By Anthony B. Mottley, Staff Writer
Though UM-Dearborn forward Tyler Groat is not the biggest or tallest skater, he’s been one of the most effective offensive playmakers on ice the last few seasons.
Groat has scored points in bunches for the 2017-2018 UM-Dearborn men’s hockey team, averaging more than a goal per game.
Success is a familiar concept for the junior. He knew that he had a knack for scoring goals while a junior at Wyandotte High School.
“We won the state championship that year and I had a lot of success,” Groat said. “Right around high school I kind of knew I could make it to the next level.”
After four seasons in the North American Hockey League, Groat was recruited by UM-Dearborn head coach, Chris Haltinner. The rest is history in the making. Groat hit the ice at the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse and started lighting the lamp, scoring 25 goals in just 21 games.
Groat has continued his scoring rampage. He has 23 goals so far this season with 20 assists as well.
Coach Haltinner say he’s a humble star.
“He’s a very skilled player, a sniper and just an offensive juggernaut for us. He can take over a game,” Haltinner said. “He works hard, and he loves the game.”
Haltinner’s squad is ranked in the top 10 nationally and they’re in a battle to win their conference championship. With tournament play fast approaching, Haltinner says the Wolverines have work to do.
“Our goal is to get some wins and go into the tournament with confidence, they’re a lot of good teams though. We’ve got to battle.”
Groat says his most important goal is earning his degree. When asked what kind of student he is, Groat says humbly that he does OK. His coach tells a different story.
Haltinner say Groat has an “A” average. “It means a lot at this university. Juggling athletics and academics is very difficult. He does awesome. I can’t ask any more from him.”
Haltinner believes Groat can play at the next level, but Tyler is focused on graduating and becoming a federal law enforcement agent. For now, he is trying to keep his season going.
With his teammates, Groat is just one of the guys. They have nicknamed him “Billy Groat.”
He still makes time to go back to his high school alma mater and help coach hockey.
When asked about helping out at Wyandotte, Groat smiled.
“I love the game,” he said. “They asked me to be a younger voice for the boys. I help them with the power play. Anything I can do to help I am glad to do.”
Groat has a simple explanation for his success.
“If you don’t expect to have success you can’t expect anyone to expect it for you,” he said. “Set high goals for yourself. I make it my goal to be the best one on the ice every time we go out there, no matter who else is out there. If you try to be the best every time, success will come.”
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story has been updated to remove a sentence in the first paragraph that veered from the story’s intended topic.