Since its founding in 1976 the Culver hockey program has had over 200 players advance on to NCAA hockey following graduation. Additionally, the hockey program has produced 26 NHL draft picks, a Stanley Cup Champion, a Calder Trophy recipient, a Hobey Baker Award winner and several Olympians. Nationally recognized for more than 35 years, the hockey program at Culver has evolved from a perennial powerhouse in the world of prep school hockey to an annual contender for USA Hockey National Championships at the U18 and U16 age levels.
Culver’s success is due in large part to its practice model which focuses on skating and playmaking. Edge and stride work are also important components of each player’s development. The style of play is fast, aggressive hockey where players work daily to improve awareness, move the puck, find open space and make plays. The program also utilizes a strength and conditioning coach for off-ice work on vertical jump and 40-yard dash times, both of which translate to greater acceleration on the ice.
Daily practice takes place at Henderson Ice Arena located on campus just a short walk from the students’ living units. The two-sheet facility features locker rooms for each team, a performance center, an athletic training room and a lounge. Ice goes in at the beginning of September and optional preseason skill development and strength training begins for any player not participating in a fall sport with weekend ice time available to multisport student-athletes. Once the winter season starts, 90-minute practices take place four to five days a week, exceeding the minimum recommendations set forth by USA Hockey in its American Development Model (ADM).
Improving skills at the rink is not the only growth that can be expected in a Culver cadet student-athlete. Mirroring the school’s mission, the hockey program emphasizes the cultivation of character. While our hockey teams continually strive for excellence, winning is not prioritized at the expense of personal growth and development. The coaches expect players to honor themselves, the team, and the school by striving to be exceptional leaders both on and off the ice.
With four boys’ teams, Culver Academies provides an opportunity for more than 80 students at various levels of ability to compete for the school.
Alumni and Commitments
|Peyton||Frantti||St. Norberts College|
|Nick||Bissonnette||Royal Military College||Colorado Avalanche|
|Karch||Bachman||Miami of Ohio University||Florida Panthers|
|Dom||Garcia||Arizona State University|
The Prep Boys Hockey team began and ended their 2017-18 campaign as the #1 ranked team in the nation by USA Hockey. Congrats Eagles on a spectacular 43-4-1 season and your #1 overall ranking, the best in Culver’s hockey program history!
The Prep team (U18) plays a nationally competitive schedule against Midget Major AAA clubs, Prep Schools and High Schools. Prep competes as a guest in the HPHL and travels out East for 13 games throughout the year, including participating in the Yale Showcase, Lawrence Tournament and Cushing Tournament. The Prep team is also a member of the Interscholastic Hockey Alliance that showcases strong hockey development and talent at the prep school level. Throughout the year, Prep plays games at college venues, which have included Michigan State University, Miami University, Western Michigan University, Yale University, University of Vermont, University of Massachusetts and Notre Dame. The season will culminate with a trip to the Mid-Am Regional tournament in pursuit of a U18 USA Hockey National Championship bid. The Prep team’s most recent national tournament successes are national runner-up (2016), national semifinalist (2017), and national quarterfinalist (2018).
|#||First Name||Last Name||Pos.||Birth Year||Hometown|
|1||Alexander||Wisco||G||1999||Peterborough, Ontario, Canada|
|4||Andrew||Wisniewski||D||2000||South Bend, Indiana|
|9||Dominic||Vidoli||D||1999||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|11||Brennan||Coulson||D||1998||Granite Bay, California|
|12||Saverio (Sam)||Lucchese||D||2000||Elkhart, Indiana|
|14||Spencer||Weisgram||D||2000||Fargo, North Dakota|
|17||George||Kozak||F||2000||San Ramon, California|
|25||Ari||Lerman||F||1999||South Bend, Indiana|
Manager: Nicolas Ortega
Grant Adams - St. Lawrence University
Connor Caponi - Yale University
Spencer Cox - Miami University
Mason Lohrei - Ohio State University
Brock Paul - Dartmouth College
Jackson Pierson - University of New Hampshire
David Pitera - Bentley University
Dominic Vidoli - Boston University
Director of Hockey, Prep Head Coach
Coach Palmer Graduated from Clarkson University with a degree and engineering and management where was a two-time Academic All American. Following his collegiate career, he went on to play professionally for 13 years in Europe, competing in Germany, Austria and Italy. At the close of his playing career he began coaching at the University of Denver, as well as for two seasons in the USHL, spending time on the staff of both the Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Green Bay Gamblers.
