Sunday, December 28, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Dan Rusanowsky, San Jose Sharks

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas and for our Jewish friends, a Happy Chanukah! For me, I'm preparing to go to back to calling college hockey again next weekend- as I will depart for Minneapolis, Minnesota on New Year's Day as Merrimack will take on Minnesota in the Mariucci Classic on Friday. In the meantime, it's time to spotlight our next hockey radio voice- this time another NHL voice, Dan Rusanowsky of the San Jose Sharks.



Dan Rusanowsky is a household name in the Bay Area, serving as the radio voice of the San Jose Sharks. Arriving in San Jose in 1991, Dan has been at the mike for nearly all of the Sharks games in his illustrious career, beginning at the venerable Cow Palace in Daly City and then moving on to the Sharks current home, the SAP Center in San Jose. Dan's broadcasting career began in the college ranks, as he provided play -by-play for his alma mater, St. Lawrence University from 1979 to 1986. From there he moved on the AHL, where he became the radio voice of the New Haven Nighthawks. Arriving in San Jose, he provided the play by play for the first 774 games of the Sharks existence, a streak that was snapped by a car accident. Upon returning to the booth after this experience, he has not missed a beat and has not looked back since. His 1000th Sharks broadcast occurred on March 21, 2004, in a game against Edmonton. He has also been featured on Westwood One doing play by play for the network's Game of the Week.

Dan produces all the broadcasts on the Sharks radio network, and he also runs and operates the network as well. He has been paired with several radio analysts over the years, the first one being Pete Stemkowski, the former New York Rangers forward. For the past several years he has worked with Jamie Baker, who like Dan was a St. Lawrence alum. Former NHL player Bret Hedican is Dan's current radio analyst, who was brought in for 2014-15, when Jamie Baker was moved to television to pair with Randy Hahn on the Sharks television network.

Dan's passion is hockey, but he has been involved in other sports as well, including baseball, as he has worked with the Oakland A's in a segment called Dan's Dugout, and Dan's Diamond Notes for KFOX radio (which is the flagship station for Sharks hockey). He is also a huge motor sports fan, as he has reported on numerous races including the San Jose Grand Prix, and has extensive knowledge of NASCAR and Formula One.

For his outstanding work on the air in Northern California, Dan was elected into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in the sports category.

Here is a sample of Dan's work, as you can hear him describe Tomas Hertl's 4th goal of a Sharks game against the New York Rangers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T_Pa9YoPjo

And a feature where Dan discusses an important Sharks playoff moment. There are a few of his calls blended in here:

http://video.sharks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=598034

I have had the pleasure of tuning in to Dan on many occasions, and always enjoy doing so. If you would like to hear Dan's play by play on the Sharks broadcasts, check him out at http://www.kfox.com/ . You can also hear him by accessing Tune In radio on mobile devices. or by downloading the Sharks app, which gives you the ability to listen live through the listen live feature.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Dave Goucher, Boston Bruins

Happy Holidays everyone! With the college hockey season in the holiday break, I'd like to continue to expand my coverage of profiling radio broadcasters into the NHL as well. Hockey East play for me resumes in late January (BC's Jon Rish will be the next radio voice from Hockey East that I feature), but for now I'll continue on with our spotlights by taking a look at the radio voice of the Boston Bruins, Dave Goucher.



Dave Goucher has a rich history calling hockey games on the radio and television as well for that matter. Calling the Boston Bruins on 98.5 the Sports Hub alongside his outstanding analyst Bob Beers, Dave began his career at Boston University, calling two seasons of BU hockey including the Beanpot, Hockey East championships, and the 1993 NCAA Frozen Four. He came up through the system, working for the Providence Bruins and in 1999 was at the mike for the Bruins as they won the Calder Cup Championship. He has also spent a fair amount of time on NESN, covering the Providence Bruins and ECAC hockey, and he currently covers Hockey East for the network.

He became the voice of the Bruins in 2000, replacing another New England radio icon, Bob Neumeier. Dave is one of three radio broadcasters to broadcast the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup (Bob Wilson and Fred Cusick being the others). He has three AP awards as the top radio play by play announcer in New England in 2003, 2006, and 2007. He also won  the AP Best Sportscast award in 2006. Another impressive fact about Dave is that he also called NHL Hockey on Westwood One, calling Game 7 of the Western Conference series between the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks in 2003. Dave spent nine seasons at WBZ radio (1030 AM) before moving over to 98.5 the Sports Hub, the Bruins current radio home.

His versatility is well-known, as he has also covered the Major League Baseball Playoffs (2004), Super Bowl 39, and the Boston Red Sox ring ceremony for WBZ radio.

