Jackalopes forward Mansfield makes NCAA DI commitment
September 3, 2014
By Joey Battaino, Odessa Jackalopes
The Odessa Jackalopes, members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are proud to announce the career advancement of forward Ian Mansfield, as he will continue his hockey career playing NCAA Division I hockey at the United States Military Academy in 2015.
Mansfield, a native of Lakewood, CO, began his junior career in the USHL as a 16-year-old with the Sioux Falls Stampede. After 2 seasons with the Stampede, Mansfield was traded to the Jackalopes on November 19, 2013. In 29 games with the Jackalopes, Mansfield had three goals and six assists, but was tied for second of the team in power play tallies, with two.
Mansfield’s 6’0, 190 lbs. frame made him a pillar on the Jacks penalty kill last season and a load to deal with in front of the net on the power play. With this season being his last in Jacks colors, Mansfield and the rest of his teammates has something to prove.
“Last year is far behind us,” said Mansfield. “The guys who are back (from last year) are leading this year and being a fourth-year guy, a lot of the young players are looking up to me for direction. I would like to be a leader on this team because that is what they preach at West Point and it will prepare me for the future on and off the ice.”
Mansfield’s journey to the United States Military Academy is not a usual one. Unlike most applicants, Mansfield’s family has no military background. In fact, it wasn’t until last season when Mansfield discussed going to West Point with Jacks Scout Craig Sarner, that he really saw it as an option.
“My son is a graduate of West Point,” said Sarner proudly. “It’s not something that everyone is meant to do, but there is not a better education in this country than the one you receive at West Point.” Sarner continued, “We knew Ian would be a great fit at the Academy because of his integrity, drive, and will. He is a natural born leader and we are very happy for him.”
When the Jacks drop the puck on the 2014-15 season, six members of their 25-man roster will have Division-I NCAA commitments. The sky is the limit for this young and talented group, laced with battle-hardened veterans like Mansfield, who is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“Anything you do in life is a challenge so this is a great opportunity to finish my junior career on a high note with the tremendous group we have here this year,” stated Mansfield.