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Returning Interview: Tom Durnie

Photo credit: Will Nickelson

Tom Durnie is a 6’2”, 195-lb defenseman from Calgary, Alberta. He came to Huntsville in 2008 after playing three seasons with the Canmore Eagles in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 69 games, #24 has scored of 5-17–22. Tom is majoring in English with a minor in communications and will be graduating this year.

At what age did you first start playing hockey, and who inspired you the most to play hockey?
I was three when I first started messing around on the ice. I was five when I started playing organized hockey. After high school, I joined the Canmore Eagles in junior hockey. There, I played until I was nineteen years old. My dad inspired me the most to play hockey. He used to be really good when he was younger, but he’s old and fat now. He played for the SAIT Trojans. I still play hockey with him during the summer.

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Incoming Interview: Graeme Strukoff

Graeme Strukoff (dark) shoots on his old teammates, having spent more than two seasons playing for Trail.

Graeme Strukoff is a 6’0″, 193lb defenseman from Chilliwack, BC. He comes to Huntsville after three seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League. Strukoff played two full seasons with the Trail Smoke Eaters and started his third with Trail before being traded to the Victoria Grizzlies, a team in playoff contention that had a critical shortage of top-end defensemen. In 46 games as a Grizzly, Graeme scored 7-17–24 to help lead the team to the playoffs. He will wear #2 for the Chargers in 2011-12.

As with our other interviews, my questions will be in bold-face type.

When did you first start playing hockey? Who in your family played and was involved in you taking up the game? Have you always played your position, or have you played elsewhere on the ice? What was your favorite team and player growing up?

I first started playing hockey when I was five years old. Both my parents supported me throughout hockey, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I started out as a forward but my coach in Peewee decided to put me on defence and I loved it. My favourite team was always the Winnipeg Jets, and I was ecstatic to hear that they will be back in the NHL next season. I do feel sorry for the fans in Atlanta who had to see their team go—with the amount of hockey fans in the South, it’s definitely too bad that there’s no more NHL hockey there. Growing up, I idolized Pavel Bure, and I even have his jersey hanging up in my dorm.

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Incoming Interview: Doug Reid

Doug Reid is a 6’0″, 200-lb forward from Innisfil, ON. He comes to Huntsville after spending the past two seasons with the Markham Waxers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Reid served as team captain during the 2010-11 season, scoring 21-41–62 and helping his team clinch a berth in the OJHL playoffs. For his career in Markham, Reid scored 53-88–141 in 118 games. Reid played for Couchiching Terriers of the OPJHL in 2007-08, scoring 12-15–27 in 48 contests in his year-18 season; and he followed that season with 13-18–31 in 62 contests for the Grande Prairie Storm of the AJHL. In all, Reid played four years of Junior A hockey, scoring 78-121–199 in 228 games.

As with our other interviews, my questions will be in bold-face type.

When did you first start playing hockey? Who in your family played and was involved in you taking up the game? Have you always played your position, or have you played elsewhere on the ice? What was your favorite team and player growing up?

I was about 5 or 6 years old when I first began to play hockey. My older sister played hockey and had a scholarship to UConn, and my dad also played growing up. A lot of my family pushed me and supported me to playing hockey when I was younger. I have always been a centreman since I was younger, but for a few seasons I have been playing right wing as well. Growing up, my favorite team was the Colorado Avalanche, but my favorite player is Jarome Iginla.

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Incoming Interview: Kyle Lysaght

Kyle Lysaght is a 6’0″, 190-lb forward from Roswell, GA. He comes to Huntsville having played two seasons with the Oakville Blades in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, where he appeared in a total of 142 games. He hit the ice in 46 contests in 2010-11, scoring 35-23–58 points. Lysaght picked up his game in the playoffs, leading the Blades to the championship series on scoring of 8-16–24 in 23 games. Lysaght attended the Kent School in Connecticut prior to playing in Oakville.

As with our other interviews, my questions will be in bold-face type.

When did you first start playing hockey? Who in your family played and was involved in you taking up the game? Have you always played your position, or have you played elsewhere on the ice? What was your favorite team and player growing up?

I first started playing around age five in New Jersey. My Dad was the one responsible for making me a hockey player. He grew up playing in New York and then played four years of club hockey for Georgia Tech. I am pretty sure he used to play in the VBC against UAH back in the day. I have bounced around everywhere on the ice, but I am a forward and like to play left wing. My favorite team then and now is the New York Rangers, and my favorite player growing up was Pavel Bure.

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UAH Assistant Mike Warde Resigns to Accept West Point Job

When Mike Warde tries to get a hold of me twice in one day, something is usually up, and today was not unusual in that regard. Today’s news was that Mike had tendered his resignation as the top assistant at UAH Hockey effective 9/1 to take the equivalent position at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The top assistant at Army has been open since Rob Haberbusch took the job at Hamilton College (N.Y.). Mike coached for Army in the past, so a chance to return there had to be attractive to him.

Warde told me that he had informed the players in a meeting this morning. He and Angela both wanted me and all of you to know that this comes with mixed emotion’s. Angela has family in southern middle Tennessee, which is one reason they were interested in UAH in the first place. I’ve really gotten the sense over the last year-plus that they liked it here, and I’m personally sad to see them leave Huntsville. Thanks for all you’ve done for us, Mike.