It’s been three weeks now since the Adirondack Thunder announced their last signing. With that being said, we continue our latest edition of Adirondack New Comers with a familiar face. This time, it’s goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos. “Sacko” returns to Adirondack after spending last year with the Norfolk Admirals, Rapid City Rush and Orlando Solar Bears.
However, Alex did say that his time in Orlando was like a “two-week vacation” before they had to scramble to get flights back home seeing that Orlando Int’l Airport had been shut down. Alex also mentioned that he talked with the core of Matt Salhany, Mike Szmatuala and Alex Carrier and they are all looking to get the team back on track.
Sakellaropoulos Returns To His Second Home
As a kid, Sakellapoulos played as forward until the age of 10. When asked about why he became a goaltender, Sako said it was about the equipment. “I loved the fact that you could design the equipment.” He also mentions that he’s had a moose on every helmet he’s had and plans on continuing that tradition next season.
When talking to Alex, it comes as no surprise that he calls Adirondack home after spending his collegiate career at Union College in nearby Schenectady, New York. During his time at Union, he put up a record of 40-22-13 with a GAA of 2.54 and three shutouts. He did this in 82 games with the Dutchmen where he won a national championship in his freshmen season. “It makes you want to win another one right away,” said Sakellapoulos when asked about the national championship.
“It kinda feels like a second home to me, after going to school at Union forty minutes down the road.” Sakellaropoulos also went on to call the city of Glens Falls “homy.” When asked if he reached out or the team did, Alex said it was a mutual thing and he reached out to Alex Loh about the goalie situation. He’s also excited to reunite with seven players that he played with in 2018-19.
When asked if he thought in March, this would still be a lingering issue, Sako said, “A lot of the players I talked to didn’t even think there would be a hockey season after going through what happened in April and May.” Even though it’s unknown how many fans will be in the arena, Sakaropoulous mentioned that they play a big part during game days. “It’s so much fun, it just dials you in immediately.” As well, he mentioned that if a goalie makes a big save, they will let you know. They’ll also let you know if you’re having an off night.
Help From A Former NHL’er
Talking about what it takes as a goaltender to return to the ice after an extended layoff, Sakellarpoulos had a few key points. “I like to start hitting the gym every day, about two or three months before the season starts,” the goaltender said. He also mentioned that he wanted to get on the ice about three to four times a week within that same time period before the 2020-21 season begins.
As Scott Clemmensen will be spending time in Adirondack this season, Sakellarpoulos is ecstatic about having his help. “It’s the best thing in the world. For a goaltender, it’s a nice having another pair of eyes watching you develop and having a guy like Scott Clemmensen, who is an NHL vet as well as an NHL/AHL goalie coach.” The Thunder and Sakellaropoulos will break open the season on January 15th.