The spirit of a Savage skates among the Hawks

Tim Wirzburger, Crier Staff

The NHL may be in a lockout, but the 2012-2013 Men’s Ice Hockey season is underway and they anticipate a big season this year. Wearing number 16 for the Hawks is senior center Tyler Savage who resides in John’s Creek, Georgia. He registered 2 goals and 5 assists last year for the Hawks and is looking for another strong season on the ice.

Tyler first started lacing the skates when he was 8 years old, and immediately fell in love with the game of hockey. He played for Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey and graduated in 2007. He started playing Juniors for the New Jersey Hitmen his senior year of high school for two years, and then played for the NJ Rockets his third year. His family moved to Texas after he graduated, but he stayed to play hockey in the Northeast and lived on his own for two years.

Multiple schools recruited him to play in college, but in February of 2009 he made the decision to commit to Saint Anselm.

“It was really just the best fit for me both for hockey and academics,” said Savage. “I knew that I wanted to play college hockey in New England, and felt that Saint A’s offered the best situation for me.”

The biggest thing that playing a college sport has taught Tyler is time management.

“It’s not easy to balance all the practices, games, and travelling with the workload of school,” he said.

As a college athlete, he marveled at the high level of commitment one must have to the sport.

“In Juniors, I didn’t have practice until 2 o’clock and then team lift right after. So I could sleep in every day until 12 and then just drive to the rink. There’s a reason they call it ‘living the dream’” he laughed.

The Hawks are off to a great start this year, winning their first two games against Babson and UMass Boston. Both were statement games for the team; they had not beaten Babson in ten years, and they made a fantastic comeback against UMass. They were down 4-2 with just 5 minutes to go, and especially with being shorthanded things did not look good. However, they managed to tie the game up in regulation and score quickly in over time.

“It just shows that even when we don’t play our best, we can still pull out a win” said Savage. “I definitely expect the most out of this team in my four years of playing here on a level of both camaraderie and skill.”

The most rewarding experience as part of the team has been when they took Ben Roy on the squad last year through the Team Impact program, which partners college athletic teams with children who face life-threatening diseases.

“It’s really special to be a part of, to give back to someone less fortunate than us and welcome him as part of the team,” said Savage. Ben has his own stall in the locker room.

Tyler is a business major and, although he does not yet have specific plans after college, he plans to start working right away. Whatever he ends up doing, you can be sure that with the level of commitment and dedication he’s developed with college hockey, along with a Saint Anselm education, he’ll be sure to find success.