This season the Miami Brotherhood welcomes 13 new faces to the program, including 11 freshmen. With so many new players on the roster, the "In the Crease" semimonthly interview series aims to introduce the newcomers to the fans. The sixth installment of the series is with freshman forward Alex Gacek.
Prior to joining the RedHawks, Gacek suited up for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL where he tallied 32 points with a +15 rating. Gacek proved to be a prime-time player as he notched five points in six playoff games for the Phantoms. The Dracut, Mass. native has tallied four points (3g, 1a) so far in 21 games for the Red and White and holds a +4 rating.
Interview by Chris Rydburg, athletic communications assistant
Chris Rydburg: Starting off I do have a question from a fan. What was it like growing that monstrous mustache?
Alex Gacek: It was for a good cause, but at the end it got to be a little bit annoying. It got food and other bad stuff stuck in it.
CR: You and your teammates seemed very enthusiastic about Movember. Did you ever get complimented or ribbed for your 'stache?
AG: Only if I had something in my mustache. I mostly got praise from everyone saying how jealous they were but that was about it.
CR: How has your year been going at Miami on and off the ice?
AG: Good, I couldn't really ask for more. Coming in, I wasn't sure, coming away from home, I was a little bit nervous. All the older guys helped me come in and helped me fit in right off the bat, which I was a little bit nervous about. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys and a better coaching staff to help out on and off the ice. I feel like my game and my personality have just sky rocketed since I have been here my first semester.
CR: Going back to life at home, I have been told you have a very different hobby? Lobstering? What does all that entail?
AG: In the summer my dad and I, my dad owns a boat, we own around 80 lobster traps, maybe three or four days a week we will go out and catch some lobster as some bonding time between me and my dad. We'll sell them or do whatever, give them to neighbors. It's just great to be from New England with the water and all that, so it's great bonding time and is a fun little hobby we have picked up.
CR: You know this means you are going to have to give the whole team a lobster dinner at some point right?
AG: Maybe (laugh). We'll have to go back this summer and catch some more. My buddy from back home gave me a Gacek lobster company shirt and I know I have buckets of people who want one so I have to come back next year with probably one for everyone.
CR: What would you recommend to freshmen coming in next year?
AG: Get to know the people in your dorm. It's good to have diversity and not just hang out with a certain group like hockey players. Support your school in any way possible whether it be a sporting event or a campus rally or something like that. I've been to a couple sporting events (as a spectator) and it is awesome to see so many people supporting Miami. They're just a lot of fun.
CR: Any other wise words from the man with the 'stache?
AG: I think if you get an opportunity here, just run with it. I don't think you can go wrong with anything here, whether it be athletically or academically. Miami is filled with a supporting cast of teachers, coaches and friends.
Fans can engage in the In the Crease series as well by submitting questions for any of the newcomers to Chris Rydburg at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will then work them into his interview with that player in an installment of In the Crease.
Previous editions of In the Crease with...
Oct. 23: Riley Barber - Interview
Nov. 6: Matthew Caito - Interview
Nov. 20: Jay Williams - Interview
Dec. 4: Ryan McKay - Interview
Jan. 15: Sean Kuraly - Interview
Fans can see Gacek and the rest of the RedHawks in action this weekend as No. 3/4 Miami hosts No. 20 Alaska Friday and Saturday at Steve Cady Arena. Puck drop is 7:35 p.m. Friday and 7:05 p.m. Saturday, while Skate with the 'Hawks Night follows Saturday's contest. To purchase tickets, click here.