Johnstown, Pa. — Johnstown Tomahawks forward Casey Linkenheld has announced his commitment to play NCAA D-I hockey at Bowling Green State University, effective this season. Linkenheld, the Tomahawks’ top goal scorer last season, becomes the third Johnstown alumni to commit to Bowling Green in the last two years.
A native of Bartlett, Ill., Linkenheld played a total of 71 regular season games for the Tomahawks over the last two seasons. In 2014-15, Linkenheld emerged as an offensive force for Johnstown, scoring 23 goals and 20 assists in 50 games.
“Casey stepped up his game in a big way for us last season,” Tomahawks coach Mike Letizia said. “As the season progressed, he became a very dynamic player for us. We knew we could rely on him for offense, but he also grew into a very skilled two-way forward who was responsible in his own zone. I think he’s very well suited to be a great contributor for Bowling Green this season, so I’m excited to see how his collegiate playing career takes off.”
Also joining Linkenheld in Bowling Green’s freshman class will be former teammate Shane Bednard, who led the Tomahawks in scoring in 2013-14. Bednard’s younger brother, former Tomahawks goalie and recent Florida Panthers NHL draft pick Ryan Bednard, is slated to join the Bowling Green line-up in 2017.
“We’re tremendously happy for Casey and his family to see him become of the pipeline we’re establishing between Johnstown and Bowling Green,” Tomahawks general manager Rick Boyd said. “Casey is a very hard-working and mature young man, in addition to being an extremely talented hockey player. It’s always rewarding to see our players find success in the NCAA, and I have no doubt Casey will be able to do just that.”
Linkenheld becomes the sixth member of the Tomahawks 2014-15 line-up to secure an NCAA D-I commitment, joining Trevor Recktenwald (Ferris State), Ryan Bednard (Bowling Green), Alex Alger (Miami-Ohio), Tanner Barnes (Wisconsin), and Alex Jaeckle (Canisius College).