Jeff Vinnick


Meaghan Mikkelson

“Schmoops” talks to Kristi Patton February 4, 2010

Q. What was your 'Wow I'm on the senior National Women's Team moment?' Or the moment it really clicked in you are going to the Games?

A. I have had a few moments where I have said to myself "Wow, I'm on the National Women's Team and I am going to the Olympics", but I don't think it has fully sunk in yet. Obviously I am very honoured and excited to be representing my country at the Olympics here in Canada, but it is seems a bit surreal at times!

Q. Which player is the funniest on the team?

A. We have a lot of funny people on this team and I couldn't narrow it down to just one. Everyone has a great sense of humour and we have a lot of fun.

Q. What is your routine on a game day?

A My specific game day routine depends what time we play that day. However, no matter what time we are playing, I like to get up and move around in the morning. If our game is at night, I like to get on the ice in the morning for a pre-game skate and, depending on how much sleep I got the night before, take a nap in the afternoon. If our game is earlier in the day or in the afternoon, I will just go for a walk or a light jog. It is important that I am not just sitting around all morning or all day before we play. I usually have my pre-game meal about 3 hours before game time and I like to get to the rink before the game with plenty of time to get my equipment ready and get a good off-ice warm up in.

Q. What is the atmosphere like in the dressing room on game day?

A. The atmosphere is pretty upbeat for the most part, but also pretty light at the same time. Everyone prepares differently, so it is important to understand that not everyone is going to be loud and talkative before games. We always have music playing and, whether it is visible or not, by game time, I think everyone is pretty excited to play.

Q. Do you have any rituals or superstitions?

A.I am not very superstitious but I do have two rituals before each game. The first is with a team-mate before we go out for each period and the second is where I stand in the huddle before the game.

Q. What is the last thing you do before hitting the ice?

A.I honestly couldn't say. I don't do anything special or in particular. If I had to say one thing, it would be putting my stick in my left hand.

Q. What has been your favourite team bonding experience so far?

A. I would have to say that the best team bonding experience that we have had this year was our month long boot camp in Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge last May and June. Although it was a lot of hard work and not always fun, the team became much closer after spending so much time together and pushing through the intense and extensive training we underwent at the camp.

Q. What do you do to keep busy on those long road trips?

A. The road trips when travelling to play the teams in this year honestly did not seem that long! On the bus, we would almost always have movies playing and, if we didn't, I would just read or listen to my ipod and rest. When we arrived at the city we were playing in, our schedule was pretty busy for the most part. Often playing 3 games in 4 nights or 2 games in 3 nights, there wasn't much time for anything but playing and resting.

Q. What do you like to do on your downtime?

A. In my downtime I like to read and go to movies. I am currently reading Andre Agassi's autobiography "Open" and like romantic comedies best when it comes to movies. I also enjoy just spending time with family and friends whenever I can.

Q. Do you live with any of the players while being centralized?

A. I am living with Sarah Vaillancourt and Rebecca Johnston in Calgary. I honestly could not have asked for better roommates! They are not only extremely talented hockey players, but they are also amazing individuals. I am thankful that I have had such great friends as roommates this year.

Q. Have any nicknames for yourself developed?

A. Most of the girls, and some staff, are now calling me "Schmoopy" or "Schmoops". It is a nickname that my boyfriend, now fiancé, used to joke around with me about. The girls caught wind of it last year, it caught on immediately, and I have been "Schmoops" ever since. I think just about everyone has a nickname on the team, and I don't think anyone is actually called by their first names!

Q. Tell me about your recent Olympic Torch experience and what it meant to you?

A. It is difficult to put into words what carrying the Olympic Torch meant to me. Carrying the torch is a huge honour and I am so thankful that the Edmonton Oilers approached me with this opportunity. It was truly an amazing feeling to be standing in front of a sold out crowd at Rexall Place holding the torch. My parents were also at the game, which made it that much more special. It went by so quickly and I just tried to enjoy the moment as much as I possibly could. It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity that not many athletes participating in the Games, let alone people, get to experience. I have great memories from that night and I will never forget it