By Bill Vilona, Pensacola News Journal (Photo by Bruce Graner)
Tyler Miller is a born and raised Californian, who took up hockey a lot later than most of his teammates with the Pensacola Ice Flyers.
The third-year pro quickly developed, settling into a role with this team that was evident Saturday night as the Ice Flyers treated their largest crowd of the season (4,127) to a 4-0 victory against the Mississippi Surge at the Bay Center.
Miller scored a second-period goal, his second of the season, and was part of a stellar defensive effort that helped goaltender Ross MacKinnon earn a shutout and selection as the game’s No. 1 star of the game.
“That is the key to our game,” said Miller, 26, a 6-foot, 220-pound defenseman from Placentia, Calif., who played four years of collegiate hockey at Northern Michigan. “We have to play solid defensively. If we do that, we know we have guys who score.
“I am not expected to get points. I’m expected to take the body every game and that’s what I try to do.”
He took out three bodies when a fight ensued with 2:40 left in the game. Miller received a loud ovation after scoring punches and his early exit to the locker room.