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ICE TIME: Get to know Clarke Saunders

Q. What's your nickname? A. I've got a couple Saundy's a good one. That's what I've got on my equipment. A couple of the guys call me 'Dale.' It's a bit of a long story, but it's funny and we have a good time with it. Long story short, I'm a big ...

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Q. What's your nickname?

A. I've got a couple Saundy's a good one. That's what I've got on my equipment. A couple of the guys call me 'Dale.' It's a bit of a long story, but it's funny and we have a good time with it. Long story short, I'm a big Pitbull fan. I kind of resemble him, you know, bald. . . he always has this catch phrase where he says dale. So, I always just say it. And it's actually spelled 'Dale' in English, so there you have it. Kind of dumb, but... 'Baldy,' too. You can kind of tell why. 'Old man,' I'm probably old enough to be a couple of these guys' uncles.

Q. What's your favorite TV show?

A. I'm really big into Sons of Anarchy right now. I just finished Breaking Bad, which was great. I like some old-school shows, too. I'm a big Seinfeld guy. Trailer Park Boys is one of my favorite... I guess it's kind of actually a classic now, it doesn't seem like it is.

Q. What's your favorite movie?

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A. Anything funny like Happy Gilmore. Ace Venture is really funny. Shawshank Redemption is probably my favorite real, actual good movie.

Q. What's your favorite place to eat in Grand Forks?

A. Green Mill. I love Green Mill. I don't know why, I just always have a really good time when I go there with the guys.

Q. What's your favorite food?

A. I like sushi. I don't eat it a lot. I try to keep it once a month maybe, but I love sushi.

Q. What's your go-to meal to cook?

A. I got this meal that's kind of hot right now in the house. Kind of do a salmon veggie stir fry and some quinoa and I think the guys are starting to like it, so that's probably my favorite right now.

Q. What's your favorite part about Grand Forks?

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A. I love Grand Forks... everything. I love the rink. I love just going around town. I love the people. It's such a cool college atmosphere, college town. It's not too big, not too small. But most of all, I just love The Ralph. I love coming here every day. We're all so blessed to be part of this place. It's truly amazing. It really is.

Q. What's something we don't know about your hometown of Brockville, Ontario?

A. I can see the States at any time. Brockville's kind of a tourist town, so it's right along the water. I believe it's Ogdensburg (N.Y.)... my parents would kill me if I didn't actually know this, but I believe it's Ogdensburg right across the way. It's a pretty nice summer place. There are some nice hotels and boating areas. Larry Robinson was born very close to it.

Q. What's your best sport other than hockey?

A. I've been playing golf longer than I've been playing hockey, actually. I used to, back in the day, be okay. The game's a little rusty now, but I love going out with the guys. We have a good time out there. It's fun.

Q. Who is your favorite sports team?

A. Toronto Maple Leafs. My grandpa took me when I was six years old, back in the early 80s. Love the Toronto Maple Leafs. You could call me an obsessive fan.

Q. Who was your childhood hero?

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A. I hate to say this. I was a really big Lance Armstrong guy. It kind of sucks with everything that's happened to him. I just loved his dominance in the sport and how he kind of showed himself around the public and what he did for people. Like I said, kind of sucks with everything that's come out, but he was still my hero growing up.

Q. Who is your biggest fan?

A. My aunt. I hope I don't choke up here. My aunt, who unfortunately passed away.

Q. Who is your favorite band?

A. Audioslave for sure. I was kind of upset, I didn't get to keep them on the helmet this year, but they've still never tweeted me back, so maybe that's a little karma for not tweeting me back when I put them on my helmet, but I still love Audioslave.

Q. What's on your helmet this season?

A. It's actually a tribute mask this year. I got, I believe, if I'm counting right, five players and five goalies mixed and matched throughout the helmet. I've got, for goalies, (Jon) Casey, Karl (Goehring), (Jean-Philippe) Lamoureux, (Ralph) Engelstad, Eddie (Belfour). And then I've got (Jonathan) Toews, Osh (T.J. Oshie), Ryan (Duncan), Tony (Hrkac) and (Zach) Parise.

Q. What was your favorite cartoon character?

A. Were the Power Rangers cartoons? Yeah, I was a big Power Rangers guy.

Q. What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

A. I'm just going to flat-out say that I have probably 100 really embarrassing songs. Like 100. At least.

Q. What's your favorite college class?

A. I'm in it right now. It's actually anatomy. It's awesome. I love it. It's so cool to learn about human body, but I cannot explain to you how hard this freaking thing is. But it's awesome. It's actually a lot of fun.

Q. What's the last book you read?

A. Mind Gym. It's a sports psychology book. But that was the last one I finished.

Q. What's your biggest fear?

A. Needles. I hate them. I've lost consciousness a couple times. I get a really big sweat whenever I see them. I really hate them.

Q. Besides pro athlete, what's your dream job?

A. To be honest, basically what Mark Poolman's job is as a strength coach and an athletic therapist for a team. I really would have a passion for that. And I think I would be pretty good at it, too. I think that'd be pretty cool to be fortunate enough to do that at some point in my life.

Q. Do you have any pregame superstitions?

A. I'm pretty loose actually. I don't play well when I'm tight. So I try to stay pretty loose. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't superstitious, but it's only when guys say the word 'shutout' or something. I hate when guys say that, so I've got to knock on wood. But other than that, I'm pretty loose.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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