Junior Hockey League continues the Partner-In-Arms series. In today’s edition we’re going to sit down with Polina Nikolayeva – Mamonty Yugry Khanty-Mansiysk defenseman Mikhail Stikhanovsky’s girlfriend. She opened up about how she met the hockey player, her support during the season and also shared her thoughts on criteria for partner-in-arms. This is Polina’s exclusive interview to Junior Hockey League media relations department.
“I’m 20 years old. I live in Khanty-Mansiysk. I study at journalism school. I love boardgames, travelling and spending time with my friends and loved one. I used to have a small business but now I’m in the media game.”
“I met Mishka back in school. At first we just hung out. To be honest with you, I wasn’t looking to start a relationship. He was just a good friend of mine. But a month later I realized that we were more than friends. Every time we met I was excited and nervous. I remember he met me after school once and started saying how much he liked me and how much he was into me. He offered me to go out that September afternoon. Obviously, I said yes because I was beginning to have feelings for him. As for what drew me to Misha, it was his attention, the way he talked and his sense of humor. He’s really good at the latter.
Hockey in relationship
“We talk about hockey really often because that’s all of his life. Of course, I support him. I’m happy when he wins and get frustrated along with him when it’s not the case. I haven’t seen Mishka for two months now and it’s probably the longest we have ever been apart. When we’re in the same town we do our best to meet everyday and visit each other.”
“I come to all of his home games. He’s always told me that when he sees me in the stands it gets easier for him to play. Unfortunately, due to my studies I can’t accompany him on his road games. Hopefully, it’s going to change in the future and I will be by his side on the road. What do I tell Misha before the games? I always wish him luck and ask him to be careful because he’s got a sore shoulder. I tell him they’re going get over every adversity and tear everyone apart and that I believe in them. If his team wins, I can say that they did a good job and I’m proud of him. When they lose, I keep telling him that he’s still the best in my eyes, that nothing grave has happened and they will get back at them. I always do my best to support him in any way I can. Actually, I tell him a lot of things and I would rather have it stayed between the two of us. His slumps are hard on me as well but at the same time I keep a straight face because I have to be strong and supportive so it would be easier for him.
Hockey or not, rest is on the schedule
“Usually we either cook together or order in, go for walks and, obviously, just relax and play XBOX. It doesn’t matter for us where to rest as long as we’re together. Obviously, I always line up my schedule with his so can go on vacation together. I can say that he’s serious during the season, focused on games and doesn’t think about anything but hockey. He looses up on vacation and has a time of his life.”
“I can’t think of anything off the top of my head because there really are a lot of funny stories. I’ll tell you the first thing that comes to mind. When his season ended, I decided to make a surprise for him and travel to Omsk. I kept it secret right till the very end and when I got there, he didn’t react. He didn’t expect it at all. Misha is the kind of guy who doesn’t like surprises. Actually, over seven years that we’ve been together that were so many funny moments that I lost count.”
“In my opinion, the most important thing is to support your loved one in everything. And, obviously, be strong, reserved and patient.”
Gameplan for loved one
“Mishenka, I know that hockey is your life. I want luck to follow you on your path. I wish you constant luck and let the well-deserved success comes with it. Never give up, win trophies and, of course, take care of your health. I want you to be happy and I’m going to help you in that.”