COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Bismarck Bobcats captain Casey Kleisinger is the latest member of the black and gold to accept an offer to play NCAA Division I hockey, committing to continue his career at the United States Air Force Academy in the fall of 2010.
Kleisinger’s commitment gives the team a franchise-record nine D-I recruits for the 2009-10 season.
“It’s a thrill to know that I’ll be playing Division I hockey next year, especially for a nationally-renowned program like Air Force,” said Kleisinger, who is second on the Bobcats with 40 points. “It’s a big weight off my shoulders to have my college plans set—so now the only thing to focus on is getting back to the national tournament and winning the Robertson Cup.
An Edwards, Colo., native, Kleisinger will be heading three hours southeast of his hometown to attend the Colorado Springs-based military academy.
For Kleisinger, though, being close to home wasn’t the deciding factor for heading to Air Force.
“I just felt like it was the best fit for me and for my family,” said the second-year Bobcat. “Talking with [Falcons head] coach [Frank] Serratore, I know that I’ll have a chance at some solid playing time while going to a premier academic institution.”
He is the fourth current Bobcat to become a future Falcon—and one of three to be Air Force-bound this fall, along with Jason Fabian and Aaron Quick. Bobcat forward Ryan Jacobson will join the Falcon roster in the fall of 2011.
“It’s a very cool situation, having all these guys who are my teammates now headed to the same college as I am, especially Jason,” said Kleisinger. “Jason is my roommate here in Bismarck and I know making the jump next year is going to be a lot smoother with him there along with guys like Aaron.”
Air Force is the defending champion of the up-and-coming Atlantic Hockey conference and their current roster boasts former Bobcats David Bosner and 2009 Hobey Baker Award finalist Jacques Lamoureux.
Kleisinger joins the likes of Fabian, Quick, Jacobson, Gavin Hartzog (Wisconsin), Tom McCarthy (Merrimack), Sam Rendle (Bemidji State), Tony Turgeon (alumnus, Nebraska-Omaha) and Blake Hietala (alumnus, Michigan Tech) on the Bobcats’ 2009-10 college commitment list. The total of nine current commits breaks the previous franchise record of six, set in 2008-09.
The Bobcat captain says the consecutive record years is no coincidence under head coach Byron Pool.
“Coach [Pool] really works hard to get all of us the best possible college placements,” said Kleisinger. “He was instrumental in getting me attention from places like Air Force and Colorado College because puts our names in front of the best D-I and D-III programs out there.”
The Bobcats are back in action as they continue their four-game homestand Friday at 7:15 PM when they welcome the archrival North Iowa Outlaws to the VFW Sports Center for the first of two games.
Friday’s game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 6:45 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.