Roseau’s Jason Fabian enters pro hockey after not skating for over a year – The Rink Live
It was a normal Saturday night for Jason Fabian.
The 32-year-old contract worker for Applied Research Associates was relaxing at his home in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after another day running around his two children, both under the age of 2.
His phone rang around 8 p.m.
It was Pensacola Ice Flyers coach Rod Aldoff who also coached the team when Fabian replaced a few odd games after his college career at the Air Force Academy ended in 2014.
Aldoff told Fabian that the Ice Flyers roster has been decimated by injuries and COVID-19 protocol. He wanted Fabian, who hadn’t played a professional hockey game in four years, to get dressed the next day at 5 p.m.
“The last time I played was in 2018,” Fabian said. “The only reason I knew was because I watched. I used to play in a men’s league but I don’t play anymore. My wife just had a baby and I’m busy with toddlers and infants. I hadn’t ‘I didn’t skate a year before the warm-ups. That’s no exaggeration. I hadn’t skated for a whole year.’
But on Dec. 26, the Roseau High graduate made the hour-long drive to Pensacola, donned a No. 21 jersey, and played in a Southern Professional Hockey League game.
“I showed up for warm-ups,” Fabian said, “I skated for about 15 minutes, did a few passes and shots, then went straight into the game.”
Fabian thought he would play limited minutes. But Pensacola only had 13 skaters, so there weren’t many options. He played about 10 shifts in the first period alone.
Pensacola won the game 3-1. Fabian only found himself on the scoresheet once – serving a penalty from too many men.
“When there were too many, the coach looked to send someone to serve him,” Fabian said. “I got up and said, ‘I’m going.’ Letting me sit for a few minutes was great.”
Four days later, Fabian returned to play for Pensacola.
“Everyone was asking me how I felt,” Fabian said. “(Thursday) was the first day I had no pain. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday… I was in pain.”
In his second game, Fabian scored the winning goal.
The Ice Flyers got a power play with 8:50 left in the third period. Kyle Wendorf, who usually plays in net on the power play, was in the penalty area and was serving a five-minute major for fighting.
Fabian, 6-foot-4, took his place and tipped a puck into the net. It was his first goal for the Ice Flyers since the 2014-15 season.
Fabian, who scored the game-winning goal and was named the first star in his Ice Flyers debut seven years earlier, scored the game-winning goal and was named the third star in his final game.
“You don’t need to write about anything in between,” Fabian said.
Fabian does not know if he will play for the Ice Flyers again. They asked him to go on the team’s road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee from December 31 to January 31. 1, but with two young children, it was not feasible. Pensacola got swept away.
The Ice Flyers have four home games scheduled for January.
“I don’t know if they recover the guys after an injury or not,” Fabian said. “They told me to keep my phone on.”