1-on-1 with Kyle Schussler ’12
By Blaze Joel, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, March 26, 2012
This week, I sat down with Kyle Schussler ’12, a member of the Dartmouth men’s hockey team. Schussler is versatile, playing both forward and defense in his four years on the Big Green. Despite playing only nine games in his four seasons, Schussler is described as the “ultimate teammate,” giving it his all in practices despite not suiting up for many games.
What was it like scoring your first goal, especially since it came in a big playoff game against Cornell University?
KS: It was pretty incredible really. I wasn’t really thinking about it like that. I was just happy to be in the lineup to be honest, because I hadn’t played that much in the last three years. Everyone was pretty excited about it, but I was happier that it tied the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top of the game.
What was it like only playing in nine games in your career?
KS: It was tough at times. Mentally, it’s really tough on you, but it made some things easier, like class. I didn’t get to go on many road trips, so it allowed me to focus on my studies more. Watching the team play while I was in the stands or at home was hard, but getting the chance there at the end really meant a lot to me.
You didn’t get a lot of game time on the ice, but you had a large locker room presence nonetheless. Why do you think that is?
KS: I think it’s from a mutual respect we have for each other. I try to help my teammates whenever I can, and they try to do the same for me. We’re a really tight-knit group, so everyone has the same respect for each other.
On senior weekend, the program featured a story about you. How did you feel about that?
KS: It was nice. I really appreciated it. Pat Salvas wrote the story and talked to a lot of guys on the team, and they helped make it what it was. It was especially great to have it in on senior weekend, too. I got a lot of comments from friends and family about how cool it was for me.
What was your favorite moment of your college career?
KS: Going to Atlantic City for the ECAC Tournament [in 2011] was a great moment for our team. Being one step away from the NCAA Tournament was great. That was the best we did as a team in my time here, so it was pretty special.
Last year, you guys were the first team out of the NCAA tournament. How did that feel to see you guys not get called when selection time came?
KS: To be honest, in Atlantic City, we were just focusing on ECACs, but we lost our first game. If we had won, we would have solidified our place in the tournament, but we couldn’t make that happen. It sucked being the first team out, but the guys who were coming back learned from that emotion and tried to carry that into this year and make another run. Unfortunately, we came up a little short this year. We had a lot of injuries, but still made it to the second round of ECACs, but then ran into Cornell.
What’s next for you?
KS: I’m going to try to see what happens with hockey. Different occupations and grad school can wait, but hockey is one of those things that, if it’s going to happen, it’s got to be now. I don’t know where or when it’ll be, but hopefully I’ll get a tryout and see where it takes me. One thing I have contemplated, if hockey doesn’t work out, is going to grad school for education. I want to get my master’s and potentially teach. I don’t know whether I’ll be in the States or back home in Winnipeg. Either is fine with me.