, Michigan playing for the Mustangs at Portage Central High School. In three seasons (2017-20), he amassed 52 goals and 25 assists.
He stated living on his own for the first time and exploring a state that is 20 hours away from his home in Michigan that were some of his accomplishments while coming to Montana and playing for the Great Falls Americans.
“Playing in the NA3HL for two years gave me time to develop as a player and refine my (hockey) skills,” said Maschke in a phone interview about the time he spent playing junior hockey in Montana.
Hunter enjoyed playing for head coach Greg Sears in his 1.5 seasons with the team after playing a half season with their rival, the Bozeman Ice Dogs before coming to Great Falls in a trade. “Coach Sears strived hard work every day in practice and during games. He also instilled that the whole team was one big family as the family aspect is important to Americans head coach.
As for his future time in college, Maschke is looking forward to getting to know his new teammates as he has played hockey previously with a few of them. “I felt the hockey and academic programs (at Hope College) was a good fit for me and they offered the degree (Accounting) that I wanted to pursue,” said the future college freshman.
During his time in Great Falls, he lived with Americans forward Garrett Weisenburger. Hunter loved living out West (Montana) especially the beautiful scenery and living with his host family, who treated him like one of their own. Before his first year of college begins, he plans to make a return trip to Montana for a visit. He mentioned MT Pints as one of his favorite eateries in Great Falls and a proud sponsor of Great Falls Americans Hockey.
“We are very excited for Hunter to continue his hockey career at Hope College,” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears. “Hunter is a great kid, and we look forward to following him at Hope (College).”
Click here to view Hunter Maschke’s statistics for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
Click here for a full listing of the NA3HL college commitments.