He is a fixture on the " Toucher and Rich" morning radio show on 98.5 and hosts a segment called " Goucher Goes to the Movies" in which he narrates play by play of famous scenes in cinematic history. He was named Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and has been honored by the AP four times as the top New England Sportscaster.

Dave has a Stanley Cup ring to his credit, and he has been to the Stanley Cup finals twice with the Bruins, winning once and losing once. His energy and passion for the game is unquestioned. Here is a sample of Dave's work. This clip is his call of Patrice Bergeron's game and series winning goal against Toronto a few seasons ago. This clip contains video of the goal with Dave's call: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7Vs6rqOX_Y


Dave and Bob Beers can be heard whenever the Boston Bruins take to the ice. All games can be heard live at 98.5 the Sports Hub, and you can catch the action at http://boston.cbslocal.com/station/985-the-sports-hub/.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Preparation

Many people have asked me what goes into preparing for a broadcast in both of the sports I do. Baseball and hockey are two different approaches because of the frequency of games played-baseball being every day and hockey two or three times a week- but for the sake of this blog I'll focus on hockey. I'll take you through my week of preparation for a Merrimack weekend series of hockey- info that I have never shared before.

For the sake of our discussion I'm going to assume that the upcoming week has games on Friday and Saturday, following a Saturday night game the weekend before. After that first Saturday night's game after packing up my equipment and heading home, I will drink a half gallon of water when I return home. I am usually quite dehydrated- hockey play-by-play is very taxing on your voice and when you are talking constantly you deplete your vocal chords pretty rapidly. Getting a good night's sleep is crucial too.

Sunday is my day to recharge. I unplug the batteries and take time for me following a two game weekend. Most of the time it involves being away from hockey, but not always. Mondays I will usually update my career stats spreadsheet and E-mail that to the appropriate people, then cut and paste the scores from the other league games in (I track all the other teams games in the league) and then take the rest of that day off.

Tuesday is when I start getting ready for the following game coming up on Friday. I start by working on our team- Merrimack on that Tuesday. On my computer I use a software tool called Broadcaster's Edge, which allows me to organize my information into several neat compartments in such a way that I can find it quickly and easily when I need it. The first thing I do is update my notes on Merrimack- I update all the numbers and vital story lines that I will be tracking for Friday's game. I jot down story lines and key numbers that help to illustrate how the Warriors are doing. This is an example of some info I track in this section:

# 19 MC comes into tonight's matchup with Minnesota sporting a 10-5-2 record (4-4-1 HEA) after a 4-2 loss at BU on 12/6;  MC has reached the ten win mark at the second fastest pace since joining HEA.

And yet another piece of info:

MC has been outshot in 5 of the last 8 games; they reached 10 wins for the second fastest time in school history this season; 1-1 tie vs. BU at home on 12/5 was the first since 12-7-12 vs. Harvard (2-2).

Then I'll update the coaches section- I keep a record of our coaches record- his overall record, his record at Merrimack overall, in conference play and against our opponent and opposing coach- in this case Mark Dennehy- and there is also a section where I can add in details about each coach on the staff.

After this section is complete, I move on to the "stories" section, where I update the result from the last game, add in the history of the team we are playing against, and then I update the section I call "lasts." What I do is I like to keep track of the last time Merrimack did something, and I have a whole list of feats in this section. I'll review info from the previous game and update that section if need be.

Then I get to the custom section- this is where I keep notes and records on all of the vital numbers that help to color the broadcast. I start by updating the " highs and lows" section, which tracks the highest and lowest performances of team stats like most and least goals, assists, shots, penalties, etc. If I see Merrimack is approaching either a high or a low in a game I'll know exactly where to find it.

Then I update the special teams numbers, and the scoring and shots by periods. There is a custom box for each of these stats. Then I enter team stats, standings, and out of town games in the next box. The team stats cover everything down to faceoffs. I enter stats for Merrimack and their opponents so I can do a side by side comparison.

I then update the section called "situational statistics" which has Merrimack's record in different types of situations, like scoring the first goal, home and away, overtime, etc. That section looks like this:

SITUATIONALS

Overall 10-5-2

Conference 4-4-1

Home 7-1-1

Road 2-4-0

Neutral 1-0-1

Lead after 1: 3-0-0

Trail after 1: 1-4-1

Tied after 1: 4-1-2

Lead after 2: 7-0-1

Trail after 2 : 1-5-0

Tied after 2: 2-0-1

OT: 2-1-2

Shootout: 0-1

1 goal games: 6-3

2 goal games: 1-2

3 goal games: 2-0

4 goal games: 0-0

5+ goal games: 1-0

MC outshoots 7-2-2

MC outshot 3-3-0

Shots even 0-0-0

MC 0-20 SOG 1-0-0

MC 21-30 SOG 3-3-1

MC 31-40 SOG 5-2-1

MC 41+ SOG 1-0-0

OPP 0-20 SOG 1-0-0

OP 21-30 SOG 7-4-2

OPP 31-40 SOG 2-0-0

OPP 40-49 SOG 0-1-0

OPP 50 + SOG 0-0-0

Score 1st 8-0-1

Allow 1st 2-5-1

Ranked 1-2-1

Unranked 9-3-1

HEA 4-4-2 (overall)

