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For NTDP Goaltenders, Masks Highlight Their Personalities and History

By Becky Olsen, 04/06/22, 12:45PM EDT


Many of the program's goalies try to represent where they came from while also showcasing the red, white and blue

The mask is the pride and joy for any goalie, and the netminders for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program are no exception. Through their custom helmet designs, they get a chance to pay tribute to the NTDP while also highlighting their personalities and home states.

It takes a vision and several attempts to find the right helmet look, but once it’s done, the players are pleased with the final product.

Photo by Rena Laverty

For Under-18 goaltender Tyler Muszelik, there were a few specific items he wanted on his helmet.

“Last year, I went pretty basic with the USA logo on one side and the NTDP logo on the other side,” said Muszelik, who grew up in Long Valley, New Jersey, and idolized Marty Brodeur. “This year, I got more creative and went more historical.

“I put Jimmy Craig on there. He is pretty inspirational to all of USA Hockey. I have seen the movie ‘Miracle’ several times, so I’m a big fan. Uncle Sam is another cool part and I thought it was important for him to be on my helmet, too.”

His backplate gives a nod to his family — dad Chris, mom Sandra and his sister, Jenna — by listing each one’s initials.

“Before each game, I squirt water on my face, look at the back plate and put my helmet back on,” he said. “They mean so much to me, so it was important for me to put it on there.”

On the flip side, U18 netminder Dylan Silverstein wanted to have the USA Hockey elements really standing out. It all started with a white base helmet, and from there, the design just seemed to fall into place.

“I really wanted the USA elements in the helmet to pop out,” he said. “I wanted a cool looking eagle to stand out along with the USA Hockey logo.

“I also have my number on the chin, and you see the stars running through the helmet and there are stripes running through the top. The colors go with the jerseys.”

The Calabasas, California, native’s favorite part might be the back plate.

“The backplate is the really fun part,” Silverstein said. “I’m a big Stars Wars fan so I have Darth Vader on one side, just like last year.

“I got my other idea from one of my workout trainers here — Will Morlock — for my second design. I’m a big coffee drinker and that is something I am noted for around here that I always have my coffee. I decided to get a cup of coffee on the back with some steam coming off the top.”

Photo by Rena Laverty

Meanwhile, the trio of U17 netminders in Trey AugustineMichael Chambre and Carsen Musser, found different ways to express themselves in their goalie masks as they made the transition into the NTDP.

For Augustine, who grew up in South Lyon, Michigan, it was easy to come up with a plan for his helmet. After all, he and his dad spent plenty of time at USA Hockey Arena watching one of his favorite goaltenders.

Photo by Rena Laverty

“I loved watching Dylan St. Cyr play,” Augustine said. “He was a smaller guy, but he was so competitive. You could see just how hard he competed, and I loved that, and my dad did, too.”

Since the NTDP was such a huge part of his life growing up, Augustine worked to incorporate those aspects into his mask.

“I have a blue stripe to start my helmet off at the base,” he said. “On the bottom, I have the USA logo. It was important to me to represent. I also have the NTDP logo on both sides and then, I have a USA logo almost camouflaged into my helmet. 

“On the back plate, I have my number (34) and then, the team motto: sacrifice, unity and team. It’s what it is all about what it means to be part of the NTDP. You come together and have to sacrifice but you always have a positive attitude.”

Chambre, a Fort Myers, Florida, native, took a different approach when it came to his helmet. He did some research to come up with his design.

“I looked at all the NTDP goalies before me and studied their masks,” Chambre said. “Our artist let us choose — so for instance, I wanted Uncle Sam and he put that in. I wanted an eagle on top, and he found one that I really liked.”

There was one non-negotiable for Chambre.

“I decided to put the Florida flag on the back plate since I’m from Florida and wanted to represent my home state. There are not a lot of hockey players that come from Florida,” he said. 

Photo by Rena Laverty

Photo by Rena Laverty

Meanwhile, Musser, a Sherburn, Minnesota, native, wanted to make sure his helmet featured the State of Hockey, as well as having the NTDP 25th anniversary logo well in sight.

“On the sides of my helmet, I wanted to incorporate the 25th anniversary logo and I wanted it big so you could really see the logo,” he said.

“On my back plate, I have the state of Minnesota,” he added. “I wanted to have home on my helmet. On the top part of the state, I have trees from the northern Minnesota because that is special to me. My grandparents have a cabin up north.… Then, I have my town that I attended school below the state.”

Silverstein, who had his first taste of Team USA at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020, summed it up best when it comes to the NTDP goalies and the pride of playing for the country.

“It’s really fun and really cool to play other countries,” he said. “It’s a special feeling to wear the USA jersey and represent our country. I had my first chance at the Youth Olympics, and I cherish every moment that I wear it.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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