Air Force forward Evan Giesler knows his way around both ends of the ice.
The junior went from 10 points as a freshman to 29 as a sophomore. Despite playing with a combination of line mates because of the injury wave that’s hit the team, he’s on pace for at least 25 this season. After having the second-best plus-minus on the Falcons as a freshman (plus-10), he led Atlantic Hockey with a plus-19 a season ago.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder from suburban Chicago took time recently to tee off on some sweet feeds from The Flight Path.
What was the draw of going to school at a military academy?
I had a grandpa who served in the Korean War, but it’s not like I came from a military family or anything. It was mostly the opportunities the coaching staff told me about when they recruited me. And when I came and visited it made me want to come here.
What was the first piece of hockey gear you got?
I think it was a stick to play street hockey with. My parents got me a righty stick, and I started playing righty. Then I started using it lefty so I had to switch over. They always bring that up when we talk about my past.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten?
Never too high, never too low. No matter what level you play at the season is going to be a roller coaster. When you’re team is struggling you need to find a way to pick each other up. And when things are going well, maybe you’ve got a good win streak going, enjoy it a little bit but stay humble and you still have to come to work every day.
What’s the breakfast of champions?
I’m a big eggs, bacon and hash browns kind of guy. Maybe throw it all in an omelette.
Do you have a favorite Atlantic Hockey road trip?
Going to Boston to play Holy Cross or Bentley is always fun because I’m in love with the city of Boston. We just went to Buffalo recently (to play Canisius), and that was a good time, too. Those are probably two of my favorite ones.
Who is the team comedian? It’s a bit of a trick question because your name has come up when I ask this.
I’m going to have to go with Dan Bailey. He’s my vote for the team comedian.
Are you particular about any of your gear?
Not as much as some guys. Some guys are really particular, like to put one skate on first and have everything just right. I like to go with the flow, whatever’s feeling best for me at the time.
Did you have a favorite player growing up?
My favorite player was probably Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. I love the way his game translates. He’s a two-way forward, really responsible in the defensive end and he scores a lot of goals and gets a lot of assists.
Have you decided on an area you’d like to pursue when you’re on active duty?
I haven’t decided on anything concretely. I’ve been considering possibly going the pilot route or put my name in the hat for a pilot spot. I don’t have to make the decision for another year, so it’s something I’ll have to talk to my close friends and family about.
If coach Serratore were a super hero, which one would he be?
Now you’re really putting me on the spot. We’ll go with Superman. He’s a big locker room presence. A jack of all trades.
Thanksgiving is coming up, what are you most thankful for?
My family, especially my parents who have supported me all these years playing hockey and paying for me to play hockey and go out and play juniors and live the dream.
Copyright First Line Editorial 2017
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