NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – North Iowa goaltender Connor Poczos knows the routine in the North American Hockey League. During the previous two seasons, the Austin, Minnesota native played a dozen games in the NAHL for three different teams, and also spent time on the roster for his hometown Austin Bruins.
Now, he’s back.
Poczos was called up on Tuesday by the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL’s South Division, marking his return to Tier II junior hockey. His resume with the Bulls was impressive, going 7-1 in 10 games with North Iowa this season, including a shutout against the New Ulm Steel in September. He also earned a postseason victory last season, beating Wausau in the RiverWolves’ first-ever playoff game.
His junior career started with the Kenai River Brown Bears in the fall of 2016, followed by a late-season run with the former Cincinnati Thunder of the NA3HL. He did not win a decision during that stretch, but a brief run last season with the Springfield Jr. Blues and Minnesota Wilderness yielded a 3-3 record, with a shutout for each team.
After an old injury flared up in his North Iowa debut against the St. Louis Jr. Blues, Poczos’s career took off with eight straight wins and a week-long emergency call-up to the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. His only loss as a Bull saw his offense get 34 shots on net, but only one in the net in a 2-1 loss to New Ulm earlier this month.
He joins one team among many looking for any edge it can get in a jammed NAHL South Division race. Just two points separate Shreveport and the Brahmas, who are tied for second, from the fifth-place Topeka Pilots.
More than 30 North Iowa Bulls players have reached the NAHL since the team’s inaugural season in 2011-12. Three of those players are currently active in NCAA Division I hockey, with several others playing for professional teams. More than 50 NA3HL alumni suited up in the NAHL a year ago, with that number expected to rise this season.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Connor Poczos on his return to the North American Hockey League and wish him the best with the Lone Star Brahmas.