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Tuesday @ The Rink With Mike Eruzione

Welcome to CollegeSports.com and USCHO's "Tuesday At The Rink" series of moderated chats.

This week's guests are USCHO ECACHL columnist Juan Martinez at 2:00 p.m. ET and CSTV analyst Mike Eruzione at 3:00 p.m. ET. Come for one, stay for both!


At The Rink


CSTV Analyst Mike Eruzione holds a special place in the hearts of U.S. hockey fans. As the captain of the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team, he led the to its Gold Medal victory in Lake Placid, NY. The highlight of the games for Eruzione was scoring the game-winning goal against the Soviet Union.

While attending Boston University, Eruzione captained the hockey team his senior year and finished his college career as the second-leading scorer in B.U. history. The years he played at B.U., his team won four Eastern Collegiate Championships. Eruzione has been inducted into the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mike has stayed active in the college hockey community and is uniquely positioned to comment on issues around the game.

While Mike will not be stopping by until 3:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday February 1, feel free to submit your questions now and we will save them for his arrival!

CollegeSports.com Moderator: Welcome to the second half of Tuesday @ The Rink. We are now joined by CSTV's Mike Eruzione.
Mike Eruzione: Hi, everyone. Great to be here.
Mike Eruzione: That is a great question. Going into the season, I though Maine was going to win the National Championship, but they have not played up to their potential. Other than Colorado College, there is no team in the country that I think can't be beat. So, having said that, as of today, CC is the best team in the country. But I have a feeling it could end up being wide open by the end.

Nate (Minnesota): I am greatly honored to talk to you first of all. Who wins the NCAA Championship this year? Will it be a "Top Dog" or will it be an "Underdog"?

Jason (New York): Hi Mike! As a NU alumni (sorry) I was wondering what your take is on the Beanpot which starts next week. Also, how does NU stack up against the other schools this year? Thanks!
Mike Eruzione: I think this is one of the first years in a while where Northeastern is tough enough to win. They have played every team in Hockey East very tough. They are a hard team to play against and a difficult team to beat. I think one thing they lack against other top teams in the country is depth, though. I just don't know if they depth is as good as some of the premier schools. Bruce Crowder does a great job of getting his players ready to play.

Duane (Strafford, NH): Many of may friends in the Granite State have no concept of what it is like to be present for a game at Lynah Rink. Do you think that you could put your experiences into words? I think it is the most challenging arena for a visiting team in the Northeast and gives Cornell a decided home ice advantage because of the Lynah Faithful.
Mike Eruzione: When I was at BU, it was insane to play there. The fans are right on top of you. I can't believe it is still around - it was old when I played there! It is just a very difficult place to play and one of the great rinks in hockey.

Winchester, MA: Mike, as someone who watched you throughout your BU career, it seems that today there is much less room to maneuver to make a play in the prime scoring area in front of the net. As soon as a player touches the puck,there's someone in his face. Any comment?
Mike Eruzione: I think the skill level and speed of hockey is so much better than it was years ago. WElcome to the world of hockey. If you go to some of the bigger rinks, such as UNH or Minnesota, there is a little more room for players to be more skillful. But in some of the smaller rinks, there just isn't that room for players to make plays.

ttnorm (Connecticut): Rizzo, I enjoy your work on CSTV. Leaving aside the 1980 Olympics, do you have a favorite book and movie about hockey?
Mike Eruzione: My favorite hockey movie has to be "Slap Shot". And to be honest, I haven't read many hockey books. So I'll say "One Goal" about the '80 Olympic Team.
Mike Eruzione: I think one of the problems is that, especially this year, the pro teams are taking up most of the space. I wish they would spend more time covering college hockey - at least as much as they spend on college basketball. There are great teams here - BC is ranked #1, BU has a new rink, Harvard has a young coach who is a former Boston Bruin, Northeastern is having one of their best season's in a long time. So of course, I wish there was more coverage.

Mike from Hopkinton: Mike, Why doesn't the Boston sports press give more coverage to college hockey? We have a concentration of terrific teams in the area (not just BU/BC/Harvard/NU but also UNH, Holy Cross, UMASS-Lowell, etc) and there is a minimum of coverage on TV and newspapers. The Sunday Boston Globe usually has, at best, one article buried in the back of the sports section. It almost always talks first and foremost about women's hockey and very sporadicly about men's hockey. The team ranked #1 in the country the last two weeks has not recieved a single mention other than a box score. What is your opinion of why this is?

Bill Denning, Houston: What do you see as the most significant changes in college hockey, and in international hockey, over the last 20 years or so?
Mike Eruzione: In hockey in general, the since and skill of the players. in college hockey, it would be the facemask. I'm not a big fan of the facemask - I think the game has become a little chippier.

