Excited by the results and achievements of Medvescak's U20 team in EBYSL, defenseman Mark Katic from Medvescak's KHL team decided to try out being a journalist and posed a few questions for the junior team's best shooter by number of points Ivan Jankovic and Mark Sakic who has the most assists.
How do you feel about your game and the season so far?
JANKOVIC: We're all thrilled and feel good, but I think we could have done even better, maybe we could have knocked Salzburg off the top of the ladder. But, we won't be petty, what we've achieved so far is a huge success. If nothing else, we avoided Salzburg in the first round of the playoffs. We were scared we would get them because they have the longest bench. As far as my game and stats are concerned, the entire team is responsible for them, not just myself. I didn't take control of the puck, make it past all the opposing players, and score all by myself.
SAKIC: I'm very happy. We achieved the goal we set, we made it to the playoffs. I'm also happy with my own game. I have quite a few points, but that's not important because we play as a team and the team's results are important, not individual ones.
What do you expect in the playoffs?
JANKOVIC: To stay in it for as long as possible. Now that we've made it to the playoffs, we have to show that we have courage to go even further. We have a great team, we stick together, and the atmosphere is incredible. I didn't think it would turn out like this. If someone told me before the start of the season that we'd be in the playoffs, I wouldn't have believed them. I have a pretty good feeling that we could make it to the semifinals because we already beaten opponents that we might be going up against in the playoffs.
SAKIC: I expect that we're going to play good hockey as we have been so far, that we're going to put up a solid fight, that we're going to give it our best in every game and whatever happens, happens.
What have you learned throughout EBYSL? Marko, you practiced with the KHL guys, what did you learn from them?
JANKOVIC: Confidence and experience, and those are most important in sports, or at least that's what I heard. Those two things helped me not be afraid, so to say, of other players who are bigger names than myself and who already have contracts with big clubs like KAC, Villach, Salzburg, Vienna... Now I feel at level with them.
SAKIC: I've learned a lot of things, especially about what it means to be a pro and acting like one. I think I've also improved my hockey skills because the practices are a lot stronger.
What are your plans for the summer?
JANKOVIC: First off, I'm going to get some rest because this season has been really demanding, and after that I'm going to roll up my sleeves and turn to practicing.
SAKIC: Nothing much, practice a lot and get ready for the next season. I'm sure I'm going to go relax on the Adriatic a bit too.
What are your goals for next season?
JANKOVIC: I hope that I'll get to play another EBYSL season, but that's still a way's away. Right now we have to think about the playoffs because the season isn't over yet, first we have to finish it as best we can, and then we'll start thinking about the next season. That said, my goal is to make it on to the Croatian senior national team because there will be lots of competition for it and I want to play at the World Championship in Eindhoven.
SAKIC: My goal is to play senior hockey somewhere, or to sign a contract. Whether that will be in Medvescak or somewhere else, I don't know. All of the options are open.
What are your biggest achievements so far?
JANKOVIC: I was EBYSL's number one shooter for a while this season, and last year I won silver with the senior team at the World Championship in Lithuania, and there's also the gold we won at the World Juniors in Spain.
SAKIC: There are lots of them. My biggest achievement is related to the national representation, staying in Division I of the World Juniors, gold and silver with the senior team, I was on top in Austria with KAC in younger divisions, and on top in Croatia with Medvescak.
Your best/favourite goal you scored?
JANKOVIC: I can't say which one is the best, but I know my favourite. There were two at the World Juniors finals that I scored on the Spaniards.
SAKIC: Wow, there are lots of them. One of my favourites was the one in Bled when I debuted on the U20 team. We lost to Austria in overtime in that game, but I scored on the Austrians while i was playing for KAC. But maybe my favourite goal is coming in the playoffs, ha-ha.
Who is a role model for you in hockey?
JANKOVIC: Aleksander Semin because he has suck a powerful strike.
SAKIC: There are a lot of good players, and lately I've kind of been looking at them differently, I'm experiencing them differently than I did when I was younger. But back then I definitely looked up to Joe Sakic.