Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko.

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 7 at 2:00 ET, St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Huskies host WCHA rival Denver on December 7-8.

Bob Motzko

Bob Motzko is in his third season as head coach with the Huskies in 2007-08. The 2006 and 2007 WCHA Coach of the Year, Motzko has guided the Huskies to two consecutive WCHA Final Five appearances, a second place regular season finish in the WCHA in 2007 and a berth in the 2007 NCAA Division I tournament. In two seasons with the Huskies, Motzko has charted an impressive 44-27-11 overall record and has seen the Huskies ranked among the nation's top 20 teams for more than 30 weeks (including a #7/8 national ranking in the final 2006-07 college polls).

In 2006-07, Motzko led the Huskies to a 22-11-7overall record and a second place record of 14-7-7 in the always rugged WCHA. SCSU advanced to the WCHA Final Five in 2007, and also gained the team's first NCAA bid since 2003. In 2007, Motzko saw SCSU standout Bobby Goepfert named a Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist. SCSU freshman forward Andreas Nodl was named the 2007 HCA Division I Rookie of the Year and the 2007 WCHA Rookie of the Year. SCSU players have already gained All-America honors twice during Motzko's tenure.

In 2005-06, the Huskies earned a 22-16-4 overall record and a 13-13-2 WCHA record in 2005-06. SCSU ranked 14th in the final national college polls in 2005-06, and the Huskies also advanced to the title game of the 2006 WCHA Final Five - marking SCSU's first trip to the Final Five since 2001-02.

A former SCSU hockey player and graduate of St. Cloud State, Motzko served as a men's hockey assistant coach at the University of Minnesota since 2001. He was part of two NCAA Division I national championship teams in 2002 and 2003, and helped the Gophers win WCHA playoff crowns in 2003 and 2004. His four recruiting classes at Minnesota were considered among the best in the nation, and Motzko helped produce one Hobey Baker Award winner, three first team All-Americans, two second team All-Americans and many All-WCHA honorees at Minnesota.

A 1987 graduate of St. Cloud State University, Motzko was a two-year varsity letterwinner for the SCSU hockey team from 1984-86. Motzko began his coaching career in 1986-87 as an assistant coach for the legendary Herb Brooks at SCSU - and also worked with former SCSU head coach Craig Dahl.

Motzko went on to serve as general manager and head coach of the USHL's North Iowa Huskies from 1987 through 1991. In 1989, Motzko led the North Iowa squad to a United State Junior A national championship and was named that year's USHL Coach of the Year.

In 1991, Motzko was named associate head coach at Miami University (Ohio), where he helped lead the RedHawks to a Central Collegiate Hockey Association title and an NCAA tournament berth in 1992-93. He served for one season as an associate head coach at the University of Denver from 1993-94, before returning to Miami University in 1994.

Motzko was named general manager and head coach of the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede in 1998. He led the Stampede to a 77-31-6 record in the team's first two seasons in the USHL, and in 2000, Motzko was named the USHL General Manager of the Year. At Sioux Falls, 26 players moved on to college programs around the United States including SCSU standouts Mike Doyle, Joe Jensen and Dave Iannazzo.

In over 19 years of coaching hockey, Motzko has worked with many of the top coaches in the game including Brooks, Dahl, Don Lucia (Minnesota), Mark Mazzoleni (Harvard and Green Bay-USHL), George Gwozdecky (Denver) and Frank Serratore (Air Force).

A native of Austin, Minn., Motzko and his wife Shelley are the parents of three children. They currently reside in St. Cloud, Minn.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Bob won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 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 back to "Tuesday @ the Rink," presented by CSTV and USCHO. We're joined by our second guest of the afternoon, St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko.
Bob Motzko: We appreciate the opportunity to talk a little Huskies Hockey, so I'd like to thank CSTV and USCHO for the chance to talk.

