NOTH SALEM, N.Y. – How old were you when you first started playing ice hockey and how did you get started?

I did not start playing hockey until fifth grade when I started a learn to skate program. I was in love with the sport and always begged my parents to let me play. My first actual competitive game wasn’t until eighth grade modified hockey. Yes, I was cut off the team in seventh grade; which gave me a mindset to improve to one day play for the varsity team.

What are the ice hockey team’s goals for the rest of the season and what will be the key to making a playoff run?

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Keep doing what we are doing. Play as a team and we will go far. Right now we are focused on winning out the league and we will take it from there. The key is to have the determination of winning — seems to be working so far.

The team has been playing very well down the stretch run and has a shot at the league title. What has been the key lately for the team’s strong play?

We have grown together as a team. We lacked chemistry early in the season and now we have a strong bond and as mentioned before, we need the determination to win.

As a senior captain, how do you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?

Being a team leader is important as everyone looks up to you. I usually am the one to put the team in a good mood so that we have fun as well a strong mindset during games.

What is your favorite team activity, pre-game or post-game ritual that you share with your teammates?

We usually play a game of volleyball or soccer as a pre-game warm up which gets quite intense, great for getting us into game mood.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

My mom, she is a hard working and supportive person who went through a lot to get me to where I am. She immigrated from Slovakia right after high school and has done a lot for me and my sister teaching us that responsibility and hard work and determination will get you far in life.   

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

A lot of people do not know that I am a clean freak. Everything has to be clean and close to perfect. I guarantee I have the cleanest room of all the people in North Salem High School.

Do you plan on continuing to play hockey in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

I want to play club hockey in college. I will be attending SUNY Polytechnic Institute in the fall, which does not have an official club hockey team. It’s more of a pilot club to see how everything goes, but I will be joining and hopefully expand the club to a more competitive league. I have decided on this school because of it’s small community much like North Salem.

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

I will be studying mechanical engineering because I just love the concept of “how things work.” I also like to build and experiment with things and have a passion for math and science.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

My favorite team is the New York Rangers and my favorite athlete is Marian Hossa, as he shares the same heritage as my family and he is a subtle but striking player on the ice.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?

Honestly, Slovak and other European dance or electronic music to pump me into game mood.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I’m not sure, probably invincibility. I am quite a risk taker, and with this super power I would be able to do much more adventurous and somewhat dangerous activities.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

I have always wanted to go to Dubai. There is just something about it that makes it seem like a great place. It is a big and clean city with many super cars everywhere — and I love cars.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

Before a game I like big pasta meals such as lasagna and after games I love protein filled meals like steak with baked potatoes.

Best place to eat in North Salem and why?

My home, my mom make the best homemade Slovak food on the East Coast. My family almost never eats out.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

Instagram, because of its simple yet creative interface. #SNSPuck

For a young athlete growing up in North Salem, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the ice hockey program and why should they go out for the team?

The hockey club is a whole different world of sports. It is very different than other varsity sports in terms of how much of a big family we are — on and off the ice.