Figi, Falcons Red-hot As 1st Half Ends

December 4, 2018

FITCHBURG -- Like many college students, Sascha Figi will wrap up classes and finals this week and pack up to head home for a few weeks.

The Fitchburg State sophomore’s schedule also includes a couple workouts with the Falcons ice hockey team and then the trek begins.

All 3,760 or so miles of it.

When Figi leaves Fitchburg for his home in Kloten, Switzerland, he’ll do so as the hottest player in MASCAC hockey and the reigning conference player of the week. Coming off a MASCAC Rookie of the Year campaign as a freshman, Figi has shown his success in his first season wasn’t a fluke.

“We’re feeling great out there. I think the whole team has turned it around and really started playing well,” Figi said Monday. “And shots are going in for me right now, so that’s always nice.”

During Fitchburg State’s current four-game winning streak, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound center has eight goals and four assists, pushing his season point total to 21 points in 11 games.

“It’s special and fun. Guys like Sascha make it easy to play the game.” said senior winger Nick DiNicola, who has played on a line with Figi for two seasons. “We know where each other and we know our roles. He’s the goal scorer, I’m the distributor and it works out really well.

“He’s so confident and he makes it look effortless. His hockey IQ is so high, he makes it really fun and easy.”

At no point was that hockey IQ more evident than in the last Fitchburg State contest, a 3-2 victory over Worcester State on Saturday night. Figi capped off his second consecutive hat trick by scoring with a second left in the contest, throwing the puck on net from the right circle as time ticked down.

“He’s smart. He’s a heady kid; he moves the puck well and he shoots well,” Falcons head coach Dean Fuller said. “Good things are going to happen when you put shots on net.”

Figi’s 43 shots on goal lead the 6-3-2 Falcons, as do his 13 goals. In his freshman year, Figi potted 21 markers and dished out 18 assists as Fitchburg State won the MASCAC title.

But the sophomore is quick to point to his linemates -- DiNicola and Christopher Vicario this season and DiNicola and Tyler Warila last year -- as a reason he’s had success.

“They create so many opportunities that I just find a spot and they can find me. I just have to shoot,” Figi said. “They’re all over the place, so I can just find a spot to get open and shoot.”

Shooting has been Figi’s forte since coming to Fitchburg. The road to FSU included a stop with the Atlanta Capitals of the North American 3 Hockey League after playing his youth hockey in his native Switzerland.

″(Falcons assistant coach Tom Patty) knew his junior coach down in Atlanta and he said ‘You’ve got to come take a look at this kid.’ We watched some video on the kid and he was putting up huge numbers,” Fuller said. “Whenever you see a kid on a junior team putting up 20 or 30 more points than any other kid on the team, you figure he’s special.

“He’s come in and he keeps getting better and better.”

Figi noted that while he and his teammates are ready for the semester break, there’s the hope that stepping away for a few weeks won’t hinder their red-hot play.

“I’m going back to see my family and friends, get a nice break and then get ready for the second half of the season,” Figi said. “We’re going to try to keep this going.”

Follow Nick Mallard on Twitter @n_mallard.

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