Opening Night soon approaching
Tony Conforto (Storm)
1. You will be playing in your first xhl season. Are you looking forward to the opportunity? I am looking forward to meeting new people and playing the sport that I love. 2. None of us know you yet. Tell us a little bit about your hockey background, your interests and how did you learn about the xhl? I played hockey through out high school and pick up hockey at what lever base I was stationed at that had enough people with gear to play. I have horses and cows, collect sports cards and memorabilia, and enjoy a wide variety of hobbies. I actually played in a pickup game with XHLer's a few years back thanks to Shawn Logan inviting me. 3. From looking at your facebook page, its obvious you are a Detroit Red Wings fan. Whats it like attending games in Detroit’s arena compared to any other arenas you have been too? Detroits new stadium is awesome compared to Atl's old stadium, parking is a 1 minute walk away and they have great seats no matter where you are 4. You will get to play two games on opening night. Do you think your legs are ready for it? My legs should be fine, they will have to be. 5. What would you consider your hockey’s strengths and weaknesses? Strengths are my fortitude and ability to take a hit and keep going... Weaknessess stem from being older and military injuries slow me down a bit
1. Hard fought 3-2 win last night over team white. What do you think made the difference for you guys?
One goal was the difference. I mean that literally and figuratively. It was that close. It could have easily gone the other way. Team White was an extremely strong opponent and they played it tight to the vest. Not to mention Tyler Luzier played awesome in net. I know it was probably disappointing for team White to come up short, but they had nothing to hang their heads on. They were great competitors and great sports!
2. There wasn’t much room out there for either team. Do you like playing in those kind of games or do you like the back and forth higher scoring action a little better?
I prefer the lower scoring games personally. Scoring a goal or setting one up in those kinds of games is rewarding. When everyone is filling the net, it doesn't give you the same level of satisfaction.
3. Robs performance in net was probably no surprise, but what can you say about the effort Tyler Luzier gave in this series, in particular, last night?
As I said, Tyler played a great game and had a great series overall. I think he's really come a long way in two seasons. I couldn't solve him last night. We had lots of chances to get an insurance marker in the third period, but he shut the door. I was impressed! I like his overall approach to the game. He doesn't get too up and doesn't get too down. And he seems to be gaining more and more confidence with the success he's had. I'm sure he'll be facing a lot of shots this summer. I hope that continues to sharpen his skills without dulling his confidence.
4. Winter league is now over, but XHL is only 2 weeks away. What kind of season are you expecting from your team and from the league in general?
I wrote a little bit about that in the Anderson Angle that is on the home page. If you haven't read it, it's available for your consumption.
That said, I think it's going to be a really fun season. There are 5 really strong teams that I see with a couple of others that should be competitive. With the way the schedule was created, there aren't going to be too many lopsided contests. That's more fun for everyone. I don't enjoy winning games by a mercy rule and I'm sure the teams that lose by a mercy rule don't enjoy it either. Reducing those was a goal for us this summer.
As for the Colonials, I'm really excited to get back on the court with my usual teammates and to have a couple of newcomers joining the fold. I like the added speed and skill that Derik and Steve bring. There will be ups and downs for sure, but I like our chances to compete with anyone, including my clear cut favorite that I wrote about in the Angle.
5. This will be the 19th season. Did you ever imagine the league you formed in the early 2000s would still be existing 19 years later?
I don't think I ever looked that far ahead. Just like I don't look 19 years into the future with it. But I'm really proud of where we've come. I could be wrong, but to my knowledge, before the XHL there was really wasn't much interest in roller hockey in our area. Now it's thriving. There is roller hockey year round in Reynoldsville, there's a brand new outdoor court coming to Brockway, and there is even junior hockey being played at the YMCA.
I certainly am not taking credit for all of that. But I do think the XHL has been a catalyst for a lot of the interest that has come to roller hockey in the local area. And if you compare the talent level of the first XHL season to that of today, there's no comparison.
In the end, it's brought me a lot of satisfaction. I love the competition and the game of hockey itself. But more importantly, the people I've played with and against has brought me the greatest pleasure of all! I hope others have enjoyed the XHL half as much as I have.
1. Jagrbombs will be playing in their first season. Who came up with that name for you guys? The Jagrbombs was actually something J Lee found on sublimation kings and it was just well received by everyone. 2. The core of this team looks pretty good, but availability for some guys is in question. What kind of season are you expecting from this group of guys? I'm expecting a fun season. We want to win every week just like everyone else. Some weeks we may be a little low on bench players but the rest of us will just have to step up. 3. Cory did not play all offseason except for the Randy Carlson tournament. Do you think the time off will benefit him or are you worried there could be some rust? I think the time off is only going to help Cory. I know he was hurting last summer and he felt it was holding him back. I thought he looked pretty good in the Randy Carlson as usual 4. The league will see 10 teams, with most of them having realistic championship expectations. How would you compare your team to some of the others you see? This is hockey any team can go out and win any week. I don't want us to under estimate any teams or be intimidated by any teams. I feel each week we have a chance of winning. 5. Hooligans fell a little short last season. Would you consider last season to be a success or was it disappointing not winning a championship? As a team it was disappointing not win the championship. That was the goal and we fell short. For me personally I feel like the season helped me improve my game and play in tough situations against the best in the league.
1. You will be returning to the Renegades to defend your teams championship. Are you looking forward to the season? Hey Brian, I had a great time playing in the XHL last summer and I'm well aware that it will be difficult to defend our championship. With that being said I'm pretty excited to pick up where we left off. 2. Have you got to play much hockey since last August? I actually finished my last season of college hockey this past fall and spring so I've been on the ice quite a bit, but I haven't been playing roller at all since last XHL season. 3. Not too many people in the XHL knew you at this time last year. I am guessing they do now after winning an mvp award. Did you expect to be able to dominate the league as much as you did last season? That's a good question, for me I never thought about it in a personal aspect. We showed up for playoffs and dug in deep as a team, luckily somehow we were able to pull off a comeback win to get the title. 4. This team is going to be a little different than last years team, but maybe even better. What do you know about the new guys, Eric Llewellyn and Gus Gates and are you disappointed Joe Spencer wont be playing this season? We played Eric in the first round last season, he gave us a lot of trouble. He is fast and made us think twice, if we made the wrong play against him the puck had a good chance of ending up in our net. I can't say I remember Gus but from what Lehman has said he can help us in a lot of ways. Yeah I've been playing with Joe for a couple years now ice and roller. He made some big plays defensively for our team and scored a lot of timely goals so its tough to lose a guy like that. 5. You will get to play the Yeti on opening night. What kind of game are you expecting from them?
A close game, I think the Yeti beat us last season once maybe twice, we didn't have to see them in the playoffs so that played to our advantage.