MHJ // Why Yale?
Alex Lyon: It was a good fit. They were very good at the time and I really liked the coach, Keith Allain. I can’t say enough about him. It’s tough to pass up the combination of academics and athletics.
MHJ // Your dad, Tim, went to Yale. Any other family connections?
AL: Actually, I’m a couple of generations down. My dad, my grandpa and his dad—so I’m a fourth generation.
MHJ // Have you chosen a major?
AL: Yes—political science.
MHJ // Five presidents have come from Yale. Is getting into politics something you’d ever be interested in?
AL: No, it’s never really appealed to me. Plus, in politics, there’s the whole aspect of being an orator and showing off yourself if you actually want to become a politician. And that’s not something that has ever really interested me.
MHJ // Funny you say that, because, as a goaltender, there’s a spotlight on that position. Are you more comfortable because you have all that gear on and you’re playing a sport?
AL: Yeah, for me, I like to think of it as just a job I have to do. I don’t really enjoy too much flash or anything like that. It’s just another part of the team and I’m trying to help the best way I can.
MHJ // So are you really annoyed by interviews like this?
AL: No, no. I enjoy meeting new people and in professional sports the media gets a bad rap sometimes. But for the most part, in college sports, everyone is really nice and it’s cool to reach out and meet new people. I’m just not much of a social media or interview guy, but I do enjoy the connecting aspect of it.
1. Steak and sweet potatoes.
2. Pan-seared salmon.
3. Quinoa and chicken breast.
4. Chicken spinach salad with cranberries.
5. Chicken and penne in vodka sauce.
MHJ // You’re not big on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
AL: No, I try to stay away from social media, just because of all the horror stories you hear. For me, it keeps my life much more simple.
MHJ // Did you really grow up on an island in Lake of the Woods and take a boat to school?
AL: I lived on an island until I was 7 and I have an older sister (Sam) who was on the island until she was 12. I only went to school for one year, but it was a one-room schoolhouse. As far as the solidarity type of thing, I don’t remember too much of it to be honest. I think my parents were greatly influential on how I turned out. I think my introspectiveness and attitude came from them.
MHJ // Back to the ice. How do you maintain the flexibility necessary at the goaltending position?
AL: In the last six months I changed a lot of my routines and my eating habits. It’s made a huge difference. It’s all about persistence. I think generally, everybody knows what the right things are to do, but it’s hard to do them sometimes. The biggest thing for me has been the choice: I can either go to the gym and get a stretch in or shower off and go sit at home for three hours. I think taking the time and doing things the right way is a big piece for me.
MHJ // What have you been doing differently with your diet?
AL: Nothing crazy, just a lot less pasta and burgers. Instead of eating a piece of pizza, I have a salad. I still really enjoy eating bad foods (laugh), but I’ve really made a conscious effort to clean up my diet.
MHJ // Have to ask:. Do goalies deserve their reputation for being a little … different?
AL: (Laugh) Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve thought about that a lot. I go through phases where I say, “Goalies are just like everybody else.” But then I’ll meet one goalie and I’ll think, “Man, goalies are weird.” I like to think that goalies hold some unique characteristics over other athletes and other positions. It’s just such a unique position that your mind just doesn’t work in the same way.
MHJ // What are some of those unique characteristics?
AL: The position is so unique that it’s like being a quarterback in football. There are just not that many positions in sports where you’re on an island by yourself. You’re part of a team and you want to help the team, but it’s a notion of singleness. I think that creates a different mentality for goalies. You have to bare a little more pressure in some cases and perform a little different role on a team.
MHJ // What other interests do you have?
AL: I quite enjoy cooking. It’s kind of my secret talent. My first two years, I ate in the dining halls in our residential college. Now that I live off campus, I do all my own cooking. I got very experimental this summer.
MHJ // What kind of things were you trying?
AL: I had some bizarre experiments with seafood. I got pretty creative with salmon. I made my own pasta sauces, really healthy, from scratch.
MHJ // Being from the Walleye Capital of the World, you must have some experience there.
AL: I do. My parents came the weekend of our home opener and my dad brought me 10 walleye fillets. I haven't broken them out yet, but in the next couple of days I'll be cooking up walleye for sure.
MHJ // Chef--how do you recommend we prepare walleye?
AL: The best, in my opinion, is a simple batter and fried. But I bake it mostly now. Put it on tinfoil with a couple of lemons and let it bake.
MHJ // Any tips for young hockey players out there?
AL: There's nothing more valuable and more rewarding than being the hardest working player on your team. I think that's the best advice I could probably give to anybody.