A pair of 18’s: Interviews with Brendan Rouse and Dave Sutter
With the Thunderbirds fighting for a playoff spot heading into the final games of the regular season I sat down and spoke with 18 year old Forward Brendan Rouse and 18 year old Defenseman Dave Sutter. Rouse is in his second season with the Birds and Sutter is in his first season in the WHL.
On the feeling in the clubhouse
It’s pretty nerve wracking. We have to win our games and everyone is really grinding down here.
On the current success on home ice
Our team has been building off of the good crowds. We all want to make the playoffs.
On his personal success over the past couple of months
Well my hard work, I’ve also had a different role as well. Now playing with Toomey and Gallimore, we’re clicking offensively. Before it was more of an energy role for me. I think Rob has given me more of an opportunity.
On the key to the resurgence of the power play
Early in the year we were really clicking then struggled a bit and that’s when we were losing games. Our power play was helping us win games earlier in the season and now we’re getting it going again, moving the puck and shooting the puck more often from the point. That is what Rob wants us to do in general. The D-men with the big shots like Dillon and Bobbee shooting more often from the point and then getting traffic in front.
On the big games up ahead
We know we must win these games. Hopefully with the other teams having tough schedules it will help. We need to win these games if we want to make the playoffs.
On his off season workout regime
Working out like four or five days a week. Later in the summer I get back on the ice.
On being a quiet guy
It’s just the way I’ve always been. Even growing up outside of hockey, I’m just not a talkative guy, just kind of keep to myself.
On his strengths
My vision, my smarts. I’m not really a great goal scorer but more of a play maker, passing kind of guy. Just playing both ends of the rink.
On what he needs to work on
It would be on my shot, just getting quicker, faster feet. Just getting more confident out there.
On the team leaders such as Toomey, Gallimore, Dillon and Noebels
Those guys leading the way it helps everyone jump on board and get behind those guys.
On the optimism going into the final few games
We think we can do it, we know we can. We just have to get out there and do it.
On how bad he wants to get to the playoffs
I’ve never been there. It would be exciting for me. Everyone here wants to do it, missing out last year was disappointing so this year we don’t want to miss out again.
On the differences in this league compared to Switzerland
The intensity is different, it’s harder here. The play along the boards is much more important here. Battling in the corners. With time I’ve gotten more used to it.
On the best part of his game and what he needs to work on
Well I like my passing ability. I want to learn to be more physical since I’m tall. Help the team anyway I can.
On his offensive numbers
Well I used to be offensive because I was a forward. Now as a defenseman I want to concentrate on my job defensively right now. We have other D-men that can score. Maybe in the future I will concentrate on it more.
On his big fight a few weeks ago
I used to do kickboxing (laughs). I’m not used to fighting because we can’t fight back home. People in Switzerland were asking me how I was able to fight since it’s not legal there.
On Jacob Doty teaching him how to fight
Well I was worried about falling. He taught me how to be more stable during a fight. Assistant Coach Jim McTaggart taught me also.
On fighting to make the playoffs
Everybody is very confident. We are all focused on it. I think we’re going to make it. I was in the playoffs last year back home but we played a really good team so it wasn’t the best experience.