Process paying off for Bethel hockey standout Tyler Kostelecky – College Hockey |


Tyler Kostelecky is playing a big role in Bethel’s success. (Photo Credit: Bethel Athletics)

Tyler Kostelecky is trusting the process. In his first year at Bethel after transferring in from Long Island, the sophomore forward has been one of the top players in the MIAC. 

“It’s been more about the process for me and trying to stay glued to that over everything else,” Kostelecky said.

It’s safe to say going that route is paying off. He ranks second in the league in goals (11) and has dished out 10 assists.

“I’m playing pretty well and evaluating every game to see what I can do better to be able to help the team out as much as I can,” Kostelecky said.

After a stellar prep career at Maple Grove in his home state of Minnesota where he was a team captain his senior year, and after a couple of seasons of junior hockey, Kostelecky began his collegiate career out East.

But it ended up not being the right fit. And going to a school like Bethel made sense. It had a sense of familiarity to it.

“I was able to come back closer to home and I know several  of my teammates from juniors and high school, and thought the world of those guys,” Kostelecky said. “I knew it was a good culture here, too. I’m happy with the decision.”

One of the best things about being at Bethel is that the Royals aren’t forgetting to have fun. And that seems to be working as they are enjoying a turnaround season, sitting in first place in the conference with a 9-3-2 record, three points ahead of second-place Augsburg. Bethel is 15-5-3 overall, sporting five more wins than it had all of last season.

“We’re allowed to have fun and be ourselves, and have a good time playing hockey,” Kostelecky said. “We’re expected to work, too, but I think us being able to have fun is a huge part of why we are doing so well. Everyone shows up to the rink with a lot of energy.”

Kostelecky played other sports growing up, like baseball and golf. He played baseball until his freshman year and played one season of JV golf. 

But hockey was always his go-to sport. 

“Hockey is what I always resorted back to,” Kostelecky said. “I spent my summers training for hockey. It was always my No. 1 sport. I love everything about it.”

And he knew he wanted to keep playing hockey beyond high school.

“For me, I did want to keep playing. I had goals for myself to play in college and beyond,” Kostelecky said. “You can’t always control everything, but for me, it was about being able to continue to play. I love the game and I want to play for as long as I can.”

The MIAC has been a fun league to play in for him. He loves how tightly contested it is week to week, where the phrase ‘any given night’ rings true.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming in, but I love it so far,” Kostelecky said. “I love that every team is right there, that there is no real separation between the top and bottom teams. If a couple of things go different, we could be in sixth. Every weekend is important. I love that every game means something.”

Bethel is off this weekend before wrapping up the regular season against Hamline Feb. 16-17. A successful series means the Royals lock down the No. 1 spot for the conference tournament.

“It’s nice that we have a chance to win the MIAC for the regular season and hopefully get the No. 1 spot in the tournament,” Kostelecky said. “For us, it’s about sticking to our own path and knowing what we have to do. We have to stay in our lane, do what we do well and execute that.”



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