PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Central Illinois product Alan Fuehring has spent the last five years as the voice of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. But April of 2021 will be a month he will never forget.
Fuehring, a Morton native, realized a lifelong dream earlier this month; the Bradley University sports communications graduate filled in for the New York Islanders radio call for his first ever National Hockey League game on April 3rd.
“I’m just really thankful they called me because up until then I hadn’t had an NHL game yet,” Fuehring said. “I’ve worked my way up through the minors and I was just really, really fortunate and really excited to get that call.”
Fuehring started his professional career as the voice of the Peoria Rivermen in 2013. Flash forward eight years and his first game as an NHL broadcaster for the Islanders ends in a 3-2 shootout victory.
“There are certain things you cannot script and certain stories you can’t make up. And I got so fortunate that it was a close game,” Fuehring said. “I was going to remember the outcome no matter what, but a win made it that much better.”
Fuehring says the support from family, friends and colleagues around the country blew him away. The Islanders even gave him the game puck to honor his first NHL game.
His debut provides motivation for what he hopes is a long and successful broadcasting career.
“That’s something that I’ve always dreamed about getting to that level,” Fuehring added. “And now that I’ve got a taste of it, I’m motivated that much more. I’m going to work that much harder to get back there and stay there.”
Fuehring says his wife, Emily, framed the puck from his first game as a keepsake. Fuehring called his second career NHL game April 11, as the Islanders picked up a 3-2 overtime victory over the arch-rival New York Rangers.