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




About FHL: Franklin Hockey League

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