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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Denver defenseman Matt Carle

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, March 7 at 4:00 p.m. ET, Denver defenseman Matt Carle enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Carle is the current leader in CSTV's Hobey Baker Watch.



Matt Carle


Denver defenseman Matt Carle has established himself as one of the top college hockey players in the nation. Through 36 games in 2005-06 for the Pioneers, he has eleven goals and a team leading 39 assists and 50 points, along with a +18 rating.

In 2004-05, Carle played in all 43 games as the Pioneers won the NCAA Championship. He ranked third on the team with 44 points on 13 goals and 31 assists and was named All-USCHO First-Team. He was also All-WCHA First Team, as he led all WCHA defensemen in points per game (1.02), ranked second in the NCAA in points per game (1.02) for defensemen.

Before attending Denver, Carle played for the River City Lancers of the United States Hockey League and played two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to his stint with the Lancers. He was the second round pick (47th overall) by San Jose Sharks in the 2003 NHL Draft. He graduated on the honor roll in 2003 from Millard North High School in Omaha, Neb.


** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Matt won't be stopping by until 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 7th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome to another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". We have just one chat for everyone today, but it is a real good one. We are now joined by the frontrunner in the CSTV Hobey Baker Watch, Denver defenseman Matt Carle.
Matt Carle: Hello, everyone. How's it going? Thanks for having me on here...it's a pleasure to be here.

Ray (Costa Rica): Hi Matt congratulations on your great season. To which player from the nhl you can compare yourself in terms of style and play, and what type of player do you wish to become in the nhl.
Matt Carle: Thanks for your support, Ray. A player that I've always idolized growing up was Brian Leetch. I love his ability to read plays and to jump into the rush. As I've grown up in hockey, I have come to like watching Niklas Lidstrom also, and he is the player that I would most like to become.

Paul (Colorado Springs): Congratulations on a great season so far. What do you think is the reason that the Pioneers seem to have the Tiger's number over the past two seasons?
Matt Carle: This is a tough question, Paul. Both schools have such great traditions and have had a lot of success in the recent past. Like you said, fortunately, our school has gotten the better of the Tigers. There is no distinct reason, but I guess I would have to say that our team had a game plan going into those games and we executed it very well. I'm not saying the Tigers didn't do the same because I have a great deal of respect for their school. I guess it is all evening out though because the Tigers have had a lot of success against DU in the past, as well.

john, penfield: Who would you say are the top forwards you have played against this season?
Matt Carle: Hey, John, there are so many great players in college hockey today it is hard to narrow it down to just a few. Obviously, I get the challenge every day in practice by playing against guys like Paul Stastny and Gabe Gauthier. With the league that I play in you have to face elite players every weekend - just to name a few that I have played against would be guys like Ryan Potulny, Danny Irmen, Joe Pavelski, Robbie Earl, Dave Backes, Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling and Drew Stafford.

Jim (Denver): Which do you feel to be more personally satisfying--the WJC Gold Medal or the 04-05 NCAA titles?
Matt Carle: This is a question that is always hard to answer, Jim, and I usually do not like comparing the two because I don't want to take anything away from either teams. Winning the Gold Medal was a lot of fun because I was playing with guys that I had played with at the NTDP, it was great for USA Hockey because that was the first ever gold at the WJCs, and it was just a great experience being there. At the same time, I've been fortunate to be a part of a great school where we've had a lot of success, these are guys that you work out with all year long, go to classes with, and are around every day of the week, so winning something like a National Championship with them is quite a thrill. Like I said though, these two things are incomparable, but I am very thankful to have been a part of both of them.

Minneapolis: Matt, do you feel like the nation pays enough attention to the quality of players and teams inside the WCHA?
Matt Carle: With the recent success of the WCHA, I believe that the rest of the nation has taken a notice of teams in the WCHA. Obviously, for a guy like me who has to face these quality players and teams every weekend, I'm going to develop a bit of a biased opinion. There are also many other great players and teams in the country in other conferences, but I think you have to look at the Frozen Four last year and you can see the depth of our league and get a realization of the players and teams coming out of it.

