with Marc-Andre Cliche
1. Congratulations on your gold medal. Talk about your experience in Sweden with Team Canada.
It was an unreal experience over there. Personally for me, it was the first time ever to Europe, and the team spirit there was unreal. The international level of skill there, the big ice surface, it was a really great experience for me.
2. How much does the medal weigh?
I don’t know (laughing). Pride-wise, it weighs a lot. Actually, maybe about five pounds.
3. Still light enough to wear though, right?
Oh yeah. I wore it for two days straight, for sure.
4. Talk about when you first started to play hockey in Rouyn-Noranda.
It was really weird for me at the beginning, when I first started skating I was just like everybody else. When I went back to my hometown with my medal, they had a special thing for me with the minor hockey there. It was nice of them to do that.
5. Was there anything else to do in Noranda? If you hadn’t played hockey, what would you have done?
Probably missed school during winter like all the bad kids, or just play baseball during the summer and that’s it.
6. So if you weren’t a hockey player now, what would you be doing?
Probably playing baseball. I played until I was 12, and I left it so I could work out (for hockey) through the summer.
7. When was the first time you had to be away from home to play hockey?
I left my house when I was 15 to play Triple-A in Amos. It was the first time for me leaving home, so I think I liked it. I think every kid likes the experience because you start to do things on your own, you don’t really have rules anymore.
8. Were you nervous getting drafted by a team in the United States?
I knew coming here that people would speak only English, and the only two words I knew were ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’ so I was pretty nervous about that.
9. You seemed to adjust really quickly to being here, and to the language. Why?
The big factor was that my billet family helped me out a lot. I was living with Brandon Verge, too, and he spoke French and English, and he gave me a lot of good tips.
10. What’s been the best part of this season for you.
Team-side, we’re first in the league, and it couldn’t be better than that.
11. What are your short-term goals for yourself, and for the team?
The big goal is to finish first in the division, first in the league if we can. After that, it’s the Memorial Cup, of course.
12. Where is Marc-Andre Cliche going to be in five years?
Geesh, I don’t know, that’s a hard question. Hopefully in the NHL, but who knows.