|Evan Fear with Green Bay (photo by Green Bay Gamblers)|
A month ago started a flurry of new Quinnipiac commits with six committing in the last thirty plus days alone. The first of those players was goaltender Evan Fear of the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. Fear is a native of Winnetka, Illinois which is north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. He has an extensive junior history playing in both the NAHL & USHL over the past two plus seasons. Fear was gracious enough to give us some time for a Q&A to discuss his hockey upbringing, his current developmental path and about his overall recruitment over the past year. Thanks again for Evan and welcome to Bobcat Nation.
@QHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are you emotions like after making this decision to commit to Quinnipiac?
Evan Fear: Thank you! I’m extremely excited about committing to Quinnipiac University. Being a college athlete has always been a dream of mine and Quinnipiac has an amazing program and tradition that I hope to add to.
@QHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting experience? When did you first have contact with Quinnipiac?
Evan Fear: I first spoke to Quinnipiac this past summer. They had watched me when I was in Springfield last season and were reaching out, expressing their potential interest. I took an official visit late in the summer before leaving for Green Bay. I had a great experience and stayed in touch with the staff. Head coach Rand Pecknold came to one of our preseason games and after that I then spoke with associate coach Joe Dumais after our games at the USHL showcase in Pittsburgh which kicked off the start of our regular season. It was after that I received my offer from them.
@QHockeyBlog: Were there a lot of other NCAA schools showing interest in you prior to you committing to Quinnipiac?
Evan Fear: I had conversations with a couple other schools leading into the season. Every school attends the showcase and I had a very good game so I spoke with a lot more teams that following week before I made my decision. For me Quinnipiac was always a front runner and I had an established relationship with the staff already, whereas I was only beginning the process with other schools.
@QHockeyBlog: You came through some pretty good programs in youth hockey in the Chicago area with the Chicago Young Americans, Team Illinois and the Chicago Mission. How did these programs shape you to this point where you are now heading to a division one program?
Evan Fear: I was fortunate to grow up in an area with such good hockey programs and to have had the opportunity to play with and against some really elite players. For me as a goaltender, I had great coaching at all three programs which really helped shaped my game to where it is today.
@QHockeyBlog: After playing with the Mission you moved to the Springfield Jr. Blues in the Tier II North American Hockey League (NAHL) at the age of 17 along with playing with Dubuque in the United States Hockey League (USHL). What was that experience like and the jump to both Tier I and II hockey from the midget level?
Evan Fear: The year prior I decided to move up to U-18 hockey even though I was still eligible for U-16. I think moving up and playing with an older and stronger age group helped prepare me for the move to Springfield. Additionally starting in the NAHL was really beneficial. That league has produced a lot of good goalies because they give the opportunity to young goalies. The biggest change I had to make in my game really was just adapting to the schedule and the higher workload. I always split time at the AAA level so this was the first time I experienced more game time and had more responsibility for the teams success. Around Thanksgiving of last year, I accepted a trade to Dubuque. The jump to the USHL was a hard one. There is a reason it’s considered the best junior league in the country for college development. I had some very good games but I came into a backup role and I struggled at times with that. I was extremely happy with my time there and that was one of the closest teams I’ve ever been apart of. Our goal-tending coach at Dubuque, Matt Millar has made a lasting impact on my game and does a really good job there.
@QHockeyBlog: What went into the decision to play last season with Springfield again as opposed to remaining with Dubuque?
Evan Fear: The coaching staff that recruited me to Dubuque had moved to the college level and my goal-tending partner from the past season was returning. In preseason I lost a goalie battle for the second spot and was cut from the roster. Originally Dubuque kept me on the affiliate list so I couldn’t attempt to go to other teams in the USHL. I returned to Springfield as the coaching staff there knew me from my time with the team. It ended up being exactly what I needed. I grew as a player and had a starting role for the majority of the season as well as getting playoff experience. When I had decided to go to Dubuque I was really eager to work with Coach Millar and believed that there may not be an opportunity like this one at the Tier I level in the future but I think I lacked the starting experience I needed to thrive at the USHL level, which I gained back in Springfield.
@QHockeyBlog: This past off-season you were drafted by Green Bay and are the starter there. How has your time been going there in terms of your development?
Evan Fear: I think I needed to prove that I could play at the Tier I level to be ready for college and I want to continue proving that in Green Bay. I’ve really enjoyed my time and have laid down good ground work that I’d like to improve on. Ryan Honick worked with Springfield on a limited basis as the goal-tending coach and he works more intensively with Green Bay so that area has been great. I’ve been really fortunate to have great goal-tending coaching throughout my career, in Chicago, Coach Naumenko and Coach Rutledge really helped me while I was at the Young Americans. And Tim Anderson was my goal-tending coach with the Mission and he’s helped me throughout the summers and is someone I’ve stayed close with.
@QHockeyBlog: What would you say your strengths are as a goaltender?
Evan Fear: I play a really simple game. I believe I’m a good athlete and my off-season has helped me get stronger and faster but my game is centered around calm and positioning. So much of modern goal-tending is playing the percentage and taking up room. I believe I’m more loose than that blocking stereotype but I think it’s the direction the game has and will continue to head. I have put an importance on my feet and I like my speed. With my junior experience I think I read the game really well and have good game management.
@QHockeyBlog: Your set to enroll in the 2019-2020 season with Quinnipiac. What are some of the areas in your game that you want to improve upon before you take the next step to the division one level?
Evan Fear: I need to be stronger and more explosive for the college game. My footwork needs to improve, especially laterally. I think time at the college level will adjust me to the shots and patterns of play.
@QHockeyBlog: To this point in your life who has been your biggest influence or role model to help you get this opportunity to play division 1 hockey?
Evan Fear: All four goal-tending coaches that I referenced have helped me immensely. Aside from that, my brother plays college hockey for the University of Denver. He’s given me a lot of guidance and advice throughout my life.
@QHockeyBlog: Tell us what type of person the Quinnipiac community will get on and off the ice?
Evan Fear: I’m an extremely hard worker and passionate about hockey. I always give my best effort and love the game. I’m a very good student and a good person.
@QHockeyBlog: What does Evan Fear like to do when he is not on the ice playing hockey?
Evan Fear: I love Premier League soccer. I am a big alternative music and electronic dance music fan. I also love movies especially with the amount of down time in junior hockey. I also love Game of Thrones as I am currently reading the books.
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