Lipinski brothers reunite – DHT – LOGAN CLOW
County of Grande Prairie JDA Kings defenceman Kyle Lipinski didn’t have his offensive and defensive talents go unnoticed this season.
The 20-year-old recipient of the league’s and team’s Top Defenceman award, has been recruited by the Minot State University Beavers – an American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I hockey team – for the 2015-2016 season.
The signing will reunite Kyle with his twin brothers Lyndon and Bryce, who recently completed their freshmen seasons with the Beavers.
“It’s pretty exciting. I went down there for a visit (in February) and saw what it was like. My brothers influenced me to go,” said Kyle, who tallied 17 goals and 21 assists for the Kings the past season.
“It was kind of the goal I was wanting to pursue out of my junior career was finding somewhere to play after junior.”
He said his goal next season is to be a regular in the Beavers lineup.
“I’m more of an offensive defenceman. I like to join the rush and help the team as much as I can,” said Kyle.
It’s not the first time the trio will be playing together.
Their most recent stint together was last season with the Ontario-based Fort Frances Lakers. The team captured a league title and qualified for the Dudley Hewitt Cup, eventually losing in the semis.
Kyle, who still needs to write an ACT and plans to take a finance program, said he plans to get an apartment with his brothers.
Lipinski duo enjoy experience
Bryce and Lyndon – both 22-year-old forwards – have played their entire hockey careers together. They grew up through the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey system and also played junior hockey together with the North Bay Trappers, Portage Terriers and Fort Frances Lakers.
The Minot State Beavers compiled a 28-9-0-1 record the past season under Head Coach Wade Regier.
Bryce tallied five goals and 14 assists and Lyndon scored 14 goals and 12 assists during the regular season.
They played on the same line on occasion.
Bryce said they chose the school because it was closer to home.
He said the school also had out-of-state tuition and an energy economics and finance program that interested them.
“Originally being from Saskatchewan, (our) grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are extremely close, so it’s nice to have them come watch us sometimes,” he said.
“It’s always good having a family member there too so you’re not ever really alone and with us both taking the same major we have a lot of classes together so being able help each other with school work has been really important.”
After leaving the Lakers last season, who compiled a 46-6-0-2 record, Bryce said choosing a hockey program with a tradition of excellence and success also factored into their decision.
“Being on a team with a winning tradition an expectation every year is extremely important and it makes going to the rink every day fun,” he said.
The team concluded the season as the No. 4 ranked team among ACHA Division I rankings with an overall record of 30-10-1.
A highlight for the brothers, they said, was the team compiling an 18-game win streak between Nov. 15 and Feb. 13.
“It was a never quit attitude. It was Beaver hockey. We always had our eyes on one thing and one thing only and that was winning a national championship,” said Lyndon.
On March 5-10, the Beavers competed at the ACHA Division I National Championships in Ohio as the No. 3 seed, eventually losing 5-1 to No. 2 ranked Central Oklahoma – the eventual champions – in the semi-finals.
The team defeated Davenport 4-3 in overtime in game one at the National Championships, courtesy of an overtime goal from Bryce, and then won 3-2 over Ohio in their second game to earn their semi-finals berth.
“Playing in the national championship was quite an eye opener especially for our team being fairly young and having 10 freshmen this season,” said Bryce,
“Now we all have that experience under our belt and that feeling as to how close we really were. With this group I feel we can win the championship before our four years are up.”
Bryce and Lyndon noted that having brother Kyle join the team next year will help them push for a national title.
“It’s definitely (going to be) a home away from home,” said Lyndon, of them all living together.
“With us losing two senior defencemen this season, I have no doubt that with Kyle’s skill, ability, and style of play he will allow him to fit in right away and be a key member of our back end next season,” added Bryce.
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