Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ask an Athlete: Q&A with Luk Jirousek

 

Luk Jirousek, a junior forward for Plattsburgh men’s hockey, stands at six feet four inches. In his own words, he’s an absolute moose. Jirousek hails from Whitehorse, Yukon and up until a Slovakian joined the team this year, was the Cardinal furthest from home. Jirousek turned in the Yukon Ranges for the Adirondack Park to play Division III hockey in 2021. Prior to Plattsburgh, Jirousek played for three different teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and two in the British Columbia Hockey League.

Jirousek has scored 21 goals over his three seasons with the Cardinals, and notched 29 assists for a total of 50 points. He’s a major component of the offense, shooting 108 times this season, good for second on the team. Jirousek takes lots of clutch faceoffs, and is good at it — he’s won 329 of his 566 attempts. And of course, he’s a fan favorite, and any keen eye can spot multiple “JIROUSEK 29” jerseys in seats at home games.

This question and answer was conducted with Jirousek over email Feb. 27.

 

 

Question: What’s the most important thing hockey has provided for you? 

Answer: The amount of things hockey has done for me in my life is endless. I would say the most important thing it’s provided me is opportunity. It has allowed me to live all over North America and meet some amazing people, providing me both obstacles and privileges I wouldn’t have encountered without hockey in my life. I’d say the game itself along with the people I’ve met while playing it have really molded me into the person I am today.

 

 

Q: What’s something you’ve practiced that Moff absolutely wouldn’t let you try in a game? 

A: I wouldn’t say there’s anything Moff wouldn’t let us try in a game, everything we do in practice for the most part is pretty practical. 1 thing I like to do is a between the legs pass on 2 on 1’s, which I would probably only use in practice but if the opportunity’s ever there I might give it a go.

 

 

Q:  Do Americans have any misconceptions about Canadians? 

A: So many. A lot of the stereotypes are true, we all enjoy quality maple syrup, most of us have seen a moose, we all love hockey, and we subconsciously say “eh”. In terms of misconceptions I’ve had teammates ask me about Canada’s “President”, I’ve had people believe Alaska was an island and not actually attached to Canada, but the main misconception I get is that people think we all live in the Arctic with polar bears.

 

 

Q: What’s the secret to winning a faceoff?

A: A lot more goes into a faceoff than people think. You look at what hand your opponent is, where his hands are on his stick, how he and his line is lining up, you consider what side the ref is on etc. I find the most success comes from being lower than your opponent, having an angle so your blade doesn’t get caught by his or being strong enough to pull your blade through his, keeping your eye on the puck, getting your body over the dot before your opponent, and finally having your linemates supporting you. Faceoffs are crucial in the game, starting with possession is an advantage on its own, let alone big draws later in periods.

 

By Collin Bolebruch

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