Backstage Pass Episode 3 Recap

In the third episode of Backstage Pass, host Corbyn Symons is once again joined by Director of Social Media Parker Brown. Before bringing in guest star Tristen Wells, Symons and Brown discuss the previous weekend's matchup against the Binghamton Black Bears and discuss the upcoming I-94 rivalry weekend. 

Diving right in, Corbyn begins discussing the fight for the number one spot in the Empire Division. 

CS: A series split loss on Friday night but won on Saturday night which was also hometown heroes. Friday it was a 7-5 loss. Honestly, the first two games against Binghamton were some ugly losses to an extent, this one I would say is a great game. It was just one of those games for the Rockers where everything was going well but Binghamton just had answers. One thing that stands out to me is there were four ties in the game and of course, those ties came from the Rockers working from behind. 

PB: I feel like we’ve slowly progressed how we’ve played Binghamton these past four games. The first game we went in not knowing who this team won and how they were. In the second game we got more of a feel, the third game in our hometown, fourth we finally figured out what it was, and how we needed to play, and it worked out in that favor. 

Bringing the conversation back to the game on Friday, Corbyn discusses a positive outlook despite the loss. 

CS: A loss is a loss but there are many things you can take away from that loss. Just the fact that they started with a 1-0 lead with Roman Gaudet's goal and then Binghamton took a 2-1 lead in the second period and they never looked back but neither did the Rockers. They just kept kind of inching back and forth and in times where you thought ok Rockers, we tied it up, we’re only down by one here we go, but Binghamton was just as sharp as ever. The third star of the game, the only one we had on the Rockers was Jonathan Juliano with two points. One goal and one assist. Three other players have two points as well. Pavel Svinstov, doesn’t that continue his points streak that he’s on? I think that was something that I predicted so I think I can give myself credit on that. 

PB: We might have to rewind that. I don’t know about that. 

CS: It might be something in the back of my head that I gaslit myself on. 

After a few laughs from both Corbyn and Parker, Corbyn moves back into the recap of Friday's game discussing the two other players who recorded multiple points in the game before moving on to Saturday’s game. 

CS: TJ Delaney and Ryan Rotondi getting two points as well. It was just the team sticking together and getting it done, especially on Saturday's hometown heroes’ night. They had the very unique jerseys with the handcuffs and the fire for firefighters. Rockers kick ass in the department of specialized jerseys. 

PB: Oh, for sure. I think our logo itself is the best. Whoever created the design, did one hell of a job. 

CS: This team is indebted to them for life just for that sole reason. I truly think in terms of sports you need a kick-ass logo; you can’t have a weird one. 

Moving on from hyping up the Rockers logo, Corbyn brings the conversation back to Saturday's Hometown Heroes 3-1 win. 

CS: Seeing how Friday night went, the team just knowing they’re a couple of graphs away from winning the game it was a must-win I felt like. The energy was there being like ‘We got to win this weekend with a win under the belt’ and they did just that ladies and gentlemen. They now know that they can compete on that level. 

PB: The one thing that I kind of took away from that game is we had 18 shots on goal that night. I believe Binghamton had around 37. We got outshout and for some reason, those shots didn’t go in. I guess they’re best when their back is against the wall. That is the best way to describe this team.  

Corbyn continues to discuss the Rocker's dominant performance with goalie Trevor Babin only allowing one goal in the net. Symons continues to discuss the win and the long-awaited first goal as a Rocker from George Holt who Parker had the chance to interview after the game. 

PB: George is such a team-first guy. He is never going to boast about himself. It was awesome to talk to him about his first Rockers goal. 

CS: He was kind of shocked we wanted to talk to him. 

PB: He was like ‘No, you don’t want to talk to me’, but George is a great guy. As much as it looks like he wants to beat everyone up on the ice, great human. 

CS: Always has a smile on his face. 

PB: I don’t think I’ve ever seen George not smile, which is kind of scary. George is super happy but when I was interviewing him, he said ‘I wouldn’t be able to be in this position without the team’. I was super happy for him, and it was a super proud moment for him. 

Wrapping up the conversation about the weekend, Parker goes off-camera as Tristen Wells joins Corbyn. Before diving into the interview portion, Corbyn reveals he, and Tristen share a birthday (March 22).

CS: This season you started with the Blue Ridge Bobcats and now obviously with the Motor City Rockers, how are you able to adjust to such a change? 

TW: It was pretty easy to adjust. Things are awesome here in Motor City. I would just count myself lucky that I was allowed to work my way to the league. Things are different down in Wytheville, a bit more rural and a country town. There wasn’t a ton of adjustment between cities. Kind of suburban here and a lot more choices to go out to eat. 

