Athlete of the Week Q&A: Matt Galajda
Each week, BRSN chooses one athlete that stood out among his or her peers, both within Cornell and the Ivy League. This week, we interviewed freshman hockey goalie Matt Galajda, who has filled the shoes of departed goalie Mitch Gillam and more with his impeccable start to the season.
BRSN: Matt, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. What was your mindset going into the weekend?
MG: Our team’s mindset going into the weekend was just to focus on the process. I know everyone on our team was looking forward to the game so we just tried to keep things simple, enjoy the atmosphere, and have fun doing so.
BRSN: Why did you choose Cornell?
MG: The reason I chose Cornell was because I felt like it was the best place for me to develop. It seems like Cornell has been able to develop several high caliber goalies over the past several years, and I felt like my game would fit into the game they play here. Another reason why I chose to come to Cornell was the fans; they are amazing, the best in college hockey. In addition to the hockey side, the academics speak for themselves.
BRSN: How did you first get started with hockey, and what kept you in the sport?
MG: I first started playing hockey as a young kid, just like any Canadian kid. It seems like every kid is signed up to play hockey at that age, and some stick with it while others find something else they are passionate about. I just always loved going on the ice and having fun and that’s probably the reason why I stuck with it; it’s one thing I can do to just let go of everything on my mind.
BRSN: What is your favorite hockey memory?
MG: My favorite hockey memory would have been during my first year playing varsity hockey at St. Andrew’s College and winning the CISAA finals over our rival school, Upper Canada College. It was special because our whole school came out and watched the game. It was definitely something I won’t forget.
BRSN: As a freshman, how has it been adjusting to college hockey?
MG: Adjusting to college hockey has gone well and has been a blast! I feel like it wasn’t too much of an adjustment for me personally, but the biggest adjustment for me would have to be balancing the schoolwork with our schedule.
BRSN: How was it being able to play in a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden?
MG: It was unbelievable! Definitely something I will never forget. Being able to play in such an historic rink like that is a treat. We just tried to enjoy the atmosphere/environment and play our game. It was definitely an eye-opening experience just to see what NHL players experience every game, and is something to use as motivation and work towards.
BRSN: Do you have any pregame superstitions or routines?
MG: My pregame routine is just hanging out during the day and walking to the rink. My superstitions aren’t that bad for a goalie, but one of them is I can’t touch a soccer ball before the game.
BRSN: What do you look forward to as you head deeper into the season?
MG: I look forward to seeing what our team can accomplish this year. I know if we keep working hard we will be able to accomplish some pretty cool things.