Lindsay Middlebrook is an Ontario-born, former National Hockey League goalie who is the coach of an American Collegiate Hockey Association school that will take to the ice for the first time in 2014-2015.
And the 58-year old Middlebrook has been putting together a roster for the Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx built around players from the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
To date, Middlebrook has commitments from four current NOJHLers to attend school and play hockey at Lindenwood-Belleville — and the old goalie hopes to bring in another six to eight players from the northern league.
“We have a lot to offer players,” the affable Middlebrook told me in a recent telephone interview. “We are anxious to build a good hockey program and the university has put together an attractive recruitment package.”
Middelbrook said that in order to get good players to Lindenwood-Belleville — a school of about 1,200 full-time students which is located in Illinois but not far from St. Louis — the university is offering a scholastic package to student-athletes that covers full tuition over a four-year period.
“Our players will be responsible for their own books and a few incidentals but at the end of the day they will be getting an education at a private, liberal arts school for about $10,000 a year,” Middlebrook revealed.
Middlebrook, who played at the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association level before turning pro, has been coaching at the major midget and high school levels in the St. Louis area for more than 20 years.
“What we are offering is an opportunity to play hockey and get an education at a good school at the same time,” Middlebrook said evenly.
The four NOJHLers who Middlebook has commitments from for the 2014-2015 season are all 1993 birth-year forwards — Brad Edwards and Brandon Janke of the Espanola Rivermen, Duane Wainman of the North Bay Trappers and Landon Hiebert of the Abitibi Eskimos.