From beaches to blizzards: San Diego’s Frankel continuing to star for USPHL’s Moose
The sport of hockey has led Isaiah (“Ike”) Frankel from the ice sheets and roller arenas of San Diego to the “State of Hockey,” Minnesota.
There, he has excelled as a speedy forward with a deadly shot for the Minnesota Moose of the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).
As a youngster, Frankel took up the sport of hockey and excelled, playing at the AAA level with the San Diego Jr. Gulls, then switched to roller hockey as a high school freshman with Rancho Bernardo High School.
He switched back to the ice for a junior run that took him first to the Western States Hockey League with his hometown San Diego Sabers, and ultimately to the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Blaine, which the Moose call home.
Blaine remains one of the top hockey communities in a state that lives and breathes the sport. Frankel plays in the Fogerty Ice Arena which is also home to the local high school team. The arena walls are covered in regional, sectional and state championship banners.
Frankel said his primary influence to play the game came from a high-scoring, but hard-nosed forward who made a name for himself while playing as a member of the Los Angeles Kings from 2008-11. He has since been an NHL regular with the Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and now, Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I’d say my biggest influence that I always looked up to and that I’ve tried to shape my game towards is Wayne Simmonds,” said Frankel.
“In the summer before joining the Moose, I got a call from Coach Jonasson, who really just impressed me with how the program worked, how they ran the schedule, the billet families and that they are always competing for a championship.”
Indeed, in four seasons of play in the league’s Midwest-West Division, the Moose have compiled three Division titles and have also been at USPHL Nationals three times.
“With the Moose, everything we do is to look toward the big picture of winning a championship and advancing in our hockey careers,” said Frankel.
Frankel made his presence felt with the team in his first season, scoring 18 goals and collecting 43 points and this season he is on pace to smash those marks, sitting with 13 goals and nine assists already through 15 games, or about a third of the way through the campaign. He is second on the team in scoring, showing great speed and maneuverability that helps him find the open areas in the offensive zone.
Being a go-to guy on offense is a role Frankel enjoys.
“I want to be the guy that is at the top of the team in points every year. That’s just the person I am,” summed up the speedy forward who said he set a goal of 80-100 points for himself this season. As far as team goals, those are generally clear for a team like the Moose.
“The goal for the team is the championship, of course.”
As an ’01, Frankel could play another season of junior hockey, but he has already started to look into the next chapter in his hockey career.
“I am pursuing schools now. I know I have an extra year. I still would love to go to school next year,” said Frankel who no doubt will get a lot of interest from NCAA Division III schools, both in the Midwest and in New England.
Frankel is looking for the right combination of school with a solid hockey team and a great business program.
Photos/Sydnee Palade/Minnesota Moose
— Jim Den Hollander/USPHL.com
(Dec. 2, 2020)