Adam Hauser backstopped the Gophers to the 2002 NCAA championship.
GopherSports.com: What was your time like being in the spotlight, playing goalie for Minnesota?
Adam Hauser: I'm from a small town in northern Minnesota (Bovey) and coming to the big city was a big change. Growing up watching the Gophers was one thing, but then getting to play was another. Being a part of Minnesota's "Pride on Ice" was a big honor for me and I am thankful for my time there.
GS: What kind of emotions were you feeling when Matt Koalska sent the 2002 National Championship into overtime?
AH: I just smiled and went back out on the ice for the next face-off. I had felt such a range of emotions throughout that game and my four years. It seemed fitting that we weren't done yet.
GS: How did it feel to win the school's first championship in over 20 years? Could you have imagined a better way to end your collegiate career?
AH: There's no way I could have imagined it all happening the way it did. I distinctively remember stepping on the ice for that game thinking to myself, "Win or lose, this is my last game as a Gopher." A flood of emotion, mostly relief, and memories of all that had happened in four years flashed through me. It calmed me, but also energized me one last time. I enjoyed the true spirit of competition that night, and will forever look back on that night knowing I enjoyed every moment of that game.
GS: Legend has it you walked off the ice after winning the national championship, looked at the assembled media and said, "How do you like me now?" Is that a myth or did it really happen?
AH: The short answer is yes, that did happen. It was a comment with a specific direction; it was received by the correct person(s) and resolved. I remember the conversation leading to the resolution more than I remember my specific comment. I appreciate everybody and everything that helped me get to that point, and it felt good to resolve that and move forward. I learned a lot from that story.
GS: Where was your favorite place to eat on campus at the University of Minnesota?
AH: Campus Pizza.
GS: You played professional hockey after your time at the U. What is your favorite hockey memory outside of college?
AH: At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, being able to play for the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL when not so many people thought I could. That seemed to be a common theme in my career.
GS: Who was the best player you ever played with or against?
AH: There have been so many players I've played with and against, it's too hard to narrow it down. But I can say, I will always hold close in my memory Luc Robataille's unique apology for a head-shot. More players could learn about life from a guy like Luc Robataille. Isn't it just like a goalie to complain about head-shots, even after he's retired?
GS: You spent some time on the ice last year with the Gopher goalies, including this year's starter Kent Patterson. What can you tell us about him and did you think he would be as successful as he has been so far?
AH: I really liked the things I saw from him last year. His success this year is well deserved. He's put in a lot of time and effort to do the things he does, and I applaud the things he's learned. He knows things about the position that I didn't learn until after I left the University. He has a definite chance of going places.
GS: What are you up to today?
AH: I am a financial representative with Country Financial in Plymouth. This is my first season away from playing and I am spending most of my time transitioning into the business world from hockey.
GS: To what extent do you follow Gopher hockey now? Do you still keep in touch with your Gopher teammates?
AH: I purchased season tickets, watch every game, and am finding ways to get back in touch with everyone now that I'm back in town year-round. I usually see most guys once a year, but I'm looking to continue growing that frequency as the years go by. Again, it was a special time I was a part of and I will always be thankful.