It is no coincidence that while the Cardiff Devils have been enjoying a great run of form which has propelled them to the top of the Elite league table, Justin Faryna has been producing his best form of the season. During the Devils great run, Faryna has weighed in with some crucial goals and assists and has not been afraid to rough it up to look after his teammates. He has won several man of the match accolades during recent weeks and has also been nominated on several hockey sites and forums for the player of the week awards. Fortunately for Cardiff, his great run of form has coincided with other key players such as Joey Martin, Jake Morissette and Matt Pope also having a purple period. This turn of events coupled with the return to the ice, from injury, of fans favourites such as Mark Louis and Josh Batch has truly shown the Devils as truly capable of defending the titles they won last season. Who knows we may even go one better this year and capture the Grand Slam we were so desperate for last year. As for the man himself, Justin Faryna went toe to toe with one of the leagues true hard men Mathieu Gagnon on the weekend and unlike many others who have tried, he came out with his head held high and tried to get the travelling Red Army out of their seats.
We are very grateful here at Y-Ddraig that Justin Faryna agreed to answer some questions for us and we are also grateful to the Cardiff Devils Director of Corporate Development, Neil Francis, for making this possible. Our thanks go out to both Justin and Neil. I would also like to thank the fans who contacted me on Twitter with their questions We will, if possible, include a FANZONE section in all our future Devils interviews where we will allow you, the fans, to ask the players a question.
1. First off a belated welcome to Cardiff. How are you settling in South Wales?
Answer:- We have settled into Cardiff nicely and are enjoying our time in South Wales so far. Having a Tim Hortons here has made it even better.
2. Have you always played number 81 and is there a story behind it?
Answer:- There really isn’t anything spectacular about how I got the number. I started my pro career in Rapid City wearing 18 which was the number I got in camp. Obviously, Ulmer is already sporting number 18 so I simply flipped it to 81.
3. Do you have a nickname?
Answer:- In my first year in the EIHL Lou Dickenson started calling me “Juice” and the nickname has followed me ever since.
4. As you were born in Calgary, is it fair to assume you are a Flames fan and if so what are your thoughts on Guildford’s team logo?
Answer:- I grew up watching the Flames and still cheer on the hometown team. The Guildford’s logo is pretty much identical.
5. Did you have a player that you modelled your game on or idolised whilst you were growing up and developing your hockey skills?
Answer:- My favourite player growing up was Peter Forsberg.
This will be a new feature we have decided to add to our Cardiff Devils interviews where we allow you the fans to contact us with your questions for your Devils players. many thanks to those who have provided questions this time and keep your eyes open and follow Y-Ddraig on Twitter for information on upcoming interviews and how you can get a mention.
Question – Have there been any teams that have stood out for you this season?
Answer:- Guildford has stood out and surprised a lot of people I think as it is their first year in the league. (Question by Catherine Boucher).
Question – Which of your teammates has stood out so far this season?
Answer:- Jake Morissette has stood out leading the way for this team, scoring big goals and doing the little things that go unnoticed but make a big difference in the end. I would also give a shout out to Fournier, he makes skating and puck handling around guys look so easy. He has scored some remarkable end to end goals this season. (Question by Abi Lewis)
Question – Who or what inspired you to play hockey?
Answer:- This is a story I love telling. I didn’t start playing hockey until I was seven years old because my parents would ask if I wanted to play hockey and I would say “no”. Finally, I agreed to play hockey and on my way to the first day of hockey training, I threw a fit, crying that I didn’t want to play. However, my mother wasn’t having it because she had just spent all her hard-earned money on new hockey equipment and she sent me out onto the ice crying and once I hit the ice, she couldn’t get me to come off. That’s all I have wanted to do ever since. (Question by Rhiannon Davies)
Question – What do you love most about Cardiff?
Answer:- I love being close to the water. Waking up to look at the bay to start every day is something I really enjoy. (Question by Brochan Evans)
Question – Who has the best nickname on the team and why?
Answer – I think Rutkis aka “Sunshine” has the best nickname by far. He gets the nickname because he has hair like the Sunshine from the movie Remember the Titans. (Question by Brochan Evans)
Question – If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Answer – To be able to time travel. (Question by Brochan Evans)
Brochan also wanted to know who Justin would most like to fight but I think that was answered last Saturday.
Massive thanks to Justin for agreeing to the interview and thanks to those fans who put forward their questions for Justin. Further interviews will follow so please keep an eye out for announcements from Y-Ddraig over the coming weeks.
Feature Picture Credit: http://www.helenbrabonphotography.co.uk, thanks, Helen yet again!