Two RoadRunners Make College Plans
Players have not yet reported for Training Camp for the Topeka RoadRunners 2013-2014 season, but two of the players who will wear the RoadRunner crest this year have solidified their Division I college plans this week. Goaltender Drew Vogler and defenseman Shawn Brennan have each signed commitments to skate for Merrimack College beginning in the 2015-2016 season.
Vogler, 6’1” and 174 lbs is from Florissant, MO, and played last season for the Cleveland Barons U18 Midget team. His play attracted the attention of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders who own his USHL rights. He began playing roller hockey at age 5 but, after two years, switched to goalie. He feels grateful for his opportunity with Merrimack. “They have an amazing program, and they treat their guys awesome, like part of a family. I’m looking forward to it.” Once there, Vogler will pursue a major in engineering, with a minor in business. He’s also excited about the upcoming season with Topeka. “I’m excited to be a part of the RoadRunner organization. I know the coaches are great, and I think we’ll have a strong team. I can’t wait to get started!” He adds, “I’d like to thank my family for supporting me through the years, especially my mom and dad for doing whatever they could to allow me to play. I’d also like to thank my goalie coach Bruce Racine for giving me the tools to get this far. Finally, I’d like to thank all my coaches along the way for pushing me to be better.”
Brennan, a 5’11”, 180 lb defenseman from Delaware, OH, hit the ice at the tender age of four. “I played forward up until Pee Wees then transitioned to defense.” A member of a hockey family, his Dad played as a youth through high school and his 8-year-old brother plays as well. His Decision to attend Merrimack was an easy one. “The smaller campus environment really appealed to me. I also believe Coach (Mark) Dennehy’s coaching philosophy and style of hockey will be a good match to my game. I like the style of hockey the Hockey East has to offer.” His major as of yet still undecided, Brennan is leaning toward Sports Medicine. Speaking on his decision to play Tier II Junior A in Topeka, he said, “Topeka was one of the most well run training camps I have been to. They have a well-established coaching staff and the owner’s involvement with the team is a plus for the organization. I think the style of hockey I play and the coaching style will be a good match.” Tipping his hat to those who have helped him along the way, he said, “I would like to thank all my coaches over the years. They all have been an important part of getting me to where I am today. I would also like to thanks the Topeka coaches and the whole organization for giving me the opportunity to be a Topeka RoadRunner. I am looking forward to a great season.”
RoadRunner Head Coach/GM Scott Langer says, “Both Drew and Shawn are high end players in their age class. They will be looked at to contribute to a successful season.” He adds, “This commitment for these young student athletes is indicative of the elite level of play they are capable of.”
When Vogler and Brennan arrive at Merrimack, four former RoadRunners will be there entering their senior year; forwards Brian Christie, Justin Hussar, and Ben Bahe along with goalie Rasmus Tirronen.
The RoadRunners report to Topeka on Aug. 26 and will get their first skate in Landon Arena on Aug. 28. After a pair of home preseason games with the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings on Sept. 6 and 7, the ‘Runners open their regular season on Friday, Sept. 13, at home against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. Season tickets as well as individual game tickets are available. Call 785-286-PUCK for details or visit www.topekaroadrunners.com.