(Editor's note: Great Falls Americans media release)
GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Americans, of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), recently announced that defenseman Brandon Peterson, who finished his third season with the Montana Junior A hockey team, has signed a national letter of intent to further his education and play Division I hockey in Iowa for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
The 20-year-old Peterson is from Oak Creek, Wisconsin and will join the Iowa State University Cyclones men’s hockey squad located in Ames, Iowa. The largest college in Iowa is an agriculture, design, engineering, and veterinary medicine university that features over 100 bachelor’s degrees, 112 master’s degrees and 83 Ph.D. programs.
Jason Fairman is the Head Coach for the Cyclones men’s hockey team that compete as members of the Central State Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
The 6’2” Wisconsin native played in 84 regular season and 11 playoff games for the Great Falls Americans over the course of three years (2017-2020) for two head coaches in Jeff Heimel and Greg Sears. He tallied five goals and dished out 28 assists in his career for Great Falls.
Brandon earned three NA3HL Stars of the Week (Honorable Mention) honors and one NA3HL Stars of the Month (Honorable Mention) for his three-year junior hockey career with the Americans. During his first year during the 2017-18 campaign, he earned Honorable Mention for his play during the week of September 24, 2017. The following season (2018-19), the Wisconsin skater, he was awarded Honorable Mention for his work on the ice during the week of December 2, 2018 and Defenseman Player of the Month in February 2019. This past season (2019-20), his effort for the week of February 9, 2020 was nominated by the league as an honorable mention candidate.
Prior to his time in Montana, Peterson played two years in his home state of Wisconsin for the Greendale High School Panthers team where he accumulated 8 goals and 19 assists in 45 appearances.
“I am very happy for Brandon and I look forward to following his progress in college,” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears. “He is a good player who works his tail off every day and is going to do good things.”
“Playing three seasons of Junior A hockey taught me how to play through adversity as both of my coaches (Jeff Heimel and Greg Sears) taught me how to play through the ups and downs of a season,” said the new incoming freshman at Iowa State when asked about his accomplishments for the Americans.
Peterson said playing at the Junior (A) level has helped him prepare for playing at the collegiate level. “It’s definitely helped me develop my skills a lot as I can definitely see from when I started playing high school hockey until now where my game has gone to and its definitely gotten me better and has prepared me for the same schedule at Iowa State.”
Brandon enjoyed having Greg Sears as his coach. The second-year coach for Great Falls always came to the rink with a great attitude and always made hockey fun with his daily preparation. He could always count on him with his open-door policy to talk with him about things even if they were not hockey related.
“I look forward to getting a great education at Iowa State University as well as continuing my hockey career at the next highest level,” said Peterson on what he looks forward to most this fall at the Iowa school.
The former Great Falls defenseman has not committed to a college major yet but is learning towards studying Engineering or Exercise Science at the Ames, Iowa college.
He loved playing in front of large and loud crowds at the Great Falls Ice Plex.
Brandon enjoyed his time staying with his host families including Dusty and Emily Bauer, Dave and Cathy Covert, and Dave and Vicki Bertelsen during his three-season campaign for the Americans.
“I am very excited and look forward to following along as Brandon continues his hockey career at Iowa State. He is a very good defensemen and was a big part of our success the last two seasons,” said Sears.
Peterson joins former teammates Payton McSharry, a forward who played for the Americans from 2016-19 and goaltender Drew Scites, who was behind the net for Great Falls from 2017-19, at Iowa State.