Michigan Tech travels to Colorado this weekend for a first round battle with the Tigers of Colorado College. Sophomore forward Justin St. Louis has a hot hand as of late and he took time away from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us here at Michigan College Hockey (MiCHO). In the last four games, St. Louis has scored five goals, including a hat trick against No. 2 Minnesota, guiding the Huskies to a 5-4 win. During that four-game period, the team is 3-1-0.
MiCHO: How does it feel to get a hat trick against one of the top teams in the country, on their home ice?
JS: Heading into the playoffs it feels really good to help the team end the regular season on a high note. With the win at the University of Minnesota it really gives our team a big confidence boost at the right time knowing that we can win on the road. Personally, it couldn’t have come at a better time as we head into playoffs this weekend against Colorado College.
MCH: At the beginning of the year, you were hit and miss in the line-up, but in the last few series, you have made your presence know, what do you see as the main reason for the good play as of late?
JS: As of late I’m starting to feel a lot more confident which helps me to relax and just enjoy the game instead of worrying about what I can’t control. A lot of credit has to given to the players around me and the opportunities we create for one another.
MCH: What do you feel are your best attributes you bring to the team?
JS: I believe that my speed is my strongest asset I bring to the team, with that I try to create opportunities and chances for the players around me in all areas of the ice.
MCH: In the DU series, you had a heated discussion with a member of the Pioneers, can you comment on what was said and how you were able to keep your cool while he was not?
JS: With the DU series there was an altercation in which I had to put the team first over my emotions. At that point in the season when all points are vital, I wasn’t willing to put myself before the team.
MCH: What are the keys for success in the upcoming series against CC and can we plan on seeing you in the line up all weekend?
JS: This coming weekend against CC on the big ice sheet, angles are going to be very important. As a team we can’t pull ourselves out of position and allow Colorado to take advantage of our mistakes. Colorado is a transition team so we need to protect the middle of the ice and limit our mistakes. I’m going to take it game by game, work hard every shift and not think too far ahead.
MCH: What are you and the team going to miss with the current senior class leaving? What will the team gain with the incoming freshman class?
JS: With our graduating seniors we will be missing some key roles. Mike Batovanja is the heart and soul of our team, it’s hard to find a player with his leadership qualities and effort that he brings to the rink every day. Lars Helminen is one of the most skilled defensemen in our league and his presence on the back end will be missed as well. Tyler Skworchinski has taken on a large leadership role this year and his in your face style of play is going to be missed at the center position as he is also one of our top face off men.
With what I know of the incoming freshman class they are very highly touted and are going to bring a great amount of skill to our team both on offense and defense. This is going to create a healthy level of competition throughout our team.
MCH: What types of conditioning do you do in the off season?
JS: During the off-season we do a mix of weights and dynamics. Monday through Friday we have two days where we concentrate on upper body, another two where we concentrate on lower body, and one day where it is strictly quick feet and plyometric exercises. I try to make gains in my speed, strength, and size without compromising too much in one area. To do this I try to keep and even amount of time necessary for all areas along with a healthy diet. I also get on the ice at least 3 – 4 times a week, then gradually get more intense as the summer comes to an end in preparation for the coming season.