One-timers with … Ben Kucera

Ben Kucera got healthy for the stretch run and adds a goal-scoring threat to Air Force's lineup. Photo courtesy of Paat Kelly and Air Force Athletics

Things haven’t gone exactly according to play for forward Ben Kucera this season, primarily due to injuries. The team’s goal-scoring leader in 2015-16 with 15, the junior has been limited to just 20 games this season. His four goals, however, included a biggie – the gamer-winner against Bentley on Saturday to send the Falcons back to the Atlantic Hockey Conference final four for the eighth time in 11 seasons and the second year in a row.

As you might expect from a goal-scorer, Kucera hammered away when The Flight Path fed him some sweet one-timers recently.

Our most important meal of the day is clearly breakfast, so what is the breakfast of champions?

You have to have your eggs, some sausage. Hopefully an omlet. I usually top it off with some yogurt and some cereal.

A big breakfast. I like it!

Oh yeah.

What’s your favorite memory in hockey?

Probably winning in the playoffs last year and going to Rochester (for the Atlantic Hockey semifinals.

What is the best part about playoff time?

I love how it’s do or die. There’s not nearly as much room for error as there is during the regular season. Just the vibe on the team right now, you can feel it when you walk in the room. Everyone is so serious. We know that there is no way we’re going to lose.

Who were some of your hockey influences?

Probably my cousins. My family wasn’t really big into hockey, my older brother played. But my cousins really took me under their wing and got me hooked on the game. And also my dad. We used to make a hockey rink in our back yard every winter. My dad’s been there every step of the way so I couldn’t have done it without him.

Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?

Peter Forsberg of the Avalanche.

Are you particular about any of your gear?

I’m pretty easy with that stuff. I guess if anything it would be my stick. I have to have it taped a certain way. I’m not too crazy about that. I don’t think it matters that much.

Is there a team comedian?

I think I’m up there.

You have been mentioned.

Probably Kyle Mackey. He can make anyone laugh. He makes me laugh more than anyone else.

I understand you have some big music aficionados on the team. Who is the team DJ?

Usually Evan Feno. He has the pregame music. Then probably me or Kyle Haak – we like to play some country music to keep it light throughout the week.

Do you have a favorite part about the Academy life?

Obviously hockey is what keeps me going. I love the fact that I’m here, and when you think about it’s an honor to be here. There’s a lot of people who would kill to be here.

 

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