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An Interview With Alain St. Hilaire

Friday night, the Trenton Titans defeated the Toledo Storm 6-1 at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ. John Cloninger was on hand to watch the game along with Dave Nangle '94. They interviewed former RPI center Alain St. Hilaire '99 who had two assists and earned the gameís second star.

The Titans will be the first seed in the Northern Conference as they enter the ECHL Playoffs. They open the postseason at home on Saturday against the Johnstown Chiefs.

To read the interview, click "Read More..."

John Cloninger: Congratulations on your win tonight and earning the second star of the game. You guys put them away early!

Alain St. Hilaire: Thanks!

Cloninger: What made you decide to go to RPI?

St. Hilaire: Probably the combination of great academics, and a great hockey program. There were other schools I was interested in, but they didnít have that blend of a high level of education and play a high level of hockeyóa place that has a great tradition. So thatís probably the mix that attracted me to RPI in the first place. And plus that it was three hours and a half from home, from Montreal, and I had been playing juniors out west in Saskatchewan for three years so I hadnít seen my parents much, so it was a lot easier for my parents to come to the games.

Cloninger: Itís kind of funny that the ECAC takes all the digs for not being as good as the CCHA or Hockey East because of the academic standards.

St. Hilaire: Itís a give and take. If you want to go for the big hockey school, sometimes they donít have the best education. Itís what you want out of life after hockey too, especially if youíre not going to the NHL.

Cloninger: Letís hope itís not anytime soon, but once you are done with hockey, what are you looking to do?

St. Hilaire: Iím looking to get a job with a financial company, a brokerage company. Iím actually giving my time, one afternoon a week after practice, at a company in Princeton called Hamilton and Company. Itís a financial company; Iím just getting a little bit of experience, as much as I can one day a week; thatís all the time I have to give to themÖso after that hopefully Iíll have that internship on my resume and itíll be easier to get a starting position with a financial firm.

Cloninger: Scott Bertoli [who played at Princeton while Alain was at RPI] is one of your teammates. Do you keep in touch with your RPI teammates or ECAC players from your time?

St. Hilaire: Not so much with the guys that are there right now, but with the guys that I played with like Mark Murphy, George Murray, who were my classmates. And Pete Gardiner and Doug Shepherd who were a class behind me but they were my roommates for two years. Those four guys are pretty much the guys I keep in touch with.

Cloninger: Where are they now?

(Dave Nangle interjects: "Well Pat Brownleeís in Amarillo. Bill ran into him last week." We all laughed. Bill Ruhsam '96 is a friend of ours who works part time for the Lubbock Cotton Kings and bumped into Pat when Lubbock was playing Amarillo. I later found out that Pat Brownlee actually plays in Lubbock and Doug Shepherd plays in Amarillo)

St. Hilaire: I just talked to him a couple days ago. His seasonís over; it ended Sunday and they didnít make the playoffs. Mark Murphyís an All-Star in the AHL this year with Portland. George Murray is farming in Alberta. He went to a pro camp last year right out of college and got a real severe concussion, and it scared him. He had headaches for months; he just said forget it. He was only going to doing it for one or two years anyway. His objective was to go back and farm. And Pete Gardiner I play against in this league; he plays for Roanoke. He signed with the Minnesota Wild this summer, but they sent him down.

Cloninger: Who is the most talented person you played against during your RPI career?

St. Hilaire: Thereís been a few good players through that league. My first couple of years it was that Martin St. Louis from Vermont and Jeff Halpern was always strong at Princeton. Jeff Hamilton at Yale, who is just graduating.

Cloninger: Heís a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award this year.

St. Hilaire: Guys like that.

Cloninger: What did the guys do for your birthday (last Wednesday night)?

St. Hilaire: We got home Wednesday morning at 9 oíclock [AM] and we were just tired from that road trip, so I just slept a lot.

Cloninger: Where was your Tuesday game?

St. Hilaire: In Charlotte, NC. We got home at eight-thirty in the morning. It wears you out. We had to rest up for the weekend, so I just went to dinner with my girlfriend.

Cloninger: Well I will let you go. Good luck in the playoffs!

St. Hilaire: Thank you.

John Cloninger would like to extend thanks on behalf of RCNJ to the Trenton Titans, Alain St. Hilaire, and Joe Zydlo, the Titans director of Public Relations.

Mike Steele '95/'97 also contributed to this interview.

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