Last week, Tyler Irvine committed to Merrimack College. The ’96-born forward who is currently playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) took some time to take part in a Q&A with The Mack Report about his recent college commitment.
TMR: Why Merrimack? What about the school made it the right place for you?
Irvine: “At first I didn’t know much about the school. I had friends there that talked highly about the school and friends going in future years. But then I visited and fell in love with the campus and everything they had to offer. The small classes struck me because I felt it would be a better learning environment. Then for the hockey part, I wanted to be apart of a team with culture and character. Merrimack hockey is a team built around hard work and I love that. Also the coaches at Merrimack seemed like great coaches. It made the decision easy.”
How did you first get involved in hockey?
“My dad used to play and I would always watch Red Wings games with him. I learned to skate around 3. Then we would always build an ice rink in our backyard every winter.”
I’ve heard you’re close with Logan Drevitch out there in Muskegon. Are you excited to continue playing with him moving forward? You also played with Drew Vogler in Topeka last year, so having some familiar faces will be nice, I’m sure.
“Yes, I’m very close with Logan Drevitch. He’s a great hockey player and an even better person. I’m excited to continue playing with him. Seeing familiar faces at Merrimack now is great as well. I played with Drew Vogler and Mike Babcock, once again both great guys. I’m excited to play with them again.”
How would you describe your game?
“I’m a two-way forward that plays all 200 feet. I enjoy the penalty kill and blocking shots. Also like to set it up in the offensive zone and get some goals.”
I’ve got to ask about that goal you had a few years ago that blew up on YouTube. What was that like? I can’t imagine you expected it to blow up like it did.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all. Great pass from my teammate and I was able to put it in past the goalie.”
What was the recruiting process like for you? Did you get the chance for an official visit to Merrimack, and if so, what about the campus sold you compared to some other places?
“The recruiting process was really exciting. I got in contact with Coach [Curtis] Carr and was able to get an official visit. The campus was beautiful and I loved the size of it.”
Looks like your scoring totals bumped up a lot once you were traded to Muskegon. What do you think brought about that? More of an offensive role? More comfortable?
“In Cedar Rapids I sprained my ankle near the beginning of the season. That slowed my role a little, but I battled through it, got traded to Muskegon, and was able to play in opportunities I wasn’t able to before in Cedar Rapids. In Muskegon when I was given the opportunity I took off with it. Tripling my points from Cedar Rapids in the same amount of games in Muskegon.”