Craig (St. Cloud): Over the last three games, we have had leads going into or during the third period, but have been outscored 5-0 in that span. What has contributed to this and how do you plan on addressing this issue? Good luck this weekend against Denver!
Bob Motzko: There's no question that that's not a streak that we're real happy about, and part of the deal with us is that it comes at a time when we've just been on a nice roll, so this kind of blindsided us a bit in the last couple of weeks. This was not something that we showed early when we seemed to turn things around. We're not panicking right now, but it's something we've got to address, and there's definitely a pattern in there of things that we have to work on to get back to being more sound defensively.

Jon (St. Paul): Why do you think John Swanson's transition to D has worked so well?
Bob Motzko: One of the biggest things is that John's accepted it. John is taking this change as a challenge and he's 100 percent behind it. Second, he possesses great skills. He's one of the best skaters in college hockey, he has a tremendous shot from the blue line, and as he gets more comfortable, we'll certainly be able to use his talents to help us become a better offensive and defensive team. The transition has been excellent.

Matt (St. Cloud): Is a sweep like the one at Wisconsin harder to handle with a young team?
Bob Motzko: They're never easy to handle. The one thing in the WCHA - if we're going to preach it, we have to live it - is that we can't get too high or too low. We leave Wisconsin wanting to learn from our mistakes, but we also did a lot of good things. We had leads after both second periods, our special teams were good again. We've got to get better. We have no time to be down. We just have to move forward

Nick (St. Paul): With so much of the scoring on your team coming from freshmen and sophomores in Lasch, Nodl and Roe, is there any concern about them being able to keep up this pace as the season goes along?
Bob Motzko: We can't have concerns about it, because that's just the way it is. That's the dynamic of our team. Nate Dey's been a senior for us who was off to a great start, and he's been a little quiet recently, but we also think we do have a couple of older that, in time, are going to be able to help out.

Nathan (Aurora, Colorado): What are some of your biggest concerns going into the Denver series? They seem like a very balanced team.
Bob Motzko: Right now, we're not looking at anything with concerns. The best words in that question is that we're coming home again. It's been one month since we played at home, and we've only had two WCHA games at home. There's more excitement for our team right now to settle in back at home. One month is a long period to be away. I think there are a lot of similarities betwen Denver and ourselves. We're both being led by a lot of young offense. Our freshman classes kind of dueled it out last year, we split the season series, and now we have freshmen doing good things again. If there's a concern, it's that it's Peter Mannino's turn in our league to be the man, and he seems not to be disappointing. From all accounts, Mannino is the backbone of their hockey team, and he is, right now, probably the MVP of the WCHA.

Tom (champlin, MN): What do you think the reason is the team has coughed up late leads in three straight games.
Bob Motzko: We've had breakdowns in our own end. All three games, the breakdowns have been almost identical, so from that standpoint, hopefully, it's a simple thing to correct.

Sam (Madison, Wisc.): Kyle Turris had gone nine games without a goal before scoring against your team Saturday. How did the player you saw in person compare to what you'd seen on tape?
Bob Motzko: His goal was a great goal. Kyle is a tremendous young talent. He's learning what a lot of freshmen learn: that the WCHA is awful tough. In time, he's going to be an outstanding hockey player as he adjusts to our league.

Chris (Minneapolis): Has Jase Weslosky surpassed expectations at all in how well he's been able to step in as the successor to Bobby Goepfert?
Bob Motzko: First indications have been very solid. Jase has stepped in as a goalie with very limited playing time and put up some very solid numbers. He now needs to work on his consistency, and that will only come with experience.

St. Cloud: What's the best thing about St. Cloud?
Bob Motzko: I believe we're a bit of a hidden secret. We have a student body of 16,700, which makes us the third largest school in the WCHA. We have one of the largest and loudest student sections at our home games, and this is a very vibrant and exciting campus for any student.
CSTV.com Moderator: That's all the time we have with Coach Motzko this afternoon.
Bob Motzko: Thanks so much for your questions, and most importance, for your great support as some of the best fans in collegiate sports.
CSTV.com Moderator: That'll do it for another week of "Tuesday @ the Rink" at CSTV.com, presented by CSTV and USCHO. Keep checking back for info next week's guests. Have a great week, and we'll see you again next Tuesday "@ the Rink!"