Sault Ste. Marie product Mario Culina has left the hockey program at Brock University to sign with the Fort Wayne Komets of the minor pro ECHL, Hockey News North has confirmed. A former standout goalie in the Ontario Hockey League, the 24-year old Culina previously played in the ECHL during the 2018-2019 season before going to school.
In signing with Fort Wayne, Culina joins former Soo Greyhounds goalie Bailey Brkin on the roster of the Komets.
The 22-year old Brkin left school to sign with Fort Wayne in December and has a 2-1-0 record with a 1.97 goals against average and .906 save percentage with the Komets.
As Brkin is a former OHL standout with the Greyhounds, Culina was part of a Memorial Cup championship team with the Windsor Spitfires before backstopping the Kitchener Rangers to the seventh game of the Western Conference finals as an overager in 2017-2018. Before that, Culina starred with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Ironically, Culina and Brkin not only share a Sault Ste. Marie connection but both are of Croatian heritage.