Saturday, February 28, 2015

Broadcaster Profile- Alastair Ingram, Vermont Catamounts

Our next broadcaster profile here at Hockey On the Radio features the voice of the University of Vermont Catamounts, Alastair Ingram, one of the bright young talented voices in Hockey East.


Alastair Ingram is in his fifth season as the radio voice of the Vermont Catamounts, carrying on a rich tradition of broadcasting Vermont hockey, from Jack Healey to Chris Wojcik, and now Alastair himself. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2008, a world renowned broadcasting and journalism school. While at Syracuse, he majored in broadcasting and journalism and did  radio play by play for the football, men's basketball, and men's lacrosse teams. He also worked as an ESPNU sideline reporter in their coverage of Orangemen football and won a Syracuse press club award while there.

Alastair also provided play by play coverage of Lowell Spinners baseball while pursuing his undergraduate studies.

Getting back to hockey, Alastair is the primary media contact for UVM hockey and hosts a weekly coach's show with Coach Kevin Sneddon on 620 AM WVMT, the flagship station for Catamount hockey. He broadcasted his first NCAA tournament game last March when the Catamounts faced Union in Bridgeport, CT, in the East Regional.
He is the assistant director of athletic communications at Vermont, and as such has other sports responsibilities on his plate. He is also the play by play voice of Vermont men's and women's soccer as well as men's and women's lacrosse for CatamounTV broadcasts. He also covered Vermont women's basketball and was at the mike for the program's first ever NCAA tournament win, over Wisconsin in 2010.

Alastair added international hockey to his play by play resume, as he travelled to Northern Ireland in November of 2016 to broadcast the second annual Friendship Four for Vermont, a tournament which the Catamounts won, beating UMass in the first round and St. Lawrence in the second round.

Alastair also has functioned as a sports talk show host and update anchor at ESPN radio in Boston and also did play by play for men's basketball and hockey at Babson College.

Here is Alastair on the call of a recent Vermont game against BU at Gutterson Fieldhouse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a649ugEEM0g

And a second clip of Alastair's work, also against BU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHOM2gBzwik

In order to tune in to Alastair on the call of Vermont hockey, you can tune in to 620 AM, WVMT either locally in the Burlington area or listen to their stream on your computer or mobile device at http://www.newstalk620wvmt.com/Article.asp?id=54368.

Vermont games are also carried on the Internet at SportsJuice. You can listen to Alastair's calls at SportsJuice right here at http://sportsjuice.com/.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Broadcaster Profile- Dan Hannigan, Maine Black Bears

I am having a wonderful time spotlighting and highlighting the radio voices of our great game of hockey. It has been a wonderful experience for me to help the public become aware of the great voices who call our game. From Hockey East in particular to the AHL to the NHL, it is a thrill to profile these great radio broadcasters. We'll continue on here and stay in Hockey East and take a look at a man who has spent two decades in this great league, the venerable voice of the Maine Black Bears, Dan Hannigan.




Dan Hannigan is in his 20th season as the voice of the Maine Black Bears and is one of the most talented and respected broadcasters in our business. He has won numerous awards in our industry since breaking in to the business in 1993. Dan began his career as a sports reporter and anchor at WVII-TV, an ABC affiliate based in Bangor, ME. He also did play by play and functioned as a sports reporter and talk show host for WZON in Bangor. He has won awards from the Maine Associated Press and Maine Association of Broadcasters for his radio and television work. He also became the 15th recipient of the Joe Concannon Media Award, the annual award presented to a member of the Media who demonstrates excellence and dedication to outstanding media work promoting the league, in 2006. Dan was at the microphone for Maine's 1999 national championship win, calling the championship game winning goal for Maine radio.

Dan has been named Maine Sportscaster of the Year on multiple occasions. He has also been instrumental in producing of Inside Hockey East, a monthly television show which aired on NESN.

Dan is the co-founder and co-owner of Cod Rock Media Productions, a company that was started in 2003 along with another outstanding broadcaster, Eric Frede, who coincidentally won the Concannon Media Award in 2005, the year prior to Dan's receiving of the prestigious award. Cod Rock Media Productions is a video production company focused on sports and corporate visual presentations. The company's website refers to the goal of the company endeavoring to " help their clients visually tell their stories, emphasizing the best that each organization has to offer", which is very apropos because Dan is an excellent storyteller himself, a fact which has been proven true on his radio broadcasts. I can tell you this for a fact firsthand because I have listened to Dan on many occasions, and he is as good as it gets. If you'd like to learn more about CodRock productions, I invite you to stop by and visit the company website at www.codrockmedia.com.

Dan also is currently doing TV work for Maine Black Bear football as well, seamlessly making the transition from hockey. He also is covering Maine hockey on a national basis, as many of his calls are featured on Fox College Sports Atlantic alongside Mike Tuell. One of the things that amazes me about Dan is his dedication to Maine hockey- he has arguably the longest commute of any broadcaster in the league- from his home in Kittery, ME to Orono for home games- but he answers the bell in spite of that and has done so for 20 years.

