Jan. 19, 2012
Day And Knights: Blog #3
Senior forward Bill Day will take Army hockey fans inside the Black Knights throughout the 2011-12 season with his blog Day And Knights. Day has played both forward and defense during his tenure with the hockey program and will offer frequent updates throughout the season.
This week marks Air Force week. It’s one of those games that if you ask someone in August, they can tell you exactly when we are playing them. No matter what the records of the two teams are, you know that it is going to be an absolute battle and both teams are going to be working like dogs to get that win.
If you ask anyone on the team what is on their mind, they will tell you it is Air Force. I can tell you right now that the only thing on my mind is Air Force. There is nothing better than stepping on that ice at Tate Rink for a nationally televised game in front of a packed barn and saluting the crowd after a win. I know that every player who has ever put on that Army hockey jersey wants to be out there again for another chance to beat Air Force and we will be looking to do that for them this weekend.
Now for this blog I wanted to change it up a little bit. After speaking with former Army hockey captain Eric Sefchik (’10), he suggested that I go a little outside of the box and get a little creative with the blog. Here is a recent transcript of an interview that I had with senior defenseman Pat Ryan, #20.
After much research, it has been discovered that you are the third oldest Division I college hockey player in the country and oldest in the Atlantic Hockey Association. How does that make you feel?
"How does it make me feel? It’s simple: proud, excited, important, famous, revered, one-of-a-kind. Now, you make ask “why?” And I’ll tell you. In hockey, you can always train to get faster, stronger, and quicker in the weight room, while improving on the hands, shooting, and/or skating on the ice. However, there is one thing you can’t teach/train for/ or learn, and that’s age. Last time I checked, everyone ages at the same rate (unless your John Clark and you’ve yet to hit puberty) and in the category of age, I’m winning. The real question rather should be, “How does it make other players on the team feel?”…and again I will answer you simply: honored (to have the privilege to play with me), inspired, inferior, and most importantly – envious.”
You have been referred to as the spiritual leader of the “Team Gold”. How would you respond to that?
“Well, let me start off this answer by explaining to our fans just what “team gold” even means. During the practice week (usually Monday – Thursday), the team is split into two colored jerseys: Black and Gold. Black is usually reserved for those highly skilled yet little heart-syndrome players who find themselves on the first and second line, while Gold is filled out with the true work horses of the team … the grinders of the third and fourth line beauties. Needless to say, Gold is better.
"To be honest, Team Gold isn’t just the third, fourth and fifth lines, it’s a way of life. Science claims that humans have up to 10,000 thoughts a day … for me, 9,999 of those thoughts are of Team Gold. From the moment I wake up to the minute I fall asleep, everything I do, I do for Gold. Now, obviously the Army Hockey Family has been the most important aspect of my time here at the Academy. But at the end of the day, before I tuck myself into bed, I say a prayer for my family, friends, and last (but certainly not least) … Team Gold.
"So, getting back to your question. How do I respond to being referred to as the spiritual leader of team gold? A dream come true”.
We have received many comments on your style and your ability to wear a suit. Where did you learn to dress like that?
“At West Point, it is commonly said that you can learn how to lead by witnessing and experiencing poor leadership, just as much from good leadership. Over the past few years on the team, I have learned that fashion is no different. I’ve built my wardrobe from the ground up, realizing what works and (more importantly) what doesn’t work through the outfits of Army players past and present. It’s sad to say, but most of the guys have showed me what not to wear. I was hoping new assistant coach, Mike Warde, asked for a new outfit for Christmas, but I guess he’s on Santa’s naughty list. Then again, some of the guys like Kyle Maggard and Matt Walsh have made valiant strides to challenge my selection. Nevertheless, it is their efforts that keep me pushing myself every day, not accepting status quo or being content until perfection is reached…..work ethic, work ethic.”
In an unofficial poll given to the goalies, they have identified you as having the hardest slap shot on the team, even harder than Marcel Alvarez and Kyle Maggard. We know that your brother Will Ryan (Army Hockey class of 2009) was known for his feared wrist shot and Will Ryan’s wrist shot academy, but where did you learn that slap shot?
“You know what, I’m glad you brought this topic up for discussion. The truth is, however, I don’t know where or when I learned how to shoot a slap shot. What I do know is though, I have made it my mission to shoot every shot I take in practice as a slapshot (no matter where I am on the ice). More importantly, I make sure the puck is aimed no lower than neck high on the goalies. I may not have the hardest shot, but I can guarantee you that I have the most feared shot by the goalies. There is truly nothing better than skating down on a goalie all alone, first warm up drill in a morning practice, and ripping a slap shot right off the goalies face mask (preferably Ryan Leets’s mask). It really starts my day off on the right foot.”
Every week it seems that you are always one of the last players left in the orange-lemon shootout game (Orange-lemon is when the winner of the shootout gets the orange socks and an orange and the last player not to score gets a lemon and has to wear the yellow helmet in practice all week). When are you going to learn a new move and start putting yourself in consideration for the orange?
“Honestly, I don’t like the tone of this question. Besides saying that, I can only go by the facts on this one. In the first orange-lemon shootout of last year, who won the orange? Oh yeah, I did. You’re welcome”.
I hope that you guys enjoyed this blog. Hope to see you all out at Tate Rink this weekend as we take on Air Force. Go Army Beat Air Force
Get Big Low,
Billy Day #23