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Grace looks ahead to successful, healthy 2016

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – The holiday season is one for family and relaxation. For the Mississippi RiverKings' defenseman Mike Grace, however, it’s also about preparing to make a championship run in the New Year.

Grace is a case study in longevity. Over the course of his professional career he has missed only one game, coming in February of 2014. Since then, he has been a stalwart on the RiverKings blue line, suiting up in all 96 of the team’s appearances.

The transition to the second half of the season must be met with both physical and mental discipline. Grace chooses to err on the side of simplicity with his regimen, placing his primary focus on making positive nutritional decisions.

“I think, for the most part, it’s just taking good care of yourself off the ice, eating properly, and drinking a lot of water off the ice,” Grace reveals.

Grace also acknowledges that luck plays a small role in staying healthy.

“Honestly, I think that I’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to stay healthy the entire time.” he asserts. “As you can tell, a lot of guys get hurt. I can’t really say there’s one thing, I’ve just been really fortunate.”

The holiday break has a large effect on the team’s dynamic, as Grace notes, because it can serve as a time where players get to mentally rest from their rigorous schedule.

“I think this week is actually pretty important. A lot of guys get away, get to go home and see their families,” he said. “I think that’s huge for a team, and I think that’s going to be huge for us, just having guys get away from the rink, getting their mind off hockey for a week.”

Grace, a veteran presence in the RiverKings locker room, is not without some solid holiday wisdom for some of the RiverKings rookies. “Just play your game,” he says.

Off the ice, Grace reminds his teammates “Don’t over-do it. Don’t be going to the gym every day because I know a lot of guys can get hurt at the gym, especially during the year. There is a limit.”

But, when talking about a push into the playoffs, Grace offers his simplest piece of advice yet:

“You’ve just got to hate to lose.”


 


Mike Grace, currently in his third season with the RiverKings, has been one of the most consistent players on their roster, missing only one game over the course of his professional career. © Mark Mathews 

Posted by Mississippi RiverKings at 12:00 PM

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Fri, Dec. 15 @ Birmingham - 7:35 PM

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Holiday Luau • Kids' Club Event

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Planters Bank Ice @ Landers Center

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TEAM GP W L OT PTS
PEN Pensacola 16 12 4 0 24
PEO Peoria 16 11 4 1 23
HUN Huntsville 15 9 4 2 20
MRK RiverKings 16 10 6 0 20
EVV Evansville 16 9 5 2 20
MAC Macon 16 7 5 4 18
KNX Knoxville 15 7 7 1 15
FAY Fayetteville 18 5 9 4 14
RKE Roanoke 15 5 8 2 12
BIR Birmingham 13 3 9 1 7
 
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Updated: December 12, 2017