Chandler’s Blessing makes USHL roster, Air Force choice
Guy Blessing honed his game growing up in the Arizona youth ranks and then last year in prep school in the Chicago area.
This summer has seen hard work pay off for the 18-year-old Chandler native as the goaltender first signed with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers and then committed to NCAA Division I Air Force.
Not a bad summer vacation.
“I was scouted by Omaha playing for Team Arizona at America’s Showcase,” Blessing said. “I was fortunate enough to get to attend their main camp this year, and it was an awesome experience. I’m just really excited to get things started next year.
“With Air Force, I’ve gone to their prospect camp in Colorado Springs the past two years, and they saw me at Lake Forest Academy and Omaha as well. It was really just the perfect fit.”
In his youth days, Blessing played for VOSHA, DYHA, CAHA, AHU and in AHSHA for Hamilton High School, spending the most time with the Jr. Sun Devils and Knights.
“My dad got me into the sport,” said Blessing. “He played as a child and my brother was already playing at the time. I actually only chose goalie because I liked the gear and I wanted to do what my brother was doing. Going to Arizona Coyotes games definitely contributed to my love for the sport. There’s really nothing more inspiring for a young player than watching some of the best in the world play live.”
Blessing said coaches that he learned from in Arizona that stand out to him include Jason Evahnenko, John Damyanovich, Todd Collins, Tait Green and Matt Lundgren. Lake Forest coaches that pushed him were Darrin Madeley, Tyler Madeley, Andrew Poska and Trevor Wilson.
“All of these coaches played a major role in my development, both as a player and as a person,” Blessing said. “My goalie coach, Jeff Tecca, played perhaps the largest role in my development as a goaltender, and I cannot say enough good things about him. I absolutely would not be where I am now without him. I strongly recommend Tecca to any goalie in the state that’s looking to improve and have some fun while doing it.”
During his time with Hamilton, Blessing said he “always had an awesome time playing with those guys, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.”
“AHSHA has definitely improved during my lifetime,” said Blessing. “It’s an awesome outlet for kids in high school to come together as a team and represent their individual programs, and I had amazing experiences playing for Hamilton and Team Arizona.”
This fall, Blessing will head to Nebraska to play for the Lancers. He’ll go to Air Force in the fall of 2021.
“I can’t speak too much on the specifics of the USHL, but it’s really up to me to do my job, both on and off the ice,” Blessing said. “You have to be a player that contributes whenever possible, from playing during a game, to helping out around the rink, to participating in community service, and everything in between. I’m definitely very excited to receive this incredible opportunity, but at the same time there is still a lot of work to be done, and I’m ready to get started.
“I can’t speak enough on the importance of education in hockey. You never know how long you’ll be able to play for, and it’s crucial to have a degree to fall back on when your playing days are coming to an end. My uncle was an Air Force pilot, and I am incredibly honored to get to serve in the same branch as him. I’m really excited to get to work in the classroom and on the ice. I’m likely going to major in Aerospace Engineering, and I’m really lucky to be going to a school with such a prestigious program in that field.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 31, 2019)