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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With CSTV's Matt McConnell and Dave Starman

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, October 3 at 3:00 p.m. ET, CSTV's Matt McConnell and Dave Starman visit "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com to take your questions as the 2006-07 season gets set to begin.

Dave Starman

Matt McConnell

Join CSTV hockey announcers Matt McConnell and Dave Starman for a chat to kick off the 2006-07 season. The network's inimitable duo will be taking all your questions to help you prepare for an exciting new year of hockey.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Matt and Dave won't be stopping by until 3:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, October 3rd, but feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Hello, and welcome to the second of our CSTV.com "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats. We're joined now by our CSTV broadcast team of Dave Starman and Matt McConnell.
Matt McConnell: Thanks for joining us this afternoon, everybody. We're anxious to get this college hockey season going, and I'm anxious to know what's on your mind.
Dave Starman: Hello once again to the college hockey community. Great to be back and ready, along with my partner Matt McConnell to broadcast some great games.

Rich (Newport, RI): With the Icebreaker in a few days what is the most important thing for all of those teams to focus on seeing how all four are viable NCAA qualifiers. Will the team that loses both games be hurt significantly? Lastly, which team has the most to gain in this tournament, and who will come out on top?
Matt McConnell: I think the situation we have this year in college hockey is that it's up for grabs for just about anyone. Where teams are going to set themselves up nicely are those teams who are going to be able to establish early rhythm within their systems, because I really believe this year, with the parity we are expecting around the country, a couple of early wins could really make the difference, not only in conference standings, but in the PairWise down the road. I'd say that the team that has the most to gain is Miami. They're coming off a CCHA regular-season title, they're opening up a brand new facility, and they're hosting three teams that are all premiere programs, especially a team like Colgate that's the favorite in the ECACHL.
Dave Starman: Denver has the most to gain as they come in looking to rebuild after three good years. If Miami lost both I think it would put a little curb on the enthusiasm they are building. For Vermont and Colgate, I think that each would be thrilled to go on the road and win a game. However, Colgate winning the whole thing would not suprise me.

WM (Michigan): Will Michigan Tech climb in the standings of the WCHA with their quality recruits, great goaltending in Teslak and the talent void left by the NHL departures?
Matt McConnell: Goaltending in the WCHA is going to be more in the spotlight this year, due to the absence and loss of offensive firepower across the conference due to graduation across the conference and pro signings, so if the Huskies can figure out a way to score, they may have a shot. With that said, don't run out and book your hotel rooms for St. Paul in March (unless you're a closet Wisconsin fan).
Dave Starman: First of all, congrats to Chris Tok, the new assistant at Michigan Tech. Chris is an old friend and colleague and I'm thrilled to see him get his chance at the NCAA level. Badger fans will remember him as a member of their 1990 title team. Michigan Tech can climb with the defections in the WCHA, but the schools that lost quailty veterans have also reloaded with "pick of the litter" recruits.
Matt McConnell: Dave, you probably just got off the phone with him, didn't you?
Dave Starman: Ha ha, about three hours ago.

Phil (Omaha): Hey guys, I was wondering who you have your eye on for the Hobey this year. Hey Matt, have you opened your eyes about Scott Parse yet?
Matt McConnell: Phil, first of all, my eyes have always been open regarding Scott Parse. He will undoubtedly be one of the early-season favorites, as will Wisconsin's Brian Elliott. Two other guys on the radar would have to be Cory Schneider and T.J. Hensick.
Dave Starman: TJ Hensick is as good a candidate to be the best player in the country as anyone.

