Q&A Bulldog Spotlight: Getting to Know ACHA Division 3 Men's Hockey Seniors Nick Bordeaux, AJ Burns

Q&A Bulldog Spotlight: Getting to Know ACHA Division 3 Men's Hockey Seniors Nick Bordeaux, AJ Burns

ADRIAN, Mich.--Every Wednesday, the Adrian College Athletic Communications Office will unveil a Q&A format interview with a student-athlete(s) from one of the Bulldogs' 40 intercollegiate athletics programs for a new series, Bulldog Spotlight: Getting to Know..." This extra edition features representatives from the Adrian's American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 3 men's hockey teams, Black's AJ Burns and Gold's Nick Bordeaux:

AJ Burns l Graduate Student l Oregon, Ohio / Clay High School l Sports Administration and Leadership (Bachelor's degree in sports management; minor in economics)

Q: Why did you choose to come to Adrian College?
A: "My brother attended Adrian before me and was also on the hockey team. Because of that I had a good grounding on the experience I could have here. On top of that, I had the opportunity to continue my hockey career, and it was too good to pass up."

Q: What are your pre-game rituals?
A: "I am pretty superstitious. I spend much of gamedays preparing exactly the same way. My two biggest rituals are probably the pregame coffee that I can’t live without, and always sitting in the same seat on the bus and in visiting locker rooms."

Q: What motivates you to play hockey?
A: "...in high school my best friend, and linemate, passed away in a car accident. Ever since then I have made it a focus to play in a way to honor his legacy. I have a sticker on the back of my helmet, his initials on my stick, and a little thing for him in my locker. They serve as reminders to take advantage of the opportunity that I’ve been given, because as cliché as it is, not everyone gets this chance.” 

Q: How do you handle the demands of being a student and athlete at the same time?
A: "At first it was tough adjusting but (Black team) Coach (Kevin) Sunde really helped out being patient with me as my class schedule got tougher. Time management and lots of coffee didn’t hurt."

Q: What does being a student-athlete at the College level mean to you?
A: "It is an incredible opportunity to continue playing hockey. I have been able to play hockey much longer than I ever thought I would, and I’ve been able to compete at a high level with some pretty special guys these past few years."

Q: What is your best Adrian sports memory?
A: "The whole experience has been great, but I’m not sure I have a favorite memory. It is probably a tie between all of the people I’ve got to play with, seeing the hard work pay off when we clinched Regionals, and being able to serve as the team captain for the past three seasons."

Q: What do you like the most about the Adrian campus?
A: "The people. Far and away the best part about this campus is all of the great relationships I’ve been able to build. Everyone from teachers, people around the rink, and the boys, the incredible people have made Adrian such an awesome place."

Q: What's the best advice (and from who?) that anyone has given you?
A: "Black has a little team motto to keep us out of trouble, and over the past few years my teammates and I have embraced it: 'Don’t ever do two illegal things at once,' Coach Sunde tells us."

Q: If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and what would you ask s/he?
A: "I think it would be Derek Jeter...as a kid he was one of my idols. I’d probably ask him something corny about leadership and how he handled successes and failures." 

Q: What does being a Bulldog mean to you?
A: "Being a Bulldog, more specifically a Black squad Bulldog, has taught me to embrace a difficult and long path to success. A Bulldog means being gritty and tough while having a smile and enjoying the process."

Q: If you could visit a place that you've never been, where is it and why?
A: "I’m not really sure, but it would be somewhere with warm weather and a nice beach."

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: "I would like to work in professional sports with marketing and sales.  I think working in hockey would be cool but haven’t contemplated the level I’d like to work at or where in the world I’d like to work."

Q: What's the most embarrassing song on your IPod/recording device? And why did you download??
A: "Oddly enough, I’m not really embarrassed about it, but my phone is full of Adele and Taylor Swift. I can’t lie, they are just good jams!"

Nick Bordeaux l Senior l Warren, Mich. / Michigan Travelers Titans l Sports Management major

Q: Why did you choose to come to Adrian College?
A: "To play hockey, but I also fell in love with the campus when I was here for my recruitment visit. When I stepped on campus, and when I stepped into the Arrington (Ice Arena), something just felt right and I knew Adrian would be home for the next four years."

Q: What are your pre-game rituals?
A: "Tim Horton's Triple Triple is a must--have to have one before I head to the rink. Usually I get to the locker room and tape my stick, and then we head over to the Merillat (Sport and Fitness Center) to play one touch. I always head back 40 minutes before warm-ups to get dressed. I don't really do anything weird; I'm pretty calm and always ready to hit the ice."

Q: How do you handle the demands of being a student and athlete at the same time?
A: "It's not easy, but you learn to just deal with it. There are weekends where you have to travel hours to games and back and if you have something to get done, you do it on the bus. During the week with practice being at 9:30 (at night), I always try to get my work done before practice because I don't want to be up after doing it when I'm tired and want to go to bed. Although it's a challenge, it definitely has made my time management skills better."

Q: What does being a student-athlete at the College level mean to you?
A: "It's a real honor. No matter what level you are playing at, not everyone gets to say that you are playing sports in college. It's something special that I take pride in, and I will always be proud of the accomplishment."

Q: What is your best Adrian sports memory?
A: "Winning the ACHA D3 National Championship in 2014 my freshman year. Words cannot describe the feelings I got when I got to hold that trophy over my head like the pros do with the Stanley Cup."

Q: What have been the keys to your team's success, improving on last season's won-lost record?
A: "The talent on our team has improved but I really do give it to our coach, Max Gavin. His passion for the team and willingness to want to win has made us better. Teamwork and team chemistry has also been a big factor; becoming a family as a team on and off the ice and going to battle with each other in practice and in games makes us stronger as well."

Q: What expectations does the program have for the postseason?
A: "Winning it all. The games we lost this year have not been because teams have been better than us, it's because we didn't come to play for a full 60 minutes. With that being said, we know we can beat any team in the ACHA and we know we will. It's playoff time, baby, and the Gold squad is coming into playoffs and regionals hungry to win, and we are going to give it our all to bring home another national championship."

Q: What do you like the most about the Adrian campus?
A: "The feeling of being home. The campus is not an ordinary campus; it's got so much extra that makes it a fun and beautiful place to be. From the fire pits at Caine (Student Center), to the beach volleyball court in the Quad, the campus has so much to offer."

Q: What's the best advice (and from who?) that anyone has given you?
A: "My parents have always told me to do the very best I can, and with whatever it is that I am trying to achieve, make sure you are always giving it 100 percent."

Q: If you could meet a celebrity, who would it be and what would you ask s/he?
A: "Selena Gomez. I would ask her to marry me." 

Q: What does being a Bulldog mean to you?
A: "Being able to throw your jersey on and represent the black and gold every time I step onto the ice. While doing so, knowing that all of your peers and fellow Bulldogs will be there right next to you cheering you on."

Q: If you could visit a place that you've never been, where is it and why?
A: "Bordeaux, France. I have always wanted to travel to Bordeaux to discover and learn more about my family's roots. Bordeaux is very popular for their vineyards and winery's that I want to go and see everything it has to offer."

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: "I will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, to interview with the American Junior Golf Association where I look to be hired as a summer operations intern that will successfully lead to something bigger and better with the company in the near future."

Q: What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod/recording device? And why did you download??
A: "'Crank That' by Soulja Boy. It's been in my library since the song was super popular, probably when I owned my first iPod, but I never deleted it because who doesn't want to watch me crank it or watch me roll every once in a while."

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