Here is a clip of Dan's play by play of a game against Massachusetts at Alfond Arena on 10/31/14 alongside longtime color commentator Larry Mahoney, a 6-5 Maine overtime win:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Ypj59HpXk

And additional play by play highlights of a Maine victory over UNH on 1/25/14:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYLHkUY9Tkc

To listen to Dan and his longtime partner  Larry Mahoney on the call of Maine hockey, they are on several radio stations around the state of Maine- the flagship station being WVOM radio (103.9 FM) in Bangor. Games can also be heard on WVQM 101.3 (Augusta), WSYY 1240 AM (Millinocket), WLOB 1310 AM (Portland), WJJB 96.3 (Portland), WRED 1440 AM (Portland) and WVOM 1450 (Rockland). Internet audio can be found through www.GoBlackBears.com as well. Those stations can also be searched for on the Tune In radio app as well for mobile devices.



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Broadcaster Profile- Alex Giner, Connecticut Huskies

Moving right along with our Hockey East broadcaster profiles, we'll now take a look at the voice of the UConn Huskies, Alex Giner.




Alex Giner is in his 9th season as the radio voice of the UConn Huskies hockey team. Alex started his Husky broadcast career in 2006-07. He did a few games on play by play in that initial season and then transitioned into the full time role the following season. The radio role with the Huskies on WHUS-FM is Alex's first foray into hockey announcing. Alex actually came upon this broadcasting opportunity in a very fortunate circumstance... He went to investigate a problem with the tieline unit of the football broadcast team while working in engineering.. the broadcasters were forced to call the game on their cell phones. Alex was asked to stay in the booth to isolate the problem at the next game, and coincidentally one of the announcers failed to show up due to a previous engagement with ESPN radio. With the sports department seriously undermanned, they asked Alex to stay on and provide commentary. Through this experience the school asked him to do some hockey. He began by helping to board op UConn hockey games and provided technical assistance which got him the opportunity to call hockey for the Huskies.

Alex was shaped by listening to Chuck Kaiton broadcast Hartford Whaler games as well as Joe Castiglione calling Boston Red Sox games on the baseball side. He is very astute as it relates to hockey broadcasting- Alex listens to college games whenever he can and also listens to NHL games to pick up tidbits and strategies for use on the air.

In addition to his hockey work, Alex has done some work doing football and basketball commentary for two seasons on WHUS, with a highlight being a part of the 6 overtime broadcast between UConn and Syracuse at Madison Square Garden. He also did baseball and softball for three seasons.

Alex works with Will Moran on UConn hockey broadcasts and has been paired with Will since November of 2011, when they debuted at Yale. Will is a very talented young broadcaster who brings his own blend of passion and dedication. He is very well respected and brings great energy alongside Alex in the call of UConn hockey.

To listen to Alex and Will on the call of UConn hockey, check them out on WHUS radio at http://whus.org/live/. You can also pull up WHUS on the Tune In radio app on your mobile devices.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Broadcaster Profiles- Bob Ellis and Jim Connelly, UMass Lowell River Hawks

Thanks to all who have been checking in on my weekly posts which spotlight the great radio voices who call our great game of hockey on the radio. Continuing on with the theme as of late, we'll stay in Hockey East and feature the voices of the UMass Lowell River Hawks, Bob Ellis and Jimmy Connelly in this latest edition.




Bob Ellis (left) is in his 31st season as the radio voice of the UMass Lowell River Hawks. Bob is a decorated broadcaster who has won several awards in the industry. Those awards include being recognized by the United Press International, as well as becoming the 18th recipient of the Joe Concannon Media Award in 2009. Bob is as passionate about his craft as anyone in the business, as evidenced in part by his deep, booming goal calls. He is also one of the most technically sound, computer literate broadcasters I've met- he has taught me a few things, notably, cueing up highlight clips for the post game show, a skill I've always wanted to master. Bob also acts as a staff photographer for UMass Lowell, as he brings his camera to UML hockey games and captures the action for the River Hawks website.

Bob has made his mark in hockey, but anyone who knows him also knows his passion for baseball as well. He is an official scorer for the Boston Red Sox and also served in that capacity with the Lowell Spinners as well. Bob also did play by play work for the Spinners at WCAP radio in Lowell for nine years. He also co-founded and co-instructs at the Baseball Official Scoring Seminars, for which he conducts several clinics throughout the year. He graduated from Emerson College in 1975 and began his broadcasting career in Sayre, PA, in that same year. He came to Lowell in 1984 as a news reporter for WLLH radio and also has done work for WKBK in Keene, N.H. He has interviewed presidents, presidential candidates, and done reporting work overseas.

He recently accompanied the River Hawks to their first ever Frozen Four appearance in the 2012-13 season, from Pittsburgh, PA.

