Just five months after Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated winning their first Stanley Cup, another hockey star was born. On October 21, 1991, Indy Fuel forward Matthew White was born just 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh in McMurray, Pennsylvania. The 24-year-old McMurray native is the youngest of three siblings, has spent the majority of his life on ice, and is the only hockey player in his family. White credits his mom, saying when he was a child, she would take him to the ice rink, and he has loved it ever since.
A former University of Vermont Catamount hockey player, White first signed with the Indy Fuel for their 2014-2015 East Coast Hockey League season. His contract marks the first professional signing of his ice hockey career. This year marks the second season White has been with the Fuel.
“He’s been one of those guys who the coaches can rely upon to do just about anything for the team,” says Digital Content Coordinator, Brent Hollerud. “He’s one of the Fuel's most trusted face-off men and two-way players, and as such he is often slotted into many important game situations whenever the team needs to win a draw or kill a penalty.”
With a deft and accurate left hand, White has been a challenger in many face-offs this season.
“I don’t feel nervous, I enjoy taking face-offs”, says White. “That’s kind of been my role on the team this year, to just take face-offs in different situations. I enjoy it, it’s fun, it gets you on the ice more, it gets you on the ice for big moments, and opportunities, whether it’s late in the game, and you’re trying to tie the game up, or if we’re winning the game late, and we’re trying to preserve a victory, and often times you get to take a face-off in your own end. Just focus on the draw like you would any other, and I just think it’s important that whenever you’re taking face-off throughout the game to kind of have the same routine, and treat each draw the same.”
A typical game day for White begins at 7:30 a.m., with a morning shower and breakfast. He lives with two other Indy Fuel players Cody Shari and Ben Marshall. The three of them head to the Fuel’s 10 a.m. practice.
“I hop on the ice at 10 o’clock, for a morning skate, which is anywhere from 10-15 minutes,” says White. “Just to get your body awake, to feel the puck, and get a little sweat. Once I get off the ice, before I get dressed to go back home, I take an ice bath between 5-8 minutes to flush the lactic acid out. It’s just something I’ve done since college. The last two seasons I’ve done it for games, and it just seems to work, and it makes my body feel good at least.”
For games that begin at 7:05 p.m., White leaves his home around 4:15 p.m., for the 5 p.m. team meeting. After the meeting it's game time.
This season, White has played 51 games with the Indy Fuel, tallying four goals and six assists. White hopes to eventually play in the NHL, but for now, he's thriving in the Indy Fuel Hockey Club.