Tyler Walsh shares late father’s love of hockey at UMaine

Posted Dec. 14, 2010, at 8:17 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 14, 2010, at 11:51 p.m.

The walk is unmistakable. Just like his father.

The feet slightly angled in a “V.”

“I get that all the time,” chuckled Tyler Walsh, son of the late Shawn Walsh, who coached the University of Maine hockey team to two national titles before dying of cancer in 2001.

There is a distinct facial resemblance between father and son.

“My dad was a good-looking guy,” joked Tyler, who is a manager with the Black Bears.

Tyler Walsh had always wanted to attend the University of Maine and he got his wish after spending two years at Michigan State University.

He grew up five minutes away from MSU and a lot of his friends attended MSU so he admitted “I wasn’t ready to leave home” after graduating from Holt High School, where he was a defenseman on the hockey team.

“I’d always thought about going to Maine and I finally had the guts to do it,” said the 20-year-old Walsh. “I called (Maine coach Tim Whitehead) in July and he helped me a lot.”

Walsh is a jack-of-all-trades for the Black Bear hockey team with videotaping responsibilities being his specialty. He will then sit with the coaches after the game as they break down the tape.

“They’ll watch the same play over and over. I’m learning a lot, which is pretty cool,” said Tyler. “I want to go into coaching. I have my heart set on it.”

He is having a great time.

“It has been awesome. I love it. School is going well. And it has been fun being a part of the team. The guys on the team have been great to me,” said Walsh, who is the oldest of Walsh’s three sons.

Travis is his 17-year-old brother and 11-year-old Sean Michael is his half-brother.

Travis is a defenseman for Muskegon in the United States Hockey League and he will attend MSU in 2012. Sean Michael and his mother, Lynne (Vickery), have relocated to the Portland area.

Tyler Walsh left Maine for Michigan with mother Tracey Mason Walsh when he was 5 after his parents got divorced. But he spent summers in Orono with his father and he would also spend every other Christmas in Veazie.

He has fond memories of his summers and he got to know Maine players who worked at the hockey camps and trained at the rink.

He would hear a lot of stories about his father.

“I always enjoyed hearing them,” he said.

Shawn Walsh was a “great dad” according to his son and he is “very proud” of his father’s accomplishments.

“He used to call me between periods sometimes and he’d call right after a game,” said Tyler. “I always loved that.”

These days, the communications major has been enjoying the fame attained by brother Travis.

Travis Walsh’s dazzling move on a shootout goal, in which he slides the puck to his skate, kicks it back to his stick and then swings it from his forehand to his backhand before directing it into the short side with one hand has been featured on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day, Pardon the Interruption and Sports Nation among a multitude of shows.

“I woke up one morning and (Travis) called me to tell me he scored this sick shootout goal. Then I saw it on ESPN’s Top 10 plays,” said Tyler, who had returned to MSU with the team for a series in October. “It has had something like 500,000 hits on YouTube. Travis has unbelievable hands. And he works out like crazy.”

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