Photo Credit: Kelly Shea-AIC Athletics
Head Coach Eric Lang often says of his American International College Yellow Jackets, that “the strength of this team is the team.” That includes everyone associated with this group, from its top scorer, Tobias Fladeby, to its goaltender that has played a little over five minutes this year.
One luxury that his staff has had all year, is not necessarily line matching, but lineup matching. This group has six forward lines that can play, and a lot of defenders on the back end capable of playing big minutes. Brennan Kapcheck is the leader of the defense, but is by no means the only solid defender on this team. In terms of unheralded players who Lang and the staff love, he has noted the consistency of senior Jeff Baum, along with his ability to block shots for the group, Aaron Grounds for the energy he brings, Parker Revering, and many more. Lang noted that he had the luxury of matching the lineup of his team to the strengths of Canisius. Against North Dakota, his staff has to get the lineup right, as Brad Berry will have the luxury of last change all weekend, and the ability to set the pace, unlike what Lang had in the Atlantic Hockey Association postseason tournament.
Jarrett Fiske has not gotten the accolades or a win that three of his goaltending colleagues have, but Eric Lang took the time to mention the extra work he does to keep his team ready to go. All of his goaltending group of four brings something to the table, and he felt it important enough to mention what a goalie who has played sparingly in one game brings to the team.
As Lang said, and as he often does, goes out of his way to highlight what everyone in his group brings, of Jarrett Fiske ” The goalie I don’t talk enough about is Fiske (we call him cheese) he has not played this year (only a few minutes)but for the last month is the first guy on the ice for our team taking pucks. He’s a glue guy that keeps things loose and has an incredulous work ethic. He is exactly what our program is about.”
Fiske is a sophomore that has seen the least amount of time on the ice of any of AIC’s four goaltenders, but does a lot to help the group succeed. Lang recruits good humans, and Fiske’s answer about why he has his nickname shows his humility, and belief in the larger group.
First, Fiske on why a goalie is called cheese.
“It goes back to youth hockey, I was about 7 or 8 years old and it was my first game playing goalie. Unfortunately i gave up 9 goals in a game. My brother was the one who originally called me “’swiss cheese’ ” due to the holes and pucks seeming to fly into the net. It was originally an inside family joke and then people starting calling me “cheese” and it just stuck as a nickname ever since. Definitely not ideal for a goalie but I never got discouraged about it.”
Next Fiske on being ready to face AIC’s opponent (this was answered before it was announced that AIC would be playing the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota.)
” We can only control what we can control. I do not have any preference as to who we play because I know our group will leave it all out on the ice. “
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