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