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Getting To Know: Forward #12 Mathieu De St. Phalle

By Chicago Steel, 04/16/20, 3:00PM CDT

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Who got you started in hockey and how did they do it?

Definitely my dad and I was around four years old. I was down in Florida at the time so my dad brought me to a rink in Miami and that was my first time skating. I loved it but the big family story is that my dad brought my brother and me out for three or four sessions and my brother would just cry and wait by the door every time. I was wheeling around out there, bumping into people, falling over, and my dad would have to run out and get me because I wouldn’t get off.

This season, you were named as an alternate captain with John Spetz and Jimmy Dowd Jr., what was that feeling like?

It meant everything. When I came here last year and finished the year off with that group, I knew it was something I wanted to embrace after seeing the way those guys did it last year. It was a huge honor for John, Jimmy and me to represent this organization.

You had a lot of USHL experience coming into this season, did you find yourself taking a big role in influencing the younger players?

I thought that would be a big part of it and I thought I embraced that. A lot of the time it was me asking them questions because there was so much that I could learn from those guys coming in and I think it went both ways. I was very thankful to be someone that those guys looked up to.

Did you have a point when you realized that this year’s team was really special?

I think once we got in the groove of things, I saw how hard everyone worked as a group. Every single guy was pushing to get better and once I saw that aspect early on in the year, I thought ‘wow, this team could really be something big.’

What were some things that stood out on the ice from this season?

Our ability to be adaptive and change the way we were playing, I think we went through different phases of the way we were playing and we were always learning new things. I think that and how close were, our culture as a team, the fact that we were all best friends made it so much easier to go and play games.

Did you have a favorite moment of the season?

I think Elis Hede’s overtime goal in Youngstown. I wasn’t on the ice for that but just seeing how hard he worked all year and how he was playing so well and working so hard every day. All of us were telling him ‘it’s coming’ and to see that, it was probably one of the best moments of the year for sure.

What lessons are you taking from this year?

Not to take anything for granted. Especially with this situation, I think that can teach everyone that you need to take advantage of every day because you never know when things are going to change. For all of us it was really disappointing to leave this season behind and we didn’t really know how much we missed each other until things actually ended. That part of it was definitely a learning experience.

If hockey didn’t exist, what would you be doing?

I would definitely be a big golfer, I love it. If it’s within the rules to do just say another sport, then golf. Maybe acting too I think acting is cool, I find that stuff interesting.