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Denike discusses his future in hockey and fire fighting

Sophomore goaltender Terry Denike

Feb. 11, 2003

By Lindsey Mechalik, LSSU Sports Information Intern

Sophomore goaltender Terry Denike's dream came true when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2001 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The Kings chose Denike during the fifth round, 152nd overall. He was drafted the summer before his freshman hockey season at Lake Superior State.

"Being drafted is something I will always be proud of," he said. "It is a great accomplishment and something I definitely want to pursue. Even though I was drafted right before I came to Lake State I did not feel any extra pressure. In fact, it was extra excitement."

In order to be eligible to be drafted, Denike had to fill out a Central Scouting package that including all the information about him. Before the draft, a few teams contacted him to present an interest in adding him to their list of prospective draft picks. After he learned that he had been drafted, Denike made his first trip to Los Angeles to attend strength and conditioning camps with the team. He looks forward to the prospect of one day playing for the Kings.

Denike first started in net when he played hockey as a child. Every member of the team took turns playing goalie each game.

"I really enjoyed every time I was able to play goalie as a child," he said. "I didn't like taking shifts as a forward or defense. I really wanted and loved the ice time."

Denike, who became full-time goalie at the age of nine likes everything about being a goalie, even the pressures.

"I wouldn't be a goalie if I didn't like pressures," he said. "I have played defense and forward, but being a goalie is where my heart is. I like to stop the pucks. I try to help the team out as much as I can and hopefully frustrate the opponent. It is nice to sometimes be the person teammates look up to."

A low point in Denike's season occurred during the team's long road trip to Alaska in mid January. He was injured during the last game of the series. Because of his injury, he sat out the series against Michigan.

"Alaska was coming hard at the net, and I gloved the puck but got clobbered by a couple of guys," he said about his injuries from Alaska. "I was hit into the net, my helmet fell off, and I hurt my shoulder. I stretched a shoulder joint, but the athletic training team has really helped to fix it up. I am almost 100 percent."

Prior to playing for Lake Superior State, Denike was goalie for the Weyburn Redwings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 1998-01. He set the league record for shutouts, ending the season with eight. Denike was named the SJHL top goaltender and was named his team's most valuable player.

Denike led the Redwings to the Saskatchewan Provincial Championship. He later helped the team to win the Anavet Cup, an award given to the winner of a match-up between the provincial champions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The team also represented western Canada in the Royal Bank Cup, which is the Canadian Junior A hockey national championship.

During his last year in Weyburn, Denike received a community service award. He considered the community a second home and was appreciative to Larry and Judy Olfert, who had housed him during his three-year stay. Denike wanted to give back to the community that had welcomed and supported him.

"My last year in Weyburn I had a lot of extra time because I had graduated from high school the previous year," Denike said. "I wanted to help out where I could in the community and schools. I tried to give a little bit back and had a really good time. Our general manager would post what needed to be done around the community in our locker room. I did everything from reading to elementary school students, setting up for concerts and moving furniture for fans. I also worked at the cable axis channel helping film and make cameo appearances. It helped me to make a lot of great friends."

After the conclusion of his career in hockey, Denike wants to pursue a career as a fireman. Denike is majoring in fire science at Lake Superior State. His father, Tim, has been a firefighter for 25 years and he hopes to follow in his footsteps.

"I am looking for a career that is interesting and exciting," he said. "I don't want to have to bring work home at the end of the day. My father provided my family with a good lifestyle and I hope to do the same."

Denike's mother, Debra, is a real estate agent in Toronto. He has two brothers, Tim, 28, and Tanner, 18. His father plays defense for his fire department men's league hockey team. Denike is engaged to Amie Jonsson, whom he has dated for three years. He met Amie while he was playing hockey in Weyburn. They hope to get married in the next two years. Denike proposed on New Year's Eve right after midnight because he wanted to start the year off on a positive note.

"It is nice to have someone by my side that is neutral and 100 percent supportive, win or lose," Denike said. "It is really important to me to have someone that I can trust. I knew since I met her that she was the one, and she really helps me to play my best every night."

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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