Despite the halt of regular season play in the AHL due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucson Roadrunners right winger Hudson Fasching still received a bit of good news. Fasching was named the team’s IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year for the 2019-20 season for his efforts off the ice.
Due to the win, Fasching is now one of the finalists for the league’s Yanick Dupre Memorial Award. The winner of the overall IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year will be named at a later date.
Fasching says a media staffer from the team notified him on April 6 of his nomination. He says the recognition “felt good.”
“They know I’m trying to do the best I can. My intentions are always trying to help the community and just trying to help everyone around as best I can. I give a lot of that credit to Tucson Roadrunners staff for setting me up to be successful and helping the community, too,” Fasching says.
Throughout his season and career with the Roadrunners, Fasching has made several appearances for the team. His highlight, though, was a visit to Diamond Children’s Medical Center in January.
At the medical center, he visited kids to joke and talk hockey—anything that could take their mind off of their illness. He says the experience also motivates him to continue off-the-ice activities to spread positivity and fun even when he cannot play.
“You kind of have a better perspective of what they’re going through, and just kind of understanding how hard it is,” he says.
“You’re just trying to find other things to distract them from the struggles they’re going through at the time, and it’s personal.”
While he is waiting on the league announcement, Fasching is hard at work trying to stay in shape. He is hoping the COVID-19 pandemic will come to enough of a halt to safely allow players back into the rink for practices and eventually games. At this point, players would normally be preparing to attempt an AHL playoff run.
The Roadrunners have a group text chat going in the meantime, he says, where players periodically give updates on their lives and exercise routines. Ice time is hard to come by, so many are not skating, but Fasching says he is doing what he can to keep up his abilities should a reprieve from the quarantine come.
“Being game ready is hard, but at the same time, you know, I can make some gains right now in terms of strength and speed that under normal circumstances would be much more challenging,” he says.