Nigel Goodenough

Who is your sporting idol?

Zdeno Chára, who also comes from Slovakia. He was one of the best defencemen in the NHL and captain of the Boston Bruins for 14 years. He’s an incredibly hardworking player, a great leader, but also a very humble person. Overall a great role model. I met him at a training camp when I was 13, and I’d love to meet him again.

Best sporting moment?

Winning the Varsity match.

Worst sporting moment?

Losing the Varsity match.

Why your sport?

I got into ice hockey through my family. My dad is a coach and my two brothers also play. I started relatively late, when I was six or seven, so I had to work extra hard to catch up. The hardworking mentality stayed with me and continues to help me improve. Ice hockey is a complex sport which requires many aspects of athleticism, teamwork, decision making and judgment. It is very fulfilling to combine it all.

What is the best bit about being captain?

It’s probably the proud feeling of seeing the team perform well in games. I have always lived by the creed that leadership is service, and I think it is important to put my teammates first. Try to set a good example and create the conditions for everyone to get better. Seeing that it pays off when the team does well is rewarding.

Worst bit about being captain?

Probably the most challenging bit is to keep a good picture of where the team is and adjusting our approach accordingly. It is my responsibility, and the responsibility of the other captains, to make sure the team is ready for the Varsity match. You have to keep asking yourself constantly – are we doing the right things? Is there more we can do? You don’t want to be in a position to be asking these questions after the Varsity match.

Is it easy for beginners to join?

While it is challenging to get into the sport, beginners often find it very stimulating and enjoyable. Someone once said: “Your ability to keep doing interesting things is your willingness to be embarrassed again and go back to step one … ” If you’re someone who finds joy in learning new skills, you’ll love the challenge.

Who could a beginner contact to get involved?

The club has a development squad called the Huskies which welcomes newcomers. It is best to join at the start of the season in October.

What might a typical training session look like?

Hockey requires a very wide range of abilities and training is adapted accordingly. It is a physical game with hitting which takes almost 3 hours from start to end – for that we train to improve our strength and conditioning in the gym. In our on-ice training, we focus on skills such as skating, puck-handling, shooting, tactics, strategy and other aspects of the game. In addition, we all do individual off-ice sessions which are tailored to the needs of every player.

When/where is training held?

We have on-ice training sessions at our Cambridge Ice Arena, typically on weekday nights. The off-ice strength and conditioning sessions are in the University Sports Centre.


Mountain View

Captain's Corner: Caving

Funniest moment with the team?

There’s no shortage of those as the past winners of the esteemed “Hanson-Poe-Zhang Memorial Dust Award” would attest. A recent highlight is a player showing up for a training camp without his gear. But many other inside jokes obviously come up in our frequent social events.

Varsity predictions?

The 106th Varsity match will be held in Cambridge on 9 March. The game will be intense and entertaining, and Cambridge will win.

Who should we look out for this year?

Look out for your Cambridge Blues! We have a lot of breadth and depth in the team and every player will contribute to team success. Come to support and vote for your favourite player!