Goaltender Greg Harney (East Haven, CT) took time out of his busy off-season hockey schedule to talk hockey and discuss his plans for the future.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: What are your biggest strengths as a goaltender?
GREG HARNEY: I’d have to say my biggest strengths as a goaltender would be my consistency and how calm I can be whatever the situation may be.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: The Notre Dame-West Haven hockey team surprised a lot of people in 2010-2011. What do you think contributed to the success of the team this year?
GREG HARNEY: The one thing that definitely contributed to our success was how close we were as a team. Nobody held grudges or didn’t want to play with certain players. We all loved each other and were one big family and will forever stay that way.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: Who were some of the top players you faced this year at Notre Dame-West Haven?
GREG HARNEY: I’d have to say A.J. Unker of Fairfield Prep was up there he has a great release on his snap shot and is definitely a threat when on the ice. Another I’d have to say would be Ethan Holdaway of Glastonbury he can single handedly change or control a game with great speed and a great set of hands.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: You’re slated to attend Trinity-Pawling School (Pawling, NY) next season. Describe for other players/parents/coaches how you decided TP was the right school for you?
GREG HARNEY: A few years back, Paul Falanga transferred from East Haven High School to T.P. as a repeat sophomore that’s where it all started. Back then, I didn’t really have a clue of what prep school was so this was all new to me.
I watched Paul play and noticed how totally different the hockey was the pace was faster and the games were all very competitive and a lot of the players were moving on to continue playing at the USHL NAHL & the College ranks.
As far as the hockey end goes, both of the goalies were seniors which meant that I would have a chance to come in and compete for playing time as repeat sophomore, the team plays in the Founders League and attends the Avon Xmas tournament each year.
As for the School, I visited T.P. several times over the past three years and then once I spent the overnight visit with Paul and attended classes I decided to attend. I also really liked that everyone was friendly and really like the campus.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: You were recently invited to a tryout camp for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. How was that?
GREG HARNEY: It was an incredible experience. I was very pleased with my performance being one of the youngest out of 46 goalies to attend camp. It gave me a change to work with goalies that have USHL, BCHL, NAHL and CJHL playing experience and the Phantoms coaching staff.
I felt my last day of camp was my strongest as I had gotten comfortable at that point. The USHL is the real deal. I can tell just by the shots I was seeing off the sticks of the Phantom shooters. It’s an honor to participate in anything associated with that league and the Phantoms. I look forward to returning next year.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: What professional (or college) goaltender do you pattern your style after?
GREG HARNEY: I would definitely say without a doubt Tim Thomas. He is a very competitive goaltender who loves to battle and does whatever he has to do to stop the puck which I feel that is exactly how I play. It doesn’t usually look pretty but whatever gets the job done.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: Who has had the biggest influence on your hockey career to date and why?
GREG HARNEY: Without a doubt my father, without him I don’t even know if I’d be playing hockey right now. I love him to death. He never intended to have me become a goaltender like he was when he played. I was a forward at first and once I tried the position I made the switch at 7 years old.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: It is often said that playing goaltender in hockey is one of the most difficult positions in all of sport. What do you think is the hardest part about being a netminder?
GREG HARNEY: That is a totally agreeable statement. Being a goaltender is easily one of the most difficult positions in sports and there’s a lot riding on you, you decide the game.
The hardest part is I’d have to say is the critics and the recognition in the end, goaltenders would agree.
When you do succeed you don’t receive much credit except when you go out and stand on your head and steal a game. When you play bad, all the blame and fingers are pointed at you.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: What advice do you have for other young goaltenders coming up that want to take their game to the next level?
GREG HARNEY:I would have to say get on the ice with older kids and see the harder shots. It not only prepares for the future but it helps you when you return to face players your own age.
I started practicing with ’93 birth year kids with the Connecticut Wolves when I was about 11 years old my father had suggested that. I may have thought he was crazy at first but I totally appreciate it looking back. In addition I have been working with a goaltender coach Jared Waimon for several years which has been a great help to understand the position better as a younger goaltender.
NUTMEG HOCKEY: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
GREG HARNEY: I would like to continue playing the highest level of hockey I can.
Thanks, Greg. Best of luck to you next year.
|THE HARNEY FILE|
TEAM: Notre Dame-West Haven Green Knights
STATS: 12-8-0, 1.89 GAA, 93.1 Sv%, 4 SO