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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Athlete of the week: Brian Slugocki

Brian Slugocki, an 18-year-old freshman Icecats forward, made a name for himself last weekend at the American Club Hockey Association Division I Showcase, scoring four goals in his third collegiate hockey game. The Scottsdale native finished the three-game showcase in Youngstown, Ohio, with five goals and three assists, helping his team to a 2-1 record. The Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Mike Schmitz caught up with Slugocki to talk about his not-so-legitimate fourth goal, his pre-game playlist and his dream girl.

Daily Wildcat: So how did it feel to score four goals in the first game of the showcase?

Brian Slugocki: It was definitely very exciting in my third college hockey game to score four goals. Honestly, the line that I was on with Jordan Schupan and Scott Willson, we just were skating all over them. In the second period we had five goals just between ourselves. I like playing with them and I think they like playing with me, so we’ll see how that goes the rest of the season. It’s just such an exciting feeling to score for a university.

DW: I heard one of the goals was kind of a cheap. Could you talk about that?

BS: There’s like 30 seconds left in the game and I turn around and I see they have an open net. I’m like, ‘There is no way I’m not getting a goal, I’m getting a goal no matter what.’ It just so happens the puck comes to my stick. I’m skating down. I get to their blue line. I shoot. I miss the net and it goes behind the net and bounces to Schupan. He takes a slap shot with two seconds left in the game, and I’m just skating by and I tip the puck in the net. I wasn’t thinking at all, and I thought the game was over.

DW: What did your teammates have to say about that?

BS: I got chirped a lot for that one. Everyone called me a goal stealer and a thief for the rest of the weekend. Zach Cherney during the final speech was like, ‘All right, it was a good weekend, especially when Slugocki tipped in an open net goal.’ It’s definitely a first for me. It was just kind of a natural reaction. Luckily I tipped it in the net and not out.

DW: Did you expect to come in as an 18-year-old freshman and make such an impact offensively so soon?

BS: No, I didn’t. I knew I needed to get the guys to believe that I have skill and I can play. I knew I had to do something. I came in during tryouts expecting I was going to be a fourth-liner not playing much. For some reason I just have been playing a lot better right now. A lot of it has to do with my line mates. We just clicked.

DW: You guys have a really young team and had some key guys injured for the first couple of games. Did you see that as an opportunity to step in and play big minutes?

BS: That was one big thing I realized. Especially against ASU when we were missing our whole first line basically — that someone was going to score a goal, and why not me. I knew I had the ability to play with these guys, I just needed to show I could. I feel like this last weekend I really did show that I have the ability to play at the college level.

DW: Have you ever scored that many goals in a game?

BS: The only time I ever scored four goals in a game was in roller hockey. It was in the championship game of men’s adult league with my brother. Other than that the most goals I scored on ice was three.

DW: Do you have any pregame meals or pregame rituals?

BS: Especially these last couple of games, I try to get the fluids going. I have a set little playlist that I listen to on the bus on the way to the rink to just get me focused. I try to imagine what I need to do. I’ll skate, shoot, pass a million times or try to imagine going hard to the net.

DW: Can you tell me a few cuts from that playlist?

BS: I’m a big techno guy. No crazy techno, just some stuff to keep me focused. I’ve got a little Avenged Sevenfold, I have Michael Jackson, 50 Cent, Black Eyed Peas, ACDC, Daft Punk, a little bit of everything.

DW: What is your favorite sports movie?

BS: Probably the “”Rocky”” series. Just because every time I watch those movies I just want to train like no other. I also love “”The Miracle”” of course.

DW: Do you have any nicknames?

BS: I have several. Most of the guys call me Slugo or Slugs. A lot of people think I look like Zac Efron so I get Zac and Efron a lot from guys on the team. Disney on Ice is actually coming this week so everyone’s like, ‘Hey Slugs, you going to go work with Disney this week?’ It’s all in good fun.

DW: What is the craziest thing you have ever seen in a hockey game that you played in?

BS: Last year I played juniors and we were playing a team we definitely didn’t like. Three shifts in a row there were three fights. Somebody fought; they blew the whistle and dropped the pucks. Somebody fought again, they dropped the puck and then they fought again. So three straight fights, that was pretty wild.

DW: If you weren’t playing hockey what other sport do you think you would be playing and why?

BS: I’d probably be playing golf because my dad builds golf courses.

DW: If you could date anyone in the world who would it be?

BS: Oh man, that’s a tough one. I’d have to go with Zooey Deschanel from “”Yes Man.”” She seems like one of the coolest girls ever.

DW: Any predictions for the rest of the season?

BS: If we play the way that coach wants us to and the way we know how to, it should be a great season. We have so many good guys on our team with so much skill that we should be a force to be reckoned with this season.

 

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