By Michael McHugh Reporter News Sports
Mike Smith thinks the best part of his job is coming to the rink with a part of his family that is, all the guys he plays with.
Thats really fun, every morning, getting up and knowing youre going to the rink with a good bunch of guys, said the 22year-old Smith.
One thing Smith doesnt like is losing.
On this December night, Smith was riding high. The Aeros had just beaten Norfolk 4-3 in a shootout, the first ever at Toyota Center. The 5,835 fans were wild with excitement, everyone on their feet, cheering the team on. No one dared to leave early.
Smith made 38 saves for the night, and four in the shootout.
The boys really battled through tonight, said Smith. We got down there in the third, and we came back. We stuck with our game plan and got the win in the shootout. Thats two big points for our team.
He felt the whole experience was intense. When he realized they were going in to a shootout, he went to the bench and didnt say much. He could hear the fans going crazy, and got pretty nervous. He knew there were a lot of people watching. He kept his helmet on and got focused, and tried to think about what was going to happen out there.
It turned out to be a big win for the team, and a big relief for Smith.
The rush of winning is why he plays, and to get to the next level and play in the NHL. Its a goal he plans to achieve in the next couple of years, and he believes he can make a difference.
There are a lot of good teams in the league this year, he said. With no NHL, there are a lot of good players that played in the NHL and are down here. Youve got to be ready to play every night.
Last January, Smith was called up to the Dallas Stars as backup to goalie Marty Turco. Turco is a player he really admires. Ive been to Dallas camp for three or four years now, and I look up to him, said Smith. Hes a great guy on and off the ice, and I really appreciate him.
Smith hails from Verona, Ontario. He started playing hockey when he was five years old. At six, he tried the position of goalie, liked it, and has remained in that position ever since.
Growing up, he enjoyed other sports such as baseball, and fishing.
His most exciting hockey moment was his first year of pro. He scored a goal and got a shutout all in the same game.
If he werent a hockey player, Smith would like to be a professional golfer or a rock star. I think both of them are pretty amazing jobs, and I think a rock star would be unbelievable, laughed Smith.
With a positive attitude, Smith believes you can achieve anything you really want by working hard. It looks like its paying off for him.
JUST FOR FUN:
Last good movie you saw?
Oceans Twelve. It was pretty solid.
Youll never catch me
Cutting my hair for a long, long time. I want to keep it for as long as I can because my dad is bald and I dont want to be there anytime soon!
Tell me one thing you would change about yourself if you could.
I dont know. Probably Im big and goofy looking? Maybe I could get some better looks!
With that answer I decided to go and get some fan feedback. Smith has nothing to worry about. The ladies likened him to Ashton Kutcher and Owen Wilson. One lady thought he resembled Mel Gibson.
If you were stuck on an island and you could have anybody with you besides family, who would you have with you?
I would want a very, very good looking girl. Heidi Klum maybe?
Favorite TV Show?
I like the OC, That 70s Show, and a lot of MTV.