This SBOTD Team Edition features, two of the Bloomington Thunder players, Paul D’Agostino & Ron Cramer
Bloomington’s left winger, Ron Cramer, is a 25-year-old Pennsylvania native. Cramer started his pro career in the 2011 season with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Ron joined the Pensacola Ice Flyers in the 2012-13 season and was part of the Presidents Cup Championship team. During the same season, Ron played three games with the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL. He has played 20 games with Bloomington this season and has 107 penalty minutes.
Defenseman Paul D’Agostino, “Dags”, is a Massachusetts native who is certainly not unfamiliar to the pro hockey circuit. Starting off his first pro season in 2006-07, Dags split his time between the Lubbock Cotton Kings and The Tulsa Oilers in the CHL, as well as the Pensacola Ice Pilots and the Trenton Titans in the ECHL. Dags entered the SPHL by becoming a Louisiana Ice Gator, where he stayed for two seasons and met his lovely girlfriend, Paige, who was on the Ice Gators dance team. Sorry ladies, he’s taken! Dags spent the 2011-12 season with the Mississippi Riverkings before heading to the FHL for the 2012-13 season splitting his time between the Williamsport Outlaws and the Danbury Whalers. He just couldn’t stay away from the South and returned to the SPHL the same season to play with the Huntsville Havoc. (I told you he wasn’t new to this!) Finally, he joined the Bloomington Thunder this season where he has played 19 games, has two goals, three assists and only eight penalty minutes.
Dags: I won a state championship in Massachusetts at 16, but haven’t been as fortunate since. Last season was special competing in the finals with Huntsville, but it was definitely a bittersweet ending with the loss to Pensacola.
Cramer: I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some pretty cool moments throughout my hockey career, from long playoff runs in juniors to some big wins in college. But I think my favorite hockey related memory to date would be winning a championship in Pensacola last year.
Cramer: I’d be on the left with Sidney Crosby in the middle and Dan Carcillo on the right. I love the way Carcillo plays the game, and Crosby is just on a completely different level. I think even I could rack up a few points if I played with a guy like that.
3. Some athletes are superstitious. What is something that you do/have always done before each of your games?
Dags: I don’t have much that I do for my pre-game rituals, but… the big thing for me is taking a “contrast bath.” I’ll start off by spending about three minutes in the cold tub (about 50 degrees or so), then jump into a hot shower, and go back-and-forth a couple of times. It serves as a wake-up call prior to the game.
Cramer: I’m not overly superstitious myself. I just follow the same routine on game days from when I eat, pre-game warm up, the way I get dressed, that sort of thing..
Dags: Spending time with my family is a big thing for me. I’m not much for vacationing or getting away, but going home is good enough for me.
Cramer: Once the year is over, I look forward to relaxing for a bit and spending time with my family and friends back home. I do a lot of stuff like golfing, training, going on trips, just the standard stuff.
Dags:I started when I was five and absolutely hated it. I quit. Then the movie “The Mighty Ducks” came out when I turned nine, and that was that.
Cramer–I started playing when I was seven. I was the first person in my family to start playing hockey, and I guess it sort of just happened. I remember going ice skating one day. I just got on the ice and it came to me so my parents got me some gear and I tried out for a team a few weeks later and made it.
Dags–Charismatic, comical and “Boston.” All three words were given to me by Kyle Watson.
Cramer–Passionate, determined and hardworking.
Dags–I’ve enjoyed every place that I’ve been. I can’t really say that one is more enjoyable than another. The biggest thing has been the teammates that I’ve had over the years. That’s what makes a place a good spot.
Cramer–Definitely Pensacola. We lived in a beach front condo, year round golfing, great fans, great group of guys and we were able to win it all. I had a great experience there.
Dags–Right now, our biggest competition has been ourselves. It’s no secret that we’ve been struggling to start the season, but we’re a very capable team. As far as the other teams in the league, I think Pensacola is still the team to beat.
Cramer–Peoria for sure. We play them something like 16 times and they’re only 45 minutes down the road. Plus, the way the last few games have gone, its shaping up to be a great rivalry. We don’t like them and they don’t like us, which makes it even more fun to play against them.
Dags–That’s a tough question. I’m not really sure if anybody really comes to mind.
Cramer–No one is particular — just my teammates. Overall, everyone’s work ethic and commitment to do the little things makes it easy to go to the rink every day.
Dags–Most likely I would be involved with fitness in some way. Whether that being a trainer or becoming certified as a strength and conditioning coach.
Cramer–Right now I’m working on a Master’s degree in kinesiology, which I should be done with this summer so I hope to get a strength and conditioning position somewhere. I’d love to work training, specifically hockey players. I aspire to someday open my own gym.
Hot Seat questions with Bloomington defenseman, Paul D’Agostino!
1. Who are some of your favorite teammates from throughout your career? Why?
There are so many guys to mention here. Leland Fidler, Jesse Kallechy and Nick Lazorko in Huntsville are great guys. My roommate in Bloomington, Kyle Watson, has been easy to get along with. After playing with Dennis Sicard in both Louisiana and Bloomington, he would kill me if I didn’t mention him.
Stay motivated and make it your job. Do the little things. Go to the gym, eat the right foods and have fun with everything.
My family is really important to me. Being away from them during the season isn’t always easy, especially around the holidays, but it comes with the territory of playing the game.
I’m not even sure where I see myself 10 minutes from now, but hopefully I’ll still be smiling and enjoying life!
Hot Seat questions with Bloomington Left Winger, Ron Cramer!
2. Athletes love their cars. What do you currently drive, and what is your dream car?
3. If your life was turned into a movie, who would play you on-screen & who would play your leading lady?
4. What is your current and your future athletic goals?