Ken (Los Angeles): Dave, you were pretty outspoken about the Jack Johnson situation when he turned down Carolina's offer a couple of weeks back. Now that the Kings have his rights, how do you think that will change his situation?
Matt McConnell: From my standpoint, I imagine the Kings will be very patient and allow him to make his own decision as to when he's going to come out. Speaking of early departures, Red Berenson is 100% dead on regarding his comments about kids not being ready. Just look over the last two weeks at the hockey transactions in your local paper, and you will find that the American Hockey League has become a morgue for great collegiate players of a year ago. Over the last year, to my knowledge, the only player that's made an immediate impact is Matt Carle with the San Jose Sharks. Dave, I can't believe a Michigan State guy like me just agreed with a Michigan guy, especially during the UM-MSU football week!
Dave Starman: I don't think the trade will change things. Jack will play his sophomore year at Michigan. My feeling is that he is a whole lot smarter than people give him credit for, and he's under the guidance of someone who makes a very compelling reason to stay in school for four years in Red Berenson. Jack Johnson could be an immediate impact player at the NHL level after a four-year career at Michigan. I think his learning curve both on and especially off the ice will suffer greatly in either the minor leagues, or even on an NHL roster as a kid, especially as a defenseman. Matt...it's ok. Agreeing with Red is allowed! However, the MSU alumni in my family must be furious with me flying the Michigan flag on this issue!
Matt McConnell: Just make sure they don't plant it in your front yard!

Chris (Chicago): Hey Matt, liked your article about Notre Dame. Unfortunately, I liked it a whole lot more than I like the Joyce Center. Can Jeff Jackson build the Irish into a championship-caliber team in the CCHA without having a new facility?
Matt McConnell: Absolutely. Jeff Jackson is an excellent recruiter. We saw that when he was coaching at Lake Superior State, and we're seeing it with the Irish in South Bend and his commitments from players in the National Team Development Program. The long-term plan at Notre Dame needs to be a new facility or the renovation of the JACC. My understanding is that they're making progress on this issue, and I'm confident that the Irish will continue to strengthen their program in the years to come.
Dave Starman: An improved facility is in the works, we have been told that by the ND hockey department. If Jeff Jackson can build two National Title winners in a remote area like Lake Superior State University, with a kid from New Jersey as one of his main players (Jim Dowd), he can build a winner on the moon.
Matt McConnell: Dave, as far as I know, the moon isn't part of Notre Dame's cluster this year in the CCHA!
CSTV.com Moderator: It may well as be in Bowling Green's cluster...they got Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska!

Jim (Detroit): What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you two while calling a game together for CSTV?
Matt McConnell: It happened last December in Marquette, Mich. We were less than a minute to air, and our replay monitor died. Nothing like trying to describe highlights that you can't see! Plus, the weather that day didn't exactly put any of us in a great mood, considering the temperature was hovering near zero, and we had 20 mph winds kicking up off the Gitchagoumie (Lake Superior)! I will say this: Starman never looked better on camera.
Dave Starman: Most of the chicannery happens either during commercials, during travel, or in meetings. However, there was a time at Ohio State where I made a wisecrack on the air and both McConnell and i just lost it and neither of us could get a word out. We were just laughing too hard.
Dave Starman: If we could have video taped our ride from Albany (ECACHL Championships) to Elmira for the D-III title game, we could have won an award for comedy. There were moments on that ride that we actually had to pull over because of how hard we were laughing.
Matt McConnell: Thanks for reminding me. Nothing like driving through a white-out for three hours, stopping at a drive-thru for the world's greasiest sausage biscuits, then arriving in Elmira two hours before puck-drop.
Dave Starman: Here's one...were were between games at the ECACHL semifinals, and were just about to go live to open the second game, and Matt drfited out of the booth to get a hot dog. I had to scream at him on line to get back here, as we were just seconds to air.
Matt McConnell: It was a coffee! My favorite travel moment came last December. The entire CSTV travel crew was sitting on a Northwest Airlink plane in Minneapolis, waiting to depart for Grand Forks. All of us except Dave, of course. The pilot held the plane, Dave came racing down the jetway out of breath and took his coach seat, having jaunted from Terminal A to Terminal E in 12 minutes, but the best was when our flight attendant provided him with about a dozen drink napkins so he could "towel off."
CSTV.com Moderator: Funny you should mention the coffee...I really like this next question...