GJ Berg, Mountain View, CA: What do you look forward to telling/showing the San Jose Sharks fans about your play when you're wearing teal? Who do you look forward to playing with/for? How did you feel when the Sharks drafted you?
Matt Carle: GJ, I try not to get too far ahead of myself and think about things like this, especially now that playoffs are coming up, but they are always in the back of my mind. Being drafted by the Sharks was a great experience and I couldn't have asked to be drafted by a better organization. I look forward to just getting a chance to live my dream of playing in the NHL, and just trying to bring my game to that level. There are so many great players playing in San Jose like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo, Scott Hannan, Kyle MacLaren and Christian Erhoff, and it would be a great thrill to be on the ice with those guys, but I know that I still have a lot of work to do.

Shane (Hazen, ND): Congrats on another great year, Matt. You would have my vote for the Hobey. As a team leader, what do you do and say this week to the other guys to keep the team "up" to facing Duluth this weekend - a team that has nothing to lose and can only go on by winning games? (I think that makes for a pretty scary opponent in the WCHA).
Matt Carle: Thanks a lot for your support, Shane. This week of practice is really important for our team because it is not like we are a lock to be in the tourney just yet. These games are also really important to us and, like anybody in the league, we want to be there competing in St. Paul for the Broadmor Trophy. Duluth is a young team with a lot of talent, so by no means can they be taken lightly, so I think the point we will be trying to get across is to just get the guys motivated and ready to go for the playoffs, and hopefully with a good week of practice, that playoff mentality and competitiveness will take over.

Gene (L.A.): If any, which of your teammates do you credit with for much of your success at the university of Denver?
Matt Carle: This is a great question, Gene. I have been lucky to play with so many great players ever since my first year here at Denver. Right when I stepped in, Ryan Caldwell sort of took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of college hockey. As time has gone on, I look back and feel fortunate to play for another great leader in Matt Laatsch, and to be able to play with such a dynamic player like Brett Skinner doesn't hurt either. Every year here at Denver has been a lot of fun because of those guys and with my teammates now, it is hard to say where I would be without these guys.

Todd (Denver): After this season, you will have a tough decision whether to go pro or to stay at DU for your senior season. What are the top factors that you will consider when making your decision? GO DU!
Matt Carle: I figured this one would come sooner or later, but to tell you the truth, Todd, as hard of a decision it is going to be, it is going to be fun. My family and I will sit down and just try to look at where I am now as a person and as a player and try to decide what is best for me. My education is something that I take very seriously and will be a major factor, but at the same time it has been my life long dream to play in the NHL, so there are different things to consider. Fortunately for me, and like I said earlier, I have been drafted by such a great organization, there hasn't been any pressure on me one way or the other, and in the end it will be an educated decision that is best for me. Thankfully, either way it is a win-win situation for me.

Matt (Cedar, MI): Matt, How does the 06' team compare to the 04' team in terms of making a championship run? Is this team as good?
Matt Carle: That is tough comparison to make, Matt. I think both teams have their advantages and disadvantages, though. Our team in '04 didn't really have a consistent season at all. We really had to go on a heck of a run in order to make the tournament, and we sort of snuck in there and had some success. Now, when I look at this year's team, we are really young with a lot of freshman and only two seniors, plus we've kind of had a bullseye on our back because of our recent success, so it is harder for us to just sneak in there like we did my freshman year. We are hoping that we can build off this last weekend and make a nice little run here in the playoffs, though.

Dan, Bemidji: If you had to vote for someone--other than yourself--for the Hobey Baker award, who would it be?
Matt Carle: Dan, there are so many great players having great seasons in college hockey this year, so it would be tough to narrow my vote down to just one. Like I said earlier, playing in the WCHA you play against great players every weekend, but there are also other great players in the country. I guess I would have to give my vote to guys like Ryan Potulny, Brian Elliott, Scott Parse, Brett Sterling and Andy Greene.

Andy (St. Paul): Hi Matt. What are your thoughts heading into the WCHA playoffs? Any predictions? Also, what do you think the chances are for another all WCHA Frozen Four this year?
Matt Carle: Andy, the WCHA playoffs are always a big question mark in everyones' minds. Because of the depth in the league, no one is really gauranteed to get to the final five. With that in mind, it is hard to make any predictions, although it is hard to ignore teams that finished up the season strong like Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The chances of another all-WCHA frozen four will be tough, since last year was the first time that it has every happened for any league. Of course, when it comes to tournament time, you never know what can happen.
CSTV.com Moderator: Matt has to run to practice, so that is all the time we have with him this afternoon.
Matt Carle: Thanks a lot to everyone for your questions and support. This was a lot of fun and I hope all is well. Take care.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us next week for another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". Check back to find out who our guest will be. See you then.

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