USA Hockey Magazine

August 2017

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T yler Murovich is on a mission during a Saturday night game, skating hard with passion and purpose, his determination unmatched as he propels the Atlanta Gladiators to victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Midway through the opening period of this ECHL showdown, Murovich nets his 17th goal of the season to send the crowd of 8,701 fans inside the Infinite Energy Arena into a frenzy. He will add an assist and even shows off his physical play to cap off a stellar performance. Never mind that the Pittsburgh native isn't the biggest player on the ice, standing at only 5-feet-9 inches tall. He never backs down from a challenge, especially after an opposing player takes lib- erties with one of his teammates. "I'm always a little feisty out there and play bigger than my size," Murovich said. "As a leader, it's about doing the right things out there, including sticking up for teammates. It's all part of the game." It's also part of setting an example for younger teammates to follow, especially a rookie who is getting his feet wet in pro hockey. "Part of being a pro is showing up no matter what the circum- stances are. It's about doing your job because you are getting paid to play hockey," Murovich said after helping the Gladiators snap a three-game losing streak in mid-March. "It's about showing up and giving everything you can. Teams go through ups and downs, but the message you want to give to young players is you can't worry about a tough stretch of games. You still have to do your job." A pro since the 2009-10 season, Murovich does his best to set an example for younger players, helping them along their hockey journey in hopes that one day they may realize their dream of making it to the NHL. Paul Fenton, who serves as the g eneral manag er of the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, said finding the right veterans for a team is crucial in the development of young players. His team seems to have a knack for it, with Milwaukee making the playoffs 17 out of the last 18 years. "You certainly identify the type of leaders you are looking for depending on how the draft goes and how your lineup looks," Fenton said. "Research is critical. You want to find guys who are good people, first and foremost, and players who are great leaders and have a desire to continue to win and help our young guys out. You aren't necessarily putting them in call-up positions but more of a mentoring position." School Of 34 // AUGUST 2017 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM Veteran Players Lend A Guiding Hand To Help Next Generation Make It To The Show /// By Brian Lester

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