He stacks the pads favourably with other masked marvels who have
stopped pucks for junior hockey teams on both the Ontario and Michigan
sides of Sault Ste. Marie.
To be sure, Tyler Marble of the
North American Hockey League's Soo Eagles has ability, potential and
character that are right up there with what two other goaltending
sensations -- Kevin Hodson and Ryan Miller -- displayed during their
junior days in Sault Ste. Marie.
Hodson backstopped the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League to
a Memorial Cup championship in 1993 before being on two Stanley Cup
winners with the Detroit Red Wings during a six-year National Hockey
Miller, on the other hand, apprenticed in the
NAHL with the erstwhile Soo Indians from 1997 to 1999 before going on to
play three seasons at the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic
Association level with the Michigan State Spartans and then moving up to
the NHL, where he is now in his 10th season with the Buffalo Sabres.
for Marble, the 1992 birth year puckstopper has parlayed what has been
an outstanding 2012-2013 season to date with the NAHL Eagles into a
full-ride, Division 1 scholarship at Colorado College, which for years
has been a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contender and one of
the better programs in the nation under head coach Scott Owens.
Owens has been at Colorado College since 1999 and has amassed a .614 winning percentage during that time.
will join the Tigers of Colorado College effective the 2013-2014 season
as a freshman. Colorado College does return two goalies next season but
neither of them is on full scholarship and Marble will get a chance to
compete for the starting job with the departure of graduating senior
Having just recently de-commited from the Division 1,
Lake Superior State Lakers, Marble quickly become a hot commodity on the
Several Division 1 schools contacted Marble's dad,
Bernie, and family advisor David Maciuk. But ultimately, the 6-foot-1,
180 pound puckstopper from Howell, Michigan decided on Colorado College,
making his decision on Wednesday night after strongly considering an
offer from Northern Michigan.
"I had a chance to talk to their
coaches in person and on the phone and they set up a conference call
that included my parents. At the end of the day they made me an offer I
couldn't refuse," said Marble, a personable, well-grounded individual
who is known as much for his character and team commitment as his
"To get a guaranteed, full-ride
scholarship from one of the top, most-respected Division 1 programs in
the country and to be told I will have the chance to compete for the
starting goaltending job is everything I could ask for," added Marble,
who plans to major in Business Marketing at Colorado College. "Colorado
College plays against some of the best schools in the country and has
sent so many players to the NHL. This is such a great feeling to be
With a personal record of 28-7-3 that includes
five shutouts, a goals against average of 2.24 and a save percentage of
.942, Marble has the Eagles in first place in the North Division of the
NAHL with six games to go in the regular season.
youngster was quick to thank Eagles coach Bruno Bragagnolo and his
teammates for playing a major role in his success thus far this season.
"Bruno's a great coach and great person who has supported me,
shown so much faith in me and helped me elevate my game. He's played a
big part in me getting this opportunity at Colorado College as have my
teammates. Without my teammates blocking shots and playing hard in front
of me, I wouldn't have had the kind of season I have had so far,"
"I also want to also thank my parents and
grandparents for being such a wonderful support system. And I want to
thank you for always writing such good things about me," Marble
Despite knowing that he is headed off to Colorado
College after this season, Marble said his commitment to the Eagles and
Sault Ste. Marie is far from over.
"I owe it to the
organization, my teammates and myself to try to win the North Division,
have a great playoff and hopefully move on to the Roberston Cup. We are a
team and I will battle for them as they have battled for me," Marble
Bragagnolo, the Eagles coach and general manager, can't say enough about Marble.
a goalie, he is always working on his game in practice. He's focused,
he works hard and is a team leader. The good goalies are the ones who
win games for you on their own and I would say that Tyler has stolen at
least a half a dozen games for us that we probably shouldn't have won.
As an organization, we are very proud of Tyler," said Bragagnolo.
joins two other Eagles who have Division 1 commitments. 1992 birth year
centre Jared VanWormer (Ferris State) and 1995 birth year winger Denver
Pierce (Northern Michigan) are the others.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)