Broncos Add Top Goalie for ‘05

Jim Culhane's staff has landed their second recruit for the 2005-06 hockey season, goaltender Ryan Mensing. During that 05-06 season the Broncos will presumably have 4 goaltenders on the roster with Scott Foster and Eric Marvin, who will be seniors, and Daniel Bellissimo, who will be a sophomore at that point.

If this were basketball of football this would be an early commit, but the recent trend in hockey recruiting makes this commitment, more then a year before arriving on campus, quite commonplace. Currently about half of the division 1 hockey programs have more then one player committed for 2005.

Ryan Mensing hails from Langley, British Columbia but played junior hockey this season across the country in Campbellton, New Brunswick for the Campbellton Tigers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL). Previous stops have included the Victoria Salsa of the BCHL and Pro-Formance Goalie Schools for elite goalie prospects.

Ryan is 6-feet tall and 188 pounds, he was born on January 24, 1985 making him 19 years old now and 20 when he arrives on campus in over a year from now. He verbally committed to the Broncos on June 6.

Why he choose Western Michigan is an easy question to answer. First Mensing set a goal of earning a scholarship to a NCAA division 1 school as he is closing in on being to old for play in Major Juniors and wants to extend his playing career as long as possible. Second Ryan hopes to one day be an air traffic controller and WMU's College of Aviation is a logical first step in that career path.

Mensing will arrive on campus for the 2005-06 season on a full-ride scholarship. A full-ride is significant because hockey is one of the rare NCAA sports that allows fewer scholarships (18) then the number of players that typically see playing time in a game (20-22). This necessitates giving out ½ and ¾ scholarships to much of the team, making a player on a full-ride a special player that was a very high priority during the recruiting process.

What makes this player so special? "He was better than super. He made the players feel so confident," said Remi LeBlanc, Campbellton Tigers head coach on Mensing's playoff performance. That performance included a MJAHL championship title, playoff MVP honors, Player of the Week honors during the championship series and finally a scholarship offer to play hockey at Western Michigan University.

During the Tiger's playoff run Mensing posted a .909 save percentage and a goals against average of 3.28, both outstanding numbers for that league. Also outstanding was a playoff record of 12-3 after going 10-10-3 in the regular season on what was a mediocre team before he led them to a playoff championship.

Mensing will join defenseman Steve Silver (Sarnia, WOJHL) in the 2005 recruiting class, a class that could be close to completed by the end of the summer. Other players to watch as targets of the Broncos are Ryan Bellows who led the GHJHL in every statistical category as just a 16 year old and Paul McIlveen who as a 17 year old was a scoring leader all last season for Waterloo of the MWJHL, the same league Paul Szczechura, Mike Jarmuth and Brent Walton among others came to the Broncos from.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories