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:

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)

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)

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)

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

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!