CINCINNATI, OH – Guts and gumption. Two key attributes any team must possess to reach glory.
Often in sports, we direct our attention to those who have out-of-this-world stats, like putting up nearly a point every game, throwing for a record number of yards, or striking out an absurd amount of batters. We see these people as other-worldly; as all-stars.
But what about the teammates that get them to that point? How often is the catcher framing pitch after pitch recognized for attributing to his pitcher’s success? Or what about the unheralded running back who picks up the blitzing linebacker? The player that knows he is about to take serious physical punishment but does not hesitate because he knows his own pain is irrelevant so long as it allows for his quarterback to make a play that will help his team win?
In every sport, there isn’t a single all-star that made it there on their own. The ones who keep them going are those who continuously lay their bodies out on the line for the betterment of the team. They are the guys who make the goal chances possible, and the goaltender’s job easier.
Rob De Fulviis (Dee-Full-vis) is a special kind of person. He’s the type of teammate every player wants and the type of person every organization admires. On the ice, he’s the one who will put the team on the scoreboard, then turn right back around and take a puck to the teeth to block a shot. Day in and day out, he puts his whole heart out onto the ice. Off the glassy surface and out of the jersey, De Fulviis’ charismatic energy permeates throughout the room. Seldom seen without a smile on his face, he’s a true man of the people as he greets everyone as a friend, even taking the time to play with the coach’s kids who look up at him in awe.
In the legends of the greatest hockey players of all time, even the greatest athletes of all time, the stories are different, but many narratives remain the same; these sportsmen are always gritty, unselfish, team-oriented, and leave it all out on the ice every single night. De Fulviis exemplifies the qualities that make any athlete worth admiring. He’s a coachable guy that teammates enjoy having while being a person the surrounding community is blessed to call one of their own.
At the start of this season, standards were set high after having a less-than-stellar 2016-2017 campaign. Last year, the forward amassed only three points (1g-2a) in 26 ECHL games. Before the down year, De Fulviis was almost a point-per-game player in his final two years at the University of Guelph (21g-28a, 50 games). However, despite his uncharacteristic struggles, he’s come out with a vengeance this season, already notching nine points (7g-2a) in 22 games. De Fulviis has made his mark as a defensively-dominate forward along the way, going all-out to block shots that even one of the most notorious tough guys on the team, Arvin Atwal, admits to being adverse to take.
Although De Fulviis is described as many things (professional hockey player, tough guy, great teammate), he would be the first to tell you at the end of the day he is just a normal guy. However, in the world of hockey, where the average guy is one of the best people you will meet on any given day, De Fulviis stands out amongst his peers. With that in mind, the Cyclones are happy to provide you with an opportunity to get to know him a little better, in his own words:
Name: Rob De Fulviis
Favorite Thing About Cincy: Big city, but it’s small. Everyone knows each other.
First Hockey Memory: Scoring his first goal when he was about 3 or 4 years old. He tripped over the red line, “whacked the puck with no goalie in net.”
First Started Skating: Age 2. “I used to put on these two blades that went over running shoes. My dad used to make a rink in the backyard, and that’s how I learned to skate.”
Best Friend on The Team: Arvin Atwal
Favorite ECHL Rink: Cincinnati is by far the best because of the crowd. Very loud. Fort Wayne is also a strong contender.
Pre-Game Meal: First Watch; Elevated Egg Sandwich after the morning skate, Chicken Pesto Quinoa Bowl between pre-game nap and heading to the rink.
Current Netflix Show: The Last Kingdom
Walk-Up Song: “Rambo” -Bryson Tiller
Is A Hotdog A Sandwich? No.
Pineapple On A Pizza? Not a fan, but it belongs.