This week’s interview is with Anchorage Igloos C Jake Frost.
SHL Digest: This week, we’re talking to one of the SHL’s top scorers and best-known players, Jake Frost of the Anchorage Igloos. Jake, thanks for speaking with us.
Jake Frost: Hi, how you doin’?
SHLD: This week, your team clinched a trip to the postseason for the third time in four seasons. How does that feel?
JF: Honestly, not that great. We certainly feel like we could have done better this season, and just making the playoffs is definitely not our goal. We want another Vandy, and if we’re really going to celebrate something, we’ll do it then.
SHLD: So would you consider the regular season a disappointment?
JF: It’s definitely below what we know we can accomplish. One thing that I am proud of, though, is the way we played down the stretch, especially after the [trading] deadline. Seattle loaded up and told the world they were coming for us, and we knew we had to strap in and really get the job done. And we did. We’ve won maybe 15 of our last 20 [actually, they’ve gone 16-3-1]. That’s the kind of play we expect of ourselves.
SHLD: Looking ahead to the playoffs, you’ll be facing your longtime rivals. the Michigan Gray Wolves, for a spot in the Finals. What do you think of your chances in that series?
JF: It’s going to be a real battle, no question. Michigan is tough, competitive, and they’re playing great hockey. You know [coach Ron] Wright is going to have his team whipped up into a frenzy. We couldn’t ask for a tougher matchup. But I think we can take them.
SHLD: What are the keys to victory for you against the Wolves?
JF: They play a total physical game. They’ll try to slow us down in the neutral zone, neutralize our speed advantage, deny us clean entries to the zone and clean looks at the net. We’ll have to avoid letting them trap us, use our speed and skill to stay a step ahead, and take advantage of our opportunities when they come.
SHLD: Sounds like a tall order.
JF: Sure is. We also know they’ll try to intimidate us, make the games as physical and ugly as possible. We’ll need to step to them to show we aren’t scared, but don’t let them bait us into a bloodbath.
SHLD: Again, a pretty tough task.
JF: Oh, yeah. But if you’re going to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. I’ve got confidence in our guys.
SHLD: Turning away from the playoffs for a minute: Earlier this year, you pledged to donate $100 to the Lupus Foundation of America for every goal you scored, in honor of your teammate Les Collins’ sister Teri. How’s she doing?
JF: Teri’s doing all right, thanks for asking. Obviously, Les is a pretty private guy and doesn’t like to talk about it a lot, but we’ve definitely been keeping up with her situation. She’s on a new course of medication that really seems to be helping. But there’s still no cure, which is one thing the Lupus Foundation is working on. And I’m proud to help out.
SHLD: It’s great that you’re doing it.
JF: Now I just need to score a bunch more goals in the final week so I can up the donation even more. I’m aiming for $5000, which is seven goals away.
SHLD: Not an easy target with only four games left! But you’ve gone on runs like that before.
JF: I got five this past week. I can do it.
SHLD: Well, thanks again for your time, Jake, and good luck in the playoffs!
JF: Thanks. We can use it!