18 year old veterans: Interviews with Chance Lund and Erik Fleming

Jan 27, 2011, 6:40 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2011, 11:23 am

 

Forward Chance Lund and Defenseman Erik Fleming are only 18 years old yet it seems as though they have been with the Thunderbirds forever. Lund was picked 4th round 82nd overall and Fleming 1st round 16th overall in the 2007 Bantam Draft. They have been on the team since the 2008-2009 season when they were 16 years old. They are both going to be counted on if the Birds are to reach the post season.

Chance Lund

On growing up in a small town vs playing in Seattle

I’ve got more space up north doing stuff with friends, golf and stuff. Down here it’s different traffic wise, you have to leave earlier to get to the arena. My billets are really good so they make it a lot easier for me. My first year it took a while to get used to.

On his accomplishments this season

At the beginning of the season I started off slow and I was getting a bit frustrated with it. There was a point in a Tri-City game where I had a fight for the first time in a while. I took some frustration out and ever since then I have had some meetings with coaches, and I’m more confident. I also have more energy at practices. I’ve worked on doing things at higher speeds and ever since then I’ve been producing points. Being on a line with Toomey and Gallimore has helped.

On the importance of confidence when it comes to scoring

Being able to get chances and rebound opportunities. Using my size and speed. We get more production working in the offensive zone. Being the first one on rebounds, putting those pucks on net. It all makes it easier for my line mates to play off of.

On getting used to his increase in size

It definitely takes a lot to get used to. It has to do with working out. As you get bigger you have to do more leg exercises. Doing stuff with quick feet, and when you get on the ice you have to work on moving your feet fast so you can get your speed to stay with you.

On the mindset of the team right now

It’s positive. We know we need points. It’s starting to get a little nerve wracking. We know we have to come out and get these points and really battle. It’s playoffs from here on out. We have to win those one goal games.

On the recent injuries to the team

It’s a battle missing players. It takes a lot out of the team. Another way to look at it is that other guys will get more ice time so they can show what they can do. We need guys to step up and really start scoring.

On the pressure of expectations

It does put pressure on me. It’s really frustrating when I don’t produce. I haven’t produced that much in the last three years. I’m starting to produce now which feels good and its relieving. But it’s not just scoring it’s also wearing guys out for the big scorers. It’s about hitting bodies and being a presence every game that can help our top line produce points.

Erik Fleming

On his season so far

It’s been a bit of an up and down season. I was hurt early on so it took a bit to work back from that. It’s a positive to feel more comfortable out there, that you can make plays. I’m going to continue to work on stuff.

On getting more ice time when guys are hurt

I look forward to that. The more you play the more you feel you can do out there. I’m going to try to take advantage of that.

On playing up front at times

To be honest it’s a nice change sometimes. You feel less pressure some times. You can just skate around and have fun out there. It’s difficult sometimes going from D to forward from shift to shift but I’ll do what I’m asked. I feel a little lost at forward sometimes but people seem to think I do well there so that’s nice.

On cutting down on those high shot totals against

We definitely need to do a better job of stopping those shots. Most teams think they need to get a lot of shots and crash the net in order to be successful against a goalie like Picks. We still have to do a better job but its tough sometimes. You have to be ready to battle in front of the net and clear out rebounds. You have to go stick on stick to prevent shots. I think we have been doing a better job of that.

On staying positive in a tough stretch that has similarities to last season

I’d say its different from last year. We struggled the entire season last year. This year we have played well in stretches. We just have to get back to playing well. I see it completely differently than last season.

On his dad attending a lot of games

It’s great getting the support. He has some free time. Calgary isn’t that far from Seattle (about a 10-12 hr drive). It’s nice to have him in town.

On his off-season workout routine

It’s pretty standard. There is a gym in Calgary where a lot of hockey players go. I don’t know if its harder or easier than what other guys do but I like my routine.

On what the team needs to do to make the playoffs

Well it’s a lot tighter this year than I ever remember it. We have a lot of four point games against the teams we are battling against. We have to put out our best effort and make sure we get points cause it’s huge.

 

[email protected]

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge has some moves to make this offseason. (Brian Liesse/T-Birds photo)...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge dishes on the upcoming offseason

Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge will make some moves this summer to improve his club. Will they be big ones?
1 year ago
Seattle’s Keltie Jeri-Leon celebrates his final WHL goal Sunday against Spokane. (Brian Liess...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds end strange and hard season on a high note with dominating win over Spokane

The Seattle Thunderbirds dealt with a lot of adversity this season but end on a high note.
1 year ago
Keltie Jeri-Leon plays his final WHL game for the Thunderbirds Sunday night. (Brian Liesse)...
Andy Eide

Keltie Jeri-Leon set to play his final WHL game as Thunderbirds face Spokane Sunday

After five seasons, Seattle's lone over-aged player, Keltie Jeri-Leon will play his final junior game Sunday night.
1 year ago
Seattle rookie Scott Ratzlaff won his first WHL game in his first start. (Judy Simpson/TC Americans...
Andy Eide

Scott Ratzlaff earns first WHL win as Thunderbirds beat Tri-City

Behind a rookie goalie, the Thunderbirds kicked off the season's final weekend with a 5-2 win in Kennewick against the Tri-City Americans.
1 year ago
The Seattle Thunderbirds celebrate after snapping a six-game losing streak Sunday night. (Brian Lie...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds enjoy winning again after snapping six-game losing streak

The Seattle Thunderbirds have been scuffling but battled against a good Portland Winterhawks club to snap a six-game losing streak.
1 year ago
Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer fights for position Sunday in Portland. (Megan Connelly/Winterha...
Andy Eide

Dealing with adversity, young Thunderbirds drop pair of games in Portland

Injuries and penalties have thrown a ton of adversity at the young Thunderbirds which showed up in a pair of losses at Portland this weekend.
1 year ago
18 year old veterans: Interviews with Chance Lund and Erik Fleming