Liberty Hockey adds six for 2012-13
July 6, 2012 | Lynchburg, VA
The Liberty University Division I Men's Hockey team, fresh off a 10th place finish in the nation, added six players for the 2012-13 season: Tyson Street, Paul Ingles, Bram Erickson, Kyle Garcia, Steven Bellew and B.J. Pirus.
"This is a class that adds significant depth to our team and will fill some key spots," said head coach Kirk Handy.
All six will get a chance to contribute immediately with the graduation of Joe Smith, Luke Aitken, Jake Hannon and Seth Jensen.
Street, a center, comes to Liberty from Vancouver, British Columbia. He spent time with the Brampton Capitals of the Ontario Junior Hockey League before he moved to Mooresville, N.C., with his family, parents Jib and Laurie Street and his 13-year-old sister Kia. Street finished with six goals and 18 assists in 45 games with the Capitals and the Vaughan Vipers.
"Liberty University hit me right at home," Street said. " I clicked with the team and the coaching staff and I'm ready to invest the next part of my life."
Handy said Street is a very creative player "He is a guy who is good around the net, and he is not only capable of putting the puck in the net but also distributing the puck really well."
Paul Ingles, a center/right wing, comes to Lynchburg from Port Huron, Mich., about an hour northwest of Detroit, home to Paul's favorite team, the Detroit Red Wings. Ingles played for the Belle Tire All Stars and finished with 11 goals and six assists in 40 games.
"I plan to stay on the Division I team all four years and I relish the challenge, being one of the younger players on the team," Ingles said.
Handy said Ingles has been coming to Liberty's hockey camps since he was 15.
"He is the type of guy as described by his coaches who shows up to play every night."
"Ingles is a very smart, two-way hockey player, who can bring a physical edge to his game," Handy said.
Kyle Garcia, also a center, comes the farthest, hailing from Costa Mesa, Calif. Garcia spent last season with the Golden (BC) Rockets of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, where he finished fourth on the team in goals (18). Garcia was introduced to Liberty by his parents, Larry and Brenda Garcia, but said he was impressed not only by the successful hockey program, but that it is a Christian school that features programs he is interested in: aviationand engineering[AM1] .
"He (Garcia) is someone who has had great success in junior hockey," Handy said. "He is someone who has played in various different capacities from a role player to being a key offensive player this past year."
Steven Bellew may be new to Liberty, but his family certainly is no stranger to campus. Bellew, a defenseman from Hingham, Mass., will be the third member of his family to lace up his skates for the Flames , joining brothers Jimmy and Joey, who played for Liberty from 2001-2005 during their Division II days. His sister, Rebecca, also studied at Liberty, and another sister, Rachel, is currently a student.
"Everyone loves that I am continuing the family tradition of going to Liberty," Bellew said.
Handy said Bellew sees the ice really well.
"His coaches said that in practice, everyone had to be ready to go because Steven wasn't afraid to raise the level of intensity in practice. He is going to come in here as a freshman and be given a great opportunity."
B.J. Pirus comes to Liberty from Chicago, Ill by way of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Pirus spent last year as a member of the Thunder Bay North Stars. Pirus' father, Alex, played for the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars) of the National Hockey League.
"B.J. is a solid hockey player," Handy said. "He is someone who is going to be a big impact guy for us on and off the ice. He is someone who we believe will not only elevate his game but the game of those around him."
Bram Erickson comes to the Flames from Cedarburg, Wis. After graduating from Cedarburg High School, he followed the path of many aspiring hockey players and headed to Canada, where he joined the Campbellton Tigers in New Brunswick of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. Erickson also played for the Wisconsin Wilderness of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SJIHL) in 2011-12.
"Bram is a big body that we are in need of up front," Handy said. "He is someone we see as being a key part of our leadership in the future, and be a guy on and off the ice we can count on as a character guy for us."
These six will join the rest of the 2012-13 Liberty Flames for training camp beginning August 20th. The Flames open the 2012-13 season with an exhibition against the Atlanta Junior A Knights on September 14th at the LaHaye Ice Center.
B.J. Williams, Staff Writer
Tyson "Ty" Street
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
School: Kelowna Secondary School Kelowna, British Columbia
Previous Team: Brampton Capitals, Ontario Junior Hockey League
Family: Jib and Laurie Street (parents), Kia Street (sister, 13)
Favorite Hockey Team: Vancouver Canucks
Favorite NHL Player: Patrice Bergeron (2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins) or Danny Briere (Philadelphia Flyers)
Hometown: Port Huron, Mich.
Position: Center/Right Wing
School: Homeschool/New Life Christian Academy
Previous Team: Belle Tire All-Stars, Midget Major AAA League
Family: George and Gwen Ingles (parents); Luke Ingles (brother, 15)
Favorite Hockey Team: Detroit Red Wings
Favorite NHL Player: Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Hometown: Hingham, Mass.
School: Bridgton Academy
Previous Team: Bridgton Academy Junior A
Family: Tom and Maggie (parents); Nicole Lennon (sister, 39), Tommy (brother, 37), Rene (sister, 35), Jimmy (brother, 29), Joey (brother, 28), Rebecca Oehlschlager (sister, 25), Rachel (sister, 22)
Favorite Hockey Team: 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins
Favorite NHL Player: Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
School: College of Dupage
Previous Team: Thunder Bay North Stars
Family: Alex and Debbie Pirus (parents); Misty (sister, 23), Samantha (sister, 29)
Favorite Hockey Team: Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars
Favorite NHL Player: Niklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings)
Hometown: Cedarburg, Wis.
Position: Right Wing
School: Cedarburg High School
Previous Team: Campbellton Tigers Maritime Junior Hockey League
Family: Roger and Donna Erickson (Parents) Marlee (sister, 6), Liddi (sister, 8), Emmie (sister, 14), Lacey (sister, 16), Addie (sister, 23)
Favorite Hockey Team: Dallas Stars
Favorite NHL Player: Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks)
Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.
School: Calvary Chapel High School
Previous Team: Golden (BC) Rockets
Family: Larry and Brenda Garcia (parents), Alyssa Garcia (sister, 22)
Favorite Hockey Team: Los Angeles Kings
Favorite NHL Player: Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)