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:

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

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 . 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:

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

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:


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

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:

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

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

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