David Dudich - Texas Tornado Booster Club: Texas Tornado netminder Hunter Leisner signed to play D-I with American International College.

Texas Tornado Goaltender Hunter Leisner Makes NCAA D-I Commitment

NAHL and Texas Tornado goaltender Hunter Leisner has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the American International College Yellow Jackets, members of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA).

Leisner is a native of Garland, TX and came to the hometown Tornado via a mid season trade during the 2011/12 season. Leisner went on to win the NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship with the Tornado that season, winning an overtime contest against Fairbanks in the semi-finals before grabbing another overtime victory against St Louis in the championship game.

Hunter’s NAHL career got started with the Aberdeen Wings during the 2010/11 season. In 78 games with Aberdeen he managed a 29-38-8 record. Once he was back home in Texas the numbers turned around and he went 40-24-3 with a 2.61GAA and a .907 SV%. Leisner logged 7 career shutouts in his three seasons in the league.

In 2012/13 Leisner led the league in games played with 50 and minutes with 2,962. He finished with 30 wins which tied him for 3rd in the league as he posted a 2.71 GAA and a .906 SV%. The Tornado returned to the post season once again where Leisner held Topeka to a single goal in each game to sweep the Roadrunners in the first round, before bowing out to the eventual Robertson Cup National Champion Amarillo Bulls in round two.

In announcing Leisner’s commitment Tornado head coach Tony Curtale had high praise for his goaltender. “I think every team needs a go-to goaltender and Hunter was that guy for us a year and half.  He works very hard on the ice and is quick to analyze his game and be his own strongest critic,” Curtale told NAHL.com.  “He has tremendous quickness and a calm confidence when he is in goal.”

Leisner will be stepping into a Yellow Jackets program where he will have an opportunity to contribute immediately. American International finished 12-17-6 last season and is graduating their starting netminder. Leisner will be competing against Sr. Ryan Kerpan who is 1-9-0 in his three seasons and Jr. Chandler Long who is 1-3-0.

While the Boston area surroundings may be new for the Texas native, he will have some familiarity in the Yellow Jackets locker-room. Leisner will be joining several NAHL alumni to help smooth the transition; Brandon Lubin So. Defenseman –Amarillo Bulls, David Gandara So. Forward –Chicago Hitmen, Nathan Sliwinski Jr. Forward –Texas Tornado, Jake Williams Jr. Defenseman –Alaska Avalanche, Steven Hoshaw Jr. Defenseman –Wichita Falls Wildcats.

Leisner is the seventh member of the 2012/13 Tornado roster to sign with an NCAA Division I program. Other signees are Justin Greenberg – Miami of Ohio, Brandon Hawkins – Bowling Green, Drew Mayer – Ferris State, Nick Neville – University of Denver, CJ Reuschlein – Army and Max Shuart – Michigan.

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