Player Profile: Jamie Zelena

Welcome to another installment of the FHL’s Player Profile. This week we had the privilege to sit down with Moose net minder and FHL photographer Jamie Zelena. Jamie thank you for making time with us during your hectic schedule.
Hello James, I’ll always have time in my schedule for you.

Jamie I’ll start off the interview by asking you the same question we asked Pirate captain Andrew McDonald in a previous player profile, the FHL has a few talented family duos in the league such as the Simpson’s, the Siniawski’s, the McDonald’s, the Lyons’ and you and your brother Mark. Do you prefer playing against him or in an ideal world would you rather him playing defense in front of you?
I much rather play against him. I think Mark’s game has evolved over the years and it has made him an offensive defenseman which usually doesn’t bode well for goalies. Furthermore, I love facing shots from defenseman so it’s a win-win.

Statistically you are having a career year with 25 total wins and a 0.66 goals against average currently both are good for 2nd in the league. What do you attribute all your success?
First of all, 2nd in the league is hardly something to hang your hat on in a four team league. If you’re not first, you’re last. Anyhow, I’ve gotta attribute my success to the guys in front of me. The Moose have some of the best defensemen along with very responsible centers. They do a lot of the work for me.

Goalies have always been described as a little off, why do you like strapping on the pads and do you have any superstitions/pre game rituals?
I like playing goalie for a lot of reasons. As Mike Emrick says, “Goalies carry the heaviest pads and the heaviest burdens.” I love the fact that I can steal a game with a few timely saves. As pre game rituals go, I put my pads on in the exact same order every game. Also, I never undo my leg straps because finding the perfect fit in your pads is almost impossible. 

The Moose love to take the game to a shootout, you lead the league in shootout saves and shots attempted. Two part question: 1) Do you enjoy facing off 1 on 1 with some of FHL’s best? 2) Are you at all concerned that your team is relying on them to much as we approach playoffs where there are no shootouts?
While I wouldn’t mind a few regulation wins every now and again, I love the shootout. I love to run my mouth while I’m out there so shootouts are an opportunity for me to get some good material on guys. And I don’t believe that we rely on the shootout too much. We have some great offensive talent on our team who will inevitably put one in the back of the net. I just focus on doing my part in keeping the other team off the scoresheet.  

Your captain Zack Siniawski is on record saying you’re the best goalie in the league and terrific guy to have in the locker room, talk about the confidence that gives you coming from the current longest tenured captain of such a storied franchise and what it’s like playing with him and other FHL greats in front of you.
I couldn’t ask for a better captain than Uncle Zack. The guy exudes leadership every Saturday. There isn’t another captain that truly cares for this league and his team as much as Zack. The fact that he puts his faith in me is inspiration enough to give it my all every week.

As an original member of the FHL, what are your thoughts on how far the league has come over the years and do you have any favorite memories from the Franklin era?
It’s amazing how far this “garage league” has come. From the days of Dave Gilson and Dan Drane destroying high schoolers to where we are now is a testament to the hard work and determination of the league’s front office. 

Let’s finish off with some quick hitters.

Favorite FHL player: Andrew McDonald
Favorite FHL team: Kings
Toughest player to play against: Joey Faiello
Toughest goalie to play against: Craig Hixon
Favorite NHL player: Sidney Crosby
Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter
Favorite sports team: New York Yankees
Favorite FHL player to photograph: Andrew McDonald/ Zak Campbell

Week 12 Results

1st Star: J Zelena
3-2, 4 Shutouts, 1 GA, 8 SVS to 2 GA in shootout

2nd Star:
A Scheible 1 G, 1 A

3rd Star:
Z Siniawski 1 G, 1 A

1st Star: G Wolfe
3 G

2nd Star: J Neutrelle
3-0, 3 Shutouts

3rd Star: R Mains
1 G, 2 A

Week 10 and 11 Box Scores

1st star: A Cristallini
1 G, 2 A

2nd star: T Simpson
1 G, 2 A

3rd star: A Scheible
1 G, 1 A

1st star: A Corsi
1 G, 3 SO Goals

2nd star: E Fetsko
2 G

3rd star: J Faiello
3 G, 1 A

- - - - -

1st star: J Faiello
1 G, 1 A, 2 SO Goals

2nd star: R Mains
3 G, 1 A, 1 SO Goal

3rd Star: R Fish
2 G

1st star: J Zelena
3-1, 3 Shutouts, 1 GA, 6 SVS to 0 GA in Shootout

2nd star: C Metzinger
1-3, 3 Shutouts, 1 GA, 4 SVS to 2 GA in Shootout

3rd star: T Simpson 1 G

Player Profile: Joe Rogers

In this week’s player profile, we sat down with longtime FHL’er and multiple time winner of the FHL Good Guy award, Joe Rogers. Thanks for taking the time to meet with us Joe.

