Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Michigan Forward Chad Kolarik

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Michigan forward Chad Kolarik pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The No. Wolverines host Wisconsin and Minnesota in the College Hockey Showcase November 23-24.

Red Berenson

One of two seniors on Michigan's 2007-08 roster, Chad Kolarik has helped lead the Wolverines to a brilliant start so far this season.

Kolarik was named one of two assistant captains on this year's Michigan team after a junior season that saw him post a career high 45 points on 18 goals and 27 assists. Six of his eight goals came on back-to-back hat tricks, as he scored three goals against both Connecticut and Miami in consecutive games in October. He was the first Michigan player to accomplish the feat since Mike Knuble recorded back-to-back three-goal games in 1995.

Kolarik is a general studies major, enrolled in Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts. His older brother, Tyler, played hockey for Harvard. Kolarik was drafted in the seventh round (No. 199 overall) by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Chad won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, November 20, 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: Good afternoon, and welcome to another session of "Tuesday @ the Rink," brought to you by CSTV.com and USCHO. We've got a big week of college hockey ahead of us, and we've got one of the participants in the College Hockey Showcase joining us now. We're talking with Michigan senior forward Chad Kolarik.
Chad Kolarik: Thanks for having me this afternoon. I am looking forward to this weekend's College Hockey Showcase.

Dan (Kalamazoo): First off congrats on the great start you and your team are off to this season. What is the biggest difference from this seasons team to last seasons team?
Chad Kolarik: The biggest difference is the chemistry of this team. Our team doesn't have the big star with a huge ego. Our best player, Kevin Porter, is our hardest worker, and that rubs off on the rest of the team.

Tim ( Ann Arbor): How have kevin porter and yourself guided such a large freshmen class thus far to an 11-1 record, and also i love how you play with fire and intensity in your game, are you naturally a good leader
Chad Kolarik: Kevin and I have welcomed the 12 freshmen in a different manner than any freshman class has been welcomed before. We have taken it upon ourselves to hang out with them outside of the rink at the dorms and help them get acclimated to the new atmosphere. They have responded well and played like upperclassmen thus far.

TK (Grosse Ile): Hey Chad, on a team with so many freshmen, how much of a teaching role do you and Kevin and the other seniors take on a daily basis?
Chad Kolarik: The freshmen always have questions for Kevin and me, and we are both willing to help them with any situation on and off the ice. We both have accepted the role of being leaders and having to help the freshmen with hockey and everyday issues.

Adam (Chicago): Recently a video of the Wolverine's pre-season picnic with the Deker's club has been floating around on You-Tube. It shows the freshmen trying to sing their rendition of the "Victors" and it was pathetic. How much grief did you give them after that. Secondly how have the freshmen been able to play such an integral role on this hockey team so quickly?
Chad Kolarik: The freshmen did struggle with the Victors for a long time. We try to teach them before the picnic and they really let the older guys down this year. My freshman year, we did a better job with three of us singing the song. The older guys had a good time with it, but we have gotten used to singing the song after a few sweeps.

Sean (Philadelphia): Chad, You've always been regarded as an offensive threat but how have you worked on becoming a complete hockey player? With such a young squad how important is the leadership from the upperclassmen? Best of luck the remainder of the season and go blue!
Chad Kolarik: I have concentrated on my defensive role this year because with me being an assistant captain, I need to lead by example. I have always struggled with my defensive game, but this year it is one of my goals to become a complete player to help me get to the next level.

Mauricio (Ann Arbor): How is playing with star freshman Max Pacioretty as opposed to Cogliano last year?
Chad Kolarik: Cogliano is a completely different player than Pacioretty. Pacioretty creates so much room for me and Kevin Porter. He is a very physical player who has great skill. Porter and I love playing with him because the room he creates for both of us with his physical style of play. Cogliano is a great player with unbelievable speed and skill. He was easy to play with because he could find you anywhere on the ice with his vision and skill.

Fred (Plymouth): When do you think Shaun Hunwick will get his chance between the pipes? and how important is it that Bill is playing well?
Chad Kolarik: Hunwick has been playing well in practice and he looks like he could be ready any day now. However, with both Sauer and Hogan his chances of playing are slim in the immediate future. With Sauer playing well it has given our team so much confidence knowing that we have a chance to win every night.

Grant (Elk River, MN): It seems every year I have been watching the College Hockey Showcase in the past 10 years or so, the WCHA (MN and WI) have domintated. Last year it was predicted to change because your team and the Spartans appearred better, but it was the same old story. Is this the year the CCHA finally turns the table on the rugged WCHA? What are your thoughts on this?
Chad Kolarik: The WCHA is a great conference and Wisconsin and Minnesota have great teams every year. These games are always our toughest games of the year because of the speed and skill both teams have. I think we have a good chance this year with both Michigan State and us coming off great starts to the season. Personally, I have never beaten Minnesota since I have been at Michigan. This could be my last chance and we are very excited about the games this weekend.

geo (ann arbor): hi chad, glad to see you and our team are on a nice roll this early. my question is can michigan stay on this course the rest of the season??
Chad Kolarik: As long as we outwork the teams we are playing we can win any game. This year's team does not have the skill to beat any team on skill alone. We need to be the hardest working team in the country to be successful. We need to stay level-headed and we need to work on the little things in practice, day in and day out.
CSTV.com Moderator: That's all the time we have with Chad this afternoon.
Chad Kolarik: Thanks for having me this afternoon. It's been great hearing from the Michigan faithful. Go Blue!
CSTV.com Moderator: That'll do it for the first of our "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats. We'll be back at the top of the hour with Boston University's Pete MacArthur.