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10 SECONDS With Gordon Ceasar

By Justin Siewierski; Editor-in-Chief
On March 8, 2016

10 SECONDS With Gordon Ceasar

Justin Siewierski
Editor-in-Chief
js2010@plymouth.edu

CLOCK PHOTO/ALEX CROSSLEY

In the past three years, there’s been a Ceasar’s Palace in two different locations: Las Vegas, Nevada, and Hanaway Rink. The one inside Hanaway is a little rowdier.

From Oak Park, California, Gordon Ceasar has been an absolute powerhouse in the net for the Panthers. The Biotechnology major has had a lot on his plate since he’s transferred across the country, including playing in goal for his third conference title match against Salem State. This Saturday will be his final game against a MASCAC opponent, and in talking to head coach Craig Russell, he’s been everything a team can ask for. “[Gordon] always brings his ‘A’ game. He’s one of the best to put on the sweater,” he said. “He isn’t a big shutout guy, but he’s always counted on to shut down the net, which he does extremely well.”

In his 21 games in goal this season, Ceasar ranks second in goals allowed (2.00) and third in save percentage (.921) in the MASCAC. This week, I had the chance to talk to the MASCAC second-teamer, for this week’s installment of 10 Seconds.

When did you get started with hockey?

I started with hockey at five years old when I played my first season of roller hockey in southern California. Watching Kelly Hrudey inspired me to try playing goalie as I would mimic him while watching LA Kings games in the living room.

How did you find out about Plymouth? Why did you transfer here?

I first heard about Plymouth from former teammate and present assistant coach, Kyle Brumfield, who I played with in juniors for the Rochester Stars. I had also played with Ron Smelstor in Detroit during my junior hockey career and both of them expressed a need for a goalie at Plymouth during my sophomore year at Utica College. Coincidentally, I was unhappy with my situation at Utica so I contacted Coach Russell and wasted no more time transferring for the spring semester of my sophomore year.

You're the most relaxed goalie I've seen in Hanaway. How do you do it?

After playing a number of games at this level you become confident and playing in front of a loud arena like Hanaway Rink, it just gets you more excited to play. Sometimes I still get that nervous feeling in big games like the MASCAC championship last year.

What's been your favorite moment at PSU?

My favorite moment at PSU was winning the MASCAC championship on home ice last year.

What's your pre-game ritual?

At the end of a pre game practice I will take some slow shots on my glove and blocker to make sure I am tracking the puck well. Then, on game day I take a mid-afternoon nap followed by a small meal of bland pasta and meatballs with my roommate Erik Strom. After that we usually suit up and head down to the rink.

How did you guys react seeing Salem advance in OT this past Tuesday? What's the mentality this week at practice?

We were rooting for Westfield because that would have meant the championship would have been played on home ice. But after Salem pulled off the win, we were more motivated than ever to play them again, especially for another championship.

Looking back, how does this season compare to the rest of your time here at PSU?

This season has been special. I think we have the most potential to go far into the post season out of all three seasons I have played here. With that being said, we set three goals before the season began and up to this point we have achieved one of them. Our hope is to achieve the other two and I think we have what it takes to do that this year.

Your major is the real deal. How do you balance school and hockey?

Fortunately, this year has not been too overwhelming in school. With that being said, sometimes school and sports compliment each other because it forces you to manage your time better. Also, I believe as an athlete you perform better when you get your mind off of sports sometimes, and school does that for us. As long as I have a little bit of time to turn my focus to hockey before I head down to the rink the results are usually good.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to have obtained my Master's in Physician Assistant studies and be working as a Physician Assistant as that is my ultimate career goal. I would like to stay involved in hockey, whether that’d be coaching part time or recruiting depending on what kind of time I have on my hands. For now, I plan on going back to California after I graduate from PSU but with the amount of friends and connections I have made out here I am always open to exploring career options on the east coast.

Walk me through skating off victorious in your last game in net at home.

As one of five seniors, I knew it could be the last game I play at Hanaway Rink so I just tried to take in every moment of being out there with the packed crowd. There were a lot of great conversations in the handshake with Fitchburg and I was one of the last players off the ice as I was savoring the moment as long as possible.

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