As an original member of the FHL, what are your thoughts on how far the league has come over the years? 

Man it’s crazy. To think the first time I played we had two teams running around a preschool’s playground and to see how far we’ve come, it’s really unbelievable. It’s a credit to the guys that have been playing. The longevity is because there are so many quality guys that come out to play and run things every week.

Do you have any favorite memories from the old days back at Franklin?

There’s so many. First and foremost would have to be when the Kings beat the Crosbys in the playoffs in what is, to this day, the greatest upset in league history. The place was rockin! Fences were shaking, people were screaming. It might as well have been John George VS The World that day. Secondly, was all the hitting. Crapshoot corner was a place that few people wanted to see. We used to crush each other.  Ask some of the guys that have been playing a while and they’ll tell you about some good hits, but almost all of them will point to one in particular: Dustin Hess nearly took Brian Barca’s head off when he was coming around the net one time. Those two memories stick out more than any others for me.

You’ve worn many different hats as a league member, captaining two different organizations, officiating when needed, and helping to organize this season after Commissioner George moved on. What has been your favorite role to play? 

I hate being a Captain to be honest, but I’m proud of that Whaler organization every time I see a good dump out there. I don’t mind being a leader of some sort, and talking trades is a blast, but running a franchise isn’t as easy as people think it is. I also hate reffing so those are both out. To be honest, I just like being a role player on my team. I like to be a stay at home and steady defenseman that kills penalties and never plays 4 on 4 or overtime or shoot in a shootout or plays on any type of man advantage.

Your squad, the Pirates currently sit in last place. What do you think the team needs to change moving forward?

I’d like to get a few more guys there, that’s for sure. I like the look of our roster on paper, but that’s meaningless. The guys that have been coming consistently have been fantastic. We’ve got a couple solid netminders to go to. I think we’ve got a ton of fire power, as well. We’ve got some real good finishers in Roy, Nicky Boy, and Faiello especially, and Andy can distribute with the best of them. I really like our “depth” guys that have been there as well. With the league as balanced as it is this year, every one is going to be in contention. 

We know your captain, Andy McDonald, can be a bit of a loose cannon at times. What’s it like living under the same roof as him?

Haha yea that guy is such a showman. You should see him Monday through Thursday. You can hardly get a word out of him. Get him competing in a sport, gambling, drinking, or some combination of the three and he’s out of control. He’s great though. Our personalities tend to mesh pretty well most of the time.

Do you feel any added pressure on the ice with how vocal Andy has been about being willing to move people?

No not really. I’m happy playing for the Pirates, and I trust my Captain to make the moves he needs to make. I don’t feel any pressure to do anything out of the ordinary, mainly because I don’t have the ability to do anything out of the ordinary.  I’ve been doing this for a long time and have always played the same style. I play a simple game and that’s all I’m ever going to do.

This may be off topic, but how many times would you guess you’ve seen the film “Orange County” since moving in with Andy? 

Next question.

Time to finish up with some quick hitters.

Favorite FHL player: John George
Favorite FHL team: Whalers
Toughest player to play against: Current, I’d say Jesse Lyons. His motor doesn’t stop. All-time, it’s Kortz. Nobody combined effort, physicality, and skill anywhere close to him.
Toughest goalie to play against: Current is Neutrelle. Jimmy’s the best of all time but fortunately I haven’t had to face him too much so I’d say Kwolek.

Favorite NHL player: Jordan Staal
Favorite Athlete: Kevin Owens

Favorite sports teams: Pirates, Penguins, Steelers, Jazz, Tottenham, Kyle Busch 

Week 9: Box Scores + Trade Deadline Note

1st Star: R McDonald IV
2 G, 2 A, 1 SO Goal

2nd Star: J Faiello
2 G, 1 A, 1 SO Goal

3rd Star: M Ujevich
 3-0, 4 GA, 8 SVS to 0 GA in Shootout

1st Star: R Mains
3 G, 2 A

2nd Star: J Neutrelle
3-2, 3 Shutouts, 3 GA

3rd Star:
S Lucas 1 G, 1 A

The FHL trade deadline will be 3/31 at midnight.