AMES, Iowa – The North Iowa Bulls will have an opening on their blue line in the new year, and the man who gets the call to fill it will have some big shoes to fill on and off the ice.
Defenseman Justin Callahan has announced his commitment to the ACHA Division I program at Iowa State University, and is leaving the team ahead of the winter semester. He did not appear for the Bulls at the NA3HL Showcase, but is expected to play in one final game as the team opens its new arena in downtown Mason City on December 28.
The Illinois native was never a flashy player for the Bulls, but was as steady as they came. He appeared in 53 games for North Iowa, posting six assists in 23 games this season. His three points last season helped the team return to the Fraser Cup championship tournament after a one-year absence, eventually reaching the semifinals. He’ll join another former Bulls blueliner on the ISU roster, fellow Illinois native Jake Joyaux.
“We took a tour earlier this year, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere there,” said Callahan. “The hockey team’s a national contender, and getting my college life and college career started is really everything I wanted out of juniors. I think it’ll be an easier transition, already being in hockey shape at midseason.”
Callahan becomes the second Bulls player to commit to a college program this season, following Cam Fagerlee’s commitment to the University of Wisconsin-Stout earlier in the month. Almost 140 North Iowa players have advanced to college hockey programs in the team’s nine seasons, including more than 70 who have announced a college commitment while playing for the Bulls.
“Justin Callahan has been a dedicated player for our team,” said head coach Todd Sanden. “His character and work ethic are unmatched. We are very excited that he has worked toward being a college hockey player, and wish him the best at Iowa State.”
The Cyclones are one of club hockey’s most storied programs, celebrating their 52nd season this winter. The team is having another strong season under head coach Jason Fairman, taking an 11-11 record into the holiday break.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Justin Callahan on his commitment to the Cyclones, and wish him the very best in his academic and athletic career at Iowa State University.