You had a pretty successful rookie season, between your time here and with the Stingrays. What kind of goals did you come into this year with?
I look at our roster, and we have so much ability at every position. I wanted to win a championship. I just look at the team we have…I didn’t necessarily set any personal goals, because I look at the team and say, yeah I might take on a different role this year. I might not be needed on the first power-play unit, as you can see out here. I just wanted to make sure I came in and played a little bit more consistently; I wanted to make sure I played steady at both ends of the ice every night. I think that’s what’s going to help me make it up to the next level. If I can chip in on offense whenever possible, I want to do that. But, I just wanted to make sure I brought the same energy and the same game every night.
It seems as if every line on Hershey has had success this season. Who have you enjoyed playing alongside of through the first quarter of the year?
With guys coming up lately, we’ve been mixing up the lines a little bit. I’ve played with just about everybody on the team, I think. Guys like Quintin Laing I played with today, and Willie (Kyle Wilson) and (Andrew) Joudrey and (Chris) Bourque are guys I’ve played with predominantly throughout the year. They’re all hard workers, getting the puck in the corner, mucking it up and having the ability to make plays once they get possession. Those are the four guys I’ve really enjoyed playing with so far.
Do you ever remember playing on a team with this much offense before?
When I played midget hockey at home, we dominated the league. It was sort of similar to this. We’d come into the rink every night knowing that, nine out of ten chances, we’re going to win this game. If we’re going to lose this game we’re going to have to really backfire on ourselves. Since then it has been a steady, hard-working team kind of thing. It’s nice to have a group of guys like this with so much ability that can bring it every night. As you can see we don’t have much of a problem scoring goals, so it’s nice not to worry about going out there every night and having to put up points. I go out there, play my game and play strong defensively. That’s how I can contribute.
I read that you shattered a pane of glass during practice yesterday in Albany. Have you ever done that before, possibly in a game?
(Laughing) No, that was my first one. It wasn’t that hard of a shot, I think I just hit it in the right spot. But the boys are giving me grief about shooting pucks in the neutral zone instead of firing them on net in the game. If I can break a pane of glass with a wrist shot I should fire it on net a little bit more.
What do you miss about Charleston?
The weather. It was just so nice, you never have to worry about wearing a jacket. It was a lot of fun being down there. We went and played golf quite a bit, especially in the playoffs. We were on the beach and stuff like that every day, and the weather was spectacular. I definitely miss that, and Coach Bednar. I love that guy.
You and Willy (Stingrays Equipment Manager John Williams) have been trading verbal jabs on Facebook recently. Anything you’d like to say to him here?
(Laughing) Haha! Other than the fact that the [University of South Carolina] Gamecocks are brutal, yet again, and that he’s brutal and a terrible skate sharpener. That’s about it.
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