Fife Flyers pay tribute to 'model teammate' Mike Cazzola on his retirement
Fife Flyers forward Mike Cazzola has announced his retirement.
The popular skater has brought the curtain down on his career at the age of 30.
Todd Dutiaume, head coach, hailed him as “an excellent player and a model team-mate.”
Cazzola iced with Flyers from 2018-20 and became a fans’ favourite with his commitment every night.
He also combined hockey with his university studies gaining a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Masters of Science in Physiotherapy.
In a message posted on Twitter, he said: “After many thoughts and tough discussions, I have decided to retire from professional ice hockey.
“Never did I imagine I would get paid to play the game I love while also travelling the world and being able to complete a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Masters of Science in Physiotherapy.
“Hockey has given me so many opportunities, and I will forever be indebted to the game.”
Cazzola, a native of Guelph, Ontario, iced with Erie Otters, Ottawa 67s, Acadia University and Fort Wayne Komets before coming to Scotland to play for Edinburgh Capitals.
His stand out performances with the capital side led to a move to Fife in 2018.
When the sport went into lockdown, he moved to Italy to play with SG Cortina.
Hanging up his skates, Cazzola paid tribute to the sport and all he’d met through it.
“Thanks to the fans for all their support over the years from road trips to Hogmanay to derby matches - you all made the game that much more fun to play.”He also thanks his teammates “for all the memories road trips and lifelong friendships, that we all owe to the game of hockey.”
Dutiuame appreciated Cazzola's worth to the team.
He said: “We relied on him heavily in all situations, and he got stronger and stronger with every passing game. He seemed to be in all areas of the ice.
"I loved working with Mike, and the crowd got right behind his efforts for the team as well and appreciated the skill level be brought to the game.”
Cazzola’s retirement was quickly followed with netminder Adam Morrison’s move across the Tay to join rivals, Dundee Stars.