Male Athlete of the Week

Stele De Fazio, Men’s hockey

Stele De Fazio, Men’s hockey
Stele De Fazio, Men’s hockey
Goaltender Steele De Fazio makes a save during his shutout performance at last Thursday’s Carr-Harris Cup. It was De Fazio’s first shutout since he took over the starting job in the Gaels net.
Goaltender Steele De Fazio makes a save during his shutout performance at last Thursday’s Carr-Harris Cup. It was De Fazio’s first shutout since he took over the starting job in the Gaels net.
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During the 124th-annual Carr-Harris Cup last Thursday, goaltender Steele De Fazio’s 29-save shutout performance propelled the men’s hockey team to a 3-0 win over their cross-town rivals, the Royal Military College Paladins. Since taking over as the Gaels’ starting netminder on Jan 6 in a 5-2 win over the Paladins where he stopped 32 shots, De Fazio has gone 6-4 while posting a save percentage of .908, eighth-best in the OUA.

This was De Fazio’s first Carr-Harris Cup experience, but he said he was well aware of the long-standing hockey rivalry that exists between Queen’s and RMC.

“The senior players explained the history to us,” he said.

With only two games remaining the Gaels’ regular season, De Fazio said his focus is on his team’s drive for post-season success. The Gaels have clinched the fifth playoff spot in the OUA East, but must win tomorrow’s game against the Nipissing Lakers in order to have a shot at home-ice advantage in the first round.

“The two points were really big for us in order to stay in the race for home ice advantage in the playoffs.”

De Fazio, a first-year Phys Ed. student, spent last season in the NCAA playing for the St. John’s Johnnies in Minnesota and was thus forced to sit out the beginning part of the OUA season for eligibility reasons. He decided to come play for the Gaels last summer.

The choice, he said, was largely influenced by the school’s academic reputation.

“The Queen’s education and degree were the main selling points.” De Fazio said it was tough to spend the early part of the season on the sidelines and his first few games in the net for the Gaels required a bit of an adjustment.

De Fazio has faced an average of 38 shots per game so far this season. He stopped 44 shots in a 5-2 win over the Nipissing Lakers on Jan. 15, his fourth game in net. He said the high quantity of shots isn’t as worrying to him as their accuracy.

“It gets you in the game early but a lot depends on the quality of the shots.” De Fazio said his goaltending is based on his pace.

“I’m a little more aggressive than the basic butterfly goalie,” he said. “I try to rely on my speed (in the net) more than anything.” In order to succeed in the playoffs, De Fazio said it’s crucial for the Gaels to remain disciplined and to play stronger defensively.

“We’re a pretty offensive team and we can score goals, so defense is key especially in the playoffs when the games are lower scoring.”

1. Who controls the music in the dressing room?

David Chubb.

2. What reality show do you most want to go on?

Little People, Big World.

3. Team’s favourite movie to watch on the bus?

The Hangover.

4. Ovechkin or Crosby?

Crosby, for sure.

5. UFC or Boxing?

Boxing.

6. Favorite comedian? Adam Sandler.

7. What did you think of Avatar?

Wild, I guess.

8. Best late-night food spot in Kingston?

Bubba’s.

9. Sport you most want to try?

Volleyball.

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