In his five seasons at Culver he has amassed an impressive record of 122-45-16, including two appearances as a national finalist, and one as semi-finalist. Under his leadership and guidance, the Culver program has helped its players further their careers with commitments to the likes of Notre Dame, Yale, Miami, UNH, St. Cloud State, Dartmouth, Arizona State, Clarkson, Holy Cross, Army, AIU, Williams and Middlebury; during his time, two players have also been selected in the NHL draft directly from Culver. Coach Palmer, however, defines the program's success by different metrics, “we have great kids here at Culver who are also good hockey players. A team is bound to win some games if that is the case. We define our success by the development of all aspects of the hockey player on the ice but more importantly the development of the person off the ice.”
Coach Palmer teaches Physics, speaks three languages, and was nominated to be a Rhodes Scholar. In no uncertain terms, he embodies the development of the Mind, Spirit, and Body as stated in Culver's Mission.
|4||Matthew||Regan||F||2001||10||Crown Point, IN|
|15||David||Anderson||F||2001||10||Cambridge, ON, Canada|
|19||Cade||Heinold||F||2001||10||Mt Pleasant, SC|
U16 Head Coach
Wilson was raised in the rink by his father and NCAA hockey coach Wayne Wilson, who currently coaches at Rochester Institute of Technology; the only coach in NCAA history to win National Coach of the Year in both Division III and Division I. Growing up in the world of elite hockey naturally led Wilson to his own path in the sport as he played for three seasons in the USHL with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, including one season as the team’s captain. He moved on to play at Yale University where he won three Ivy League titles and the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship. When asked to describe him, Yale’s head coach and 2018 US Olympic assistant coach Keith Allain noted Wilson’s “bright, inquisitive, and analytical nature,” explaining that he would be a “valuable asset as a hockey professional.” After graduating from Yale, Wilson briefly played in the AHL for the Rochester Americans before deciding to turn toward the coaching and management side of the sport.
Wilson’s interest in hockey management was sparked while writing his senior thesis at Yale, which focused on North American junior hockey and included development proposals that would benefit players in terms of college eligibility and the NHL draft age in the US and Canada. His work landed him a position at the USHL headquarters in Chicago, Illinois as Manager of Hockey Operations. He was responsible for overseeing roster transactions, official scoring reports, and compliance with USA Hockey rules. He also gained experience working with the Department of Player Safety and organizing the USHL Development Series, including regional showcases and the USHL draft. In his inaugural year at Culver, Wilson was a Fellow in the Humanities department and an Assistant Coach with the U16 team. His colleagues have noted his “honest effort” each day and his student-athletes praise his positive energy and knowledgeable advice, citing his ability to communicate expectations in a clear and concise way. In addition, Wilson continues to improve his coaching and evaluation skills to further develop our own players, including coaching in the USHL Player Evaluation Camp for the 04/05 birth years, serving as an evaluator for the 2018 Mid-American District Camp, and coaching in USA Hockey’s Boys Select 15 National Player Development Camp.
Associate Head Coach, Director of Goaltending Develpoment
Phillips, who had been promoted earlier in February to a full-time faculty Humanities Instructor position for the 18-19 year, is entering his third season behind the bench for the Culver Academies’ hockey program, having served previously as a CMA U16 Assistant Coach and Head Goaltending Coach for both CMA and CGA programs. He also garnered experience with the CMA U18 Prep team in video analysis and developed pre- and post-season skill development programs which have been integral to the team’s national success. As a former NCAA D-I goaltender at Michigan State University, Phillips is well educated on the college hockey player prototype and, using his strong teaching skills, can break down what players need to improve upon and learn to achieve collegiate success.
