Macon Mayhem player skates toward goal

Mayhem player skates toward goal

On Tuesday, Macon Mayhem forward Daniel Gentzler got called up to the ECHL, the second time this season, and the fifth time of his career. 

"If you aren't trying to move up what are you really playing for," Daniel Gentzler said. 

Gentzler joined Macon's Single A minor league hockey team when it was established in 2015.

"So you are just trying to get better every day working toward that next level, ECHL AHL, NHL," Gentzler said.  

The dream to play professional hockey started on the streets of Southern California not on the ice.

"I started playing roller hockey when he was 5 or 6 and then you know moved to ice. Things kind of got serious you know pretty quick," Gentzler said.

Talent and love for the game fueled his commitment, and now at 27, that passion never shifted even if his location did. 

"I can't say I ever pictured myself playing hockey in Macon growing up, I never heard of Macon until I committed playing here, but I love it here," Gentzler said. 

In the short time he's played here, he's achieved successes -- a league championship and 5 stints moving up to Double A hockey.

"It's good experience every time, it's fun to play at that level, everything is a little faster a little crisper, but it's great experience," Gentzler said. 

 It helps prepare Gentzler and his teammates for whatever comes their way. 

We have a standard practice every morning, on the ice for an hour or hour and a half, we do spin class once a week, yoga every Tuesday," Gentzler said. 

Add that to a grueling road schedule where they bus to places like Peoria Illinois, and a salary where they average just more than 300 dollars a week.

But Gentzler calls the countless hours of skating, sweating and shooting worth it. 

"Its wild to think I am still playing, I never thought it would take me this far," Gentzler said. "The road has been up and down, but I've met so many great people and made so many great friends. I wouldn't change it for anything," Gentzler said. 

He's won games, posed with trophies, moved up the ranks and he's already scored the biggest goal of his career.     

 

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