PICTOU COUNTY – When Tyler Doyle was just two-years-old he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, something that he had to learn to adjust to at an early age, but has since become a part of his lifestyle.
He said growing up he started giving his own needle at four-years-old, also relying on his insulin pump to help keep his sugars in control. He said when it comes to hockey that him preparing for a game isn’t different from any of his teammates other than taking his insulin and making sure his sugars are balanced.
“I think before a game I really just need to take my insulin and other than that it’s the same as everyone else, with it just coming down to mental preparation and controlling my sugars,” said Doyle. “It’s more of a lifestyle now than anything else, just something you get used to an adapt to.”
Doyle continued, saying at times it can be tough to play well if his sugars are high. He said it takes away from his energy level, meaning he doesn’t have all the energy he could possibly have.
This year Doyle has had another health issue arise, although it’s now under control. He had three seizures, something he hadn’t experienced in his life thus far. After going to doctors he’s now taking medication, which has stopped the seizures from happening. He said they were scary, but friend and teammate Jordan McInnis was there two of the times to make sure he was alright.
“We started to become good friends beginning last year at training camp because he was the first guy that I really talked to and that’s just his personality; he’s just a friendly guy and always around,” said Doyle. “We both go to school together and take all the same classes (sciences at St. FX) and everything we do we’re basically together. We’re just best friends and he just happened to be there nearly every time and I couldn’t thank him more than I already have. It’s just unbelievable what he did for me.”
Although Doyle has had to miss a few games this season for health reasons, he said he’s always itching to get back on the ice with the Crushers and be in the rink. In his second season with the Crushers he’s not one of the top offensive forwards, but instead is looked to as a shut down player, especially blocking shots on the penalty kill.
“It (blocking shots) all started in midget with Cole Harbour when it was something my coach really stressed, just blocking shots and getting in the lanes,” he said. “We used to have practices where we just worked on blocking shots so we learned how and in my first year of midget I wasn’t going to be on power play, so I had to do something else if I wanted to play and it just escalated from there.”
He said it’s something he took pride in, wanting to do whatever it took to help the team win.
“If it meant putting my body in front of puck to make sure it doesn’t go in that’s what I wanted to do,” said Doyle it’s more of a pride thing than anything else and an urge to win.”
Although he’s had a lot go on in his life personally this season, he still expects a lot out of himself. He said he isn’t happy with his play this year compared to last and wants to improve to finish out the season
“I think last year was a little better for me than this year and so far in the games this year I just didn’t do as well as I believe I could’ve,” said Doyle. “It just wasn’t the start to the year that I wanted, but want a stronger finish and hopefully I’ll be able to help the team out more heading into playoffs.”
Goals for: 174
Goals against: 167
Vs. Amherst Ramblers
Goals for: 183
Goals against: 124
Record against Ramblers: 2-3
Game time: 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre
On twitter: @NGNewsChris