In addition, Phillips plays a major role for both the CMA and CGA Hockey programs as Director of Goaltending Development, holding skill-focused goalie sessions aimed at fostering and reinforcing strong positive habits. Outside of Culver, Phillips is an active member with USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program; his reputation as an eager, organized, and skillful coach has led USA Hockey to invite him to lecture about coaching development at clinics across the Midwest. During the spring and summer seasons, Phillips also coaches in USA Hockey Player Development Camps at the regional and national level. Such opportunities have not only afforded him the chance to learn from others in the United States, but have also expanded his role as he studies the position abroad, including trips to the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Finland. Playing a role in USA Hockey Goaltending’s “51 in 2030” initiative, Phillips is extremely passionate about developing the game – not only at Culver, but across the country as well. Like many of our hockey staff, Phillips is not only an educator on the ice but in the classroom as well.
The Varsity A team plays top Varsity High Schools throughout the Midwest, including teams from Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York. Varsity A also competes in the ISHSHA (4A) in pursuit of an Indiana state championship. Culver has amassed 22 state championships with its latest title earned in 2017. The Varsity A team also hosts the annual Cornfield Cup which brings in some of the top Varsity programs in the Midwest.
|4||Tyson||Struthers Van de Peer||D||11||Dorchester, ON, Canada|
|8||Vladislav||Eustace||F||11||Crown Point, IN|
|13||Tanner||Koch||F||12||Canal Fulton, OH|
|14||Jerry||Whyte||F||12||Rancho Cucamonga, CA|
|17||Tyler||Heer||D||12||Huntington Beach, CA|
|18||Chris||Doherty||F||10||River Forest, IL|
|19||Josh||Lerman||F||10||South Bend, IN|
|30||Alex||Szabo||G||9||London, ON, Canada|
Manager: Adam Regan
Varsity A Head Coach
Originally from Cottage Grove, WI, Badalich’s hockey resume, particularly his Culver Hockey resume, is extensive. Before graduating from CMA in 1981, Badalich was the member of two Indiana Hockey State Championship teams, serving as team captain for the 1981. Immediately following Culver, he went on to complete a post-graduate year at Deerfield Academy in order to prepare for his career at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner from 1982-86. His first head coaching position came in 1992 for the St. Jude, IL Knights U18 AA team; a team which, under Badalich’s leadership, earned national finalist designation as well as a AAA International Silver Stick championship. From 1995-06 he stepped into an assistant coaching position at Indiana University and during that time took part in five national finalist teams and nine ACHA League Championship teams. He began his Culver Varsity coaching career in 2008, and in the years since has amassed an impressive six Indiana State Championships.
The Varsity B team is a member of the ISHSHA (1A) and competes locally within the states of Indiana and Illinois, specifically against other JV teams in the local high school hockey leagues. The Varsity B team focuses on development and uses a higher ratio of practices to games in order to better develop skills. The team plays a 25-30 game schedule with their season culminating in February at the ISHSHA playoffs. Most recently, the Varsity B team earned state runner-up honors in 2017.
|#||First Name||Last Name||Pos.||Grade||Hometown|
|1||Colin||Flanagan||G||10||South Bend, IN|
|11||Patrick||Brandeburg||D||9||Bryn Mawr, PA|
|15||Tyler||Szabo||F||11||London, ON, Canada|
|17||Clayton||Long||D||9||North Liberty, IN|
|21||Kyle||Richards||D||11||Rocky River, OH|
|22||George||Boardman||F/D||9||La Porte, IN|
|25||Elbek||Nazarov||F||11||Fort Wayne, IN|
Director of Hockey, Prep Head Coach
U16 Head Coach
Varsity A Head Coach
Varsity B Head Coach