Kyle McLellan: Growing in goal at Mercyhurst

Kyle McLellan, while not being an expert on his goalie mask design or the gear, was honest about what drew him to the goaltending position. He said “It’s definitely got to be the gear.” He uses the same setup every year.

McLellan has a good reason for why he went to Mercyhurst. He said “They were one of the first schools that ended up reaching out to me.” They wanted to learn about him and he told them how they were over looked, compared his path to Adam Carlson, one of the better single season goalies in Mercyhurst history, who is now in the middle of a pro career that has taken him to the AHL and ECHL.

McLellan was blunt in saying “ I just felt that the best fit for me is Mercyhurst.

On playing for Rick Gotkin he said “It’s definitely nice playing for a coach thats been here as long as he as.” McLellan loves the continuity of the team and praised all of his coaches for the work they do.

McLellan did talk about the goalies he learns with and practices with every day, Matt Lenz and Hank Johnson. He said of the Mercyhurst goalie union, “We’re always joking around and they’re both unreal guys, I feel like we’re a close group.”

McLellan does do one unique thing this year that he has added to his routine. “I got my hair cut the weekend before Air Force and since then I’ve been playing pretty well and feeling really good, every two weeks I’ve been getting one.”

He is a bigger goalie that plays a calm game in net and doesn’t have to make highlight reel saves to have a sensational night. Braden Holtby, and Jordan Binnington are just two goaltenders that he takes inspiration from in his game.

McLellan was upbeat about the future of his young team. A lot of the Lakers are just now finding their way in the college game under normal circumstances given the pandemic-marred season many of his classmates came into college and dealt with last year.

“I think a lot of us are still getting into this college atmosphere, I think we have a team that can win this year if we play the right way.”

He also praised Ryan Zapolski who isis the main goalie coach. Kyle’s coaches have helped him get better at staying composed throughout the game and worrying about the next play. Over time, as the Lakers look to fight for the top of the Atlantic Hockey table in the next few seasons with strong offense, they need a goalie with the reserved and calm stature that McLellan brings.

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