Chat about College Hockey
Colgate sophomore center Tyler Burton is this week's guest. Burton has 13 goals and 19 points in 12 ECACHL games to lead the conference in both categories.
Send your questions now and join INCH every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. ET. Then watch Tyler and the Raiders when they host Brown on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU).
INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (1:30 PM)
Welcome to the college hockey portion of The Show on ESPN.com. Inside College Hockey is pleased to be joined by Tyler Burton, sophomore center for the Colgate Raiders. He's ready to field your questions.
Tyler Burton (1:30 PM)
Thanks for having me on The Show. I'm glad to be here and am looking forward to your questions.
How have you guys been able to keep your momentum after losing so many key guys to graduation?
Tyler Burton (1:32 PM)
I think, just throughout the year we've known how hard we've had to work. We lost a lot of key players last year but the freshmen have stepped up. In the off-season we work extremely hard and we've put in a lot of time getting ready for this season. Knowing that we lost so many guys made us work harder and prepare ourselves for the upcoming year.
Gary Braham (Queensbury NY)
How do you think your college hockey experience is different from other schools and other leagues?
Tyler Burton (1:34 PM)
The experience we have here at Colgate is different because of the size of our school. We play at a small school in a small community compared to programs like Michigan or Michigan State with 40,000 students. We're just a small community here and there are only 2800 students and a couple thousand residents in town. The small town community gives us a chance to interact with the community and the students. It makes the social life awesome for all of the guys and I know we really enjoy it.
Chris (Hanover, NH)
What are your favorite rinks to play in besides Starr?
Tyler Burton (1:35 PM)
From my experiences last year, my favorite rink to play in was Cornell. The atmosphere was like nothing I've ever played in before. I also really enjoy Dartmouth's rink and Yale's rink. Dartmouth had great atmosphere and Yale is a place where I had success. In the league those are the three places that I really like to play.
How does the style of college hockey compare to that of juniour hockey?
Tyler Burton (1:37 PM)
I think the biggest difference is adapting to the speed of the game. Everything happens faster and your reaction time has to improve. The skill level is improved and you need to be on top of your game. Also, the players are older and you have to keep working hard in the gym to go against stronger players and adapt to that level of physical play.
How do you focus on this week's games (the weaker Yale and Brown) knowing that you have a huge weekend the following week (two games against Cornell)? One final question; do the players get riled up with the home and home series against Cornell like the fans (me being one) do?
Tyler Burton (1:38 PM)
We like to focus on each game one at a time and we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. Yale is a team that has been playing really well lately and they're going to be tough. Brown gave us a good game about a month ago in Providence and we have to be on our game and ready to play because both games are going to be very tough.
Tyler Burton (1:39 PM)
Definitely all of the guys, it's natural to get more pumped up for that rivalry. The schools have a rivalry and both rinks get really pumped up for the games. It's a really fun rivalry and I'm looking forward to it.
Leading the conference in both goals and points is impressive. How do you and your teamates prepare yourself for games
Tyler Burton (1:41 PM)
We go through a strong week of practice. Each day we try to put in our hour and a half at the rink and be prepared for the game and work as hard as we can. When the weekend comes we try to get our school work out of the way and concentrate on the hockey. We have really good leadership on our team through the coaches and captains and the rest of us make sure to stay focused. IT can be a long week some time so you can't lose your focus. Everyone has to be ready.
PJ Charlotte, NC
Tyler you guys just played ST. Lawrence. Being a SLU grad I was curious about how you view them. They have had some quality wins this year.
Tyler Burton (1:43 PM)
They were an extremely talented team that works very hard. They will do very well in the league this year. It was a tough game and every game we play against them in the future will be close. They are a very good team and they can do some serious damage in this league.
Drew (Syracuse, NY)
I saw your goal against Clarkson on TV, and no matter how many times I watch the replay, I still can't believe it actually went in. Were you as surprised as everyone else, or was that all skill?
Tyler Burton (1:44 PM)
It was definitely a shock to me. It was a weird play where I tried to make a pass across the crease and it hit a few things and just went in. That's just the way it works sometimes. Throughout the game I had some chances and hit a post and was kind of unlucky. Sometimes the ones you think will go in don't, and the ones you don't think will go in do.
Do you stay in touch with your former junior teammates who are at other schools? Any you'd like to face down the road in the NCAAs?
Tyler Burton (1:46 PM)
I keep in touch with two of my best friends at home play college hockey. Steve Van Oosten plays at Alaska-Fairbanks and another is Ryan Mensing, and he's a goalie at Western Michigan. We played against them but he didn't start. It was nice to be able to see him. I don't get to see him too much throughout the year. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see Fairbanks because I know a lot of those guys from juniors and it would be a cool experience for me.
Illana Cooper (Hamilton,NY)
Hi Tyler, how do you get mentally prepared to play such a physical game being under 5'10", does your approach change when playing against much bigger teams
Tyler Burton (1:48 PM)
My approach always stays the same for every game. I know I'm not the biggest guy in the league but I just try to go out and work hard every night. I don't get intimidated by bigger guys and I know I'm not that big but I like the challenge.
Joe Gladziszewski (1:48 PM)
Who are your most respected opponents?
Tyler Burton (1:50 PM)
One player that did impress me was from Clarkson last weekend was Nick Dodge. We had some great battles and we were out there every shift. It will be fun playing against him in the future. Going to Cornell, it will always be a test playing against a goaltender of McKee's calibur and playing against him will be a test in the next couple of weeks. I was fortunate enough last year to get a goal against him, but it will be a test going against someone of his calibur.
How does it feel to have a good friend you played junior hockey with in Peter Bogdanich help not only him , but make you feel when going to class and to the rink?
Tyler Burton (1:52 PM)
Having Peter come here this year was great. I was really excited. We were good friends back home and we've played together for a long time. It's really nice and it's nice to have some friends from back home out here. We get along great and I know that he'll have a real successful career here.
Rolly BC canada
How do you think you have handled the sophmore jinx
Tyler Burton (1:53 PM)
So far this year I've had a good year, and I think I've stepped up when I've had to. You hear about the sophomore jinx and that you backtrack after your freshman year. I don't think I've done that and I don't plan on doing it anytime soon.
What do you think about more and more high school hockey players going to play juniors for a season or two and then on to college at 20 years old?
Tyler Burton (1:55 PM)
Those players that go to juniors for a year will get a really good experience. It's good to take a year off of school and focus on hockey. You get stronger and taking a year off to play juniors can be very beneficial. It has been for guys on our team and other guys around the league.
Joe Gladziszewski (1:56 PM)
That's all the time we have for questions with Tyler for today. Be sure to catch Colgate on ESPNU each of the next two Saturdays. This weekend the Raiders host Brown in a playoff rematch from last year, and on Feb. 4 the top two teams in the ECACHL battle when Colgate hosts Cornell at Starr Rink.
Tyler Burton (1:57 PM)
Thank you very much for having me and thanks to all of the questions and support toward Colgate hockey. I look forward to seeing them out at our games in the near future.
Joe Gladziszewski (1:58 PM)
That wraps up our time in The Show. Several questions that we didn't get to on a more national scale will be discussed in next week's INCH Podcast. For more on college hockey be sure to visit InsideCollegeHockey.com.