His radio analyst, Jimmy Connelly, is a highly respected and knowledgeable hockey writer for USCHO (United States College Hockey Online), who is in his 17th season of covering Hockey East. Jim won the distinguished Joe Concannon Media Award in 2012 and has been involved with college hockey in many different capacities, including co-writing a weekly national column, "Tuesday Morning Quarterback", while also co-hosting USCHO's weekly radio show, " USCHO Live." He began his writing career in 1999 and has covered every NCAA regional and NHL draft since 1999, as well as every Frozen Four since 2000.

Jim has also been published in the Hockey News as well as numerous national hockey websites. He has also appeared on CBS Sports Network and NESN as a college hockey commentator. Before coming to UML to replace Chaz Scoggins, he served in the role of color commenator on Vermont hockey broadcasts alongside Alastair Ingram (who will be profiled in a few weeks).

Jim attended UMass Lowell from 1992 to 1996 and served as an equipment manager for the River Hawks during that time. He also has built a solid career in corporate communications, leading to the founding of his own personal company, JMC Communications.

Both Bob and Jim added international hockey to their long and storied broadcast careers when they broadcast the inaugural Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Ireland, in November of 2015.

Here is a clip which includes some excellent commentary from Bob Ellis along with some narration and an audio clip from Norm Bazin, the head coach of the River Hawks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QwBdlpQzME

And here is a NESN clip of Jimmy doing a feature on Jack Parker's imminent retirement just before it was formally announced:




To tune in to the call of UMass Lowell hockey with Bob and Jim, check them out on the ESPN New Hampshire website at http://espn.go.com/espnradio/playPopup?s=wgam-am. You can also hear River Hawk hockey on WCAP radio (980 AM on the dial) and on the TuneIn app on your mobile devices.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Broadcaster Profiles- John Hennessy and Brock Hines, University of Massachusetts Minutemen



We continue on with our look at the radio voices of Hockey East. This next feature will spotlight the radio team at the University of Massachusetts, John Hennessy and Brock Hines, two veterans with decades of experience of calling hockey.



Hennessey and Hines.png



Beginning with John Hennessy (left), John brought his considerable talent to Amherst after stints in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and the Albany River Rats of the AHL. John spent six seasons with the Devils, with his finest accomplishment most likely coming in 2003, calling the Devils run to the Stanley Cup. He has plenty of college experience as well, as he has been the voice of RPI hockey, and also has worked at Northeastern and Providence over the course of his career. In fact, John began his career calling the Friars on WDOM radio in Providence before moving on to Albany where had a seven year run as the voice of the River Rats. While there he hosted a program called NHL Face Off as well as a radio call in show. Over the course of his career he has also covered the New England Patriots and Boston College football. He is a 1982 graduate of Providence College and is in his 36th year of broadcasting hockey on the radio. John also survived a very serious bus crash while working for Albany after returning from a game in Lowell. Many broadcasters have stories to tell about buses and travel (myself included), and thankfully John was able to recover from that harrowing experience.

John is one of the most professional broadcasters I've ever met, very polished prepared and he possesses a wonderful pleasing personality. He blends well with everyone he comes into contact with and has an excellent symmetry with the man I am going to discuss next, Brock Hines.

Brock Hines is the color anayst for UMass hockey and has held that position for 22 years. He is the senior member of the UMass Sports Network. He is an award winning broadcaster who has won two Massachusetts Broadcaster Awards, an Associated Press award for broadcast excellence, and the prestigious Joe Concannon Media Award in 2010-11 from Hockey East. He has been involved in the game of hockey for over 25 years and currently hosts the UMass Hockey Radio Show.

One of the things I admire most about Brock is the path he has taken to get where he is. He has done plenty of high school reporting and commentating (as I did myself when I broke in to the business 20 years ago).... he did work for Greenfield High school from 1989-1992, doing hockey color commentary and football sideline reporting. He then launched his radio career, hosting a weekly radio show on WGAJ in Deerfield. Brock also provided color analysis for UMass women's basketball for two seasons. He began playing hockey at the age of 12 and has also been involved in coaching as well, so between all of his hockey pursuits he has been involved with the game for over forty years.

Brock made history on the night/morning of March 6-7, 2015, as he teamed with Cody Chrusciel to call the longest college hockey game in NCAA history between UMass and Notre Dame, a first round playoff game that ended in the fifth overtime. The Minutemen won the game 4-3 in a game that began at 7:35 PM Eastern and ended at 1:25 AM.

Brock added international hockey to his resume in November of 2016 when he travelled to Northern Ireland to broadcast the second annual Friendship Four Tournament with Donnie Moorhouse for the UMass Radio Network.

Here is a clip of John and Brock in action, along with some commentary from Adam Frenier during a UMass game against BC in the 2013-14 season:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKYSp6bIEk8

And a second clip of John and Brock, with again additional commentary from Adam Frenier, the third member of the broadcast team during a game against Denver:

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

To tune in to John and Brock on the call of UMass hockey, you can catch them at WHMP AM 1400 and 1240 AM as well as 96.9 FM on the dial. You can access their broadcasts also on the TuneIn radio app for your mobile devices, or simply click the link at http://www.umassathletics.com/umass-sports-network.htmlto access the stream.