Interview with Reading Royals defenseman Matt Campanale

This article can be found published in the December issue of Center Ice Hockey Magazine and on their website.

Matt_CampanaleAfter spending the last two seasons as public enemy No. 1 with the Elmira Jackals (and was later traded to the Las Vegas Wranglers last year), defenseman Matt Campanale signed with the Reading Royals over the summer and has already made an impact with the team in the first 10 games.

After a big 3-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays in the season opener, Center Ice was able to catch up with the 25 year old.

Is it kind of weird having to assimilate yourself into a team and a franchise that has won a championship?

“It’s not that weird because in our league, there is a lot of change over year by year. Guys are signed with the AHL affiliates and then new guys come in all the time. I was used to having new guys come in and the guys here who were with the team last year – the core of the team – are here and they’ve done a great job letting everyone in and getting everyone feeling as comfortable as possible.”

Anything surprise you about the season-opening game?

“It wasn’t the most perfect game, but I thought it had a pretty good pace. I was gassed out there. It was the first one getting back into it. You’re not used to that game pace yet, but it was a pretty good game and then it went to the shootout. It ended up pretty exciting for the fans as well.”

Is there a different feeling coming to a team which is the defending champion?

“Every year, the team’s goal is to win the Kelly Cup and when a team already did it, they already have that in their back pocket and all the guys can reminisce about last year and winning it. That drives the new guys because we want to win it and get that feeling just as much as them. No team has defended the title before so it gives us new guys more incentive to come in and help those guys reclaim the title again.”

Does being the local guy on the team make a difference for you?

“I live 40 minutes away and my parents love that they can come to any game and it’s not like last year when I was out in Vegas. They had to stay up until 10 o’clock to watch games. I like being the local guy because it gives kids around here an incentive and a little hope to play pro hockey.”

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Categories: ECHL, Features, Ice Hockey, Sports

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