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Defender Nate Simpson of Great Falls Americans will join the Maryville State program in Missouri. (Photo courtesy of Great Falls Americans)

(Editor's note: Great Falls Americans release)

BIG FALLS: Americans from Great Falls of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) announced that defender Nate Simpson promised to play college hockey and get his education in Missouri.

The 5-foot-10 native from Claremont, California, committed to playing college-level hockey for the University of Maryville in St. Louis, Mo., as of the Fall of 2019. Simpson, who played for the American youth of Great Falls The hockey team of the past two seasons (2017-2019) signed their letter of intent to play hockey for the Division I club for the saints of head coach John Hogan.

Maryville University is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and recently completed its inaugural competition season. In November, they announced that they will play in the newly formed Midwest College League from the 2019-20 season.

The University of Marysville, with an enrollment of more than 9,200 and 90 college degrees, will move to its new ice stadium, the Hockey Center of Marysville University at Chesterfield SportsComplex in Chesterfield, Missouri, for the upcoming 2019-20 season .

Simpson, 20, who turns 21 in July, spent the last two seasons playing for the Americans of Great Falls, where the left-handed defender scored eight goals and handed out 22 assists in 43 games during the 2018-19 season for the first time. Head coach Greg Sears. He was also selected and played in the 2019 Grand Perspective Tournament for the Border Division squad that took place in Attleboro, Massachusetts, in February.

The new recruit from the university enjoyed being selected for the Tournament of the best prospects and representing the Frontier Division at this year's prestigious tournament in February. He cited "good competition and exposure" at the annual event that attracts many college scouts.

Great Falls finished with a record of 38-8-0-1 in the regular season of 47 games and advanced to the NA3HL playoffs, where they defeated the Bozeman Ice Dogs in their semifinal round of three Divinerial Frontier games before retiring at three games in the Divisional Division Finals for the Helena Bighorns.

In 2017-2018, Simpson appeared in 40 games for the squad of former head coach Jeff Heimel in his first season at Great Falls, where he accumulated ten points (1 goal, 9 assists). He helped Great Falls finish second in the regular season (34-11-2-0) behind the Yellowstone earthquake. The Americans fell in two games against Helena Bighorns in the semifinal round of the NA3HL 2018 playoffs.

"Personally, I have improved a lot on the ice, I have increased my awareness of the ice and I have assumed a leadership role in my second year for the Americans," Simpson said when asked about his positive achievements with the Americans. "I was an assistant captain this season and I enjoyed leading the team this season."

Nate also mentioned that he improved in each of his two seasons for the Americans, including being a good skater and a better player in all aspects, since he was able to get on the ice, which increased his playing time.

In addition to training the team, coach Greg Sears also "prepared us (his players) for college and to be successful in life after hockey," said the college freshman.

He expects the university experience in and out of the ice and hockey atmosphere in St. Louis and plans to specialize in criminology.

In February of 2019, his partner from Great Falls Americans in the last two seasons, Jens Juliussen also
signed with the Maryville University Saints after breaking the record of assists of a season for Great Falls with 59.

The former American hockey star wanted to thank his two-year-old billet families (Fox & # 39; s and Boyer & # 39; s), the large fan base that attended the games of the Americans, the entire coaching staff and their playmates.

Nate is the son of Steve and Cyndi Simpson.