February 22, 2007

10 Questions with Women's Hockey Beth Baronick

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After finishing her collegiate career last Saturday against Princeton, senior assistant captain Beth Baronick shut down Paul Testa’s power play.

1. How’s retirement treating you?
It’s only two days in, so I haven’t experienced it too much.
Do you have any plans? Are you moving to a condominium in Florida?
I wish. It’s definitely weird. The past four years I’ve defined myself by being an athlete here, but there’s also an upside to that of not having practices everyday.
It must be good to have a life again. Are you going out every night?
I think so. I mean Mardi Gras is [Tuesday].
Do you have any big plans?
I walked by Rulloffs on the way over, so maybe some hurricanes.
If I were to toss you some beads right now …
I don’t know about that.
Do you ever get to go out on the town in season?
Not really, once every month or so. It depends on if we’re home or not. If we’re home, Saturdays are the only days we’re allowed to go out.
Head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 is never like, “Baronick you look like you need a margarhita.”
No, unfortunately not.
That’s a shame.

2.You were one of the 89 finalists for the 2007 NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge. When do you hear if you’re going to St. Louis for the competition?
They said mid-February, which has probably already passed.
Are you waiting by the phone?
No, not really.
Did you have any bumper stickers made up?
We couldn’t get those in time.
What makes you so skillful?
I have no idea. I didn’t even know I was a finalist until one of my teammates told me at a party.
Are you just happy to be nominated?
Obviously I’d love to go. They give you free stuff and totally new equipment. It would be pretty sweet, but it’s cool just to be nominated. Some of the people on the list are just incredible players.

3. Can you give us an MTV Cribs-style tour of the newly-renovated Lynah Rink?
It’s great. The locker rooms are gigantic and personally what’s different for me is that they actually make goalie stalls in the new one that are about half a foot wider.
No hot tub?
I wish. There was talk of a hot tub, but we were pretty disappointed when that didn’t come through.
I would have installed a foam machine.
[Confused.] A foam machine?
Yeah, so you could get the victory celebrations going right there after a game. But tell me what the atmosphere is like in the locker rooms of Lynah. What are you girls talking about before a game?
It varies, sometimes were talking about stupid stuff.
Boys?
[Laughing.] Yeah, usually. Also our coach has a rule that we can’t listen to music before the game and in between periods.
Are you serious?
We argue over music all the time, so that’s his new rule.
If you were the locker room DJ what would be blaring on the speakers?
[Sheepishly.] I’d probably be playing country. I think everyone would hate me for that though.
Country music and hockey belong together. Look at the Nashville Predators.
There you go.
What kind of country are we talking? Are we talking Kenny Chesney or, my personal favorite, Toby Keith?
I was just going to say Toby Keith! I saw him in concert this summer. It was awesome.
Did he light up your world like the Fourth of July?
He tried to. It was a great concert.
What’s your favorite Toby Keith ballad?
I would say “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” is my favorite. I just like the premise of that song, you know, kicking ass on people.
It’s not the most politically correct song, but anytime it comes on, regardless of my soberness, I have to sing. I think it’s actually the song that got my house a noise violation during orientation week, which seems unpatriotic to me.

4. You missed some games earlier in the season with a concussion. How did it happen?
It was kind of a stupid play. We were in our zone, and one of my teammates was behind the net with one of their girls and the net just came off its bearings. I had no idea it was coming.
Did you lose consciousness?
I don’t really remember what happened, but I played the rest of the game.
Wait! With a concussion?
Yeah.
That’s intense!
It was pretty dumb, too.
When did you realize you had a concussion?
It was about 15 minutes after the game. I was completely out of it — headache, memory, the works. The recovery process sucks. You can’t do anything. I didn’t go to class, exercise or do anything for two weeks.
Sounds like a normal week to me. Maybe I have a concus — [Blacks out for five minutes.]

