SIOUX CITY | Brady Ferner leads a list of four Sioux City Musketeers who have special leadership roles this season.
A defenseman and RPI recruit, Ferner was named captain for the defending Anderson Cup champions, which begin the 2017-18 United States Hockey League season with tonight’s game at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D., against the Fargo Force. Three alternate captains were also chosen, forwards Cole Koepke and Micah Miller along with defenseman Keegan Mantaro.
A Dakota Dunes native, Ferner is in the midst of his third season with the Musketeers, beginning his time with Sioux City when he came in during an emergency situation in mid-December of the 2015-16 season. He had six assists that year, then provided two goals and eight assists for last season’s squad that won the Western Conference regular-season title and reached the Clark Cup Finals, dropping an intense five-game series to the Chicago Steel.
Mantaro was also part of the Musketeers’ gritty defenseman corps last season, a unit which offered protection to the goaltenders (including USHL most valuable player Matiss Kivlenieks) that allowed a league-best 125 goals. An Air Force Academy recruit, Mantaro had six goals last season and enters his third USHL season with career totals of one goal and 10 assists.
Miller is a St. Cloud State recruit who will play a full season with the Musketeers after splitting time in both the USHL and prep ranks. After leading Grand Rapids to the Minnesota Class A state hockey title, Miller returned to finish a regular season where he had four goals and nine assists, then a goal and four assists in the Clark Cup Playoffs run.
Koepke is a Minnesota-Duluth recruit who saw his season with the Musketeers cut short by a knee injury. At the time of the injury, the latest of four Hermantown High School (Minn.) skaters who have played for Sioux City (Neal Pionk, Jared Thomas, Jared Kolquist) had three goals and two assists.