We caught up with Michigan Gray Wolves G Dirk “The Bear” Lundquist shortly after his team claimed the 2016 SHL championship.
SHL Digest: We’re here with Dirk “The Bear” Lundquist of the newly crowned SHL champion Gray Wolves. Dirk, how does it feel to win the Vandy?
Dirk Lundquist: Whooooeeee! Let me tell you, it feels really great. The Vandy’s a shiny, shiny trophy, and getting to hold it, it’s like when I held my daughter for the first time. So beautiful!
SHLD: If you had to pick one thing that propelled you to the championship, what was it?
DL: Our team spirit. We’re a tough bunch of guys, no question. The NHL passed us all over, and that gave us a little extra motivation to show what we can accomplish. And we’re a blue-collar team. We’re not in it for glory, we’re in it for hard work and getting the job done.
SHLD: In the first two games of this series, you posted back-to-back shutouts. That’s the first time any SHL goalie has ever done that, and you did it in the Finals. Does that show that you’re at your best when the stakes are highest?
DL: It shows that we all are, as a team. I wouldn’t be nearly so successful as a goalie if I didn’t have a great defense in front of me. They sacrifice their bodies to block shots, they throw themselves into the wall work, they work hard to deny the other team good looks at the net. I wouldn’t be here without them. This is a whole-team effort.
SHLD: We heard that your famous beard might undergo some changes now that you’ve won. Care to comment?
DL: Well, my daughter Lindsey, she keeps telling me she wants to braid my beard. So I told her that if we won the championship, I’d let her do it. Now we’ve won, so I guess I’ve got to do it. She’s 5, so I don’t know what kind of job she’s going to do. It should be interesting!
SHLD: Good luck with that! Now, you mentioned the NHL before, and getting passed over. After the kind of job you’ve done the last couple seasons, I imagine some NHL teams might come calling. Is that something you’d consider?
DL: Hell no! I’m right where I belong. The only place I want to be next year is back here in Michigan with my friends, defending our title.
SHLD: One last question: Now that you’ve won the title, what are you going to do next?
DL: Well, first I plan to drink all the beer I can find. Then I’m going to sleep for about a month.
SHLD: Sounds good! Well, congratulations, Dirk. Go celebrate with your teammates!
DL: Thanks. Wolves forever!