AHA 3-1-0

BIG 10 0-0-0

ECAC 3-0-0

NCHC 0-0-0

WCHA 0-0-0

Sunday: 1-0-0

Monday: 0-0-0

Tuesday: 0-0-0

Wednesday: 0-0-0

Thursday: 0-0-0

Friday: 4-2-2

Saturday: 5-3-0

MC 0 gls: 0-0-0

MC 1 gl: 1-0-1

MC 2 gls: 3-5-1

MC 3 gls: 2-0-0

MC 4 gls: 2-0-0

MC 5 gls: 1-0-0

MC 6+ gls: 1-0-0

MC no PPG: 4-1-1

MC 1 PPG: 4-3-0

MC 2 PPG: 1-1-1

MC 3+ PPG: 1-0-0

MC W/ SHG: 0-0-0

MC more PIM: 2-2-0

Opp more PIM: 4-3-2

Even PIM: 4-0-0

October 4-1-1

November 6-3-0

December 0-1-1

January 0-0-0

February 0-0-0

March 0-0-0

April 0-0-0

1st game of back to backs: 4-2-1

2nd game of back to backs: 4-3-0


Then I'll compile league averages and team rankings, followed by team leaders and then I have a chart which tracks our team's record when each player scores, assists, and picks up point(s).

I will then go further into the team stats in the "stats" section, breaking them down even further.

Then I'll go into the "games" section and update the info from the last game, entering the score, game recap, and box score. Following that I then update each player's individual stats on the software, noting everything he has done down to average shots per game, keeping tracks of his goals scored, game by game performance, and awards he has won. There is also a place where I can jot down notes and stories on each player.  That takes care of Tuesday's work.

On Wednesday I will work on our opponent. I'll begin by updating their roster, then I take a similar approach in that I update their team notes, using their game notes from their previous game as a guide. (If their notes are ready for the upcoming game I will use that). I'll then update their coaches info, then their custom stats and numbers (again, using the media notes as a guide), followed by filling in their game section, then team stats. I keep a more basic file on opposing players- I track their regular season numbers, career numbers, career against Merrimack, their last goal, and career game highs. I also list each goal that the player has scored.

On Thursday I will update my scorebook from the previous game, finishing up adding in all the numbers. Then I'll prepare the scorebook for Friday's game. I'll read any relevant news stories on the web about both teams, then it's time to prepare the commercials for the radio broadcast. I keep all of my commercials in iTunes and on my iPod. I'll go in and arrange the commercials the way I want them, in the proper order and sequence, and then sync my iPod to play them in the exact order on the air. If we have a game on TV I then go in and rearrange the spots based on the script I was given by our SID, Chris Aliano.

And then we get to gameday- Friday. I'll wake up and eat a nice big breakfast. I'll need the energy to get through the day. After breakfast, I'll sit down and prepare my questions for my pre-game interview with Coach Dennehy. I give this a lot of thought- I never want to go into an interview unprepared. I love this part of the job because it really is the only time all week that I can sit down with our coach and get his take on things. Then after lunch I'll relax for a bit and then, for a 7:00 game I leave for the arena at 3:00. (It takes me about 90 minutes on average to get to Merrimack from my home).

I usually arrive to the arena around 4:30. It's the same routine at home as it is on the road. Here is what happens when I get there. I'll immediately set up my broadcast equipment. Then I'll set up the computers. After that I will seek out Coach Dennehy for the pre-game interview. Our interview time varies depending on his availability, but I usually get to interview him before his team meeting at 5:20 (most of the time, but not always). After that I meet up with my analyst, Mike Machnik. We'll then go and interview the opposing coach for the pre-game show.We'll also try to talk to the broadcasters of the opposing team. After that we grab a bite to eat and then we're good to go. I play all the commercials on my iPod directly on the broadcast. Mike handles the intermissions in terms of interviews, so I get a little bit of a break in between periods. After the game we do our post game wrapup and summary and then I break everything down and we do the whole thing over again on Saturday.

Well there it is in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed this look into a typical week of hockey broadcast preparation!