CS: Which side do you prefer?  Do you prefer living in a more rural area or the suburbs? 

TW: They’re both fun in their regard. The rural area was a little bit just a smaller town and people were more invested in the team. There wasn’t a lot going on so what we had going on was pretty cool for them. Here people are busy and have to sell it to them. I certainly can’t complain about it here, I love it here. I like having the city of Detroit too right there to go out and have a good time. 

Wanting to give fans a backstage look at Tristen’s style of play, Corbyn mentions that he always seems to see Tristen in scrums with players, prompting him to ask if that is a mantra he has to stand on business. 

TW: It is a pretty tough league, and you want to stand up for yourself and your team. I guess that’s kind of what’s going on in my head there. 

Continuing with the topic of Tristen being an enforcer or protector, Corbyn asks if he vocalizes that idea of sticking up for his teammates and having their backs on the team. 

TW: I think everyone’s got each other’s back out there. I’m sure like I know they have my back; they know I have theirs.

If you have ever been around the arena whether that is during a game or the week, you will notice Tristen always has a smile on his face and is full of energy, prompting Corbyn to ask if he thinks he is the most energetic on the team.

TW: I wouldn’t say I’m the most energetic on the team. Tim’s got some good energy, he’s a talker for sure. We got some energy guys, and we got some guys who are low on energy. 

CS: We’ve always said that it (the team) runs like a well-oiled machine, do you think that that balance of guys who sit back and the guys that step forward, do you think that’s helped get you guys where you are now?

TW: I think that kind of comes naturally on any team. You have a variety of characters. Whether or not that helps us, I don’t know but we got a good team. We have great team chemistry and all the guys love being around each other. Whatever we are doing we got to keep it up. 

Continuing the conversation about team chemistry, Corbyn asks Tristen if it was hard to adjust to a new team’s chemistry after coming here from the Blue Ridge Bobcats. 

TW: Pretty welcoming group, I mean the first day here guys were introducing themselves and buddying around with me. I was lucky enough that I was right on the road and staying in the hotel with the guys, eating with them for every meal, and just being around them for the whole weekend so it was a pretty good chance to get to know everybody and it certainly felt welcoming to me. 

Moving onto more of the get-to-know-you questions for Tristen, it is revealed that Tristen didn’t start playing hockey until he was 15, prompting a conversation about how much hockey means to Tristen. 

TW: I just immerse myself. I love hockey and everything around it so that’s what I’m up to any given day. If it’s not practice, it's training off-ice and studying the game, watching hockey, and talking hockey. I mean since I started playing that’s pretty much all I do so that’s kind of helped me build what I know today and there’s still lots to learn. It’s amazing what you can still learn about a game that you play every day. 

CS: What has been your favorite thing you learned about yourself through hockey in this short period of playing?

TW: I’d say probably just commitment and what kind of commitment I can get out of myself and to what level I’m willing to push myself to what I want and overcoming the obstacles that playing hockey will throw at you. If you can walk out of that and if you can stay strong through the season, I think it’s a pretty good test of character. 

Moving the conversation onto something that you might notice is that Tristen and fellow teammate Roman Gaudet resemble each other, bringing in the question if Tristen agrees with it as well. 

TW: I appreciate the comparison, he’s a good-looking guy. I agree with it, yeah, we look pretty similar. I’ll catch myself and my family will always confuse each other on the stream. Both of us will confuse each other looking at pictures and looking at videos and take a quick double-take to make sure it’s me and not him. 

Continuing the conversation with appearance, Corbyn mentions that Tristen is tied with TJ Delaney for the tallest on the team at 6 '6 and asks if that has given him an advantage in his game. 

TW: Absolutely. Coaches want a big player, and you know a thing I’ve heard often is you can’t teach size but at the same rate, I think it just comes down to how good the player is and what they’re capable of. I think my size probably gets me a first look. They want the big guy to be good and hopefully, I can be good enough for what they’re looking for. 

Moving onto more fun get-to-know-you questions, Corbyn asks the same question he asks every player he’s had on the podcast thus far; if Tristen has any superstitions before a game. 

TW: This season I’ve been eating a sweet potato during the game. I’m no nutritionist but I think it’s a good source of energy so I’ll take a couple of bites of that throughout the game, maybe right before. 

CS: Do you do anything? Do you steam it, or do you just leave it just as it is?

TW: I chuck it in the microwave, cut it in half, and bring my fork, take a couple of bites.

CS: I’ve never heard of anyone doing that in-game, that’s very unique. 

TW: There’s a pretty popular player Nathan MacKinnon, he sits there and eats sweet potatoes during the games. 

CS: Is that where you got the idea?

