December 8, 2008
On the eve of the 2008-09 Spongee season, second year player Sheldon Dent sat down with us for a brief interview.
Reporter: Sheldon, last year you performed way above expectations, Do you feel the pressure to keep improving and top last year's effort?
Sheldon: All I can do is go out there and give it 110%. If I can do that, I'm sure that this year can be even better than last year.
Reporter: Although every player hopes to improve on their rookie season, often the sophomore jinx can't be avoided. Based on your second season in softball that just ended, do you think you will suffer the same fate out on the ice and struggle this year?
Sheldon: Listen, I struggled on the diamond. There is no relationship with any jinx. i simply didn't perform to the best of my abilities.
Reporter: Finally, I'd like for you to comment on the apparent snub you received at the end of last season during the annual awards presentation. What was your reaction when you didn't receive any recognition for your stellar rookie campaign?
Sheldon: I'll be honest with you, It hurt real bad. I gave it my all and thought i had done enough to bring home the honour. Could I have done more to gain enough votes to warrant the award....maybe....but that's in the past. The scar from that is still there but as a professional, I have to put the disappointment behind me and look forward to this year.
Today I was fortunate to have the chance to talk with Ryan Shymko about the current season and his future goals.
Reporter: Ryan, so far this year you have been held pointless despite dressing for every game. What has been the biggest problem out there?
Ryan: I don't think you can place blame this earlier in the year. The team's still coming together and I expect big things from myself and the team as the season progresses.
Reporter: Some hockey experts have called your performance the league's biggest disappointment this season after the pylons spent big money to acquire 100% of your rights from Kiev in the Ukrainian Top division. Do you feel that the experts are being too harsh?
Ryan: Making the jump from the Ukrainian league to LMSA's Coed Division has been more than I expected. Back home, if you can get a shot on net, you'll probably score. Remember, back in Ukraine, the players aren't out there for the love of the game and therefore the commitment level isn't exactly at the same as it is here. Times back home have been tough with the decline of the potato industry and the introduction of Polish perogies into our market. Many farmers have joined the hockey league just to earn a living. So I guess, for a professional spongee player like myself, the last couple of years have seen me dominate the league's scoring due to the level of competition.
Reporter: Recently, your life outside of spongee has exploded when you were selected to be the spokesman for North Winnipeg Perogies. Can you comment on this role and any future business ventures you may be considering.
Ryan: Well, when North Winnipeg Perogies approached me, it was a no-brainer! I've loved their product since my first day in the city and naturally I was honoured to speak about their product. It was strange at first that all their advertising campaigns had me standing around in underwear with the perogies but hey I guess it's true....sex sells, even in the perogy industry. As for future plans, we'll see what I can do after my spongee career is over. I still have several good years in front of me but don't be surprised to see some Shymko's Fine Ukrainian Dining Restaurants popping up all across North America.
Reporter: Thanking you for taking time to talk with us and have a great holiday. Z Rizdvom Khrystovym!!!!!
Today I am pleased to have the chance to talk to Pylons' forward Leslee Dent about the current season and rumours in the media.
Reporter: This year has been nothing but a big disappointment for you based on expectations from the media. You currently have one of the longest goal droughts in the history of hockey. Can you please comment on this season.
Leslee: I have no influence on the expectations made by the press. All I can do is try to help the team win but it seems this year, nothing is working. Everyone wants to score and when you just can't find the back of the net, you start to grip the stick too tight and it goes from bad to worse.
Reporter: It is very interesting that you spoke of having a tight grip on your stick. Internet chat rooms and forums are full of comments blasting you for playing without two hands on your stick. Is there a reason you refuse to use two hands on the stick?
Leslee: HEY! We all have our own way of doing things....I don't sit here questioning the way you ask questions.
Reporter: Fans of the Pylons would really like to know why you refuse to keep two hands on the stick. They feel this is a major factor in your goal drought and the main reason you were not selected for allstar weekend to compete in the hardest shot competition. How do you feel about being left out?
Leslee: Honestly, I don't really care about being left out. We all know I have the hardest shot of all time. I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. If I used two hands on the stick, my shot would be classified as a weapon of mass destruction. For the safety of the league's goalies, I have to keep these guns in check and only use one at a time.
Reporter: Other rumours from various sources including Entertainment Yesterday and E-Chat Daily have pointed a finger at your "toxic" relationship with your boyfriend Andrew as the source of your on-ice troubles this season. Many have described you two as the Britney and Kevin Federline of spongee. Care to comment?
Leslee: We love the wild life!!!! I don't see what's the problem with rock & roll, wrestling and Coors Light! How can you go wrong with those things in your life.
Reporter: Recently, reports coming out of Winnipeg, have hinted that the Pylons have considered terminating your contract because of conduct detrimental to the team. If this was to happen, what are your future plans?
Leslee: I don't see that happening but if it did, I'm sure Andrew and I would turn to the independent wrestling circuit. He's always wanted to bring his Blue Bomber character to the ring and I'm sure i could bring the same intensity to the ring and as I do to the rink as Blue Lightening, his nasty valet!!!
Reporter: We thank you for taking the time to speak with us and wish you best of luck in doubling your goal output this year.