Athlete of the Week: Nash Wedner

Ice Hockey

Post-Gazette, December 29, 2021


Fox Chapel

Recently: Wedner stopped 34 shots in a 5-3 win against Moon in the Foxes final game before the PIHL’s annual holiday break

Check this out: Wedner, a senior goaltender for Fox Chapel, is one of the key reasons why the team is one of only three undefeated teams in the PIHL’s top three classifications. He is 11-0-0 with a 1.59 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage and two shutouts for the top defense in the entire league regardless of classification.

What’s it been like going through this turnaround of missing the playoffs last year to being undefeated? It’s crazy, but honestly, since the summer, I expected it. Our team, we’re a family and there is just so much love with us. All of us are always together, on the ice or off the ice. We’re all really close friends so, to have that bonding, makes it even better on the ice.

What about you as a goaltender? Where have you seen your improvement? I also play travel hockey, so I’m always on the ice every day and try to improve every single day. I have better stats now than I have in past years, but I’ve been trying to put in a lot of work.

What is it like standing there and watching a piece of frozen rubber come at you at 80 mph? It’s weird because I don’t look at it like that anymore. When I started, I always tell people that I was a little scared if a bigger guy was shooting the puck. But now, all I think about is, ‘Oh, here comes another puck and you have to stop it,’ so It’s a little different.

And yet, you wanted to be a goalie? I started playing hockey when I was 4-years-old for the Young Foxes and they also have an off-ice rink. I remember I would be so jealous of the goalies. I don’t know why. I just thought it was cool all of the spotlight that they got. Then, every single day, I would go to the ‘knee-hockey’ room and have my dad shoot on me for an hour before school. By the time I was 6, he just looked at me and said, ‘Yeah. You’re a goalie.’

At 4, you had your dad shoot on you for an hour a day? My mom would always get up at 5:30 a.m. for work, so I would wake up with her, then wake up my dad to have him shoot on me. Or her shoot on me.

Wait. You had your mom shooting pucks on you, too? Actually for a whole year. I remember I had her shooting on me in the hockey room.

Any quirky goalie-type things? When I’m on the ice, I have to touch both posts with my stick and then I do a little twirl with my stick. I spin it as I put it back down to my glove and I have to do that before every period.

— By Keith Barnes