ECHL Blog #6: November 18, 2015


Over the last two weeks, our team has had some ups and downs. We went from a five game winning streak to a three game losing streak and then winning our last contest Sunday afternoon against Greenville. We took a trip out west to play against the Idaho Steelheads for three games. The boys played solid in all three games and were able to come back to Atlanta with three wins. We arrived back in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon then played against Florida at home on Tuesday. It was a tough loss for our team, especially since we had been playing good hockey. I think the most important thing for our group to learn from that game was how to play when the group is tired. When you don’t have as much energy, it’s even more important to play together, play smart and rely on good habits. We lost our next two games and then won on Sunday, posting almost fifty shots. It was great to see our group come together and avoid losing four straight games.

For this week’s post, Gladiators’ radio broadcaster, Chris Treft provided Derek Nesbitt, Ian Barteaux and myself, with a random questionnaire to answer during our bus trip back from Greenville.

CT: What is your most embarrassing hockey moment?

DN: At 31 years old in my 9th year of pro, stepping onto the ice in Oklahoma City with my skate guards on. How I didn’t injure myself I don’t know. Come on Derek, coffee is free, be a pro!
IB: Also stepping on the ice one game for pre-game warm up with my skate guards on!
TM: During my first ECHL game, a shot from in the corner went off of my knee and into our own net. I guess you could say that was my first ECHL goal.

CT: If you could choose three guys that you don’t know to hang out in your Man Cave, who would it be?

DN: Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, Ric Flair, WOOOOOO!!
IB: Justin Bieber, Phil Heath, Louis C.K.
TM: Eddie Vedder, Jim Gaffigan, Jimmy Kimmel

“WOOOOO!!!” –Ric Flair

Last season we actually played in South Carolina against the Stingrays for Ric Flair Night. It was a bad night to lose, 6-0. I swear I was hearing “WOOOOO!” in my dreams (or nightmares) for a month.

CT: Any hidden talents outside of hockey?

DN: My wife claims that I have a pretty good singing voice, but that stays within the walls of my home and car.
IB: I can juggle for money.
TM: Bubble hockey. Well, that’s kind of still hockey. Dancing; I bring the heat.

CT: If you were stranded on an island, what personal item are you bringing?

DN: My iPad (wife rolls her eyes)
IB: King Sized Tempur-Pedic bed
TM: My Vitamix blender…they have power outlets on desert islands, right?

CT: Since you all were big wrestling fans as kids, and Nezzy still is now, favorite wrestler all time?

DN: Steve Austin. And that’s the bottom line, cuz Stone Cold said so!
IB: Toss up between the Rock and Stone Cold
TM: Macho Man Randy Savage. Ooohhh yeeeaaah!

CT: What is your favorite ECHL arena to visit on the road?
DN: My favorite ECHL road arena would probably be Greenville. Being a close trip and a close rival, it’s always a pretty good crowd and they’ve always had good ice there. Their new visiting locker room is outstanding. I also scored my first ECHL goal there.
IB: Orlando. Biggest and best barn to play in. Great to play on a stage like that!
TM: My favorite road arena is the Amway Center in Orlando. It’s an amazing facility and I also enjoyed my time playing there. The Solar Bears have a great fan base and I met some quality people there.

CT: Advice to young players:

DN: Growing up, I played every sport that I could possibly play. I feel it helped me become a better hockey player and well rounded athlete. Whether it’s organized or recreationally, I would just tell kids to try other sports, learn different games, it’s also a nice mental break from the arena and makes you that much hungrier to get back playing hockey when the time comes.
IB: Work hard and don’t let your ego get in the way of your personal success.
TM: Work hard and have fun! Enjoy the process of working to become a better athlete each day and working towards a goal. Also, be a sponge and soak up as much information as you can. No one is going to put in the work for you. Be a student of the game and learn as much as you can to benefit all aspects of your game- on ice development, nutrition and off-ice training. Plan your work and then work your plan!

Shout out to our staff for their hard work on the road and at home so far this season! Our equipment manager, Adam Waddell, athletic trainer, Quentin Higgins and radio broadcaster, Christ Treft, are all extremely detailed and their work doesn’t go unnoticed by the players. Especially packing our equipment bags for the airport in Boise on no sleep!

Here are some pictures of our locker room on a game day:

Both quotes above my stall are fantastic. The one on the left says: “Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”- JFK
This is my favorite part of our locker room! We also have a ping pong table in the room which is awesome too.