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Ken Cail, Manchester Monarchs

With Merrimack on break until January 2, I won't have the opportunity to talk with and post any Hockey East Broadcaster profiles for awhile, so for this next edition of the profiles we'll step out of Hockey East and take a look at a broadcaster from the American Hockey League and my good friend, Ken Cail, the voice of the Manchester Monarchs, the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.



Our next broadcaster profile is devoted to a man who has been around the game of hockey for 44 years and is a fixture broadcasting hockey on the radio from New Hampshire. Ken Cail is living his boyhood dream as the radio voice of the Manchester Monarchs. Having called well over 1000 games for Manchester, Ken's career was launched in 1970, when he seized an opportunity to become the statistician for longtime and legendary Boston Bruins radio voice Bob Wilson for no pay. This assignment would lead to Ken being transitioned to WBZ and an assignment as Guy Manila's producer for the Calling All Sports show, at Wilson's urging. He would go on to work for WTIC in Hartford, before settling in at WGIR in Manchester, where he was an on-air fixture for nine years. He also had stints at WFEA AM and WZID FM in Manchester. In 2001 the arrival of the Manchester Monarchs brought Ken into the broadcast booth to do their radio play by play, and he has not missed a beat since. His first game as a member of the Monarchs, in October 2001, was broadcast in Lowell, MA, a game in which Ken had to battle through a bad case of laryngaitis.

Anyone who has been around the New England sports scene has probably heard Ken's booming voice at one time or another. His storied history has included plenty of other sports- most notably baseball- as he has been the voice of the Lowell Spinners of the New York Penn League, the Nashua Pride of the Can-Am League, and the Manchester (NH) and West Haven (CT) Yankees.He has also covered major tennis championships, the U.S. Open Golf Championship, and many NASCAR races at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as well as scores of high school hockey, football, basketball, and baseball title games. He covered the Red Sox in the 1975 World Series for WBZ Radio as well.

Ken was inducted into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame on December 5, 2010. He was voted as the New Hampshire Sportscaster of the Year twice and has won three Golden Mike Awards for outstanding play by play in the state of New Hampshire. He also is the host of the very popular " Cail and Company" radio show which airs daily from Monday to Friday on WTPL radio in Manchester. Listen to Ken Mondays to Fridays from 3-5 PM live at http://www.wtplfm.com/.

Ken is one of my best friends I've ever had in this business. One of my favorite memories of Ken occurred in September of 2007. Ken was working with the Nashua Pride and I was the voice of the North Shore Spirit of the Can-Am League. In 2007 Ken did the PA for Pride home games and he did their radio for the road games. In that season the Pride and the Spirit met for the Can-Am championship. We sat side by side next to each other in that deciding game, with the Pride winning the game and the series. I remember shaking his hand when that last out occurred.

Ken ended his remarkable 14 year run with the Monarchs on June 13, 2015, calling Manchester's 2-1 win at Utica, the first Calder Cup Championship for the franchise, and the final game in Manchester Monarchs history, as the franchise relocated to Southern California for the 2015-16 season.

Here is a sample of Ken's outstanding work with the Monarchs:

https://archive.org/details/KenCailPlayByPlayManchesterMonarchs

Ken will be working with a new franchise in Manchester for the 2015-16 season in a new league. The Manchester Monarchs of the EJHL are coming to the Verizon Wireless Arena and Ken will have the call of every Monarchs game, home and away. You can hear the call of Monarchs hockey on WTPL 107.7 FM (the Pulse) as well as streamed on the Internet at www.manchestermonarchs.com.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Bernie Corbett, Boston University Terriers

Our next broadcaster feature on the Hockey On the Radio blog spotlights a man who is synonymous with BU hockey and is as an esteemed figure on the radio as anyone in our business, Bernie Corbett of the BU Terriers.


Bernie Corbett's history with BU hockey is a long and decorated one. Dating back to 1978 when Bernie first enrolled at BU, he has made a long lasting impression on BU hockey and more specifically the call of BU hockey on the radio. Second in longevity among Hockey East radio broadcasters to Northeastern's Rob Rudnick, he began his career at BU assisting equipment manager Carl James, then moving up to full fledged equipment manager. When Bernie finished his studies at BU in 1983, he then was provided the opportunity to provide color on the BU broadcasts alongside Rick O'Kane for two seasons. In 1985 the opportunity arose for Bernie to become the play-by-play voice of the Terriers, and the rest is history. Now in his 30th year as the voice of BU hockey, Bernie has a long list of memorable games and calls on his resume, including two national championship games (one that was lost in overtime to Northern Michigan in 1991, and the dramatic comeback win over Miami in 2009). He also was the 12th recipient of the distinguished Joe Concannon media award in 2003, for his excellence and devotion to the sport of college hockey.

