Men’s hockey goaltender Tyler Fassl focusing on school while hopeful for a return to the ice in the fall
“I can’t say enough about my teammates. It’s been great making a lot of friendships over the years and I’m sure the relationships will last long after I graduate.”
Although being held off the ice, third-year goalie Tyler Fassl has made the most of this past year, balancing his academic studies while preparing for an on-ice return in the fall. As was the case for all student-athletes these past two terms, Fassl made several adjustments to continue training for his sport, while also benefitting academically from the lighter schedule.
“I miss hockey and being at the rink around the team,” Fassl said, while also calling it a breath of fresh air as he was able to devote more of his time on studies and raise his overall GPA.
“Definitely with less time focused on hockey, I had more time to focus on schooling, which has helped me bring up my grades,” he continued.
Teammates Brett Schaefer, Mack Graham and Zack Dybowski are all in the business program as well, allowing Fassl to connect with his team and help him through the academics. Fassl spoke about Dybowski who joined Laurier in his same recruiting class, and who he calls a “big pillar to lean on.”
“It’s pretty nice to have somebody like that because we can literally bounce ideas off each other, whether it be school or hockey,” Fassl said.
The 6’0, 185-pound goaltender from Sauble Beach joined Laurier back in 2018. In his rookie season, Fassl was leaned on heavily, playing in 23 of the team’s 28 games and performing well, recording 11 wins and two shutouts.
From the 3-2 victory in the “Frosty Mug” game two years ago against Guelph, to shutting out the fourth ranked Varsity Blues last year, Fassl has delivered on some of the biggest wins Laurier had before the cancellation.
Coach Greg Puhlaski and the Golden Hawks have returned to limited training sessions for the past few weeks since Waterloo entered the “red-zone” of the COVID-19 framework; something Fassl has been hopeful for as the team is optimistic for a return to competition this fall.
“We’ve had three pods practicing three different times a day, three times a week for each pod,” as Fassl said. “It’s been great to be able to get back on the ice and nice to see the guys.”
While out of sight, Fassl has been able to keep his mind on hockey, remaining active and training throughout the past year. To keep up to speed with his hand-eye coordination, Fassl began playing racquet sports such as ping-pong and tennis and has also been doing home workouts with his cousin in Waterloo.
“This winter, since I haven’t been able to skate, I built a rink in my backyard to get out on the ice and stay somewhat into it, even as a player and not a goalie,” Fassl said.
In 34 games over the past two hockey seasons for the program, Fassl has been consistent, recording a 15-16 record, with a 0.91 save per centage and a 2.8 goals against average. In terms of his favourite on-ice moment with the Golden Hawks, Fassl points to the aforementioned “Frosty Mug,” game in 2018.
“I remember the hostile crowd in Guelph. We were short players as well, down to three defencemen at one point- it was a huge grind for the whole team,” Fassl said. “Having it go to overtime and a shootout added to the overall drama.”
Laurier was able to win the thrilling game 3-2 in front of nearly 5,000 people in Guelph.
With all signs pointing towards an OUA hockey return in October, Fassl remains focused on his training and is looking forward to integrating much of the new recruits with the team. While the Golden Hawks have Matt Williams on their roster, you can expect them to rely on Fassl once again if competition does resume this upcoming fall.