By Jadon Frank
Briercrest hockey will have a distinct American influence among their incoming forwards this coming season with the addition of Bartlett, Illinois’s Ricky Seidel.
The five-foot-nine forward began the 2012-13 season with the Minnesota Wilderness of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) before finishing the season with the Alexandria Blizzard in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL). Seidel finished the 2012-13 season tied for third on the team in scoring with 19 goals and 39 points in 43 games for Alexandria.
While playing club hockey since 2002, the graduate of South Elgin High School was also the MVP of his high school hockey team in Grade 11.
Seidel started playing hockey at the age of eight and has played multiple positions during his career.
“I played defense my first three years, (but) when I moved to travel (team) I was put on forward and have been there ever since,” Seidel explained. “Majority of it was on right wing, but recently I have played centre and left wing as well.”
Shaun Falzone, who coached Seidel for the Dells Ducks of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League (MnJHL) during the 2011-12 season, quickly noticed Seidel’s drive when he first met him.
“The first time I met Ricky, he was on a showcase hockey team that I was helping coach,” Falzone said. “He was a player with a lot of goals to reach in his hockey career. He came off as a guy who wouldn’t take no as an answer, a player that worked hard to get what he wants. And after I was able to see him play, I knew he would be a player who could reach all those goals. He had no problem listening and taking advice to help him get better.”
The versatile player’s favourite moment involves facing adversity.
“My favorite moment of my hockey career, so far, was when we were playing in the quarter-final game of Nationals and I separated my shoulder during the first game and was told to sit out and take a game off every game,” Seidel said. “I kept playing and we came back from a four goal deficit and sent the game to overtime. A few minutes into the overtime I got the game winning goal to move us on to the semi-finals.”
As Falzone coached Seidel he observed other strong traits in the forward.
“I see a player who has confidence in himself,” Falzone said. “My opinion is he has always been a leader. On the ice he gives it everything he has and off the ice he is always working to make himself better. On days off or free time, he is on the ice or doing conditioning. He has one of the biggest hearts in this game of hockey. He is a player that you can count on in tight situations. Ricky’s biggest strengths are not just one; I feel it is his speed, strength, and his heart. He is a player that can come down the ice, moving the puck with ease, and will take the hit to make the play. He is player that I loved having on my team.”
Seidel has experienced a great deal of success during his career, winning five state championships in five straight years and placing third, third and fifth in successive national championships. He was also named MVP and awarded the Gene Byker Memorial Award for player of the year while playing for the Northwest Chargers during the 2009-10 season.
Outside of hockey, Seidel enjoys working out, spending time with friends and studying the Bible.
“I enjoy playing various types of games, cooking and reading theological books,” Seidel said. “I am planning to study business, and some type of theology at Briercrest. I am looking forward to being able to combine my passion for God and my passion for hockey! Also being able to go in depth studying the Bible.”
Seidel has enjoyed integrating his faith into his sport of hockey the past few years.
“I have been involved with Hockey Ministries International (HMI) for the past seven years, attended as a camper for five years and have been a counselor for two years.”
True to his American roots, Seidel’s favourite trip is one related to one of the most memorable moments in USA hockey history.
“I haven’t taken too many trips that aren’t related to hockey but my favorite one was because of hockey, when I got to go visit and play in the 1980 miracle rink,” Seidel said.
Falzone expects Seidel to be successful in every facet of life at Briercrest.
“I know that Ricky will give it everything he has for his school and his team,” Falzone said. “He will work hard to make himself better on the ice and in the classroom. I look forward to keeping track of his progress, and I know that he will be a great asset for his school.”
2013-14 Briercrest College Men’s Hockey Recruiting Class
G Marco Emond • 5-10 • 1st • Valleyfield, QC/Bloomington Blaze (CHL)/Fayetteville FireAntz (SPHL)
F Ricky Seidel • 5-9 • 1st • Bartlett, IL, USA/Alexandria Blizzard (NA3HL)
F Taylor Epp • 5-10 • 3rd • Moose Jaw, SK/Portage College (ACAC/CCAA
F Stephen Langford • 6-1 • 1st • Fort Collins, CO, USA/North Bay Trappers (NOJHL)
G Jameson Shortreed • 6-4 • 1st • Emo, ON/Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL)
RW Brett Lafond • 5-10 • 1st • Leask, SK/Waywayseecappo Wolverines (MJHL)
LW Kendrew Friesen • 6-3 • 3rd • Waldheim, SK/Winkler Flyers (MJHL)/Briercrest (ACAC/CCAA)
F Joachim Hånberg • 6-0 • 1st • Sweden/Rimbo IF (Swedish Division 2)
F Tim Murphy • 5-10 • 1st • Otterburn Park, QC/HC Lidköping (Swedish Division 2)
D Micah Abbott • 5-11 • 1st • Three Hills, AB/Three Hills Thrasher (HJHL)
F Tyler Medeiros • 5-5 • 1st • Winnipeg, MB/Lundar Falcons (KJHL)
F John Crawford • 5-11 • 3rd • Taber, AB/ Briercrest (ACAC/CCAA)
F Josh Anderson • 6-3 • 1st • Dundurn, SK/Martensville AA Midget Mauraders (GSHL)
F Luke McGuire • 5-11 • 1st • St. Thomas, ON/Port Stanley Sailors (SOJHL)
D Matt Landers • 6-0 • 1st • Balgonie, SK/Midget AA Prairie Storm (SSMHL)
D Ryan Sylvester • 6-0 • 1st • Winnipeg, MB/West Central Rage (PJHL)/North Winnipeg Satelites (KJHL)
D Austin Warkentin • 6-2 • 1st • Calgary, AB/Bow Valley Div 1
G Connor Dobberthien • 5-9 • 1st • Edmonton, AB/West Central Rage (PJHL)