With the Premier Championship recently decided in a hard fought battle between the Toronto Thunder and the Metro Orangemen I was able to catch up with Toronto Thunder All-Star Defenseman Kal Kakish to get his feelings…After the Final Whistle…
First off let me congratulate you on an amazing playoff run and a coming out of sorts for you as an All-Star Defenceman at the highest level. How did you feel after the final whistle sounded in the final series versus the Orangemen?
First of all thank you for all your kind words. To be honest, I was really disappointed in the outcome of the game and the series. I honestly believe we could have won that series if it weren't for a few bounces their way. Both team’s battle hard and it was fun to be a part of.
Were you shocked that the Thunder battling injuries and suspensions, outnumbered on most nights were able to advance to the Championship series?
I truly think our team got stronger and stronger as the season went on. It took us time in the beginning to get over all the new changes on the team, but once we hit the mid-way season guys just believe in each other. We all played together and for each other.
Charlie Giffin, Massimo Principe, Paul Duarte, Marco Goncalves, what’s it like to play with such a talented group of forwards that can strike at any time and change the complexion of a game?
These players are such a treat to play with. All four of these guys are different in their own ways. Each loves the game and really wants to win. In my own opinion, we have the best forwards in the league.
What was the mindset of the team heading into the semi-final series against the Vaughan Red Wings and their young legs and intensity?
To match their intensity and to work hard every shift. These guys work hard for every ball in the corners and for us to be successful we needed to match it.
The Pacheco brothers, DaPonte and Bradbury were they the deciding factor in the Orangemen winning the title?
I would say yes. Ricky scored twice in the final game to beat us. Glen and Andy really play well all season for them. Also, Danny was solid at the back too. With adding these four guys with their existing roster I believe put this team on the map. It's their first championship too.
The Thunder was the hottest team heading into the post season did that play a part in the success that you achieved?
I really felt that my success this year was due to everybody on the team believing that we can do this with 8-10 guys every night.
Matt Hebbes was lost for the post season after an unfortunate bump caused an injury. How big of an impact did that have on the team and the dressing room?
Matty is a warrior and a great person. It was hard for the team to see what Matty was going through. We knew he was always with us, on and off the floor. You can't replace a guy like Matty. We truly did miss him but we really just prayed for his well being. MATT HEBBES YOU’RE THE MAN.
Comebacks seemed to be the way to win games for the Thunder. Did you ever feel out of any game or was the game plan to stick to the system no matter the score?
It's funny because it just seems that way. Nobody wants to fall behind and try to crawl back. We just kept on playing and never gave up.
Dan Giffin was outstanding and critical player in the playoff run. Tell us in your words what he means to the Thunder?
M.V.P. (YOU THE MAN)
You have become the workhorse on the back end with the departure of three veterans from the previous season. How do you feel thrust into a position of great responsibility?
I just try and do my best every game I play. I try and lead by example and always think team first.
How important is a Premier Championship to Kal Kakish and his Ball Hockey career?
It's really important to me.
Finally how will the Toronto Thunder fair in the 2013 Premier season?
I truly believe that if you ask that question to every player on every team, each person will say what? Come on Shake what do u think? This is the year of the Thunder.
Thank you for taking time to chat with the Ball Hockey Nation.