Bernie has written about and hosted various books and programs about hockey. One of his more well known shows is called Hockey On Campus, where Bernie spotlights the game and interviews pertinent guests that advance the game of hockey. He also has written several books (I'll get to his passion for music in a moment), but as it relates to the game of hockey he has written books on the Beanpot , history of BU hockey, and the NCAA tournament. And it's not just hockey that Bernie has excelled at in terms of radio coverage- he has also been the longtime voice of Harvard football.

One of the interesting things about Bernie is his love of music. A rock and roll aficianado, he holds a particular interest in the Rolling Stones, so much so that he co-wrote a book about them, which is available at Barnes and Noble. Entitled 50 Licks, Bernie co-wrote the book with Pete Fornatale, a publication which chronicles the legacy of the group, complete with exclusive interviews and archival information. The book is available here.

Bernie has been paired with Tom Ryan on the BU broadcasts, for several years. Tom was a stalwart player for the Terriers in his day, and his son is now on the Terrier roster.

Here are some samples of Bernie's goal calls from the 2009 Championship win over Miami and his eloquent ways of communicating to his audience. You can view that link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzDCnsOeUEA.

It is an honor having Bernie as a friend and a colleague. He truly is excellent at what he does, and I enjoy his calls when I have the opportunity to listen. I'm sure you will too if you have a chance to tune him in via the Terrier Radio Network at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/bu/#search.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Mike Machnik, Merrimack Warriors

It is time to move on to the next broadcaster to be featured here at the Hockey on the Radio Blog- and I have a lot to say about this feature- the man that works alongside me calling Merrimack hockey- and I am of course speaking about Mike Machnik.


Mike Machnik has been involved with college hockey since 1985. His first exposure to calling games at Merrimack occurred back in 1991 when he teamed up with WBZ's Dan Roche. He did games at Merrimack from 1991-94, then again from 1996-2005, and then from 2009 up to the present time. He has also been behind the mike on both radio and TV for Northeastern, UNH and the University of Maine. He won two AP Broadcaster Association Awards- one in 1994 for his work with Merrimack
and another one in 2008 for his work with UNH broadcasting on New Hampshire Public Television.He has also been paired with fellow Hockey East broadcasters Rob Rudnick of Northeastern and Dan Parkhurst of UNH.

His work extends far beyond what he's done on the air, too. Mike joined College Hockey News (CHN) in 2005, and was a driving force in the launching of that site, and he has done writing, editing, podcast interviews, as well as helping them with site building,infrastructure and providing technical support for their website.

To say that Mike is an encyclopedia of college hockey is putting it mildly. Not a day goes by that he doesn't astonish me with the depth and breadth of his knowledge when it comes to college hockey. He can rattle off information about the game, whether it be Merrimack or otherwise, with the greatest of ease.

Mike is a well liked gentleman, very humble. He is respected by his peers- whether it be the other broadcasters around the league, or by the coaches he interviews. He has pushed me to be a better broadcaster as well. I can never rest on my laurels because Mike raises the bar so high.... so I strive to do the best I can to match his energy and passion for the game.

The first game we did together was in North Dakota, at Ralph Engelstad Arena in October of 2009. I don't think it took very long for our styles to compliment each other and for things to click. His dedication to the game is unparalleled.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Mike won the Joe Concannon Media Award in 2011, becoming the 20th recipient of the distinguished award and the first ever winner from Merrimack College. We were all very proud of Mike when he was given that honor and I know I can speak for everyone involved when I say that the honor was richly deserved.

Take a listen to Mike as he interviews Clarkson head coach Casey Jones prior to a game from 11-28-14. His ease and professionalism is quite evident:

 
And a great interview with Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan:
 
 
To listen to Mike on Merrimack hockey broadcasts, all Merrimack games can be heard live on the Internet at http://www.packnetwork.com/merrimack/.
 
I call Mike the " Rink Doctor" because no one knows more about the game than he does. And it is an honor to be paired with such a true pro.

Mike and his wife Kelly live in Manchester, NH, with their four children, Katie, Tommy, Ally, and Abby.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Rob Rudnick, Northeastern Huskies

I'm proud to introduce the third installment of our broadcaster profiles here at the Hockey on the Radio blog. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce and spotlight the longtime radio voice of the Northeastern Huskies, Rob Rudnick.


