By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., December 29, 2014 — The Great Falls Americans Junior A Hockey team are pleased to announce that goaltender Evan Hauser has been called up to the Kenai River Brown Bears in Soldotna, Alaska of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), according to American Head Coach and General Manager, Jeff Heimel.
The NAHL is considered a Tier II Hockey League while the North American 3 Hockey League teams play in a lower level (Tier III) league. The purpose of the NA3HL (Tier III league) is to prepare players for the next level of junior hockey or collegiately.
Hauser is one of the team captains for the Americans, who currently sit atop the North American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Frontier Division with a 24-3 overall record. The St. Paul, Minnesota native is the top goaltender in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) this season. In 14 games and over 845 minutes in the net for Great Falls, Hauser has made 447 saves (.957 save percentage), collected three shutouts, and allowed 1.42 goals-per-game while compiling a 14-0 record.
When asked about some of his accomplishments with the Americans, he stated that the season prior to his arrival (in 2011), the team won one game and then the following year when Jeff Heimel took over as the head coach, the Americans won 16 games. The biggest change from his perspective was that the team went from sixth (place) to second in the American West Hockey League (AWHL).
“This season since joining the NA3HL we have made a big impact so far with the best win record and highest win percentage in the league,” said an excited Hauser. “Collectively, it’s been a huge experience for the staff and players on the Americans.”
Since joining the Americans, he has developed a higher maturity level, worked harder each year and has focused on achieving team goals.
“Coach (Jeff) Heimel always says the player’s interests are his best interest. He wants to take care of us and he wants us to improve both on and off the ice,” said the newest member of Kenai River. “He is very high on professionalism and he wants us to learn and develop as a person.”
“I am looking forward to competing at a higher level of hockey. I am excited to get to meet the team and work with Brown Bears goaltending coach Scott Johnson. It will be nice to play against new teams and players at the next level and I’m looking forward to improving my play and help Kenai River move up in the standings.”
“Words cannot express the gratitude for the time that Evan has given to our program and the community of Great Falls,” said Heimel. “He will be sorely missed but at the end of the day our organization exists to help players realize their full potential and Evan has done that. We wish him all of the success in the world in his new venture”.
The former Americans goaltender is excited to get this opportunity and is hoping that the Americans continue their race towards a championship.
“I want to thank coach (Jeff) Heimel, owner Jim Keough and all the wonderful fans of the Great Falls Americans for helping me get this opportunity and the coaching staff at his new home in Kenai River for this tremendous opportunity”.
Click here to view Evan’s season statistics in the NA3HL.
Additional Media Coverage: December 29 2014: Great Falls Tribune: Americans Evan Hauser promoted to new league