Taking Liberties With… Scott Savage
Position: Defenseman, Cleveland Monsters (American Hockey League)
Hometown: San Clemente
Last Amateur Team: Boston College (Hockey East)
Youth Teams: Yorba Linda Blackhawks, LA Selects
California Rubber: How has your transition to pro hockey gone?
Scott Savage: I signed an amateur tryout contract with Cleveland (on March 21), and it’s gone well. I am trying to finish my final three courses at BC (Boston College) at the same time (he’s an applied psychology and human development major).
CR: Speaking of college, you were one of the few veterans on a team that surprised some people.
SS: It was a good way to end my college career despite not making the tournament. We were picked sixth or seventh, but placed second in the Hockey East tournament and earned a share of the regular-season trophy with 12 or 13 freshmen.
CR: What is your favorite hockey memory growing up?
SS: Winning our first national championship with the LA Selects in OT against (Detroit) Honeybaked (in 2008) was pretty awesome. We’d lost to them in the Quebec Pee Wee final a few months earlier, which started a big rivalry with them. Avenging that Quebec loss was a great memory.
CR: What is your favorite memory in the game since leaving California?
SS: My first trip to the Frozen Four with BC during my freshman year.
CR: Who have been the biggest hockey influences on you?
SS: The head coaches I’ve had. Joe Cook was my first ice hockey coach. I’ve stayed in touch with him. When I moved to LA Hockey, Sandy Gasseau was my first coach. Then Rick Kelly and later Louis Pacella. All the coaching staffs with each head coach, I attribute much of my development to them.
CR: What advice do you give young hockey players?
SS: I tell them remember what has gotten them to where they’re at. Always play with purpose. Give everything they have each practice and it will help them reach their goals.
CR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
SS: I started with roller hockey, which is what got me going. I also played baseball and soccer. I started ice hockey with Yorba Linda Blackhawks and Joe Cook for my second year of Squirt. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without roller hockey.
CR: When you’re back in California, do you have a favorite meal or restaurant?
SS: My favorite meal would be my mom’s cedar plank salmon. My favorite restaurant is South of Nick’s in San Clemente. I especially like their grilled chicken burrito.
CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
SS: I always enjoyed watching Scott Niedermayer play for the Ducks, who were my favorite team growing up. I appreciated how well he skated and how well he moved the puck. And he is a great person on and off the ice. He’s definitely a role model for me.
CR: Are there are any pieces of gear you’re particular about?
SS: I always go right side first when putting on my protective gear. I always like to tape my stick either on the bench or with a view of the ice. I use it as a time to visualize and think about the game.
CR: Do you have a favorite pregame meal?
SS: The standard some sort of chicken over pasta would be the go-to.
CR: What are essential items to take on a road trip?
CR: Who’s the funniest player you’ve ever played with?
SS: (Former LA Selects teammate and current Notre Dame forward) Andrew Oglevie.
CR: If you weren’t playing hockey, what do you think you’d be doing?
SS: I don’t think I’ve been asked that. Maybe making an attempt to play soccer professionally because that was the sport I quit last to focus on hockey.
Photo/John Quackenbos/Boston College
— Compiled by Chris Bayee