Topeka RoadRunners goaltender Evan Karambelas will continue his hockey career with the Minnesota State University – Mankato Mavericks. The Mavericks play in the Division I WCHA.
\”I came into the season with the goal to play NCAA Div 1 hockey the following year, and now I can do that\”, said the 6\’2\” 205 lb netminder from Fort Saint John, BC, Canada. \”Going to school and playing a high level of hockey was very important. \” Thrust into a starting role early when returning veteran Cooper Frederick was injured, Karambelas started each of the first 9 games of the season. He fashioned a 6-2-1 record. Then, sidelined by an illness, he was idle for nearly two months before he was ready to return to the ice. Still, he was selected to participate in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in January 2010 where he led all tournament goalies with a .963 save percentage and a 1.34 goals against average. At season\’s end, he was ranked fourth in the NAHL with a 22-4-1 record and a 2.27 goals against average.
His time spent in junior hockey has Karambelas feeling confident as he makes the transition to Division I college. \”Every time you move up a level, especially as a goalie, you have to adjust to a lot of things\”, he said. \” I\’m expecting the speed and skill of the college level guys to take time to adjust to, but my time playing junior hockey has given me a solid foundation to build off of.\” When asked if he aspires to play professionally someday, he defers. \”I won\’t be able to answer that until I\’m a few years into my college career\”. He adds, \”I always wanted to play pro, especially in Europe, but that will all depend a lot on what happens in the next couple years.\”
As he looks back on his time as a RoadRunner, Karambelas finds some good memories. \”Among many things, ‘Google Night\’ when the arena was sold out was a great experience. It was awesome to see the people of Topeka come out and support the cause.\” He continued, \”I just want to thank everyone involved in the RoadRunner organization, from the billets to the coaches, for allowing me to come in and finish my junior career in the best way possible. I didn\’t know what to expect when I came all the way down to Topeka, Kansas, but I left Topeka knowing I made some amazing friends, memories, and had a blast in the process.\”
Karambelas plans to pursue a degree in business management or finance. As an MSU Maverick, he will join RoadRunner alum Eriah Hayes who will be a sophomore this coming season. Karambelas becomes the 7th RoadRunner from this year\’s roster to move on to a Division I school.