|Falcon hockey adds 4 recruits (06-20-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:23|
Bowling Green's hockey team recently signed three forwards to national letters of intent.
The three are Brett D'Andrea of Port Huron in the North American (Junior) Hockey League, Brandon Hawkins of Texas in the NAHL, and Tyler Spezia, who played for both Port Huron and Dubuque of the United States (Junior) Hockey League last season.
The Falcons also signed goalie Chris Nell of Chicago in the USHL.
All four will join the Falcons for the 2014-15 season.
D'Andrea totaled 35 goals and 27 assists in 91 games the last two seasons.
"He makes all kinds of hockey plays - he's comfortable on the power play and the penalty-kill, faceoffs," BG assistant coach Ty Eigner said. "The details of his game are good. When you push him, he'll progress. He wants to be pushed. He has a chance to come in here and help us in all areas. He makes a lot of the little hockey plays."
D'Andrea is 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. He'll turn 19 in January and is from Marysville, Mich.
"He shoots the puck well ... he's poised with the puck," Eigner said.
Hawkins had 36 goals and 23 assists in 65 games this season.
"He is a goal-scorer," BG assistant coach Barry Schutte said. "He shooks the puck as well as anybody out there. He shoots it as well as a pro. Regardless of the level, he's found a way to score goals. It's just a matter of honing his skills to become a well-rounded player and he knows that."
Hawkins is 5-11, 200 pounds. He'll turn 20 in April and is from Macomb, Mich.
"He's an extremely intelligent player," Schutte said. "He has the ability to see that second and third player (in the offensive zone) and make the smart play. He doesn't do it at the expense of defense. He's a very smart, intelligent player who has an exceptional shot."
Spezia totaled 13 goals in 42 games for Port Huron and Dubuque last season.
"He's an elite skater, and skates at a different level and has another gear that most players don't have," Schutte said. "He's a threat every time he's on the ice. He has that type of speed."
Spezia is 5-10, 157 pounds. He turned 20 earlier this month and is from Clinton Township, Mich.
"He's a competitor. He has a great first effort, second effort, third effort. He has a will to win and is willing to do what it takes," Schutte said. "His best hockey is ahead of him. It's his commitment and his demeanor that is going to allow him to reach new heights with his game."
Nell had a 3.46 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in 25 games last season.
"He's an intelligent player at his position, but he just doesn't rely on his size (6-1, 162 pounds)," Schutte said. "He's in position to make the second and third save. His game really came together the last couple months."
Nell turns 19 in September and is from Green Bay, Wis.
When Nell joins the Falcons, he'll be the third goalie on the roster behind Tommy Burke, who will be a junior, and Tomas Sholl, who will be a sophomore.
"He has a really good understanding of what kind of commitment it takes to be great," Schutte said. "We believe he's a phenomenal raw talent and his best hockey is ahead of him. He's just scratching the surface. He has nothing but potential."
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