January 24, 2013 by conteconfidential
Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook Steven Whitney. On a team that boasts the likes of Hobey Baker contender Johnny Gaudreau and standout goalie Parker Milner, he rarely finds himself in the spotlight. This week, that wasn’t the case. Whitney was named the Hockey East Co-Player of the Week after his five-point weekend, the exclamation mark being his first career hat trick in Boston College’s 9-3 rout of Northeastern. The senior alternate captain currently leads the Hockey East in goals with 14 and in plus/minus with a rating of +19. With 26 points in 21 games, he’s on pace to shatter his career-highs of 16 goals and 39 points. Conte Confidential had the chance to talk with Whitney about his hat trick, the team’s upcoming series against Maine, whether he or his older brother Joe has the better shot and more.
1) What was it like getting your first hat trick?
It was a good feeling to get a win like that. We haven’t won that convincingly in a long time. To get three goals was a lot of fun for me, and it’s something that doesn’t happen too often so I had a lot of fun doing it.
2) Can you describe what you felt like when you scored that last goal?
The last goal was a nice pass by Johnny and a nice pass by Pat [Mullane] before that. The goalie was a little out of position so I had something to shoot at so I just tried to shoot as hard as I could. I know Pat and Johnny wanted to get me the third one so it was a good feeling.
3) After the big win, how are you guys avoiding getting complacent this weekend at home against last-place Maine?
We’ve been kind of doing a loss and a win, and we haven’t been very consistent. This weekend is going to give us a chance to become a consistent team and try to get two wins on the weekend instead of just one like we’ve been doing.
4) What was it like playing under Mike Cavanaugh and Greg Brown for the last four games while Jerry York was out?
It was different but I think our assistant coaches did a great job and our leaders did a great job of sticking to our game plan like we’ve been all year. It’s been awesome having Coach back for the past week, and we’re excited to get him back on the bench.
5) You’re more than a point-per-game player right now. How have you been able to be so consistent all year?
I think it’s just been who I’ve been playing with. I’ve been lucky to play with Pat and Johnny. That’s something I try to take advantage of and I enjoy playing with them. So it’s part of the reason why I’ve been able to do what I’ve done. All the credit goes to them for working hard and making plays out there.
Whitney had seven goals and three assists in the first seven games of the second half (photo credit: Ian Kates)
6) You’re leading the team and are third in the Hockey East with 81 shots on goal. What’s that been the product of?
Johnny and Pat like to pass and they’re really good at passing so they get me open, which is the first step to getting shots on net. They get me open, and I’ll shoot it. I’m not going to pass up shots. Coaches told us to shoot when we can so that’s what I do.
7) Joe had a season-high two goals and an assist for the Albany Devils the night before you got your hat trick. Did you know about that? Any sibling rivalry at play over the weekend?
We both love to see each other do well so, to see him do that, got me excited to play. We both want each other to do well.
8) Now that you’ve developed such a great shot this season, can you say you have a better shot than Joe?
No, I’m not going to say that (laughs). Joe shoots on a lot of good goalies and he’s scoring as well so I can’t say that just yet. I’m working on it for sure.
9) What was it like getting your 100th career point?
That was a lot of fun. I didn’t really know about it until a couple of weeks before then and I didn’t get it for a few games so it was fun to get the 100th point. I was happy for Pat Mullane when he got it earlier in the year, and I know he’s happy for me. Being my roommate, it’s kind of cool that we both hit it.
10) Was it more special because it happened on the night Jerry York earned win No. 925?
Yes (laughs). That was really cool looking back on it. I’ll always remember that night for Coach, and it’s just a coincidence that it happened on that night.
11) Given you’re a senior and must be starting to think back on your career a little, what do you want people to remember you for the most?
I just want to be remembered for being part of winning teams, which is something I’ve been able to say so far and hopefully will be able to say that about this year as well.
12) What NHL players do you enjoy watching the most?
I’m a big Bruins fan. I’m a forward but I really enjoy watching Zdeno Chara just because I think it’s amazing he can do what he does, how he’s so big and can move like he does and just seeing him shoot the puck is really fun to watch.
13) What’s your Stanley Cup prediction as of the moment?
I’ll just go with the Bruins.
Interview by Jen Dobias