Friday, April 11, 2008

Player Spotlight: Mike Dalhuisen

This will probably be the last player spotlight for the season. If I feel up to it, I might sneak in a few more before the season is officially over.

First off, I want to take a moment to talk about the LIVEHOCKEY bracelets and what Mike has been able to accomplish. Mike has sold thousands of these bracelets and collected many, many donations along the way to help support his family along with leukemia research. In last Saturday's regular season finale, Mike donated $3,500 to the leukemia research fund. It is great what Mike has been able to accomplish and it wouldn't be possible without all the support from the fans. I have collected many donations for Mike and he would like to thank all that have supported this great cause. There are still bracelets available, and the colors are baby blue, black, and white. If you're interested in purchasing a bracelet or multiple bracelets or would like to just donate and help support this wonderful cause, you can contact Mike at:

Name: Mike Dalhuisen
Current Team: Lincoln Stars
Position: Defense
Hometown: Nijmengen, Netherlands
Date of Birth: January 24, 1989
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Stats: 0 goals, 8 assists
Previous Team: Chicago Steel
College: None

Ryan: What is your favorite and least favorite arena to play in and why?

Mike Dalhuisen: My favourite arena to play in is definitely Lincoln, not only because I play here but just because the atmosphere is so great and the fans are the best in the league! My least favourite would have to be Chicago, the atmosphere there isn't very good and it just kind of takes away the "kick" you get after a big hit or a fight because it isn't very loud.

Ryan: Describe the differences between playing in Chicago and in Lincoln.

MD: The difference is very big, the people here in Lincoln love the Stars and the fans are great. The booster club and all the community service project we do is different than what I did in Chicago, I'm sure a big reason is because Chicago is such a big city that people aren't as familiar with the hockey team because of its shadow by the Blackhawks and other professional sports.

Ryan: Describe your USHL experience so far.

MD: It is been an up and down ride for me, last year in Chicago I got into some troubles with my status as a foreigner playing in the USA, I ended up missing a lot of games and playoffs, coming to Lincoln was the best thing that could have happened and things have been great this year with the exception of missing a few games when I went back to Holland to be with my mom right before she died of cancer. But hockey-wise things here are really great!

Ryan: Which college would be your dream college to play for, and why?

MD: I don't really have a dream college to go to, coming from Canada and focusing on the OHL all my junior hockey career I never paid much attention to College Hockey, then after talking to many people I decided that it was the road I wanted to go at the last minute. So whatever comes my way I will check out and see what I like and dislike and go from there.

Ryan: What is it like playing for coach McGroarty?

MD: I really like it a lot. He is a very intense coach and loves to win just like me. Always expects hard work and 100% commitment and those are two things I was always brought up with and really keyed in on as I developed. He calls a spade a spade which I respect, doesn't beat around the bushes to try and sugar coat the situation just tells things the way they are. He does it so that we can learn from it and turn it into motivation to get better. You can talk to him like a coach but also like a father. He is respected by the players and knows the game of hockey very well.

Ryan: Has the adversity of the passing of your mother helped your game since you got back to Lincoln? If so, how?

MD: It has not helped my game. When I first came back no matter what I tried to do nothing seemed to be going right for me. The harder I tried, the worse things went. Struggling for a while I just kept working hard and kept telling myself that things will eventually iron out as long as I don't give up. My dad kept me motivated and told me every athlete goes through an obstacle course through his or her career and in order to achieve your goals you must continue to follow your dream and not let anything stop it. My mom would have wanted me to keep trying and she probably would have said " come on Mike, it over and done with turn the page and go out and play like I know you can."

Ryan: Coach McGroarty had you playing forward a few times this season. How did you prepare for the position change and did you like playing in the forward position?

MD: I didn't really get much time to prepare for it, it just kind of happened. I liked playing forward but not as much as I like defence. I am happy to be back on the defence.

Ryan: What goes through your mind when you drop the gloves?

The only thought that I have is to win. I either go for the knock out or to get knocked out. Go big or go home is basically what I think. When I drop the gloves I am 1000% sure that I am going to win. Going into a fight with a confident mind set will often determine the outcome.

Thanks to Mike for taking the time to answer these questions! Also, don't forget to purchase your bracelets to help this young man and his great cause.

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