skip navigation

Q and A with Moorhead's Jason Strand

By Tim Kolehmainen, 01/16/09, 12:37PM CST


Strand talks about the privilege of playing for the Spuds and his start in hockey

by Tim Kolehmainen, Editor of The BREAKDOWN

The Moorhead Spuds began the season with a great 5-0-1 streak, surging up in the Class AA rankings in the process. The high point was a 5-0 victory at Section 8AA rival Roseau, in which the Spuds completely stymied the Rams' offense throughout. Rougher times have hit in recent weeks, as Moorhead has struggled to score during a six-game losing streak, although many of the games have come against the top-ranked teams in Class AA. The Spuds try to get back track on Saturday night at Minnetonka and will have to receive a full effort from their offense and defensive corps.

One of the key members of that defense, senior captain Jason Strand, recently did a Q and A with the Breakdown to discuss his hockey history, the best part of playing high school hockey and his Spuds.

The Breakdown: How did you get started playing hockey? Do you have older siblings/parents who have also played? And what is your favorite moment playing hockey?

Strand: One of my buddies got me into the sport.  He was actually a year ahead of me in hockey, and I  saw how much fun he was having so I decided to give it a try. There is no one in my family that I have ever heard that has played hockey, so I think I’m the first.  My favorite moment playing hockey was at Pee Wee A  Regionals.  We lost to Duluth East 9-1 earlier in the year, and we played them in the Region finals. We won 3-2.  I  was so excited, I can’t even describe the feeling.

The Breakdown: What kind of training do you do for hockey, both in- and off-season? 

Strand: I go four days a week to Noonan Strength Systems off-season, along with skating five days a week during Blueline Hockey School.  During the season, it’s kind of hectic with games on different days, but as a team we usually lift weights and do plyometrics two or three times a week.

The Breakdown: Give me a short scouting report on yourself as a player. What are your strengths?

Strand: I’m a pretty big guy out there.  I am going to work as hard as I possibly can every shift, and I am  a team player.

The Breakdown:This is the cliche question, but what player did you grow up following for perhaps style of play? 

Strand: I never really styled my play after anyone, but my favorite player was Joe Sakic. He knows how  to put the puck in the net.

The Breakdown: What's the best part of playing high school hockey and why?

Strand: Definitely, the camaraderie.  I get to hang out with my friends and play hockey at the same time.  What could be better?

The Breakdown: You guys got off to a great start this year but have stumbled in recent weeks with scoring. Does that change the mindset on defense at all? What do you go into a game trying to accomplish on defense?

Strand: When the offense struggles, I do feel like the defense needs to step up and play better.  I also trust the fact that if our defense struggles, our offense will step up, too.  As a team we take pride in our  defensive game, it also helps that we all have confidence in our goalie.

The Breakdown: Tell me about your defensive mates...what kind of skills and such do each bring to the ice?

Strand: They all bring their own skill set to the table.  I’m not always good, but I can count on whoever I play with to pick up the slack for me.

The Breakdown: What is it like putting on the jersey for a program with a history like Moorhead? Is there a sense of pride? Responsibility? Nervousness? 

Strand: It’s awesome! Unless you’ve done it yourself, you will never know what it feels like. There’s a huge amount of  pride and responsibility that comes from being a Spud. The first time I dressed as a sophomore was the most  nervous I have ever been,  but I would honestly not  want to play for any other team!