Pensacola pretty much has it all — the beach, reigning champs of the SPHL Presidents Cup and a bunch of babes on ice. As with many professional hockey teams, there is much more to these guys than just the good looks. Pensacola Forward Justin Alonzo played for the Boston Jr. Bruins before attending college and playing for Castleton State College. Goaltender Peter Di Salvo is a Canadian native that has spent most of his time in the OHL playing for the Sarnia Sting, Barrie Colts and Oshawa Generals. He played 32 games with Acadia University before joining the Ice Flyers this season. These are only two of the guys that Pensacola is proud to have playing for them.
Let’s get started!
10 QUESTIONS WITH JUSTIN ALONZO AND PETER DI SALVO
1. What is your most memorable hockey moment so far?
Peter: Going to the St. Louis Blues rookie camp and rookie tournament in Traverse City, Michigan for two straight years.
Justin: When I was 12 I went overseas to Finland and played in a tournament. It was probably one of the best times I had. We skated on an outdoor rink, and we had to skate from the locker room to the rink which I thought was pretty cool.
2. If you could create the perfect line, who would choose to be on it?
You have to be included on this line as well.
Peter: Well, I’m a goalie so I guess I will choose a goalie partner, and that would be Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens.
Justin: Eric Lindros and Alex Ovechkin. Both big guys who like to throw the body around and skilled, and I feel I play the same way.
3. Some athletes are superstitious, what is something that you do/have always done before each of your games?
Peter: Before each game, I do the same stretches and I listen to the same 20 songs before each game.
Justin: I don’t really have anything too superstitious. I like to just be relaxed and have fun before the game, but when I get dressed, everything goes on left to right.
4. What’s the number one thing you look forward to in the off season?
Peter: Going back home to be with my family and fishing. I’m not a golfer at all.
Justin: Golf and spending time with family and friends.
5. When/why did you start playing hockey?
Peter: I was five when I started to play hockey.
Justin: I started playing hockey when I was five and started skating when I was three. My parents bought me all the gear and just threw me on ice. I had no fear of skating, and I’ve been playing ever since
Justin: Paul Kariya, guy had a lot of passion and heart.
7. Of all your years playing, where has been your favorite place to play?
Peter: Tough one to answer. Each place I’ve played has always had something special to make me want to go back and play there. For now, I’ll stick with Pensacola. Who wouldn’t want to live in Florida on the beach?
Justin: Pensacola. It’s one of the best areas to play hands down. The fans are great. We live on the beach. Can’t really complain with that.
8. Which team do you think is going to be the your biggest competition this season?
Peter: Right now it has been the Ice Gators. We haven’t won a game against them yet, and we plan on taking first place away from them.
Justin: Well, I think it’s been established we have the hardest time against Louisiana.
9. Who is someone that you would consider as a mentor on the ice?
Peter: I really look up to my roommates, Pawlick, Alonzo and Whitely. We are all rookies but they are always there for me when I need it the most, and we keep each other out of trouble outside the rink.
Justin: My father has been a huge mentor for me. He was my coach for many years when I was younger and he still coaches to this day.He is always helping me with my game. Over the summers he goes down to the rink with me and runs drills and skills. He helps me a lot with my mental aspect of the game as well.
10. If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you be doing?
Peter: I would be playing drums and singing backup vocals in a rock band.
Justin: I would try and get into coaching. I’ve always wanted to become a coach, and I think I could be successful.
HOT SEAT QUESTIONS WITH JUSTIN ALONZO
Justin is right, he could be successful at coaching! Check out the article from Prohockeynews.com titled “Suited Up.” It gives a pretty good insight into what we could all see Justin doing one day!
1. What was one of your worst games in college?
There wasn’t a worse game collectively that I can think of, but one of the worst things that happened to me was in my very first college game we were playing St. Anselms and were in overtime. We were on the penalty kill. I picked off the D-D pass for a breakaway and
2. What is a piece of advice you would give to a younger athlete trying to make it to a higher league?
Work on the things you are weak at twice as much as the stuff you are good at.
3. What has been one of the best pranks that you have ever witnessed/played on someone?
There is a lot of good ones out there, but one of my favorite to see done is the clear tape on the skate blades so when guys jump on the ice they fall flat on their face and look like Bambi on ice.
(This is ABSOLUTELY something that I would love to witness one day!)
4. What was the best advice you were ever given?
To have fun. If you can’t enjoy, what you are doing? Why do it?
HOT SEAT QUESTIONS WITH PETER DI SALVO
Peter is currently ranked in the SPHL goalie leaders at No. 5. Having only played eight games before being placed on the 30 day IR for a high ankle sprain, Di Salvo recorded six wins and two losses. He’s allowed only 19 goals to get past him, while stopping 248 to give him a save percentage of .929. He has definitely been a fan favorite here in Pensacola. We always seem to rally behind our tendys!
1. If you had the chance to give away $50,000, how would you go about giving it away?
If I had $50, 000 to give away, I would use it to buy hockey equipment for kids whose parents can’t afford the expenses for them to play the sport.
2. When you started playing playing, were you a goalie? Is that the position that you always wanted to play?
I started as a player when I was five, but, we didn’t have a permanent goalie. Every kid on the team had to be goalie at least once to try it out. I was goalie the first game by choice and after every other kid was goalie once, I stayed in net the rest of the games.
3. If your life was turned into a movie, who would play you on-screen, and who would play your leading lady?
My part would have to be played by Andrew Garfield. After seeing him in the Amazing Spider-Man, the way he portrayed Peter Parker was similar to the person I am. Someone different in a sense that stands out, and he had the skater look similar to mine. The leading lady, I’m going to stick with Megan Fox.
4. Goalies are kind of awesome, in my opinion at least. You guys have the ability to express yourselves on the ice through your helmets. What’s the story behind yours?
To start, on the top of my mask there is a bulldog representing my nickname, “The Mad Dog.” The chin has my team’s logo from our white jerseys. The back of my mask has Cartman from the cartoon South Park dressed as Dog the Bounty Hunter. Around him are three flags, Canada (where I was born and raised), Italy (where my dad’s family is from) and Croatia (where my mom’s family is from). The rest of my mask is a tribute to my favourite band Sum 41. They have been my favourite band since I was 10 years old. Music is a big part of my life, and Sum 41 represents me more than any other band. I love all sorts of rock and roll music, all of the subgenres, but no other band will ever top my list. When Sum 41 first went mainstream, most of the songs were about partying with friends, not wanting to go to school, skateboarding, etc. The things I did as a young kid. As the band evolved from being a pop-punk band, to hard rock, to metal, to alternative, the lyrics evolved too. As I got older, I started becoming more aware of the world and the changes happening to the world. That’s what the band was writing about in their songs, more of a political status. From there, the singer Deryck Whibley began writing about himself, his life, his family, etc. I began to understand things more clearly in my life after hearing about his. I became more mature as a person. Their newest album was very personal because of Whibley’s divorce from Avril Lavigne. The majority of the album was written about it. When that album came out, I was going through a hard breakup myself. A five year relationship was gone and out of my life. The album represented everything I was going through, just like his divorce. So to sum it all up, my mask represents what I love and what I’ve gone through in my life.