Jeff (Worcester): Hi, Matt. I was wondering why you send a fine college hockey writer like the Rink Rat to go get your coffee when you guys are at the same game. Sounds like he's missed some good hockey being your go-fer (not to be confused with those guys who lost to Holy Cross).
Matt McConnell: It's just one of the perils you fall into when you run into me at a rink. Actually, Elliot bailed me out big time. I would have sent Dave, but he was too busy chowing down on a stale sub.
CSTV.com Moderator: Alright, enough offbeat shenanigans, from all of us. Back to some hockey talk.

Paul (Minneapolis): Where's your favorite place to call a college game?
Matt McConnell: I'd have to say Michigan and Michigan State. Yost Arena is a big old barn, it's loud, the Wolverines are always good, and it is one of the best hockey atmospheres out there. It's also a lot of fun for me personally to go back to Munn Arena in East Lansing. It's where I broadcasted my first hockey game, plus it's great to be there as an alum, and it's always good to catch up with Ron Mason.
Dave Starman: I have four. Tops is Alfond in Maine. The buidling is packed for warmups, and it is wild to see a team get a rousing ovation when they hit the ice....for warmups! Next would be Yost, just an awesome atmosphere. Third would be Munn Arena at Michigan State. I saw my first college hockey game there when my cousin was the team manager in 1986. Love the place! Love the history there. Number four is Lynah at Cornell. Awesome foursome!

William (Toronto): What's happening with Brown this year?. Can they get out of the basement this coming season?. Any word on their freshman class?.
Dave Starman: They have two freshmen that I have coached in their pre college carers. Both are goalies, Tristin Favaro and Dan Rosen. Favaro could be awesome on any given night and Rosen is pretty competitive. Both come from good leagues, but Favaro had more work last season as a No. 1 goalie in the Eastern Junior League. Brown will have its hands full this season.

Eddy (Larchmont, NY): Are there any trends or new developments that we should be keeping an eye on this season?
Matt McConnell: Two of the big changes are going to be that players can now direct the puck with their skate for a goal. They can't kick the puck, but they can direct it. The other big adjustment is the smaller goalie equipment, which is an adaptation from the National Hockey League. Both of these adjustments will certainly have an impact on a weekly basis. They are also experimenting during exhibtion games in not allowing teams to ice the puck when short-handed. To me, this is ridiculous, and will only slow down the game and chop up the flow of a power play or penalty kill. I can't see where that one will have legs. Plus, in the case of the CCHA, video replay will be instituted in all league arenas, not just three, which was the case a season ago. Dave, I'm sure that'll help your CCHA referee buddies!
Dave Starman: Yes, some of the experimental rules are interesting. The ability of assistant referees to waive an icing when it looks like a pass attempt instead of a clearing attempt is a great rule that we'll see in exhibition games. The continued crackdown on hitting from behind is important, and the point of emphasis regarding embellishment is long overdue.
CSTV.com Moderator: That's all the time we have with our dynamic duo today.
Dave Starman: Thanks for tuning in. As the season starts, I wish all the coaches well as they start another season. Keep an eye on Seth Appert at RPI as he gets his first chance to be a head coach. And early congrats to Rick Comley at MSU, who is 12 wins away from that magic # of 700.
Matt McConnell: Great thoughts, Dave. It should be a great season in all of the conferences. Just don't miss any of your flight connections!
Matt McConnell: Thanks to everyone for taking part in our chat today.
CSTV.com Moderator: I'll second that thank you as we wrap up this week's chats. Be sure to keep an eye on the Rink Rat blog at http://slog.cstv.com/rinkrat, as I get ready to head out to the Ice Breaker tournament next week, and keep checking back to CSTV.com for more updates on future chat guests!

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