Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
Name: Carl Neill
School: Concordia University
Sport: Men’s hockey
Year of eligibility: First
Program: Certificate in Arts
Hometown: Lachute, Que.
1. What attracted you to Concordia University?
Overall, the whole experience. My recruiting visit here, the campus, knowing some of the guys already on the team. It’s a good vibe here. I wanted to work with head coach Marc-André Element. Players I know that came to Concordia have had good experiences. It all weighed in my decision to join the Stingers.
2. What’s your favourite memory, and your greatest athletic achievement as a U SPORTS student-athlete?
My favorite memory so far was our season opener vs. the McGill Redmen. That game gave me a taste of the emotions and the rivalry we have with McGill. Also, it was my first U SPORTS game, so it opened my eyes to the level of hockey and the competitiveness.
3. Where are you hoping your path will take you after university?
Hopefully, I will get a degree in management and play professional hockey afterwards. In choosing Concordia my goal, was to get a degree and develop as a professional athlete.
4. Who’s had the greatest influence on your athletic career?
It might be a cliché, but my dad. He’s a guy I can talk to any time. I respect his opinion. He guides me and he helped with the decision to come to U SPORTS rather than somewhere else.
5. Who is someone in the sports world, past or present, with whom you’d love to have dinner with? Why?
I think it’s a Canadian-wide answer: Sidney Crosby. The way he carries himself not just as a hockey player, but as a humanitarian. He’s been the captain of every team he’s been on. I think it would be great to pick his brain.
6. What is your pre-game ritual? Do you have any superstitions/idiosyncrasies around preparing yourself for a game?
I eat oatmeal before games. Nothing really besides that.
7. What’s your go-to song to get pumped up for practice or a game?
My teammate Julien Avon puts the music on for our team, but it doesn’t really pump me up. If it was up to me, I’d put on some AC/DC or Aerosmith.
8. What’s your favourite social media account to follow?
On The Bench. These two guys (Olly Postanin and Jacob Ardown) are really funny. They go over the fundamentals of hockey. They are everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.
9. If you could try another sport, what would it be and why?
I’d say basketball, but at 6-foot-1, I’m a bit small. I’d love to play like Lebron James or Stephen Curry, but I don’t have the size.
10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you as an athlete?
I definitely face-planted a few times. But most embarrassing moment was in a shootout last year with the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix. I went in and shot before the referee blew the whistle.