Corpus Christi forward Hallford makes NCAA commitment
June 29, 2018
The Corpus Christi IceRays, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are proud to announce the commitment of forward Garrett Hallford to Trine University, a NCAA Division III program in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA), for the 2018-19 season.
“I am super excited and blessed to receive my commitment to continue playing hockey,” said Hallford. “Playing junior hockey is about helping you reach the next level and developing for whatever you choose to do after that. My goal was to be able to play college hockey, and God blessed me by taking my path to Corpus Christi with a great organization and the greatest NAHL fans, but I couldn’t be more anxious to start at Trine.”
Hallford, 20, played all 60 games during the 2018-19 season, tallying 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points with 46 penalty minutes and one shorthanded goal while finishing fourth on the team in all major scoring categories. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward represented Team East at the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, posting one assist at the event. Over his 98-game career in the NAHL between the IceRays and Shreveport Mudbugs, he totaled 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points while spending 86 of his games in an IceRays jersey.
After bouncing around the NAHL for his first few seasons, the McKinney, Texas native was acquired by Corpus Christi in October 2016 and found a home in his own state. On the ice, Hallford provided energy and skill while seeing an increased role over his two seasons in South Texas, but his off-ice character shined above all else. The Hallford family was a helpful boost during the 2017 South Division Final, which was played in McKinney as a satellite home rink, and his demeanor away from the rink balanced his drive during games. However, he took his cues from the top down in helping to prepare for the next level.
“Coach Flynn treated the team like a professional team, and he prepared us everyday for it as well. It is what I am accustomed to, and I know Trine will be the same way. When the organization as a whole treats you like a professional, you start getting used to that. It has prepared me for my time ahead at Trine University.”
“We are very excited for Garrett to be continuing his hockey career and being able to get a education from Trine in his field of study,” said former head coach Brad Flynn. “Our number one rule with the IceRays is we want good people. As a coach and former player, I have seen a lot of guys come and go, and I struggle think of a better person than Garrett. His team-first attitude, work ethic, positivity, and winning mentality will help him be successful in any walk of wife. Congrats ‘Halfy’ and all the best at Trine.”
Trine University is a private university in Indiana founded in 1884 and named after its proximity to Michigan and Ohio. Trine is one of the newest NCAA Division III programs in the country, completing their first season just last year. Hallford will help to be part of the building process for the program in their infancy in the NCHA, and he looks forward to the challenge.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to come in a help establish a role on the team to help them become a big name Division III school,” said Hallford. “The coaches are fantastic and I believe they will be able to push me to the next level to help me be successful and reach professional hockey. The athletic facilities at Trine are unbelievable, which shows you that they really take care of their athletes. Trine also has a beautiful campus. It is a great place to be able to call home and I cannot wait to finally start the Fall Semester at Trine.”
Hallford is the 11th player on the 2017-18 roster to commit to a NCAA program and 14th player with IceRays ties. He joins Matthew Acciaioli (Northern Michigan), Joey Kubachka (Cornell), Brendan Miller (Air Force), Aleksi Peltonen (Wisconsin), Chris Smith (Mercyhurst), Chad Veltri (Niagara), Coltan Wilkie (Colorado), Larry Jungwirth (Aurora), Ryan Rosenberg (Fredonia), and Angus Scott (Tufts) as college commitments who played for the program this season.
“It was hard getting bounced around from team to team and starting the season on a new team. Then, I made the decision to go to Corpus Christi, and that was the best junior hockey decision I could’ve made. The fans were unbelievable, and playing in front of that many caring fans each night was awesome. I can’t thank Brad Flynn and the IceRays organization for the opportunity to play in Corpus Christi. I will never forget my billet parents: P.J. and Patti Elkins. They took me into their house and really made me feel at home. It was the perfect situation, and I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m so thankful.”