TW: That is where I got the idea. I said I could use a little bit more energy like him. I don’t know if it’s a game-changer. I like to think it works. You know when you have a game, you don’t eat that close to the game, you know it’s like seven hours before the game so having a little something to eat during the game is important. A good simple good that’s easily digested by your body, so I’d like to think it works. 

Moving on from the conversation about food and Tristen’s interesting in-game snack, Corbyn shifts the conversation to what Tristen’s favorite things are being on the Rockers this season. 

TW: We got a great team, a veteran team with a bunch of guys that I’m pretty lucky to have the opportunity to play with. Guys that are telling me stories from before I even skated, and they all have great insights and are more than willing to share. It’s a very lucky aspect of this for me. I love the fans. We have great fans, great staff who work for our team, great guys who work hard and get the job done. Motor City has been great for me. I’ve been very lucky to be here. 

Keeping the fun questions going, Corbyn asks why Tristen wears the number 57 and if it has any special meaning to him. 

TW: I was just given it. I had a choice of a couple of numbers and well that was just the one that I liked the most. I don’t know, I’ve never worn it before. 

CS: Which numbers have you worn in the past?

TW: 47 which is pretty close. 21 and 22. I wore eight for a while, I think that was a pretty good number. 

CS: Was that because of Ovechkin maybe?

TW: Yes, yes it was. Maybe I’m not quite like him but I still like him. 

Shifting gears into who Tristen is and how he became the Tristen we all know and love today, Corbyn asks about his hometown of Denver Colorado, and what it’s like being so close to nature and the city all in one. 

TW: That’s probably the best part. You got the city right there and then you’re just a baseball throw away from getting up in the mountains and being up in nature. I like both of them. It’s pretty cool to have a city to go out to and it’s a lot of fun down there but I also don’t mind getting out in the wild.

CS: What’s your favorite thing to do in the city and from the nature side of things? 

TW: In the city, I live pretty close downtown, so I like to get a couple of my friends and go walk down to the baseball park and watch a Rockies game. More of the nature side of things, I like to go out and camp, fish, and hunt. Just about anything you do out there, I’ve gotten down with. I’ll go for a nice hike. 

CS: Have you ever run into any unique creatures that a Michigander probably wouldn’t be running into?

TW: Oh yeah. Just 30 minutes outside of Denver I’ve run into mountain goats. Bears are kind of a rarity that are cool to see. Moose are another rarity and if you get to see them that’s a cool experience. 

Wrapping up the conversation about Tristen’s hometown, Corbyn asks what one thing people should do if traveling to Denver. 

TW: Everything I just said on the nature side. On the city side, Red Rock Theatre is made out of natural Red Rock and it’s a great place to go catch a show. Just go out, go exercise. People just go to take pictures and people also go to see a concert. See a concert there that’s pretty special. 

Keeping up with the last two episodes and the topic of favorite food and meals, Corbyn asks Tristen what his favorite food or meal is. 

TW: I don’t mix it up too much. Chicken and rice are a go-to. Maybe some like peppers, some beans, a little seasoning like a chipotle-style meal. That’s probably my favorite style of meal. 

Moving on from food, Corbyn asks a question which I’m sure we all already knew the answer to; what Tristan’s favorite NHL team is and to which the answer was the Colorado Avalanche. Keeping the conversation going about the Avalanche, Corbyn asks who his favorite player growing up. 

TW: I liked Ovechkin, he was great. We had Duchene when I was a kid, he was a really good player for the Avalanche. MacKinnon, he’s an elite guy for sure and he’s definitely someone carrying my team all the way so I can’t not like that. But I’d say, Ovechkin, I sit there and watch his highlights. 

Before Tristen got into hockey, he revealed that he was a big snow skier growing up. He even thought before his hockey career took off that he would be a pro skier when he grew up. 

Wrapping up the interview, Tristen discusses what he does outside of hockey. 

TW: I like hanging out with the guys. We sit there and watch whatever games are on, get food, or just hang out. Hanging out with the guys is the best part about playing. 

Ending the interview with one final question, Tristen reveals his favorite hockey memory. 

TW: It was this season scoring against Wytheville.

CS:  A little revenge moment?

TW: Yeah, it felt good. 

Parker rejoins the podcast to preview the upcoming I-94 matchup against the Port Huron Prowlers. Both Parker and Corbyn predict a win on Friday especially coming off a win over Binghamton and the possible return of a player to the lineup. Corbyn also predicts a two-point weekend from Jonathan Juliano and a weekend sweep of the Rocker's biggest rival. Parker predicts a Scott Coash goal and that he is a player to watch. Adding another prediction, Corbyn predicts that Tristen Wells will score being that Scott Coash scored after being on the podcast and Trevor Babin had a great game after being on, prompting Corbyn’s theory.