Sunday, September 09, 2012

Textor an impact player for Ice Dogs

If there’s a melee on the ice, chances are Tyler Textor is in the mix.

A quiet, polite man off the ice, Textor morphs into a meddler on the ice.

Don't let his big grin fool you, though. Textor takes his role as assistant captain with the Michigan Ice Dogs very seriously. He's the kind of guy who will go into the corners and get the job done. He's the player that always has his teammates' backs. He’s known as the player who fiercely guards the goalie.

"Textor is one of the backbones of our team,” said Ice Dogs’ coach Tony Graham. “We are going to expect a lot out of Tyler this year.”

Textor, who is starting his third season as an Ice Dog, gives credit to his youth travel team, the Toledo Cherokee, for helping to mold him into the player he has become.

“They basically made me the defenseman I am today,” said Textor. “I played there from my Squirt AA year until Bantam AA. Hockey has taught me a lot. I've learned to work hard and to never give up. Nothing is ever out of reach and with hard work and determination, anything can be achieved. Hockey has taught me to be responsible. "

Best Ice Dog memory: During the 2010-2011 season, we advanced to the final round of league playoffs in Stevens Point, Wis. This series would determine which two teams from our league would go to the USA Hockey Tier III nationals in Marlborough, Mass. The Ice Dogs were on a hot streak and we had beaten two very good teams in overtime.

"I took the shot that got tipped-in in overtime to beat Chicago and put us into the championship game,” said Textor. “After our win, the Ice Dogs and our fans hung around to watch the next game which would determine our opponent in the championship game. We were getting rowdy and started taunting our cross-town rivals, chanting, ‘YOU CANT DO THAT’ and ‘THANK YOU MCFARLANE’ when they took a penalty and ‘THE BELT DON'T FIT!’ when they tried to score. As we watched the final minutes of the game, it became clear that our cross-town rivals would not advance to the championship game, securing our ticket to Boston for nationals.

“We were so happy and we began singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ in the stands. It was an exciting moment. It was an amazing weekend.”

Textor's advice for young players: "Enjoy it and always push yourself beyond the limit. Hockey's more than just a game; it's a way of life. The moment is yours for the making, so make it what you want and you will remember it for the rest of your life. You'll learn from hockey and you'll learn to appreciate the game."

In the future, Textor expects to get his degree in accounting and become a certified public accountant.

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