Erik (White Bear Lake) MN: Do you think that play style differs between the players on the Coast as opposed to the players in the Midwest?
Mike Eruzione: I think years ago, Eastern players tended to be smaller, better skating teams while Midwest teams were bigger and more physical. Now, I think the skill level is equal. There are so many players that play all over the country and the world that the play is similar.

Vicki (Boston): BU was on quite a streak up until a few weeks ago. Since then, they lost 3 out of 4 to BC and Maine and now Curry is out with a separated shoulder. Do you think BU will be able to turn it around to make some noise in Hockey East and the NCAA tournament even if Curry isn't back for a few weeks?
Mike Eruzione: I think BU is still a good hockey team. There is no reason they can't make some noise. They played Maine and BC tough. BU teams tend to get better come February and March. And Curry will be back in a couple weeks.

Shane(alexandria): Why do big college schools always look for the big men when they are recruting? I was just wondering because my brother was the leading scorer in Nepsac and no big schools were even interested because he is only 5-9.
Mike Eruzione: I think Boston College will argue that point, so I will disagree with that. Look at some of the players at BC and at BU.

Joe(Rochester): Do you get recognized on the streeet alot more now than you did before the movie "Miracle" came out?
Mike Eruzione: No. Not really. its been about the same.

Joe (San Francisco): Do you believe that B.U. playing on a 90-foot-wide rink will, in the long run, benefit the Terrier hockey program?
Mike Eruzione: BU has always been known as a skating team, so clearly the bigger sheet of ice will help them.

DJ (New York): How do you feel about pros in the Olympics?
Mike Eruzione: I'm not a big fan. I'd like to see it go back to see. It might now with the NHL lockout. It will be real interesting to see what happens.

IceGuy8: How good a job has Teddy Donato done at Harvard? Or is it just the inherited talent from Mazzoleni?
Mike Eruzione: Other coaches had the talent but didn't do the job. He brings a lot of stability to the program, he is a Harvard guy, so he knows the kind of player they are looking for. He did inherit a good team, but I think he has done a great job there.

David (Burlington): Where does Rick Meagher rank in terms of Terrier greats in your mind? What is he doing now?
Mike Eruzione: I would say Rick, along with Chris Drury, is one of the two best players in BU history. He is currently a scout for the St. Louis Blues and lives in Belleville, Ontario.

mary alice (boston): What was it like playing in the Olympics with so many friends?
Mike Eruzione: It was great. It was very special.

Travis Herbert (Mankato, MN): Beside the game winning goal against Russia, What is your most memorable moment as a player?
Mike Eruzione: Watching the opening ceremonies. That was more memorable than the goal. If you don't get to that point, none of the other stuff happens.

Ryan (Dedham): Will you miss Walter Brown Arena at all?
Mike Eruzione: I think you always miss the rink you played at for all those years. I'll miss the atmosphere at Walter Brown. But the new building is so spectacular.

Bobby (Waltham): What is it like to see your son playing in the BU program?
Mike Eruzione: Its great to see him play there. He dressed for one game and that was nice to see. He has worked hard to get to the point he is at. I'm not sure if he is going to be on the roster, but it has been nice to see him working so hard.

David: What is your take on the NHL Lockout? How would you solve it?
Mike Eruzione: I can't solve it since I'm not involved. but to me, it just doesn't make sense. Not for the owners, not for the players and absolutely not for the sport or the fans that follow it.

Scott (Boston): Did the Beanpot lose anything when the Garden was wrecked?
Mike Eruzione: I think so. I think the sport of hockey in general lost something when the Garden was wrecked. That building was just unbelievable to play hockey in.

Jeff (carson city): Hobey Baker? Who wins it?
Mike Eruzione: At the beginning of the year, I predicted Jimmy Howards from Maine. But after reading the Sports Illustrated article about the goalie for Bowling Green (Jordan Sigalet), I'd it to him on principle alone.

Joey (Boston): How did you hit 'em at the Bob Hope this weekend?
Mike Eruzione: Spectacular. Played as well as I can play. I played with Justin Leonard on Day One, John Daly Day Two, Peter Jacobsen Day Three and Hank Kuehne Day Four. I also got to play play with Kurt Russell and Vinny Del Negro.

Mark (Holliston): do you ever wish that you played in the NHL?
Mike Eruzione: Nope. I had my moment and that was enough for me.
CollegeSports.com Moderator: Mike needs to run so that is all we have time for today.
Mike Eruzione: I had a great time. Thanks for all the fun questions.
CollegeSports.com Moderator: Join us again next week for Tuesday @ The Rink. Our guests will be Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna, USCHO Hockey East Columnist Dave Hendrickson and CSTV Play-by-Play announcer Mike Emrick.

 
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