AMARILLO, TX – First impressions sometimes are lasting impressions and for Steven Ipri that was the case when he made his junior hockey decision. Ipri and his father came in for a visit to the Amarillo Bulls and it didn’t take long to realize that he wanted to play his junior hockey in the North American Hockey League.
The Bulls announced today (Thursday) they have tendered forward Steven Ipri (pronounced IP-Pree) from the Selects Hockey Academy Under 18 team. Ipri has already made his NCAA College plans by committing to Mercyhurst University for the 2017-2018. He joins teammate Brendan Walkom was well as Eric Cooley, Sean Mallonee, Luke Edgerton, Justin and Brendan Mickhaelian as tenders for the 2015-16 season.
“The first impression was a good one and it led to me signing with Amarillo,” Ipri said. “It was awesome to get to Texas for the first time and being at the Bulls game to see all of the fans. Even though it was a down year for the team, the fans were still there. The atmosphere was great and honestly it was too good to pass up. All of the facilities are amazing, the rink and being able to skate on it with the guys is great too.”
Ipri, a native of Broadview Heights, Ohio (Cleveland), fired 10 goals and added 17 assists for 27 points in 25 games. His Selects Hockey Academy Under 18 team recently took part at the USA Hockey Under 18 National Championships in San Jose, California. In four games, Ipri picked up two assists.
“It was my first time competing at the National Championship and the experience was awesome,” said Ipri. “I think that experience will help me in the future because at the Nationals you are competing against the best in the country, and as you progress through junior, college and the pro ranks there will be more of a chance to play against the top players.”
Head Coach Matt Nicholson is thrilled to have Steven join the team because he fits into the Bulls mould.
“In keeping with the theme of bringing in skilled forwards who can skate and have high hockey IQ, we are thrilled to be able to tender Steven Ipri,” said Nicholson. “Steven had a large role on his team this year with the Selects Academy U18 that played in the national tournament. Anytime you can bring a player with Steven’s skills set and winning pedigree to the program, it can only be a positive.
“Steven is also in a unique situation because he has secured his college commitment to Mercyhurst in the fall of 2018. With that being said, Steven, Mercyhurst and the Bulls all were in agreement that the best spot for him to develop would be in Amarillo.”
Ipri said he is thrilled to be joining the incoming class of tenders to the Amarillo Bulls that not only includes his teammate Brendan Walkom but others he has played against.
“It will be so nice to see familiar faces especially Brendan (Walkom) and Eric Cooley,” he said. “I’ve played with them over the past few years including some summer tournaments. I’ve played against the Michaelian twins for countless of years they’re so great to face because they are skilled and don’t mind getting their noses dirty.”
Preparations for the 2016-17 season have already begun for the Amarillo Bulls and fans are encouraged to back the team by purchasing Full or Half Season Tickets or 10 Game Flex Packs. Full Season Tickets allow fans the same seat for all 28 home games and prices include $296 for Silver; $390 for Red; $450 for Glass and $516 for Pit. A $100 deposit will hold seats and the fans can choose from a variety of payment options. For further information on Full or Half Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.