Athlete of the Week Q & A: John Knisley
Each Tuesday, BRSN sits down for a Q & A session with the BRSN Athlete of the Week. This week, we caught up with our seventh Athlete of the Week Junior Big Red Men’s Ice Hockey forward John Knisley following his two goal performance to help lift the Big Red over Penn State in the Frozen Apple game at Madison Square Garden.
BRSN: John thanks again for the time we really appreciate it. You’re playing on a big stage at The Garden, obviously everyone wants to make an impact while playing in that arena. What did it feel like for you scoring your team’s first goal to tie the game at 1 and then following that up with another goal that essentially ended the game for Penn State?
JK: It felt great to get the team on the board. In between the first and second period we talked about settling down as a team and getting back to our game. McCarron made a nice pass out to Holden Anderson who got a shot off quickly and I got a stick on it. Joel did a nice job of screening the goalie in front of the net. It is something we have been working on in practice and it is nice to see that it is paying off. As for the second goal, I was just lucky enough to be at the end of a couple strong plays. John McCarron did a great job protecting the puck up the ice and chipped it to Joel, who made great pass to myself.
BRSN: Can you talk a little bit about what the experience of playing at MSG is like? Obviously it is a storied arena but what does it mean to you and your teammates to have the opportunity to play there each year?
JK: It is a great experience to play at MSG. It is not everyday that you get the opportunity to play in front of 15,000 fans. I think the whole weekend is special. It is nice to see a lot of parents made the trip this past weekend. Playing at MSG is a special memory that you will remember for the rest of your life and it is nice to be able to share it with family and friends.
BRSN: Obviously a win is a win, but with all the excitement surrounding the Frozen Apple, how much did you guys want that win?
JK: We want to win every game. Anytime you can win against an out of conference team it helps a lot. But, I think we just wanted to keep this momentum going and try to string together some wins going into the winter break.
BRSN: You guys are now on a 3-game win streak and back to .500 for the first time this season. What has been working for this team the last three games that has allowed you all to seemingly turn the corner?
JK: I think we can attribute this success to our practice habits. We have been paying attention to the details during practice and holding each other accountable. I think this carries over into the weekend when it is game time.
BRSN: There’s still plenty of games left to play and it seems like you had the hot hand this weekend, what are you looking to continue to improve on as the season progresses?
JK: I am just looking to continue working on my game and skills while playing to my strengths. I am not the biggest guy on the team so I need to use my speed and agility to help myself make plays. Also, we have been working on offensive habits such as being ready to score and capitalizing on your chances around the net.
BRSN: As a junior now, you’ve had a little over two years being a part of the Cornell Athletic Community. What are some of your favorite things about being a Big Red athlete?
JK: I think my favorite thing about being a Bid Red athlete is being part of a team. There is always someone to hangout and joke around with. However, those same guys are there at the rink with you everyday working hard to achieve a championship.
BRSN: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you that you’d like to share with fans of Cornell and more specifically Big Red Hockey?
JK: I am a huge Buffalo Bills fan, Go Bills!