We finished up our interview with Grace by asking her for Five Fun Facts, and here are her responses:
Which is the favorite rink you've played in?
"Oh, there were so many of them that had different feelings. My favorite rinks to play in have been very biased. Very emotion based. it’s not really that this arena was the cleanest, or the biggest. The Sound Tigers rink in Bridgeport was a nice rink to play in. But I feel like I just have emotional connections to the rinks I like to play in. So obviously I’ll always have an emotional connection to Ice Works where I played for Neumann University. I feel like when I think of that rink, I have nothing but good memories of playing there. And now after being at Danbury for two years now, it just feels special going into that rink. Again, you go there, people know who you are, they know your name, they know you’re with the Whale. That’s a nice feeling, to walk into a building and you know the people and they know you. When we are playing games in Danbury and I walk into that rink on game day, it feels like I belong there. I know where I’m going to warm up, I know my spot. Everybody’s got their rituals and when it comes to Danbury that’s no different. I feel this is my rink, I like to go here, this is what I do, I just feel super comfortable there.A really important piece of playing, and playing well, is feeling comfortable and feeling confident. So I think Ice Works and Danbury are my two favorite rinks for that.”
How did the 14/94 Hockey color scheme come from?
"I think it was one one of those things where for one, black goes with everything. So when we were thinking of a darker color, we didn’t want navy, because we had that at Neumann, and I’d rather black over navy any day. And then when we got to the second color, it was like: Light blue is over used, forest green is over used. red too. We were thinking about the really common colors and yellow was super vibrant and bright and fun. I think yellow is a happy kind of color! No real science or strategy behind what we picked as the colors, we just wanted something that wasn’t overused but bright and a little in your face. But not in a bad way” she laughed "Just something that catches your eye, something nice and bright that draws the eye in. We didn’t think too hard on it, we just kind of went with it.”
Do you have a favorite pre game meal?
"Actually it’s funny, but I’m the least superstitious or routinian person. So when it comes to hockey, I know some people have to do the same thing every single game. When it comes to eating, I don’t have a special thing or routine. I eat whatever I’m feeling that day, I can have anything. I know some people are like: I could never eat tacos. Or something like that. I literally could probably eat anything and be fine, unless I had something greasy or gross. But other than that, I don’t think any specific food effects how I play, so I just go with what I feel like.”
Other than getting up to Newfoundland when Covid restrictions allow, do you have any other travel plans?
“I’m going to Florida after camp Sunday, to see my family, and be there about a week. And, spend one day at Disney World probably. Shayne has never been to Harry Potter or Jurassic World, or he was very young. So I want to do Universal and all with him in one of the coming up trips. I’ve been to both, but since I’ve been there, I think they’ve redone part of Harry Potter World and part of Jurassic, I think they re-did the ride. They added a ride or two to Harry Potter World, and revamped the Jurassic Park one. I have not been there since they’ve done that. But I love going there. I’m one of those people who get super excited, almost too excited. Almost freak out in a good way, I just get super excited and giddy whenever I’m there. I just love every minute of it. But for this trip, since it’s a shorter one, we’ll do one trip to Magic Kingdom and then spend the rest of the time with my family.”
Grace has an active social media presence, especially through the Whale and 14/94, but we asked her to share something with the fans that they wouldn’t know about her.We discovered she had given us an Easter Egg in her previous reply as she revealed
"There are two movie series that I’m like obsessed with, would be the word. I can’t get enough of them. I’m a huge Harrry Potter fan, books and movies, love it, love it. And Jurassic Park. It’s a good thing Shayne likes them, if he didn’t I don’t know what we’d do! Because if I’m picking what to put on to watch, it’s going to be Harry Potter or the Jurassic Park.series, one of those two. Even in college when I’d be studying. I can’t listen to songs with words if I’m trying to focus on something. So if I was studying for a test, I couldn’t put on the radio. It would distract me because One: I would be trying to sing the song. Or Two: if it was a new song that I didn’t know the lyrics to, I’d be trying to listen to what the lyrics are. I’d get way too distracted. So if I was trying to study I would listen to movie soundtracks, usually Harry Potter or Jurassic Park. They are my go to. I will venture out and do a Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, but big into those soundtracks and those movies. One of our Whale social media people asked me what was my favorite animal, and I said velociraptor. So I didn’t know if anybody was going to catch on, but no one ever asked about it.”
In closing, as she has done before, Grace made a case for bringing the NWHL to Philadelphia. “I’m still really hoping a team in Philly pops up. I just want a team in Philly. I just want someone to come up and say: Hey, I want a team here! ! And then just do it! And I‘d be perfect to help spearhead it. Or if we did the All Star game in Philly. I think it would be great.And with me being the Director of a female hockey program, I think we could at least get most of our program to go to a game. It doesn’t even have to be an All-Star game, it could just be a regular season game. We did it in my year three, we played a regular season game in Pittsburgh. So a Connecticut Whale vs Riveters at Wells Fargo Center, that would be so simple. Both teams are close and no one has to travel that far.”
Fins Up to that! And Fins Up once again to our Amazing #94 Grace Klienbach for sharing her thoughts and insights with the citizens of Cetacean Nation