Goaltender From Colorado Making Waves In USHL

(above) Ryan Massa from the Denver suburb of Littleton is expected to be one of the top goaltenders in the USHL this season

From: Fargo Forum
by Ryan S. Clark

Quick reflexes are what most hockey coaches and scouts look for in a goalie.

Fargo Force net-minder Ryan Massa (6'0 170 lbs.) has those reflexes. His 18 wins en route to the Force’s Clark Cup Finals appearance last season is proof. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Massa hopes to play for the University of Denver or University of Michigan some day.

Patience, however, is what has allowed Massa to become the league’s premier goalie. It has also become a theme for him heading into the upcoming season.

Massa said patience will help a young Force team advance and perhaps win that elusive title. The Force will begin their six-month season tonight as they open the preseason by playing in the United States Hockey League Fall Classic in Sioux City, Iowa.

Patience could also see Massa take a step forward toward his dream of playing college hockey.

“The best advice I’ve ever received is to stay patient,” the 20-year-old Massa said. “Patience, I have learned, is the key to success. Now I just hope we can capture that championship.”

Having patience was a necessity for the Force when it came to the goaltending situation. The Force went through six goalies last year including Massa.

Massa was traded to the team in late November. He recorded a shutout in his first game and the Force’s goalie situation quickly became a non-issue.

“When Ryan came he brought consistency to the club,” said third-year center Chad Demers. “We were comfortable with Ryan back there. We weren’t as scared to make mistakes because we knew he’d be there.”

The need to be better is what inspired Massa to spend most of his summer working out at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

He was a goalie instructor during the summer for the various camps at the school. When he wasn’t teaching he spent time in the weight room.

Ryan’s father, Mark, said his son spent around six days a week at the Air Force Academy.

“I think I only saw him once on the ice this summer,” Mark Massa said. “He did more work off the ice than he did on the ice.”

If everything goes as planned, the offseason work will turn into a college scholarship for Massa.

He’s talked to quite a few schools.

Massa said if he gets a scholarship offer, he’ll be at a school after the USHL season ends. But if that doesn’t happen, he realizes there is life after hockey.

“Playing college hockey has been a dream of mine and I want it to happen,” Massa said. “But if it doesn’t, I’ll go back home, attend Colorado and get a business degree.”

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