Senior captain, Danny Willson, plays center for the Orono boy’s hockey team. He has played for Orono hockey all of his high school career. Son of Sarah and Chris Willson, he plans to attend Carlson at the University of Minnesota, but as of now his major is undecided.
Orono plays rival team Mound-Westonka this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Orono Ice Arena.
Patch.com sat down with Willson to talk about his experiences on the Orono hockey team.
Lake Minnetonka Patch: Who’s your team’s biggest rival and why?
Danny Willson: Probably Mound or Delano because our teams are usually around the same skill level, so they are pretty fun games.
Patch: Do you have any personal rivals?
Willson: Personally... Jack O’connor and I best friends and we grew up together. He is the captain of the Breck team and we are also the same position, so in sections it will be fun to play him.
Patch: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Willson: Umm.. Not really I go to Jimmy Johns before every game so if you want to count that as a ritual.
Patch: What are bus rides like?
Willson: Bus rides are fun. It’s probably the most fun we have. Either that or the locker room because we kind of get rowdy and make fun of each other.
Patch: Are bus rides home different after you win or lose a game?
Willson: They’re a little bit different because Teddy Spencer does this chant after we win and when he raises his helmet we all yell “hey!” But usually we get over loses pretty quick and it’s a fun ride home either way.
Patch: What else do you guys do in the locker room?
Willson: We kind of give each other crap and talk about stuff we can’t really talk about in front of the general public.
Patch: What songs do you listen to before games?
Willson: We let [Ryan] Breon control the music because he sits next to the ipod stand, and he’s a big music guy, so we listen to a lot of dubstep because Breon likes to listen to dubstep... but other than that, like 90’s rap. A lot of the stuff I haven’t heard, but none of us have really heard any of his music so we just kinda go with.
Patch: Who are you closest to on the team?
Willson: I’m pretty close with Zach Grochowski. We’ve been best friends for awhile, but I’ve also gotten to know Gavin [Payne] and Joey [Luedtke] and I’m really good friends with Nick [Schroeder] and Noah Schultz also.
Patch: What are you most excited for this season?
Willson: We’re pretty good this year, so I’m really excited for things we’re going to doing in sections. I think we have a really good chance of going to state this year.
Patch: Do you have any personal goals?
Willson: Well now it’s just to get the team as far as we can into the playoff because it’s my last year and it will be weird not playing again, so I’m just trying to make the most of this year.
Patch: Who’s your favorite Hockey player?
Willson: Patrick Kane, who plays for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Patch: Are the Blackhawks your favorite team?
Willson: Well no, the Wild are probably my favorite team. I liked watching the Blackhawks but know I have to stop because they are in the Wild’s conference.
Patch: Are you excited about the NHL lockout ending?
Willson: Oh yes! I can’t wait! I love going to Wild games!
Patch: Is your family a big hockey family?
Willson: Yeah, definitely. My sister used to play, but she quit last year. My brother plays and my dad plays in high school, so it kind of runs in the family.
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