To Gatineau and back: An interview with Zac Hogg

<em>A University of Waterloo extramural ball hockey team recently traveled over six hours for a tournament in Gatineau. The team made it to the final against Brock where they won 2-1 in overtime.&nbsp;</em>Imprint<em>&nbsp;sat down with starting goalie Zac Hogg for an interview on the event.&nbsp;</em>

<strong>So, how did the team start?</strong>

I was helping run [an intramural ball hockey] team last winter term, Winter 2014, just like I would every other term, and the convener&rsquo;s centre sent an email to some of the captains &hellip; and said, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re potentially sending a team to Oakville in March, and we&rsquo;re interested if any of the captains are interested in helping out running a team or picking a team.&rdquo;

So I jumped on that opportunity, said, &ldquo;Hey, I&rsquo;d like to be a part of that,&rdquo; and put together a team of some of the better players that were on campus that term. Out of that team, maybe two or three of us weren&rsquo;t graduating &hellip; I was going to be coming back, and I was offered the chance to help run the team again &hellip; So we put together a team late in the fall term as we had anticipated some tournaments coming up in the winter term. So it started last year, there was one tournament, and this is realistically a brand new team that&rsquo;s built together based on some newer tournaments coming up, but we&rsquo;re hoping to play in a few more.

<strong>How would you describe your team?</strong>

We&rsquo;ve got a lot of guys that do have skill, but it&rsquo;s moreso dedication to play the game the right way. We&rsquo;ve actually worked with Brian Bourque, the men&rsquo;s varsity hockey coach &hellip; He worked with us with a few key things that his team does that kind of sets it apart, and that&rsquo;s why you can tell they&rsquo;re pretty successful. We took some of those for tricks and we incorporated that sort of game plan into a general game strategy. That&rsquo;s worked out really well for us; we&rsquo;ve got good, skilled guys but they&rsquo;re all really dedicated to playing the game the right away.&nbsp;

<strong>What were your rankings last year and how do they compare to your rankings this year?</strong>

It was a complete 180 flip. We finished effectively first in this [tournament] &mdash; winning. I guess we technically had the same record as Brock, because they beat us in the round-robin, and we beat them in the final. Comparing that to the first term that we had in Oakville last year, we lost all our games by one or two goals, maybe even three. So we went from dead last in that tournament to being on top at this one, so we&rsquo;re going from worst to first.&nbsp;

<strong>How did you get to Gatineau from Waterloo?</strong>

It was a lovely journey through the 401. We had a couple guys drive &hellip; We kind of split the gas and the parking together, amongst the players. We got a couple people on the team to take the hit driving for a full day.

Where did you stay in Ottawa&ndash;Gatineau?

We did end up staying on the French side. That didn&rsquo;t pay off so well when we tried to order Pizza Pizza, since there isn&rsquo;t any on the Quebec side. We ended up staying at a hotel really close to the facilities that we were playing the tournament in.

How did you feel as you played through the tournament?

We were playing well overall, but we were making errors here and there. We were good enough to get us a good spot for the first playoff round. By the finals we were pretty confident, having just won a semifinal pretty dominantly, only giving up a few goals. We knew it was going to be a bit more of a battle, so that was obviously nice that the semifinals weren&rsquo;t as intense. It was a close final, overtime &hellip; our guys were dead tired, we had to have one good shift in overtime and win it quickly, and that&rsquo;s exactly what we did.

<strong>What did it feel like when you finally won?</strong>

When we won it in overtime, I just stood there at half &hellip; and was just taking it all in.

<strong>What are the team&rsquo;s plans for the future?</strong>

We&rsquo;re gearing up for potentially another tournament in Oakville, and that&rsquo;s going to be with a few tougher teams this time, like Guelph and Laurier who weren&rsquo;t in this recent [tournament]. We&rsquo;re hoping to get in some more exhibitions with the Laurier team, to sort of get that sorted out. After that, we&rsquo;re looking to host a tournament here; we&rsquo;re going to co-host with Laurier sometime in March and then after that we&rsquo;re looking for a tournament in Brock coming up in early April.