Rob Rudnick has been handling the play by play duties at Northeastern hockey since 1977. He is the longest tenured play by play voice at any school in the league. He is as synonymous with college hockey at Northeastern as any other voice at any other program, anywhere. Rob goes above and beyond the call of duty at Northeastern, as not only does he provide the play-by-play of NU men's hockey but he also owns and operates Colt Communications, which produces Huskies hockey on the radio. Rob does it all- he negotiates with radio stations and installs talent to work alongside him for the broadcasts. He won the prestigious Joe Concannon Media Award in 2004 for his work with NU hockey and he founded the Huskies Radio Award, given annually to a Northeastern hockey player who goes above and beyond the call on the ice. Rob coordinates every aspect of the production of NU hockey, including helping to allocating financial resources to defray the financial cost of getting the games on the air.

Rob's passion and knowledge base is obvious when you meet him and talk with him. Being around the program as long as he has, he has wonderful stories to tell. Being a part of the Beanpot on a yearly basis has also been an important part of Rob's work. Every time I've had the pleasure of talking to him he never fails to inspire me with his passion and his incredible work ethic. He has worked with many fine color commentators over the years, most notably Bill Doherty, who served as a sports information director at NU and who himself won the Joe Concannon Award in 2000.

Rob covers Northeastern's road games on WRCA AM 1330 on the dial, and the link for that station is located at http://1330wrca.com/. For home games at Matthews Arena, the broadcasts are located at www.gonu.com.

Here is a sample of Rob's work, taken from a 3-1 Northeastern win over Merrimack on 11/22/14 at Matthews Arena. You can view the clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz-1my1b9jY.

When you're talking about college hockey on the radio, it doen't get much better or much classier than Northeastern's Rob Rudnick.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Darin Pritchett, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of my broadcasters profile here on the Hockey on the Radio Blog. I'd like to take this opportunity to showcase the next radio broadcaster in Hockey East, Notre Dame's Darin Pritchett.



I met Darin Pritchett for the first time in November of 2013 in South Bend, Indiana, when Merrimack headed out to face Notre Dame for the first time as a member of Hockey East. I was immediately taken by his professionalism and his knowledge of the game. He is an award winning broadcaster who was named as the voice of the Fighting Irish hockey team prior to the start of the 2009-10 season, What a lot of people don't know is that Darin took the job under very trying and difficult circumstances. In February of 2009, Mike Lockert, who had been the voice of Notre Dame hockey for seven seasons, passed away suddenly. Darin took the job at a moment's notice, filling in starting in February and continuing on into the NCAA tournament.

Darin made history on the night of March 6-7, 2015, as he called a five overtime marathon overtime game between Notre Dame and Massachusetts in Game 1 of the Hockey East tournament.The game, which took just under six hours to complete, became the longest college hockey game in NCAA history. What made the feat even more incredible is that Darin did the game alone with no analyst.

Darin has been the host of many sports programs over the course of his career, including " JT in the Morning", "Weekday Sportsbeat", and " Gameday Sportsbeat", which is the pre-game show for Notre Dame football. Darin was honored in 2004, 2005, and 2006 by the Associated Press for excellence in broadcasting in a major market division. He has done men's and women's basketball on radio and television for Southern Illinois / Edwardsville, while also working as a sports producer for KMOX radio in St. Louis (longtime flagship station of the St. Louis Blues).

He was named the play by play voice of the South Bend Cubs beginning in the 2015 season, the A level affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

Here's a nice story about Darin and how he acheives excellence in his broadcasts on a consistent basis.

http://hottytoddy.com/2013/10/01/seeking-excellence-in-all-you-do/


Here is a sample of Darin's work during an Irish home game against UMass Lowell at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend:

https://archive.org/details/DarinPritchettPlayByPlayClip


To listen to Darin on the air call Notre Dame hockey, you can hear him live at http://www.newcountry999.com/live/audio_stream/.

In summation, it is great having a true pro like Darin in our league. He adds class and professionalism to an already deep and talented group of radio broadcasters to our league.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Broadcaster Profile- Mike Logan, Providence Friars

I am very excited to begin the task of profiling the radio voices of Hockey East with this post, and the first gentleman we will meet will be Mike Logan, the longtime radio voice of the Providence Friars.



Mike Logan has been the radio voice of the PC Friars men's hockey team for 20 seasons. He has a long history of play by play work in college athletics. He was the 17th recipient of the prestigious Joe Concannon Media Award in 2008, given yearly to a member of the media for outstanding service and longevity in hockey broadcasting within Hockey East. Mike has done both radio and TV work for the Friars, as he also serves as their TV voice on Cox Television and has been instrumental in promoting PC hockey not just with his on-air work but through a podcast for the television network. He has also done women's hockey for Providence, as well as men's and women's basketball.

In addition to his time in Providence, Mike also did play by play for the Northeastern Huskies men's basketball team  from 1998-2000, did Northeastern football, and Harvard football and basketball. He also operates MWL Sports, in which he produces and broadcasts high school football games in Southeastern Massachusetts. Mike graduated from Northeastern in 1991, and also attended the University of Maine.

