Sunday, July 25, 2010

Q&A wth Brad Zancanaro

Former BU co-captain Brad Zancanaro answered our questions about participating in the REPLAY THE SERIES restaging of a suspended 1999 game between his Trenton High School team and rival Catholic Central.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard about the possibility of replaying the game?
A. The kid who put the application in emailed me to see if i would be interested. At first I wasn't too excited about it because I thought it might be kind of cheesy...but he had me go to the Web site and watch the previous year's show. The first season turned out really well, so I figure it could be fun, and all the guys from the team that year were pretty excited about it.

Q. You had retired from pro hockey due to an injury a few years ago. Were you still playing hockey in an adult league?
A. I quit hockey because I had a few concussions and it took me a while to feel better. But I had been playing men’s league around Boston the past couple years. BU Hockey Alumni also have skates on Sunday mornings every once in a while during the winter.

Q. How big a challenge was getting back into game shape?
A. I have stayed in pretty good shape but wasn't used to getting hit or doing drills. I had to go back to Michigan for a "combine" weekend where our high school coach ran practices. It had been two years since I had participated in an actual practice, but it didn’t take long to get back into it. It was different for the other guys though. Most of them haven't practiced or been hit since high school. A couple guys lost a lot of weight. Both teams took it pretty seriously and the game was pretty intense, so it was important that everyone got into the best shape possible.

Q. How does the Trenton--CC rivalry compare with BU-BC?
A. There aren't a lot of the rivalries that compare to the BU-BC rivalry. But, for high school hockey in Michigan, nothing compares to Trenton-CC. Both teams are powerhouses and it seems like we used to switch off winning the state championships every year. We would play CC twice during the regular season each year. The games were always packed and just as intense as BU-BC was the same type of feeling. CC is a Catholic school and recruits kids from all over the state come to play, and we are a public school that doesn't allow kids from other cities attend school there.. I think that added to the rivalry because there was a lot of pride involved for us because we were playing for our town.

Q. So, how cool was the experience of rejoining your high school teammates for a serious-game rematch with CC ?
A. Hockey has given me the opportunity to do a lot of things other people don’t get to do in their lives, but the Replay experience was by far one of the coolest things hockey has allowed me to do. It was great to go back and play high school hockey again! Not many people get a chance to do that. For our practices, our coach was running the same drills that we did 11 years ago and we even did the same traditions from 11 years ago. When given a second chance like that, people wanted to make the most of it. Both teams took it very seriously. No one was expecting the level of play to be what it was for the game, including myself. A lot of people have told me that it was one of the most exciting games that have seen in awhile and that the level of play was great to watch. We had a sold out crowd and we had our whole town behind us. The game had the same rivalry feeling that the games 11 years ago had. We were down 2-1 going into the third and we were able to pull out a 4-2 win. We had a big celebration with old friends and family that rivaled the ones we had at the Dugout after Beanpot victories!