By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., June 5, 2015 — A former Great Falls American goaltender that played for the past three years for the Great Falls squad has made his decision to play at the collegiate level for a NCAA Division III school in Wisconsin.
Evan Hauser will be joining the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons beginning in the fall of 2015. The Falcons are members of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) located in River Falls, Wisconsin.
The goaltender from St. Paul, Minnesota played for the Great Falls Americans for three seasons (2012-2015) of junior hockey before being called up to the North Americans Hockey League’s (NAHL) Kenai River Brown Bears (Soldotna, Alaska) in December 2014.
He was one of the team captains for the Americans during his time in Great Falls and was also one of the top goaltenders in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) before his promotion during the 2014-15 season. In his 14 appearances, he made over 447 saves (.957 save percentage) including three shutouts, and allowed 1.42 goals-per-game while compiling a 14-0 record. The new college commit was also the NA3HL Goaltender of the month for October.
“I loved playing junior hockey and I was able to help build a great program in Great Falls with a core group of guys and a new coach in Jeff Heimel and turned it into something special,” said Hauser in reference to his junior hockey playing days.
During his stint with the Alaska NAHL team, he started in 17 of the 20 games while accumulating 562 saves (.888 save percentage) and allowed over three goals per contest. He posted two victories including 3-2 wins over the Coulee Region Chill and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The team finished with a 16-42-2 record and missed the playoffs. He had his best performance in the NAHL by having 50 saves with the win over Fairbanks on March 21st. He received Honorable Mention in the Easton Midwest Divisional Stars of the Week ending March 8th.
“I went over in a tough situation (with the Brown Bears) as they were struggling but it was a good learning experience for the team and the coaching staff,” said Hauser. “We did a good job of staying positive even though things weren’t going our way. I got a lot better as I adjusted to the pace of the game and playing with more skilled players which benefitted my play on the ice.”
Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls men’s hockey team is coming off a great season with a 20-7-1 record (10-3-1 on home ice), their first WIAC Commissioner’s Cup championship, and their first conference title since 1996 when they defeated their rival, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 3-1 in March.
The Business Administration major with emphasis on Finance said he was looking forward to the increased level of hockey at the collegiate level and he can’t wait to play in front of his peers at school and get his education finished.
After his college playing days have concluded, the Minnesota native would like to give pro hockey a shot and he could land with a team overseas as the UW-River Falls has a good history of sending goalies to the professional ranks. Even if that isn’t the route he takes, he will still have an education and would like to become a venture capitalist in Europe.
Hauser was “happy he got to spend a lot of time (almost 3 seasons) in Great Falls and play for Jeff Heimel’s squad.” He wanted to wish both the Americans and (Kenai River) Brown Bears the best of luck in the future.
He is the son of Nicole Nelson and Joel Hauser and the brother to Hayden Hauser and Faith Penrose.
Click here to view Evan’s career statistics.