We all have to pay our dues as broadcasters, and Mike certainly paid his, working at WJDA radio in Quincy for several years. He did morning drive there- he has told me of many a time that he would get to the station at 4 AM to start his day. And an interesting story along those lines- Mike worked with and for Jay Asher, the radio station owner, at WJDA, and there is a connection there between Mike and I- Jay is married to my cousin Terry. Small world, this business of radio broadcasting!

Mike has been a great friend to me in this business. I can't tell you how many times he has given me input and advice about this crazy industry. When Providence advanced to within one game of the Frozen Four last year, I can't tell you how much I was rooting for the Friars to get there, so Mike could have a chance to secure a national championship under his belt. That dream of calling a championship became a reality for Mike the very next season, as the Friars won the national championship in 2014-15, defeating Boston University at TD Garden. Mike called the game with Chris Fama, his first college hockey title as a broadcaster.

One thing I also should mention is that Mike was employed with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a time. He did their play by play from 1997-2000 and then did fill in work for them. He has met and worked with Don Orsillo, so you can see just how versatile Mike is. He also calls college hockey on NESN and has done many games for both men and women's hockey over the years.

Mike teaches English at Taunton High School as well.

Here's a clip of Mike's outstanding play by play work, this was from a Friars 3-2 win over Merrimack on 11/7/14.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmpkGKWX_lU

And a second clip of Mike's play by play from Providence's season ending 5-2 win over Maine on 2/28/15:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiMXdKg2lb4#t=12

To listen to Mike call PC hockey, navigate to www.friars.com. Select Providence hockey games are also broadcast on WOON radio in Woonsocket, R.I. Check out the link for WOON at http://www.onworldwide.com/,

To visit Mike's website at MWL Sports and tune in to a broadcast simply visit http://www.mwlsports.com/Welcome.html.

If you get the chance to hear Mike call a game, you owe it to yourself to listen. You won't be disappointed.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Back to the past for a minute (OK, maybe five minutes)

Hockey play-by play on the radio is something that is always evolving for me, I've come a long long way since I called my first game in 1995 (although that was on cable access TV) and I still have a long way to go. I have my role models that I look up to, but I always try to develop my own style. One of the things I have learned to do is to force myself to take pauses during my play-by-play of hockey broadcasts during live play so that my analyst can jump in with his commentary... The cardinal rule of hockey play by play (and any sport for that matter) is that the PBP talks during play, and the analyst speaks at whistles and play stoppages. We try to adhere to that at Merrimack but there are times that a relevant point needs to be made by the analyst during play, and when that happens Mike will tap me on the shoulder to let me know he wants to say something.

There is nothing like hockey play by play. The game is so fast that sometimes you talk for what seems like minutes on end without catching your breath. 

Here's our broadcast of Merrimack's OT period of their 3-2 win at Boston University on March 12, 2011. The Warriors won it early in the extra session. I hope there are many more calls like this in the future.

https://archive.org/details/MerrimackAtBostonUniversityot3-12-10

Friday, October 31, 2014

Prudential Center, Newark NJ, NHL arena # 3


 
 
 
On October 31, 2014 I broadcasted from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, as Merrimack headed down to the Liberty Invitational Tournament, a matchup against Hockey East foe Connecticut. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, It marked the third time that I had the privilege to call a game at an NHL arena (Boston and Nashville have been the other two. ) We were set up on the main concourse and the photo above documents the view. There is something so very special about doing games in rinks like this, because I believe that the more games you do in pro places the more it teaches your subconscious that you belong there and deserve to be there. You look up and see the Stanley Cup banners hanging from the rafters (for which the Devils have three) and it just gives you that extra sense of motivation and excitement.  I'm back there again on November 2 to finish up the weekend series and the tournament. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coming Attractions, Profiling the Radio Broadcasters of Hockey East

We're off and running here at the Hockey on the Radio Blog. Beginning next week, I will be profiling the men who call hockey on the radio for the 12 schools of Hockey East. The order of the broadcasters profiled will be based on when I see them as based on my Merrimack schedule. I will be chronicling the background of each broadcaster as well as personal observations based on our work together. I'll be covering the play-by-play voices as well as the analysts, both individually and collectively.

