Originally created 11/20/02

Five questions with Ryan Crane



RYAN CRANE

POSITION: Defenseman

NO. 10

AGE: 22

HT./WT.: 6-0/205

HOMETOWN: Mississauga, Ontario

NICKNAME: Craner

CONTRACT STATUS: Under ECHL contract with the Lynx

2001-02 NOTES: Completed four-year career at Western Michigan University before signing with ECHL's Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies for the final four regular-season games and playoffs.

Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of your career at Western Michigan University?

A: My first two years were rough because we were rebuilding. We won six games my freshman year and 12 the next. But in my junior and senior year, we won 21 games each year. We finished ranked 13th or 14th in the country when we were picked to finish 11th in our league out of 12 teams. We didn't have a great skill team, just a hard-working team that came together.

Q: You signed on with Atlantic City at the end of last season. Was that a good first taste of pro hockey for you?

A: Atlantic City was great. After my college season was over, I wanted to continue playing, and Atlantic City seemed like the best fit for me. We had a good run in the playoffs, going to the Northern Conference finals. It was a good way to start my pro career. I played on a good team and gained lots of experience, which I've brought with me here to Augusta.

Q: How has the game changed for you since turning pro?

A: It's a big change. Your whole life is hockey now. It's your job. You go to practice everyday, then you go to the gym to work out, and that's about it. You've got to take better care of your body because you play more games. I played 38 games in college last year, and we play 72 here, so you have to get used to that. There's also a lot of heavy traveling and stuff like playing six games in eight nights to get used to. As a pro, you've got to come prepared every day. That's the biggest difference.

Q: How helpful is it to be playing for a coach (David Wilkie) who played in the NHL as a defenseman?

A: It's great to have Wilkie and (assistant coach John Whitwell) because both played defense. Wilkie played in the NHL however many years, so it's great to learn from a good defenseman like that. A lot of coaches are forwards, and they don't teach defense a whole lot, but I learn something new everyday from Wilks.

Q: After practice, what's a typical day like for you?

A: Right now, during the season, you don't do a whole lot away from the rink. I'll go work out, relax, play golf every once in a while, or play a little PlayStation hockey with some of the other guys. You've got to be focused during the year on hockey, always thinking about what's coming up next. There's not much time or energy for anything else.

-Rob Mueller