The St. Louis Jr. Blues, proud members of the NA3HL, would like to congratulate forward Brandon Bornkamp for committing to play hockey at Trine University. The Thunder, from Angola, Indiana, will be playing their inaugural NCAA Division III season next year in the NCHA while retaining a team in the ACHA, and are building a new on-campus facility to house the programs.
Acquired in the 2015-16 off-season from the Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts, the 5’9”/177lb native of Fort Wayne, Ind. adapted quite well to his new surroundings, scoring 20 goals and 17 assists in 42 games played.
“Playing for the Jr. Blues organization this past season presented new challenges to me as a player and a person,” said Bornkamp. “I’ve never been on a team with so much depth–guys would be taken in and out of the line up depending on their work ethic, attitude, and performance during the week. I learned to work harder and smarter, be a better teammate, and step up during pivotal points in the game. When I first came to St. Louis, I was all about individual success and learned quickly that that wasn’t what Jr. Blues hockey was about. By the end of it all, everything was team-driven and I became part of a family that I will never forget about.”
It was in the post-season where Bornkamp really made his mark, with four goals and three assists in the Jr. Blues’ run to the Silver Cup Finals, including the goal against Peoria that ensured the Jr. Blues would make it to Romeoville. Bornkamp cited Game 3 of the Peoria series as his favorite moment of the year, as he “thought it was the closest [game] our team had ever been in up to that point in the season, and fortunately I tallied two goals in back-to back-shifts late in the 3rd to give our team the lead.”
“Brandon was a guy who we were really excited to have a member of our team this year and he did very little to disappoint us,” said Jr. Blues coach Chris Flaugher. “He plays a very gritty, high-energy style of hockey that works well on any line. He’s also a guy you can count on to put his hand up when called on to take that extra step, as his playoff success would indicate. We wish him all the best up at Trine.”
Bornkamp cited academics and location as the two biggest factors that led him to commit to Trine, noting that it is only 40 minutes away from his hometown of Fort Wayne. He plans to major in electrical and software engineering.