I recently sat down with stud men’s ice hockey goalie Glenn Stowell ’13 in the friendly confines of the Clark Hall lounge. We talked about youth hockey at Amherst, the challenges of being a two-sport athlete, and the San Jose Sharks’ perpetual playoff shortcomings.
Argus: What made you decide to come to Wesleyan?
Glenn Stowell: I went to Andover for four years and I had some buddies who came here in the past and more or less liked it. I wanted to play hockey and baseball, that’s working out here, and it’s a pretty reputable school—so the combination of those things.
A: What’s your favorite class you’ve taken here so far?
GS: Let’s see…Chinese has been pretty interesting, but I’ve done that before. President [Michael] Roth’s film class is actually surprisingly good; I’ve been pretty into that. It’s something I didn’t especially expect I’d be into. This American Economic History class—it’s full of work, but it’s something that’s at least pretty interesting to me. So one of those three.
A: Tell me more about all this Chinese. How long have you been taking it?
GS: I took it for four years at Andover. I’m from Western Mass. so I didn’t have too much outside help with Chinese. I was pretty discouraged my first year taking it, because there were a lot of kids who spoke it at home but couldn’t write it, whereas I was just winging it. So that was pretty discouraging. But after that, I started making a little progress, it started getting a lot better for me, and now it’s a big part of what I do academically. Its panned out a lot better than I had expected.
A: Do you have any plans to study abroad there while you’re here?
GS: I would think about doing it in the summer, but fall or spring takes a pretty good hunk out of hockey or baseball. But next summer, I’d try that, get a gig there teaching English, which is pretty easy to get for college students. So I think next summer I’m going to push pretty hard to get it.
A: When did you first start playing ice hockey?
GS: I was probably four or five when I started skating. I actually learned to skate at Orr Rink, which is the Amherst rink.
A: Have you always been a goalie?
GS: I started out doing the skater thing, like everybody. Probably when I was six or seven or eight—pretty early on, probably eight—everybody rotates in the Mini-Mites, and everybody gets a turn as goalie. I just wasn’t brutal at it; everybody else was pretty brutal. So then by the end of the year, I started taking other people’s turns. So probably about eight is when I started being in goal full time.
A: Which NHL goaltender did you idolize the most growing up?
GS: I liked Roberto Luongo growing up. I saw him play the Bruins once, and it was awesome. He was real young then, and his stats weren’t special—I think it was his second year with the Panthers, and they sucked. He was doing all right, but the Panthers were brutal. It’s funny now because he’s on top of the world with Vancouver—he’s their damn captain. But growing up, he was my guy.
A: What is your pre-game routine? What do you to do get psyched?
GS: We try to be there two hours early; we do a team warm up about an hour and a half before the game. Generally I’ll try to be one of the first guys in there. I don’t really have so much of a ritual because I feel like that can throw you off, screw with you if it gets disrupted. But generally, I’ll take the stick I’m using that day, do like a dynamic warm up and some stretching, and I have a tennis ball routine I do off the glass, like smothering the puck.
A: What do you do in between seasons to get ready for baseball?
GS: It’s not so much in between seasons because baseball practice has started already, but all fall, I would do hockey maybe four or five days a week. My training for both is essentially the same, but specific skill stuff—I threw bullpens all fall. I took about a month off in the middle of the season here, and then I started on the four or five-day-a-week throwing plan for baseball. So I’ll do that before hockey, I’ll be good and warm and get a stretch, and then go play some hockey.
A: How long have you been playing that?
GS: Probably around the same time as I started hockey; when youth sports start. I was probably five or six. My dad played baseball growing up, so we played catch and stuff. It’s funny, in the Amherst youth hockey thing, when I started playing goalie, they only had righty goalie gear, and I’m a lefty. So I played goalie righty, with the glove on my left hand. And in baseball it’s the opposite way around for me.
A: I’ll get you out here on this: Your prediction for this year’s Stanley Cup Finals?
GS: I think Jersey wins it—I would’ve said the Bruins, but they’ve been brutal over the past month. I’m saying Jersey over the Sharks.