The Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey program is very pleased to announce that graduating forward Tyler Bellamy, of Revelstoke, BC. has accepted a pro contract with the Mississippi RiverKings of the Central Hockey League (CHL) for the upcoming 2009-2010 season. Bellamy had played the past five seasons with the Vikings in the ACAC and he concluded his collegiate career as the Vikings MVP and Leading Scorer this past year, 2008-2009. He will be graduating his B.A. in Physical Education with a Minor in History and Psychology.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Tyler to move forward and continue with his hockey career in the CHL,” states Vikings Head Coach Blaine Gusdal. “He has proven he’s willing to put in the work and the effort that is needed in order to take that next step. Tyler’s progression over his career with the Vikings saw him evolve into an all-around competitor who could be counted on at both ends of the rink. Not only did he lead his team in scoring, but he was also the guy expected to take all the key defensive zone face-offs and lead by example both in games and in practices.”
Bellamy, a co-captain for the Vikings this past season, will be heading south this fall to play for Coach Kevin Kaminski in Southaven, MS, with the RiverKings in the beautiful Desoto Civic Center. Kaminski and Gusdal were teammates back with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL during part of their playing days. “Kevin Kaminski was the prototypical team player who loved to win and was always there for his teammates,” says Coach Gusdal. “I believe Tyler is a perfect fit for the type of team that Kevin wants and I am confident Kevin will be able to get the very best from Bells, both on and off the ice.” Kaminski adds, “Tyler comes highly recommended! He’s a player who does all the little things well, has a great work ethic, plays with grit, and will take the body every chance. He comes to play every shift and that’s what we demand here in Mississippi….”
“I am very happy as playing pro hockey is something I’ve always wanted to do,” states Bellamy. “The RiverKings are a great organization and I’m excited to get down there, play for Coach Kaminski, and contribute to the team. I also want to thank Blaine Gusdal for helping promote me for this opportunity and for rekindling my passion for the game. Playing for Gus, this past season, was a great experience as he brings such pride and passion to the program. He helped me secure this opportunity because he not only wants you to succeed while you are an active member of his Vikings hockey club, but also after you have graduated and moved on.” Tyler will be joining many former ACAC hockey players in the CHL.