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Tyler Beskorowany: Memories of past mistakes are fuelling my current form with Belfast Giants

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Driven: Tyler Beskorowany makes it his quest never to make the same mistake twice. Credit: William Cherry

Driven: Tyler Beskorowany makes it his quest never to make the same mistake twice. Credit: William Cherry

Driven: Tyler Beskorowany makes it his quest never to make the same mistake twice. Credit: William Cherry

Boasting two shut-outs, a .955 save percentage and averaging just one goal against per game in the Belfast Giants’ current eight-game winning run, you’d think all would be well in Tyler Beskorowany’s mind.

But it says a lot about the high standards he sets of himself that, when asked about his recent form, he instead brings up — unprompted — some things that have gone against him instead.

“Early on this season I felt like I let in a couple bad goals, so I wanted to focus on those and eliminate those from my game,” explains the 31-year-old.

“Aside from Nottingham, where I coughed up the puck behind the net (which led to a Panthers goal), I feel I’ve done a lot better job on that and that’s why my numbers are better.”

Goaltenders tend to be their own worst critics and, in that regard, it is all the more interesting that Beskorowany even mentions that goal, given it was nothing more than a humorous footnote in a 7-2 blow-out win over the Panthers, meaning it didn’t even cost the Giants, and since then he has been on top form at the back for Adam Keefe’s side.

The Canadian agrees that the nature of the win softened the blow, but he points out the fact that, on another day, it could have been more costly.

“That one wasn’t too bad because we had the lead at that point. I take it tough and I’ve been working on that exact play ever since that game so that I don’t make that mistake again,” he reveals.

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“A goal I would like back that really jumps out to me is the first goal in Manchester where the guy was on the half-wall in the first period and he kinda threw it on net and it beat me short-side. That was the first goal of the game and it deflated our team and the bench a bit.

“We can’t be giving up goals like that in Manchester. That ended up being the game-winning goal because we got shut-out. That I take a little harder because of the timing of the goal.”

A common belief is that goalies are crazy for playing the position. After all, they are essentially a glutton for punishment by choosing to be the last line of defence between the net and small pieces of vulcanized rubber that can reach up to 100mph.

Beskorowany, however, openly admits that he takes that craziness to the next level by obsessing over being better every day. Just the fact that he practices that play along the boards that cost the goal against Nottingham — a freak bounce that he had no control over — is proof.

But that is the nature of the position, where every little mistake sticks in the mind as much as every big save is a confidence booster. Finding that happy medium between dwelling and learning is the sweet spot for an elite netminder.

“That those goals were months ago and I’m still talking about them probably tells you something!” laughs Beskorowany.

“Short-term you should let those go, but for me to use it long-term is a strength. If I can remember how I felt, and how I don’t want to feel like that again, then that pushes me farther not to make that same mistake twice.

“I use that more as fuel than something that I let bring me down and, on the other side, I think making a big save gives me a little more momentum and confidence early on.

“At the end of the day, as a goalie you have to stay level-headed and not get too high or too low. Saves, you can use them as a tool to make yourself better but, at the same time, you can’t dwell on them too long.”

If there is a method to the madness then it is the Giants who are benefitting handsomely. On that eight-game winning streak which has them five points off Elite League leaders the Sheffield Steelers and Cardiff Devils, a large part of their success is down to their goaltender.

With the Fife Flyers in town tonight for the first of a home-away double-header this weekend (7pm), Beskorowany is mindful that they don’t want to make too much of their current run, but is also aware of the obvious benefits the momentum can have.

“It kinda goes both ways where we want to keep the confidence and momentum going throughout the team but, at the same time, we can’t get too complacent in thinking that we are just going to win games by showing up,” says the Canadian, who acts as player-assistant coach.

“There are a lot of good teams in this league and any team can beat anybody. Making sure the team doesn’t get too high is probably the biggest challenge.

“But you can definitely still use it for confidence.”


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