ICE TIME: Get to know UND hockey player Brendan O'Donnell

Q. Describe your earliest experiences playing hockey? A. I'm not sure if it's a memory or just something my parents told me. I remember when I was like 2 or 3 and I was in Flin Flon, I got these skates from my neighbor. I put them on and I was we...

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Q. Describe your earliest experiences playing hockey?

A. I’m not sure if it’s a memory or just something my parents told me. I remember when I was like 2 or 3 and I was in Flin Flon, I got these skates from my neighbor. I put them on and I was wearing them around the house. I went public skating with my parents. My dad was carrying me around because I couldn’t skate. But that was probably my first experience.

Q. You lived in Flin Flon? How long?

A. I was born there and I lived there probably until I was 3 years old. We would go up there in the summers because we have family up there.


Q. Does anyone else in your family play hockey?

A. My dad used to. He played in Flin Flon and he played for the U of M (University of Manitoba) Bisons. He also coached in Flin Flon.

Q. What’s he like when UND plays the Bisons each year?

A. I don’t know if he really considers it that big of a deal. Obviously, he’s a big UND fan. That’s what he cares about.

Q. Do you remember when you first started playing organized hockey and in games?

A. Yeah, I was 5. I was playing community hockey in Winnipeg. It was 5- and 6-year olds. Then 7 and 8s.

Q. What’s the most memorable goal you’ve ever scored?

A. I really can’t remember many. Probably my first goal here against Bemidji in Bemidji. Freshman year. That’s the only one that really comes to mind.


Q. What happened on the play?

A. It was just kind of off the rush. I think there was a rebound. I thought I put it on my backhand, but I watched it later and I put it on my forehand and just kind of swung at a loose puck in front. Went over the goalie’s shoulder.

Q. What’s your best hockey experience?

A. Probably playing in the Frozen Four last year. That was pretty cool. The other one ... I wasn’t playing, but the Final Five our freshman year when we came back on the Gophers. It was pretty cool. Me, Rocco (Grimaldi) and (Derek) Rodwell were watching up top. We went down 3-0 and Gophers fans were giving it to us. We had to go down into the locker room because we didn’t want to hear it anymore. All the sudden, we started coming back. We went up to the main concourse and we were standing there watching. There were a bunch of Sioux fans going nuts. That was pretty cool.

Q. What were you guys doing?

A. We were jumping around, hugging fans and stuff. It was pretty cool. I remember Mario (Lamoureux’s) mom was down there. It kind of meant a lot to us to see her and how excited she was about how much success he had that game. That was pretty cool. 

Q. When you lived in the dorms as a freshman, what was your go-to meal at the dining center?

A. It was to not eat there. I got tired of that food pretty quickly. I think Wednesdays was a big day for us because that was pasta night. On Wednesdays, we’d all rush out of here and make sure we made it on time, because it used to close at 6 p.m.


Q. What restaurant does Grand Forks most need to get?

A. Earl’s.

Q. What’s your favorite place to eat in town right now?

A. Probably Jimmy John’s.

Q. What’s your main order there?

A. I think it’s a No. 9 on wheat with chips and a cookie.

Q. If you could spend one day in somebody else’s shoes, who would it be?

A. Axl Rose in his prime.

Q. What if it had to be a teammate?

A. Gordy (Connor Gaarder). Not too many worries in his world. I think that would be pretty cool to relax, kick up the feet and live the life in his shoes for a day.

Q. If you were UND’s president for a day, what two things would you do?

A. Probably bring back the Fighting Sioux name, if that was possible, and free parking.

Q. If we had a look at your Netflix queue, what would be on it?

A. I just watched the Honey Badger docmentary last night. Revenge TV show. And American Horror Story.

Q. What’s your favorite part of campus besides The Ralph?

A. Wellness Center. Shoot a few Js every now and then with the boys.

Q. What’s the biggest nightmare road trip you’ve ever been on?

A. Probably getting stranded in Summit, S.D., when we were there. We had a good time, but it’s definitely something I don’t want to happen again.


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
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