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This Q&A ran in the Buckeye gameday program for the Western Michigan series

After sitting out the 2007-08 season to concentrate on academics, Ian Boots finally got back on the ice last season. Boots was fifth on the team in points his freshman season, scoring nine goals and dishing out 16 assists. His play earned him an honorable mention nod on the CCHA All-Rookie squad. The sophomore forward lived on a reservation in his native Canada, but had little trouble acclimating himself to campus life. Now, in his second year compeiting with the team, Boots and company look to take off and climb the CCHA standings. 

How do you feel about the team’s play and your own performance so far?
“It seems like I always get off to a slow start, so I’m just waiting for things to click. It seems like as a team we haven’t gotten up to play on Friday nights. Every weekend we need points to end up in the Top 4 of the CCHA. It’s very important to finish in the Top 4 to get some extra rest.” 

How difficult was it to sit out two years ago?
“Anytime you’re sitting out, whether it’s for injuries or something else, it’s one of the hardest things you can do. The team was struggling, too, so it was frustrating knowing you could help contribute. I couldn’t do anything with the team, either. No working out, skating, or anything.  It took me a while when I got back last year, about five games, to get used to playing hockey again.”

Do you think it benefitted you sitting out the year you did so you could adjust to academics without having to juggle playing hockey?
“I don’t think it would have been a big deal either way. I was ready for both.”

How was adjusting to college and a new country after living on a reservation in Canada?
“There was enough around us, a city, other kids, so it wasn’t totally different. Getting a hockey scholarship was something I felt was going to eventually happen for me. I moved away from home during junior hockey as well, so I had lived away from home before. Coming to college wasn’t a really hard adjustment for me to make.”

You were an honorable mention All-CCHA Rookie team selection last year. Were you satisfied with your performance?
“Obviously it was a struggle at the start getting back in the groove of things. I definitely felt like I could have done more and scored more. Overall, just getting back on the ice, was important. I was nervous at the beginning of the year wondering what my year was going to be like after sitting out. All things considered, I thought it was a good season.”

After being a dominant point scorer in juniors, you still put up points last season, but you also led the team in penalty minutes. Did you take more of an aggressive role?
“I still think I should be at the top end of point scorers on the team. The whole enforcer thing and how that played out last year was kind of weird. I think I developed a little bit of a bad reputation last year. I’ve been trying to keep my nose clean this year and stay under the radar.”

How much is your heritage a source of pride for you?
“I think for anyone back home, we are very proud of who we are. Everyone is proud to say they’re Mohawk and proud to say they’re from Akwesasne. I’m very proud to be who I am.”