It has been a while since I posted an interview, but with the Michigan Tech Huskies going to Alaska two weeks ago, the time that all the student athletes have had has been little. I figured it is more important for them to concentrate on Hockey and School, rather than taking that time to answer questions for me. After the two game series with UAA, I found time to ask one of my favorite Husky some questions, Chris Conner (CC). I think he has been playing some of his best hockey as of late, in Alaska as well as last Friday night against UM. The goals have not come as easy for Conner this year as last, but it is not because of lack of effort, he seems to put that all out on the table each and every night.
(MCH): What are some of the things that you work on after each series?
(CC): There's nothing particular after each series, but throughout the year I have worked on shooting the puck more. I always catch myself trying to get in close to the goalie.
(MCH): We get Minnesota this week (3/4/05-3/5/05), a must weekend for us, if we want to get out of the cellar in WCHA, what are the things that the team has focused on this week?
(CC): We need to come prepared to play 120 minutes of hockey, taking it one period at a time. We have the confidence we just need to come ready to do the job.
(MCH): You and your line mates produce quality scoring chances on a consistent basis, What makes this line so successful, What are the qualities that everyone brings to the table?
(CC): We have confidence in each other and that makes things a lot easier on the ice. Murph (Colin Murphy) is Murph and he's and unbelievable player. Dezzy (Taggart Desmet) has a great vision and smarts for the game and is able to get anyone the puck.
(MCH): When ever you step out on the ice, you have a shadow from the other team, yet your scoring chances are there, but the points are just not coming, what if anything has been the difference from this year to last?
(CC): The difference is last year I could finish on some of my chances and this year I am having trouble finding the back of the net. Not sure what it is but I know if I knew, I would change it. Haha!
(MCH): In the winning series at UMD, saturday night, we were up by one, and coach Jamie Russell decided to go with Mike Botavanja in the line-up instead of you. From that time on, you have dramatically improved your play on the defensive end, what were coach Russell concerns on that UMD series?
(CC): I wasn't making smart decisions with the puck and I was causing offensive chances for the other team. I needed to change in order to play in those situations and become a better all around player. I still have a long way to go, but I am working on it.
(MCH): With the year coming to an end, and a away playoff game coming next weekend, what do you feel would be a realistic finish for the team this year?
(CC): Final five, when we play our game we can beat anyone in the WCHA.
(MCH): With you senior year coming next year, What type of Hockey training will you be doing this summer?
(CC): Same as every summer, working hard and improving my strength. I also want to work on my shot a lot this summer I feel it is a big improvement I can make in my game.
(MCH): Any aspirations for you to take over Murphy's Captain position next year?
(CC): No not at all. I feel that Brandon Schwartz will make the best candidate for captain next season. He is the hardest working player on the team and I feel that everyone on the team respects him on and off the ice.
I would like to thank all the Huskies that have taken the time to answer my questions through out the year. I wish Conner and the rest of the team the best of luck this upcoming playoff weekend.