Hockey's Tim Kunes Shares Thoughts on Freshman Year
Nov. 10, 2005
Freshman defenseman Tim Kunes has made a significant impact in each of the Eagles' first six games this season. Hailing from Huntington, N.Y., Kunes spent the last two seasons playing for the New England Junior Falcons of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL). The hockey team (3-2-1, 2-1-1) returns to action at Vermont (7-1-0, 1-1-0) on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.
Q: For someone who has yet to see the team play this season, can you give them a quick scouting report on yourself and your game? Is there anyone in the NHL who you look at and maybe try to emulate?
A: I think I'm somewhat of an offensive defensman. I like to get involved in the play. I really like Brian Leetch and the way he plays. He's a good all-around player. He has good offensive skills and he's good with the puck.
Q: Who have you been "paired with" so far? How hard is it to adjust to a new partner?
A: I've played a lot with Brian O'Hanley, on defense. I don't think that the adjustment has been too tough. Brian's a really good player, and he's helped me out a lot. Any adjustment like that really hasn't been too tough. We've got great coaches and some really good players here. It's been pretty easy.
Q: You've certainly made a positive impression early in the season. You see a lot of ice time, including in special-teams situations. What role do you play on the power play and how exciting is it to be so involved so early?
A: It's definitely exciting to play the point on the power play as a freshman. I've played on the point with Peter Harrold. We try to move pucks and get some shots to the net.
Q: You've played in six games so far. Give us your thoughts on the level of competition you've faced. What are the biggest differences between college hockey and the EJHL, where you played for the past two years?
A: Well, the college game is just so much faster. The kids are definitely bigger and stronger. But, mostly, it's just a lot faster and the kids are really good players. They're really skilled. Nothing has really surprised me, in terms of those differences; it's all about getting used to the quicker speed of play. After you get used to that speed, it becomes a lot easier.
Q: You're part of a very young defensive corps. Talk about the dynamics of the group. Who leads, who listens and who helps who?
A: Our leader is definitely Peter Harrold. He is the captain of our team. Our two sophomores - Mike Brennan and Brian O'Hanley - are other great leaders. Then, we have our four freshmen who are trying to fit into that lineup. In practices and on the bench during games, the veterans help with the little things.
Q: Talk a little more about Peter Harrold and what he brings to the team and, specifically, to your defensive group.
A: Peter's a great player, a great defenseman. He plays both ends of the ice really well. He's an offensive defenseman and a great passer. And, Peter's definitely a great leader. He leads by example, especially in our practices. He's definitely helped me and the other freshmen to adjust to the college game.
Q: Now that you're immersed in the program and in the midst of the season, give us some general thoughts on the hockey program - on and off the ice. Is there anything that has surprised you or anything that you didn't expect?
A: You don't really understand how fast it is and how good the players are until you're here. You don't really know what it's like until you're on the ice for the first game. Also, I'd say that the coaching staff has really pushed us hard on the ice, which is something that you would expect. They've also stressed that we have to follow up with our classes and keep up our grades.
Q: Talk about the coaching staff as a whole, more specifically Coach York and Coach Brown. How would you describe each of their styles of coaching.
A: They're both great coaches. Mostly, I would say that they are great teachers when you're with them one-on-one. They'll talk to you one-on-one and tell you what you need to do for your own game. Coach Brown has been a great help on the defense - he's a defensive coach. He helps us with our individual games and does a great job at it.
Q: You chose to come to Boston College to study and play hockey for a number of reasons. What were some of those reasons - and how has Boston College measured up to your hopes/expectations.
A: I came to BC for the great coaching staff and hockey program; the great academics here at Boston College; and, after watching the team play and the style of play, I knew it was a good fit for me. Now that I'm here, it's just awesome playing for BC and the coaching staff. It's been great. Going to school here has also been really great - and challenging. Life at Boston College is a lot of fun, being with all the kids and living on campus.
Q: You're one of 10 freshmen on the team. How have the returning players helped make the transition easier? Have you and your classmates been able to lend a hand and help each other?
A: The older players definitely help with the hockey stuff - on the ice and at practice. They're great with giving advice and that kind of thing. I'd say that the freshmen are a pretty tight group because there are so many of us. I mean, we're all just trying to adjust, and we're all trying to fit in, whether it's with school or playing on the team.
Q: Give the fans an idea of what you do each day. What's a typical day look like for you?
A: Well, I'll get up and go to class. After I go to class, I'll pick up some lunch in the afternoon and head down to the locker room right after that. I'll get to the locker room and stretch out. We get on the ice and practice for a couple of hours. Sometimes, it's lifting weights for an hour or so after practice. Right from there, I'll go grab some dinner, and after that it's off to study hall in learning resources for another couple of hours. After that, it's back to my room at around 8:30 or 9. It's a pretty long day, but it's definitely worth it.
- interview conducted by senior Alex Timiraos