Sport: Men’s hockey
Hometown: Northville, Mich.
Question: As host of your own internet hockey-talk show, “Kearney’s Corner,” are you going to be comfortable answering questions instead of asking them?
Answer: I’m way more comfortable asking questions rather than answering them, but will gladly do so to give a look into what hosting the Corner is like — as well as what it is like to be a Buckeye after growing up in That State Up North.
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Q: How did you get the job of interviewing your teammates?
A: Essentially, what happened was I walked past the weekly media setup when I grabbed the microphone and began to interview Tanner Laczynski, a former teammate of mine. I was messing around with some questions, including one that was trying to get him to say I was one of his favorite players. Fans really liked the video, so we decided to keep making them.
Q: What’s the weirdest it has gotten when the cameras are rolling?
A: Either the last episode, which was Halloween-themed and we all had costumes on, or possibly a New Year’s episode where we had a teammate reveal the name of another teammate’s crush, which was pretty funny (but we had to cut that out).
Q: This being your final year, do you plan on going out in a blaze of glory, maybe include a song-and-dance act?
A: Not sure of any “blaze of glory” plans. I’ve gone three years without (completely) embarrassing myself, so the plan is to keep it pretty much the same, but we will see if we can come up with something good.
Q: Let’s switch to Northville, Michigan, which is close enough to Ann Arbor and East Lansing to hitchhike. And yet here you are in Columbus. How?
A: The recruiting process was pretty easy: From the second I stepped foot in Columbus and was able to get to see the area, facilities, staff — everything seemed to be the right fit.
Q: What ultimately tipped the scales in Ohio State’s favor?
A: What made Ohio State the right fit was it gave a chance to make something for myself. Staying in-state, it would be nice to be close to home. But Columbus is fairly close and gives me the opportunity to develop into my own person on and off the ice, which was important to me and my family. I could not imagine spending my four years anywhere else.
Q: What Big Ten school do you love to play the most?
A: That Team Up North, definitely. To be part of the biggest rivalry in college sports is an experience I can’t begin to explain. Both fan bases are incredibly passionate no matter the sport, and to see the support from them makes it a special game.
Q: I found some video of a hockey fight between Ohio State and Michigan that may have included you; it was No. 25 for OSU and No. 4 for UM. True or false?
A: Yes, that was me. My freshman year, the rivalry game got heated at the end, and a few of my teammates started pushing and shoving with some *ichigan players. From there, it kept building, so I grabbed the player on U* and he kind of freaked out and got a few punches in. It wasn’t considered a fight since I never actually threw a punch.
Q: Doesn’t a fight automatically include a suspension? Was it worth it?
A: I believe he got a two-game suspension and I was given one game for the altercation. It definitely was not worth it.
Q: These are your stats from last season: five goals, 13 assists, 27 blocked shots. Which of those numbers are you most proud of?
A: The blocked shots. I obviously love to contribute with goals and assists, but it’s always fun to block shots because it gets the team excited and shows you’re willing to put your body on the line to get the win.
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, where are you, as a hockey player, on the continuum of a finesse player (1) to a grinder (10)?
A: I would say about a 6. I definitely have some characteristics of both to my game and consider it to be fairly balanced.
Q: Do you also consider yourself an agitator, or do you tend to keep quiet on the ice?
A: It depends on the situation. There are times when I like to talk and “stir the pot,” but you definitely need to pick and choose when to do it. If you focus too much on talking, it can take you off your game. And you don’t want to take a bad penalty and set your team back.
Q: Your Twitter posts include a lot of references to Detroit professional sports; are you a fan of all the Motor City teams?
A: I am a huge Detroit sports fan, and, unfortunately, it has been a tough couple of years for us. If I had to rank them, I would say: 1. Red Wings; 2. Tigers; 3. Lions; 4. Pistons. But I follow them all, so those rankings don’t mean too much.
Q: Your OSU bio points out that you like to make trips to catch Tigers games; where all have you gone?
A: I’ve been able to see the Tigers play in Toronto, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and both Chicago parks. I have been out to the LA Angels’ park as well, but not to see the Tigers.
Q: Who is your favorite all-time Detroit athlete?
A: Steve Yzerman. What he did for the Wings was awesome to watch growing up. There could maybe be a few more Red Wings I could choose, but Yzerman would definitely be my pick.
Q: Is there a story behind your jersey number? You didn’t pick No. 25 for that Red Wings hack Darren McCarty, did you?
A: Ha-ha! It was not because of Darren McCarty, though his goal in the ’97 Cup finals against Philly and hat trick in the ’02 Western Conference finals are two of my favorite Detroit highlights. But I was pretty tall when I was playing travel hockey, and the only jersey that would fit me was No. 25. I happened to have a good season, so I stuck with it.
Q: Oh, my gosh — I totally forgot about the Frozen Four last year; how was that experience?
A: The Frozen Four was absolutely amazing. When you’re there, it’s unbelievable. You want to take it in as much as you can but also have to stay focused on the games. Ever since that game, I’ve had Buffalo on my mind for this year.
Q: How do you and your teammates deal with the pressure of wanting to get back?
A: I don’t think we feel it too much. We just go out and play our game and stick to the systems we have in place. We know what we can accomplish but have to focus on going out and getting better each and every day.