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11/27/2018, 11:15am EST
By Mike Ross

On this week’s edition of Senior Spotlight, we have Manatee goaltender Tyler Moschella.

The Manatee senior was born in South Carolina. When he hit the age of 5, he and his family packed their bags and made way for the sunshine state. “I had been on and off the ice as a kid, my grandfather would take me skating, but I didn’t truly start skating until I was eight years old which is kind of late or behind the curve, but I think it has worked out all right.” Believe it or not folks, the Admirals goalie, who has been terrorizing shooters in this league for the past four years was not always in net. “I was a defenseman, I always wanted to be a goalie, but it wasn’t that easy. My dad made sure that he got the coaches approval that I was a prolific skater before I could strap on the pads and get in the net.”

This defenseman turned goalie goes to Lakewood Ranch High School. He is a B’s and C’s student. “I am going to study my tail off to get those C’s to B’s.” The Manatee man is a fan of math and physics. After high school, this guy has ambitions of studying architectural engineering. “I have not applied to any schools yet, but I know that I want to go to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. My family is from Boston and they have a great engineering program!” After this discovery, I am officially on “Team Tyler” because UMASS is one of the most fun places to spend your college years. The locals call it “ZooMass” because the students can get a tad wild.

Tyler has been a member of the LHSHL for all four years of high school, he says the biggest change from the beginning to now is that it feels so much like a community now. “The Lightning’s involvement is tremendous.” Just a week ago, I saw our subject at our jamboree, sporting a slick, white Manatee jacket that said “Champions” on it and you already know I had to ask what that was for.

“Well, that is from my happiest moment from hockey to be honest. We won and became the State Champions last year, that was an even happier moment than winning the Lightning Cup. We beat Miami-Dade 6-1, I posted 25-26 saves with a .952 save percentage. But in all honesty, nothing was better than the game we had to get into the finals last year which was against Jesuit. The game ended 1-0. We won on a shootout, and that was my first high school shootout. Coach Wessel just told me to take it easy, and we won. It was awesome. The whole team came together and played their best in the Lightning Cup and State Tournaments.”

Cindy Eccles (Earth-Life Studios)

Ladies and gentlemen, whether you are reading this on your phone, tablet, or PC. There is a chance in the near future, you will be using one of your devices while using a Tyler Moschella made an app! “I am an Apple developer, so I use all the latest software versions they put out.  I have used XCode and had to go through the Swift training program. I enjoy thinking of ways to use technology or apps. I’ve worked with my dad and we thought it would be an awesome idea if you could be driving and out of nowhere, you get a deal to stay at a hotel for a discounted rate. Basically, the easiest way to put it is something like Groupon but for people already traveling.” But wait… there’s more “I have always wanted an app for goalies, it is far-fetched, but that goalies would wear a sensor on their chest protector and track how hard a shot came, where it came from, and track where we get hit most.” So to answer the question what does Tyler do for fun? He is doing his part in changing the game of hockey for the better and not just for himself,

but for goalies everywhere! When he is not playing with technology, he enjoys boating and fishing with his friends.

Something the net minder shared with me that most people don’t know about him is that he loves cars. “I am a huge car geek. I love sports cars and the way they are designed. I try to draw them. The same goes for buildings and my passion for wanting to go into architecture.” Something that Tyler didn’t know before this sit-down, was that EDP teammate and defenseman, Ethan Dykstra is also a car enthusiast, so who knows. Maybe the two who share a common goal of stopping the puck will transform that into a bond of cars.

If you ever see Tyler playing in a game this year, you won’t notice it until you see him up close but, on his facemask, he has “TRASH CAN” written in black.” When I was 12 years old, I was playing rec hockey not to mention, playing goalie for the first time. My rec coach singled me out at the end of the second period. We were down 8-2 and he looks at me and says we could put a trash can in net and it would stop more pucks than you. So I went home and told my dad. We decided to embrace it. We put it on my helmet and now I use it for motivation. “During this interview, our fearless leader, Tom Garavaglia chimed in because he is a big fan of this kid. “Tyler is one of the best goalies in this league. He took a derogatory term at the age of 12, he put in an immense amount of work, he took that and became a better goalie, a better hockey player, and most importantly, better person because of it.”

Folks let me make something very clear, Tyler is without a doubt better than a trash can. But you know what, he’s our trash can. He is a scholar and an absolute gentleman. I had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time with him on the road this past summer. He will go on to great things in this life and I look forward to watching it all happen.

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