For the love of hockey: Mike Fay’s journey on the ice

Carissa Phillips, Sports Editor

 

Sophomore goalie Mike Fay ended his Hudson Valley Ice Hockey career this year, being the only team member to earn First-Team All Region.

Finishing his career with 202 saves and 27 allowed goals for the season, Fay’s last game was against Monroe Community College during semi-finals of the National Championships held at home, Feb. 21.

This is Fay’s first college recognition but not his only award. Fay has been ice skating and playing hockey since he could walk. Now at 24 years old, Fay talks about his fond memories of ice hockey and healing himself before the most influential years of his ice hockey career.

“My mom was definitely a driving force for my passion in ice hockey,” Fay said. “She’s always loved the game and has been a huge encouragement my whole life.”  

Fay joined his first hockey league around the age of four as a starting defensemen. By the time he was eight, he had moved up to the 10 to 12-year-old team and volunteered to try out for the goalie position.

“I had no intent of being a goalie,” said Fay. “When my coach announced to the team that he didn’t have any players trying out for the goalie position, I decided I might as well give it a try.”

The following years Fay pursued a life off playing with travel Ice Hockey teams throughout his middle school and high school years.

In 2008, at the age of 18, Fay tried out for his high school football team.

“It was a good way to stay in shape right before the junior league hockey tryouts,” said Fay.

In January, before tryouts, Fay tore his ACL and was told by his doctors that he would have to sit the season out.

“I wasn’t going to let that injury stand in the way of the most important year of my life,” said Fay. “Within the first week after my surgery I threw away my crutches and refused to use any aid with walking.”

During the few weeks in between his surgery and junior tryouts, Fay trained himself back into shape using his body’s instinct and motivation.

“The first few days after surgery I didn’t apply any weight to my leg,” Fay said. “After that I began walking on it without crutches and slowly eased myself into running short sprints.”

Fay tried out and landed a spot on the Long Island Royals, signed a three year contract with which he played as goaltender from 2008 through 2010, and within that first year was awarded Top Goalie of the Junior Travel League.

Along with his league award, Fay was scouted by top division one and three colleges throughout the country.

“The players on the traveling teams were much more competitive and dedicated to the game than my middle and high school level teams,” Fay said.

“Even with the pressure of [division one] colleges looking at the team’s players individually, the only competition my team saw was our opponents on the ice,” said Fay. “We are not rivals, we are brothers.”

Along with the recognition and competitive appeal, another perk of playing for travel teams was traveling to tournaments all across the United States and Canada.  

“Traveling was huge highlight for me throughout those years,” Fay said. “ Being able to travel doing something I love is an unforgettable experience.”

Now that his Hudson Valley career comes to a close, Fay plans on playing ice hockey at the four year college he will transfer to after graduation.

“I don’t really have a college lined up just yet,” said the physical education major.

“Long Island is my home and I love the Hudson Valley. I’d like to stay in this beautiful State as long as I can,” Fay said.

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