Besko hangs up his skates

It was the news that every Stena Line Belfast Giants fan was hoping not be hear when it was confirmed by the organisation that netminder Tyler Beskorowany will not be returning next season.

And thus the reality that next season the Giants will be without Besko has come to pass. But fans can take some solace in the fact that Beskorowany will not be picked up by the likes of Sheffield or Nottingham or worse style the Cardiff Devils as the popular goalie has confirmed that he will be retiring from professional ice hockey to take up other opportunities.

In just two seasons wearing teal of Belfast, Beskorowany indelibly stamped his name in the Giants’ history books. A hard-working goalie with astonishing talent and an infectiously positive attitude, ‘Besko’ quickly became a fan favourite and the lynchpin of two title winning Giants sides in 2018/19 and 2021/22.

During his time in Belfast, the Ontario, Canada native hoisted two EIHL League titles and two Challenge Cups in front of his beloved Teal Army, racking up a host of personal accolades in the process.

Tyler Beskorowany celebrates winning the Challenge Cup last season. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye

Before arriving in Belfast, the former second round Dallas Stars NHL draft pick was named Goaltender of the Year in the highly competitive German DEL, icing 42 times for Dusseldorfer EG in 2014-15. He also made 65 appearances in the AHL and 90 appearances in the ECHL.

After arriving in Northern Ireland from the Edinburgh Capitals as a relatively unknown quantity in 2018, Beskorowany went on to be named EIHL Netminder of the year, EIHL Player of the Year and the Continental Cup’s Best Goaltender along with selection to the EIHL’s First All-Star team.

Returning to Belfast after the Covid-19 shutdown and a season spent in Slovakia, Beskorowany was not content to just pick up where he left off, but to continue to do more.

Another selection to the EIHL’s First All-Star team and an EIHL Goaltender of the Year award followed his nods for the most shutouts, most wins and best goals-against average (an incredible 1.71) before being named Most Valuable Player at the Giants’ end of season awards.

Before arriving in Belfast Besko had been named Goaltender of the Year in the highly competitive German DEL, icing 42 times for Dusseldorfer EG in 2014-15. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye

Whilst he will be remembered for a mammoth highlight reel of physics-defying saves in crucial moments, Beskorowany’s legacy also extends beyond the ice. The 6 foot 4 Canadian’s warm, upbeat personality endeared him to thousands of Giants fans.

Commenting on the news, Tyler Beskorowany said: “It’s true what they say, all good things must come to an end. I am forever grateful to have been able to spend my last season making history with such amazing people both on and off the ice, rekindling old friendships and flourishing new ones that will last a lifetime.

“It was a difficult decision for my family and I, but ultimately the best one for us at this time. Belfast will always be our second home. I have nothing but gratitude for Steve and Adam who took a risk with me me. I guess good things happen when you come out of nowhere and win against the Giants. (Go Caps!)

“All kidding aside, a massive thank you to all our special friends within the Giants organisation, who made us feel right at home and especially the incredible fans we got to know and love. Your chants, the bringing of ‘Beskomania’, and all of the messages and memories will forever live in my heart. It’ll always be Belfast or nowhere!”

Tyler Beskorowany in action last season. Picture by William Cherry

Adam Keefe, head coach, Belfast Giants said: “Tyler Beskorowany was a Giant for this team in more ways than one. On the ice, he was an absolute warrior, achieving what at times felt unachievable. Off the ice, he always made time for the fans and made time to be part of this community. In a short amount of time, he made a huge impact and ‘Besko’ is a name will not be forgotten, by this team, or this fanbase anytime soon.

“We’d like to thank Tyler, for two incredible seasons in Belfast. Whilst we are disappointed to see him go, this is the start of an exciting new chapter for Tyler, Sarah and their son Austen, and we wish them every happiness as embark on their new life back home.”

Read More

Read More
Tenacious Ben Lake returns to Belfast for third season
Tyler Beskorowany before an Elite Ice Hockey League Playoff game against the Coventry Blaze at the SSE Arena, Belfast,last season. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye