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Ice Hawks Goalie Sawyer Schmidt makes a save on a shot by Willmar’s Max Oelkers during the team’s home opener at the Rochester Recreation Center earlier this month. Schmidt is a first-year Ice Hawk from North Dakota.
Sawyer Schmidt is a North Dakota native playing Tier 3 junior hockey this season with the Rochester Ice Hawks.
Schmidt bypassed his senior season of high school hockey in North Dakota to play juniors with the Ice Hawks. The goalie isn’t off to a great statistical start with the Ice Hawks, but he’s drawing high praise from the Ice Hawks coaching staff.
While in Rochester, Schmidt is taking classes at Mayo High School.
Today, the first-year Ice Hawks net minder is on the hot seat with the Sizzling Six:
1. What made you pick Rochester and the Ice Hawks?
SCHMIDT: I chose Rochester because coach (Nick) Fatis thought highly of me and I knew him and the rest of the coaching staff would push me to be the best player possible on and off the ice.
2. Who’s your all-time favorite goalie?
SCHMIDT: Carey Price is my favorite goalie because he plays very calmly and patiently, and he can make the big saves when he needs to.
3. Goalies often are said to be odd ducks. What makes Sawyer Schmidt an odd duck?
SCHMIDT: All goalies are a little weird. I guess some of the things that I do that are weird might be sticking to myself before games, and rather than listening to music, I sit in silence. I don’t take any pre-workouts or anything because I like to stay calm in net. To be honest, I’m a pretty normal goalie, not too ‘off.’
4. Which one of your teammates would you most want on your side if you had to throw down?
SCHMIDT: Alex Tarr. He’s a very tall, fearless man and I know he’d always have my back if I needed it.
5. The team is struggling now, which means your numbers aren’t great. How tough is that mentally and how do you remain focused while the team figures things out?
SCHMIDT: Mentally, it’s a little difficult not getting the numbers I want, but the best thing for myself or anyone else in my position to do is keep your head high and keep working hard on the ice so it doesn’t matter what kind of shot it is. No matter what the shot, I train to stop it.
6. Coach Fatis usually has some classic sayings and phrases. What’s your favorite one so far?
SCHMIDT: ‘You train to be a hockey player, not to be a person who plays hockey.’