Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press profiled the family of Minnesota Duluth senior winger Jordan Fulton in Thursday’s editions. The Fultons are certainly a hockey family:
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Jean Fulton tried her best to hold off the tears. She watched her son, Tyson, Breck’s leading scorer, get on the team bus late Wednesday afternoon to make the trip to the Xcel Energy Center for the Minnesota Class A boys hockey tournament.
Tyson graduates in June, so Jean knew this would be his last state tournament appearance. Even more sentimental for Jean and her husband, Perry, is that Tyson is the last family member who will play high school hockey. Three older sons, two who played for Breck, already have moved on.
"My eyes got a little watery, but I didn’t cry," Jean said.
Jean and Perry were in better spirits Wednesday night after Breck, the defending Class A champion, disposed of New Ulm 11-1 in the quarterfinals.
Tyson, who entered the game as the state’s No. 3 scorer (84 points on 34 goals, 50 assists), contributed a goal and four assists to help Breck (27-2-0) advance to Friday’s semifinals against Warroad.
Tyson had to regain his focus after getting on the bus. Just before he boarded, his mother gave him a kiss and put a necklace around his neck.
"That almost made me cry too," Tyson said after the game. "It was a special moment for both of us."
Breck’s victory eased the sentimental factor for Tyson’s parents. During the drive to Xcel Energy Center, both were thinking about how they would handle coming to the arena for the last time to see one of their sons play in the state tournament.
Jean and Perry were in the arena last year to watch Breck win the Class A title when Tyson was a junior. They were also present in 2004 when Tyson’s older brothers, Jordan and Dustin, helped lead Breck to a state title.
Tyson, 18, is Jean and Perry’s youngest son. Their daughter, Olivia, is an eighth-grader. She prefers basketball and soccer over hockey.
"It probably won’t sink in for a couple of weeks, when there’s no hockey going on," Perry said. "We knew this time was coming, but it’s still tough."
Like his brothers, Tyson plans to play in college. Jordan is a senior at Minnesota-Duluth and Dustin graduated from Hamline last spring. An older brother, Aaron, played at Champlin Park but did not play in college.
Tyson has interest from Union College (N.Y.), Minnesota Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha, so the parents will have more opportunities to see him play. All Jean and Perry have to do is figure out a way to get through the weekend.
"We’ll rely on friends a lot," Jean said. "Hockey has been in our family for so long. Tyson has been on skates since he was 3. It’ll be much easier on us if they can win the title again."
Tyson said he’s embracing the significance of what this tournament means to his family.
"Because of my brothers, I know I have some big shoes to fill," Tyson said. "They helped me so much to get where I am today. I just want to bring home another state title so we all can celebrate again."