Great Falls goaltender Wennberg makes NCAA commitment
March 23, 2020
The Great Falls Americans of the NA3HL announced that goaltender Viktor Wennberg has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for Northland College. Northland College is a private liberal arts school located at the top of Wisconsin near Lake Superior.
The Lumberjacks, coached by Seamus Gregory, are an NCAA Division III school. The Lumberjacks men’s hockey team is affiliated with the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC).
Wennberg, 20, played two seasons with the Great Falls Americans (2018-20) and won 41 of the 50 total games (41-8-1) including two playoff games during the 2020 Fraser Cup Playoffs.
The 6’1/170 lbs. native of Stockholm, Sweden, amassed 1,350 saves for coach Greg Sears’ team. The new college signee, ranked sixth in the NA3HL, had a 1.93 Goals Against Average (GAA) and an 0.936 save percentage during his 27-game regular season (21-5-1-0). Wennberg had six shutout victories all coming during the 2019-20 season with his final shutout coming on February 22nd at home against the Bozeman Ice Dogs (1-0).
Wennberg was one of the best goaltenders for the Americans in recent years and was selected to play in the 2019 Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro, Massachusetts as a member of the Frontier Division. He made appearances in all three contests and finished the tournament with a record of 1-1-0-1 including a 2-1 overtime win against the Northeast Division and 57 saves.
Wennberg was recognized by the NA3HL throughout his two-year career with Great Falls. He was the NA3HL’s Goaltender of the Month in November 2019 and the college freshman was a 3-time Player of the Month (Honorable Mention). Viktor earned Frontier Division Goaltender of the Week (week ending October 20, 2019), twice earned Frontier Player of the Week (2nd Star) and was the recipient of the Frontier Player of the Week (Honorable Mention) five times.
“Viktor is a good goalie but a better person. He bought into what we were trying to do here, and he did a great job both on and off the ice,” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears. “We are very excited that Viktor has committed to Northland College.”
Viktor grew as a player and a person while playing junior hockey in Great Falls. “You not only develop as a player, you develop off the ice as a person with your teammates and its been a great experience with this club,” said Wennberg. "As a goalie and an import (to the United States), my understanding of English and American hockey has vastly improved. In junior hockey, you are put in many hard situations and you have to earn your (roster) spot and that greatly improves a players preparation coming from high school to college.”
As one of three international players on the roster, Wennberg was enthusiastic when he spoke about his coach. He stated that he was the best coach he has ever had and the main reason for (Greg’s) success and for him to be a great coach was that he doesn’t only focus on players becoming better but focuses on players being better individuals. Greg was a great coach and an outstanding leader, and he motivated him to do his best every day at practice is what Viktor had to say about his junior college coach.
“I’m very excited to get to the next level (college),” said the young netminder. He looks forward to representing a school since Sweden doesn’t have any school sports and earning a roster spot. “Playing in Great Falls was the way junior hockey is supposed to be."
Wennberg plans on majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Sports Management with hopes to become a hockey coach in the future.