New Barons defenseman Mike Marcou talks about his American Hockey League debut, playing at Fenway Park and his preference in pre-game candy. Marcou signed an amateur tryout contract with Oklahoma City and made his professional debut March 30 at Milwaukee after finishing his senior season at UMass. He will likely play his first game in Oklahoma City at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the Barons host the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Cox Center.
Q: Had you ever been to Oklahoma before this week?
A: “No, never. I played in the USHL (U.S. Junior Hockey League) with Iowa and sort of went all around the upper Midwest but never down this far. I like it so far, though. I didn't really know what to expect.”
What was it like making your American Hockey League debut over the weekend, and did having a brother (James) who had been through that before help?
“It was great. It's a great opportunity and something I've looked forward to my whole life. It's different from the way the college game is played. I'm glad to get this experience this year. My brother definitely gave me some tips and explained to me how different things were. He plays in Worcester, which is only an hour away from UMass, and we only played on Friday and Saturday so I was able to make it over to some of those games.”
What was the biggest adjustment in styles?
“The guys are a little bit stronger, and they play so much more control and more systematic. In college, everything's run and gun a bit more.”
What was it like playing at Fenway Park against Vermont in January?
“It was great experiencing playing in an outdoor hockey game, and scoring the game-winner in overtime really sold it for me. I loved it.”
What's the significance of red Skittles and red Powerade for you?
“As far as that goes, I haven't had any since I've been here. I would eat Skittles — only the red ones — before I played. It's not something I have to do, it's just something that's been routine. The Powerade was just something I drank with meals. It wasn't superstitious or anything.”
(Editor's note: UMass' dominant color is red.)
What would you be doing if you weren't playing hockey?
“Right now, I'd be finishing up school and finishing up my degree, which I'm going to do either way. But if I wasn't a hockey player, I'd want to stay involved with sports, so I'd probably be an agent or something like that.”