Athlete of the Week: Evan Cline

Photo by Sebastian Evans.

Evan Cline is a senior hockey goalie hailing from Freeland, Michigan. So far in his career here at Lawrence, he has saved 1,956 shots and earned Player of the Game honors 69 times. Cline started playing hockey when he was six years old, but most recently Cline was recognized as Viking of the Week after saving 31 of 32 shots against the #3 ranked UW-Eau Claire Blugolds.

Kelli Quick: Why did you choose to play goalie? How does that position compare to the others in the game? 

Evan Cline:  I decided I wanted to be a goalie because I selfishly didn’t have to get off the ice for a shift change. Also, when I would play with my family friend who got me into hockey I wasn’t as fast as him, so the only way I could keep up was if I played goalie. As far as how the position of goalie compares to the other positions, it’s a different mindset and physical demand. It’s a nice set up because I don’t really have to skate long distances, I stay in the small blue crease. But the trade-off is that when I make a mistake it’s pretty obvious. I think ultimately the biggest difference between goalies and the rest of the players on the ice is how much more mental focus goalies need at all times. 

KQ: How do you cope with the pressure that comes with being a goalie?

EC: I used to get really nervous before games, stomach in knots type deal. I got to a point where I just enjoyed the nerves. It’s really corny, but I remember my dad telling me to just use the nervous energy. If I could control my nerves then my nerves couldn’t control me. 

KQ: Could you describe one experience in which you were in a shootout? What was going through your mind? How do you prepare yourself in that situation? Do you do anything different? 

EC: I have been a part of one shootout here at Lawrence, and it was my freshman year. When a shooter comes down, I try and clear my head of everything but the thought of stopping the puck. Physically, I try and match the shooter’s speed and I let the shooter make the first move. 

KQ: What’s your favorite memory on the hockey team here at Lawrence? 

EC: My favorite memory in my Lawrence hockey career came during my sophomore year when we made playoffs. It was a great feeling because of the way we ended the season my freshman year. I’m excited for this year to get back into the playoffs.

KQ: What’s one of your favorite quotes that a coach has ever said to you?

EC: He’s more of a life coach, but Kenny Powers once said, “Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless,” and I always liked that quote. At some point, you’ve got to have confidence and that is what I get from that quote.

KQ: If you had to ask your teammates what sport they think you would be the worst at what would it be and why?

EC: I’m pretty terrible at baseball. If any of my teammates have ever seen me try to throw something then there is no way they would think I am any good. 

KQ: What’s your favorite sports team? 

EC: My favorite sports team is probably the Lawrence University Vikings. Aside from that, I would say the Detroit Red Wings.

KQ: Vanilla or chocolate? 

EC: Chocolate ice cream, but vanilla waffles.