Malibu alum earns prestigious hockey honor at Princeton

Malibu High School has a strong track record of athletic achievements in many sports, and has seen its student-athletes go on to play in college for sports ranging from baseball to water polo. But it would be difficult to find another Malibu High grad like Tyler Maugeri.

Maugeri, who graduated in 2010, is now playing for the Princeton University hockey team. The 20-year-old freshman played in 26 games this season, finishing with nine points on three goals and six assists. It was his overall game, though, that caught the attention of many around the program.

Maugeri was recently honored with the team’s “Hobey Baker Trophy,” presented annually to the freshman hockey player who has contributed most to the sport in play, sportsmanship and influence.

“I was astonished when I heard my name called. It’s an honor,” Maugeri said of the award that has been handed out each year since 1950 in recognition of the legendary Princeton hockey player, Hobey Baker. “I was so happy to have won that award. I know what Hobey Baker represents to our school and the sport of hockey. To be awarded it was pretty special.”

While it would be tempting to believe that Malibu’s sunny skies imparted Maugeri with his well-rounded disposition and provided the root for his success, in truth he has been preparing all of his life for success on the ice.

Maugeri grew up not far from Princeton in Marlton, New Jersey, playing roller hockey in the basement with his brothers “since the day I started to walk.” And since those days he has harbored the dream of playing collegiate hockey at an Ivy League school.


But there would be a detour to warmer climes before that dream became a reality. As a 15-year-old, Maugeri’s family moved to Malibu in 2007. He competed for the Los Angeles Junior Kings traveling ice hockey club for three years, including the 2010 season when as an assistant captain he scored 21 goals and had 36 assists for 57 points. He led his team in assists, points, power play goals and shorthanded goals.

His accomplishments that season resulted in Maugeri being drafted by the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League. That’s right: Fargo, North Dakota. So determined was Maugeri to earn a scholarship to play college hockey, he took a year off from school and moved north for a year to hone his skills. It turned out to be a fruitful year, with the 6-foot, 180-lb. forward scoring 12 goals and dishing out 13 assists for the Force.

Maugeri’s play caught the eye of Princeton’s coaches, and a scholarship offer followed. His dream had been realized, and not just the athletic part of it.

Last week, as he prepared for second semester final exams, Maugeri was reflective about what it meant to be able to attend a school that could offer as many opportunities as Princeton.

“Academics have always been important to me,” Maugeri said. “I wanted to use hockey to get a great education.”

He’s doing it at a place with a long tradition. Princeton hockey dates back to its first season in 1900-1901. The Tigers finished this past season 9-16-7 and 6-12-4 in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

On the ice, the team is full of youth. With only three seniors graduating and 23 lettermen returning, Princeton is hoping for a much improved 2013 campaign with Maugeri contributing in a much bigger role.

“I’m excited for my sophomore season,” Maugeri said. “The coaches expect me to be a top-line guy who brings energy and helps offensively. I’m looking forward to coming back home to Malibu, enjoying the summer and preparing for next year.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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