Per Brendan Ellis (nella foto) questa è la prima stagione in Europa. Fino ad oggi con la maglia del Gardena ha disputato nove gare nella Sky Alps Hockey League, segnando un gol e 5 assist. Negli ultimi giorno il difensore si è dato disponibile per una piccola intervista.
Hi Brendan, how is your first impression after two month in Val Gardena?
Brendan Ellis: "My first impression after being in Val Gardena for two months is that it is a very beautiful place. The scenery is unbeatable, the people are very friendly, and the food is delicious. It's a very nice place to be."
Why did you decide to come to Italy and the HC Gherdëina?
B.E.: "I decided to come to Val Gardena because I heard it was a great place to play. Growing up playing hockey in Canada my coach for many years was Kim Gellert, who played here before. The Gellert's are good family friends and they’ re assured me that Val Gardena is one of the most beautiful places to be playing hockey in the world."
You have never play in Europe, it´s your first season. The first impression about the difference between Europe and North American ice hockey?
The biggest difference I have noticed so far between Europe and North America is the size in ice. In Europe there is more room to skate and puck possession is very important. North America has a more physical style on the smaller ice. It can be a very different game at times."
What must be have a good defender?
B.E.: "To be a good defenseman its important to be able to make a good first pass out of your own defensive zone. For the team to be able to produce offensively the puck first needs to get out of your own zone. Being able to read forechecks and getting the puck to your forwards in good places is very important. The more the puck is in the other teams zone, and the less we have to defend, the easier the game becomes."
Your best ice hockey moment in your career?
B.E.: "I have been fortunate to have many great moments in my hockey career. I have attended 4 separate NHL camps in San Jose and Vancouver, either development or rookie camps. All of those were great experiences. Signing my first professional contract after playing 4 years in college was also something that I worked my whole life for. I was lucky enough to be a part of the most winning season in my schools, Merrimack College, history and scored the game winning goal that brought us to the finals and will be something I will always remember."
Except ice hockey, what are your hobbies?
B.E.: "Besides playing hockey, I love to golf. In the summer I try to golf every day. Its a great game to get away from the rink and although very challenging, its fun and relaxing to get out and play with your friends. My hometown of Kelowna BC has many beautiful courses to enjoy all summer."
Interview: Gabriel Malsiner / Photo: Matthäus Kostner