First up, we'll be learning about Mike Logan, the radio voice of the Providence Friars. Please check back!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My hockey arenas broadcasted in

Here are the college hockey arenas I have worked in in my 11 seasons at Merrimack College:

HOCKEY EAST
Conte Forum, Boston (Boston College)
Agganis Arena, Boston (Boston University)
Freitas Ice Forum, Storrs, CT. (UCONN)
XL Center Hartford CT (UCONN)
Alfond Arena, Orono ME ( Maine)
Tsongas Center, Lowell ( UMass Lowell)
Mullins Center, Amherst (Massachusetts)
Lawler Arena, N.Andover (Merrimack)
Matthews Arena, Boston (Northeastern)
Compton Family Ice Arena South Bend, IN. (Notre Dame)
Schneider Arena (Providence)
Whittemore Center Durham NH (New Hampshire)
Gutterson Fieldhouse , Burlington VT (Vermont)

ATLANTIC HOCKEY (AHA)
Tate Rink West Point NY (Army)
John A. Ryan Arena Watertown MA (Bentley)
Harborcenter, Buffalo NY (Canisius)
Hart Center, Worcester (Holy Cross)
Mercyhurst Ice Center Erie PA (Mercyhurst)
Dwyer Arena, Niagara NY (Niagara)
Ritter Arena Rochester NY (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Island Sports Center , Neville Island, PA (Robert Morris)

BIG 10
Yost Arena, Ann Arbor, MI (Michigan)
Mariucci Arena (Minneapolis, MN). (Minnesota)
Kohl Center, Madison, WI. (Wisconsin)

ECAC
Meehan Auditorium, Providence RI ( Brown)
Cheel Arena, Potsdam, NY (Clarkson)
Starr Rink, Hamilton, NY (Colgate)
Lynah Rink Ithaca NY (Cornell)
Thompson Arena, Hanover NH (Dartmouth)
Bright Center, Allston, MA (Harvard)
TD Bank Sports Center Hamden CT (Quinnipiac)
Houston Fieldhouse Troy NY (RPI)
Achilles Center Schenectady NY (Union)

NCHC
Magness Arena Denver CO (Denver)
Ralph Engelstad Arena Grand Forks ND (North Dakota)

WCHA
BGSU Ice Arena Bowling Green OH (Bowling Green)
Sullivan Arena Anchorage AK (Alaska, UAA Anchorage)

I have also done games at the following non-collegiate arenas:

- TD Garden, Boston
- Fenway Park, Boston
- Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN.
- Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH
- Prudential Center , Newark NJ

I have also done two games at Wayne State University in Michigan, a now defunct college hockey program.

Welcome to Hockey on the Radio!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my newest creation, my newest blog, Hockey on the Radio. This blog will combine two of my passions, ice hockey and broadcasting on the radio. I'm John Leahy, radio broadcaster for Merrimack College hockey. I do Warrior hockey alongside Mike Machnik. What is this blog about and what inspired me to create it?  Simply put, for the past four decades I have been transfixed by following my favorite sport, hockey, as it unfolds on the radio. I would sit at home and turn on my AM radio and spend hours just rotating that dial from top to bottom and listen to any game I could. This passion has fortunately turned into a career, and I am blessed every day to do this work. This was long before the advancement of the Internet, smartphones and tablets, so I would be listening to an out of town station with crackly interference to pick up games. From my home in suburban Boston I listened to voices like Ron Weber on WTOP in Washington, D.C, doing Capitals games (one of my favorites), Chuck Kaiton on WTIC in Hartford doing the Whalers; Marv Albert and Sal (Red Light Messina) commentating on WNEW in New York City, Gene Hart on WIP covering the Philadelphia Flyers; Bruce Martyn and Paul Woods on WJR in Detroit covering the Red Wings; these were stations I could pick up relatively easily. Was I a hockey geek? You bet. Still am, and always will be.

Anyway, now with the Internet and streaming radio I can listen to any game, home and away. One of my favorites in the NHL now is Dan Rusanowsky, who calls games for the San Jose Sharks on KFOX in the Bay Area. I try to listen to as many games as I can.

What will this blog be about? I want to use this space to share my experiences broadcasting hockey on the radio. I'll talk about the places I've been. Arenas, cities, memorable games. I also want to highlight the personalities I work with in Hockey East. You know, many people say that our collegiate hockey conference is the best in all of Division 1. I agree. And I'd like to take that a step further. The radio broadcast personalities in Hockey East are the best, most talented commentators I've ever worked with. I want to share their work with you and share also my passion for hockey on the radio. In the realm of sports, radio broadcasters sometimes are not placed at the forefront of the scene. I want to change that with this blog. We are the eyes and ears for our audiences and it is my hope that a little of the passion I have for hockey and the radio will rub off on you.

If you are a broadcaster (whether I know you or not) I invite you to stop on by and leave a comment. Tell me what you like and what you don't like. If you are not a broadcaster but rather a fan of the game, leave me a comment, this is for you too. Tell me who your favorite commentators are. Your involvement makes a better blog. 

So that's my introduction. Keep on tuning in, and happy listening!