2015-16 Sher-wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week Q&A
Michael Kirkpatrick – April 4-9, 2016
ECHL: Congratulations on winning the Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week! You led all ECHL Rookies with 29 goals this season. How did you accomplish such success in your first year as a professional?
Michael Kirkpatrick: I think it has a lot to do with the coaching staff and my teammates. I had some great teammates all year and played with some great linemates, especially Greg Wolfe, I played with him for the majority of the year. It makes my job a lot easier and it makes it easier to score goals when you have great linemates.
ECHL: The Thunder earned a spot in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and returned playoff hockey to the Glens Falls region for the first time in ten years. How would you describe the feeling in the locker room heading in to the first round?
MK: There’s an exciting feeling in the locker room. The group that we have is a special group of guys in the locker room. Everyone sticks to the game plan, everyone wants to win and it’s a special time of the year for us.
ECHL: What was the most challenging part of transitioning to professional hockey?
MK: Managing your time and your body. Being a professional, you really need to take care of your body on and off the ice. It’s important to hydrate properly and eat well. There’s a lot of three-in-threes and a lot of games in a week and the importance of taking care of your body is what I learned the most.
ECHL: What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned – professional or personal – in your first season as a professional hockey player?
MK: Managing your ups and down and staying level. I was fortunate enough this year to have a great group of guys and for us, it was always about staying level throughout the year.
ECHL: Looking back on your career to this point, what has been your proudest ‘hockey moment’ so far?
MK: Getting to the playoffs with the Thunder this season. We really had to battle down the stretch to get in and that feeling we had after the last win to get us into the playoffs was huge.