5. [Slightly disoriented.] What is the most painful save you’ve had to make?
I think when you go in the complete split. It’s hard.
Could you give us a demonstration?
Not in jeans.
The last goalie I interviewed was a field hockey player and she had the unfortunate lesson of learning why goalies wear cups. Do you use protection?
I definitely do.
Has it saved your life anytime?
There have been numerous occasions where it was definitely crucial.
How awful do your pads smell?
The pads aren’t too bad; it’s the skates that really smell.
It’s hard to wash skates.
Yeah, and my teammates hate me for this, but I don’t wear socks.
You’re kidding me.
No, I’m one of the few left.
Isn’t there chaffing?
No, actually not.
That sounds nice.

6. What is your favorite position, down on your knees or lying on your back?
Lying on my back. It’s the harder one.
But Dominik Hasek makes it look so easy.
He does; I wish I could play like that.
Most of the time in games, are you dropping into the butterfly to make the save?
Definitely.
Is that the sign of a good goalie?
I don’t think every good goalie. It depends on your style.
When do you go on your knees and when do you flop on your back?
Usually you go on your knees when you’re a bigger goalie.

7. You are a fellow Upstate New Yorker, from Liverpool, a suburb of Syracuse. Defend Syracuse for me. Is it anything more than just a convenient airport of Cornellians?
I honestly can’t defend Syracuse. I’m not that big a fan of it myself.
Are there any redeeming qualities of this boomtown that never boomed?
To me, personally, no.
There have to be some things. It’s got the Carousel Mall.
I take it back, that’s true. That’s probably the best thing, but I’ve only been there a few times. It’s different for me because I went to a prep school for high school. I was in New Hampshire for four years, so it’s weird coming back now and being so close to home.
Was this a hockey academy?
Not really, but they had a women’s varsity team while Liverpool just had a guys team.
How did you get into hockey? Were you inspired by Julie “The Cat” Gaffney in D2: The Mighty Ducks?
Partially, but my family’s a huge hockey family. My dad played his whole life and my brother and older sister also played.

8. Do you have any nicknames on the team?
I have a couple. One is from high school, it’s “Both.” I couldn’t say my name in high school, apparently, so everyone thought my name was Both instead of Beth. The other one’s Frank.
Frank?
Just watch Old School and you’ll figure it out.
Wait, Frank the Tank?! It’s just so good when it hits your lips Frank?
Exactly.
[Impressed.] You’re kidding me, how did you earn this Tank status?
I think I earned it probably a month or two into my freshman year.
You came ready to play.
I didn’t hold anything back.

9. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be and why?
I’d want to go with Wayne Gretsky for the first one.
He’s a great passer and would keep the mash potatoes circulating. Would you ask for his autograph?
I’d say that’s a little cliché, but probably. For the second person, I’d say Will Ferrell. I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan.
So you’ll be serving some Shake-and-Bake?
Oh yeah.
He’s a got a new movie coming out.
Yeah, the figure skating one, [Blades of Glory], I’m pretty excited for that.
All right, who’s your third?
[Pauses to think] I don’t know. I have no idea.
I’m not doing anything this Friday.
All right, if you’re up for it. How about 7:30?
What’s going to be on the menu?
We’ll do it up Ricky Bobby style.
Thank you baby Jesus.

10. What’s the hottest men’s varsity team at Cornell?
I asked a lot of my teammates to help me out with this one.
Legitimately, this isn’t a survey.
I know it’s supposed to be individual, but it’s a tough question.
Just tell me straight from the heart.
All the team’s come to mind. There are some people on every team.
But some teams have more than others.
I’ll go with the safe bet and say baseball.
Wow, I haven’t heard them in a while. Is this just because pitchers and catchers are reporting or is it because they swing some big sticks?
That’s a defining criteria right there.
Anyone in particular on the team you’d like to take the mound with?
No one in particular.
Swing and a miss.

Paul Testa is a Sun assistant sports editor. 10 Questions will appear every Thursday this semester, unless Testa gets another concussion from an errant puck. Comments and suggestions may be sent to pft4@cornell.edu