Senior commits to play Division I hockey

Bauer Neudecker plans to join Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in 2019



Senior Captain Bauer Neudecker skates down the ice on a fast break. Neudecker recently committed to play hockey at the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2019.

Nicole Sanford

After announcing his Division I college commitment to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, senior Bauer Neudecker said he felt as though he finally achieved a lifelong goal.

“I knew that for a really long time that I’ve wanted to (play hockey in college), so I’ve always been working for it,” Neudecker said. “It’s a huge relief to finally get it off my chest and get the goal.”

With offers from multiple schools, Neudecker said his high school coaches helped him make a final decision on where to attend.

“There were a couple other schools that were looking into me that I was able to talk to, but then after talking with a lot of my coaches, they said that Alabama would be the right decision,” Neudecker said. “(My coaches) heard great things about it, so I went with it and I’m glad I did.”

According to boys’ hockey head coach Colin Hohman, Neudecker’s dedication to the sport set him up for many opportunities beyond high school.

“(Neudecker’s) biggest strength is he has a passion for playing hockey and he’s not afraid to put himself out there,” Hohman said. “It sounds cliché, but he really is putting in a really incredible amount of work to try to do his best. If he can continue to do that, he should give himself a good chance to continue that success in the future.”

Neudecker said he plans to continue playing in junior hockey leagues until he begins his collegiate hockey career.

“I played for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs this year after the high school season and then next year I’ll either be playing back in Fairbanks or I’ll be playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in Iowa,” Neudecker said. “I don’t know for sure yet but those are the two options as of now.”

Neudecker said his coaches’ advice and support played a large role in his college process.

“(My coaches have) put in a good word for me to all of the colleges,” Neudecker said. “Then of course (my coaches have) helped me through the (college) process and kind of motivated me you know saying ‘I can do it’ and what not, so they’ve been a huge impact on it all.”

According to Hohman, Neudecker can attribute his accomplishments to his hard work.

“A lot of the success (Neudecker) has is he is an extremely self driven slash motivated young athlete where he puts in a lot of work away from the rink on his own and it’s great to see that,” Hohman said.

Neudecker said hockey remains a platform for him to meet new people.

“Of course playing and then meeting people from all over (is what I love about hockey),” Neudecker said. “Definitely meeting new people, making friends and memories.”

Neudecker said he looks forward to pursing his hockey career in a new environment.

“I think my favorite thing (about the University of Alabama-Huntsville) is going to be the warm weather,” Neudecker said. “I don’t think I’ve ever got to play hockey in a place where it’s really warm, so I’m actually looking forward to that. It’ll be fun.”

Hohman said Neudecker’s college commitment is a great example for the St. Louis Park community.

“(Neudecker’s commitment is) a very exciting thing for the hockey program in St. Louis Park and hopefully it shows other kids in the community that if they really go for something, there’s nothing stopping them from accomplishing their goals in St. Louis Park,” Hohman said.

Neudecker said he hopes continuing to play for the junior league will help prepare him for joining the the Chargers in the following years.

“As of now, I’ll go in 2019 (playing for Alabama-Huntsville), but it could change and I could go in as of 2018 — it kind of depends on how I do next year,” Neudecker. “(My goal is to) just try to put up a good amount of points (next year) in whatever place I’m playing at and then go into Alabama feeling good and hopefully get some playing time right away.”