Durango product, Tigers grad Houle excited for time between pipes with NA3HL’s RoadRunners
Hunter Houle is a new member of the NA3HL’s Texas RoadRunners for the 2023-24 season, but the Durango native and Colorado Springs Tigers graduate is a familiar face to RoadRunners head coach Mike Beavis.
Houle is coming off a very good season in goal with the Tigers’ 18U AAA team.
“Hunter played for me in an NAHL Combine game last spring in St. Louis and I was very impressed with his compete level and skill set,” Beavis said. “He basically impressed the three of us behind the bench and ultimately won us that game. I then spoke with Hunter about attending the Odessa Jackalopes camp in Chicago and while we were on the phone, I learned that he was still looking for a spot in the NA3HL. I spoke with a friend of mine and his former coach in Colorado, Kevin Holmstrom, who said nothing but great things about Hunter and we decided to offer him a tender and sign him.”
“I’ve heard great things about the Texas RoadRunners and their team,” added Houle “They’re a solid group of guys and everyone has everyone’s back. This is my third year living away from home but with that being said, it is never easy to leave friends and family. Coming into Texas, I didn’t know a single person on the team. As for the NA3, I have some friends who I grew up playing hockey with in Colorado who now play in the league on the New Mexico Ice Wolves.”
Truth be told, Houle said he is a late bloomer when it comes to hockey.
“I didn’t start out playing hockey,” Houle said. “I actually started out playing baseball and football until I was about 14 years old. I decided to strap on the skates when I was about 10 years old. I’ve been playing ever since.
“I started playing on a Bantam team called the Durango Steamers and after that, I moved up to high school where I played in the RGHSHL. I don’t think that league is around any more. As far as coaches in Durango go, Brian Ensign always had an impact on my career.”
In addition to the Tigers, Houle also went to the CDA Hockey Academy in Idaho in 2021-22.
Moving forward, Houle knows where he is now and where he wants to go.
“My short-term goal for hockey is to play at the college level,” said Houle. “As for my long-term goal, I haven’t quite figured out what I want to do after hockey. I’ve thought about going to a few trade schools or trying to make my way over to Colorado College.”
Photo provided by Hunter Houle
— Matt Mackinder
(September 18, 2023)