07/06/2009 - Chris Rahn, BEARS Staff Writer
Andrew Gordon just completed his second season as a member of the HERSHEY BEARS. After splitting last season between South Carolina (ECHL) and HERSHEY, Gordon was a regular with the BEARS this past season and even made his NHL debut.
In only two short years, Gordon has quickly become a fan favorite among all BEARS fans. While he had his first fight this past season, he has no plans to become the enforcer next season. He loves coming to the rink everyday and still plays the game for the fun of it. His numbers were down this past season, but he knows that his role has changed and he's adapted to that.
Chris Rahn: What's one thing you will remember about this season?
Andrew Gordon: Obviously, not to single out a guy, but Giroux's record. Just like against Bridgeport when he set that goal. All the boys were high-fiving on the bench and the crows was going nuts. I started thinking we were a part of something pretty special here.
Chris Rahn: You always play every shift hard, despite the score. Where do you find the energy to do that?
Andrew Gordon: That's great to hear, because some nights where I just don't have energy. That's my role on the team. Last year my role was to score a little bit more, my numbers were a little bit different. With guys like Coiner, Giroux and Minker, who are going to put up big numbers; it's more my job to go out there and provide that energy and just be tough to play against. I realize my role has changed a little bit, and I can go out there and focus on that. Instead of necessarily going out there and scoring on every shift, I just go out there and make sure I finish my checks and play with some passion. Just try to energize the boys whenever possible.
Chris Rahn: You're always smiling. Is there anything that ever gets you mad?
Andrew Gordon: Not really, to be honest; I get commented on it all the time. My mother loves to hear it. I don't know. It's a fun game. Everyone grew up playing this game for fun, and just because I get paid for it doesn't mean I'm not going to enjoy myself. I love coming to the rink, I love being around the guys; there's nothing I'd rather be doing at any point in my life.
Chris Rahn: You had your first fight this past season, any thoughts on maybe being the enforcer for the BEARS next season?
Andrew Gordon: I don't think I'm going to take over for G-Mac; him and Kip are doing a pretty good job. Once you get that first one out of the way, it doesn't seem that bad anymore. It was fun though, Minard's a good guy; I talked to him about it afterwards. It was kind of the heat of the moment. It's not so bad, I got the fear of the first one over with, and so if it happens again I'm not going to be afraid. It was a good thing, I guess.
Chris Rahn: Any pregame rituals?
Andrew Gordon: I'm out on the bench a lot of the time, a lot of the fans see me out there and comment on that. Like right before warm-ups start, maybe with 40 minutes on the clock, I go out to the bench with my stick. I put my head down and do a little positive thought and see myself out there making plays on the ice. I wear my gloves for about two hours before the game. Little things like that, some things I just picked up since I was 13 or 14.
Chris Rahn: Who is your roommate on the road?
Andrew Gordon: I switched around a little bit this year. Most often it's Patty McNeill, but sometimes when he's not there I got with Joudrey or Willy (Kyle Wilson). Patty's been my roommate for all of last year and most of this year.
Chris Rahn: Any crazy stories from the road?
Andrew Gordon: San Antonio and Houston were just a blast. The world is just so much different down there. We went out and got to see a little bit of the town. Every road trip is fun, getting away from home and being out with the boys. Experiencing a new city is a part of the reason I love the game.
Chris Rahn: You made your NHL debut this past season, talk about that feeling.
Andrew Gordon: That was very special for me and my family. I'm from a very small town and not much goes on there and that was big news there that day. Unfortunately there was a big snow storm and my parents couldn't fly out to see the game. The same snow storm knocked out the power, so they couldn't even watch it on TV. It was an incredible feeling. Helmer was with me, so he was calming me down in the airport and the hotel room. New York, the biggest city, it was the biggest stage in the hockey world pretty much. So being in that arena, Madison Square Garden, an arena I went to watch a game in when I was really little was really something special. As it turns out, one of my best friends from home lives in New York, so although I didn't have my family or parents with me, I did have one of my friends with me, so I wasn't completely alone.
Chris Rahn: How do you normally spend the offseason?
Andrew Gordon: I am by the lake, at home, in a very small town just sitting in the sun. I work out very hard in the morning with Andrew Joudrey. My afternoons I just try to relax and try not to think about anything. Not that my winters are too stressful, but summer is just a different vibe, a different life. So I relax and just enjoy my time off, because I know I won't get to many breaks until Christmas time. So just try and get the most rest and relaxation I can, and just enjoy being home.