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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Clarkson Head Coach George Roll

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Clarkson Head Coach George Roll pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Clarkson is currently ranked No. 16 in the USCHO/CSTV Rankings.

George Roll

As the Clarkson University Hockey program enters its third season under head coach George Roll, the Golden Knights appear to be poised to make a return to the upper echelon of the ECACHL.

In his first season as the Knights' head coach, Roll guided the Green and Gold to an 18-18-5 overall record in 2003-04, but the Knights were stellar in the postseason, where they skated in the ECACHL Tournament Championship game for the first time since 1999. Last season, the Knights slipped to a 13-23-3 mark, but the future looks very bright for Clarkson Hockey.

A former assistant coach at Clarkson, Roll came back to the University after a very successful tenure as the head coach at Oswego State. Roll completed his seven-year stint at Oswego when he guided the Great Lakers into the title game of the 2003 Division III National Championships. From 1988-1996, with Roll as an assistant coach, Clarkson complied a 176-82-26 overall record, claimed two ECAC Tournament titles and advanced to the Frozen Four in 1991. In seven years at Oswego State, Roll amassed a 119-74-16 overall record and guided the Lakers to two NCAA Tournament appearances. A native of the Chicago suburb of Blue Island, Illinois, Roll played four years at Bowling Green State University under former Clarkson head coach Jerry York and was a member of the Falcons' 1984 National Chmapionship team.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: George won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 6th, 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 a Golden "Tuesday @ The Rink" doubleheader. Our first guest is the Head Coach of the No. 16 ranked Clarkson Golden Knights, George Roll.
Coach Roll: Hi, everyone. I am very happy to be here and am ready for your questions.

Chris (Albany): How do you feel about your upcoming matchup against Miami and your Alma Mater?
Coach Roll: We are extremely excited to play two quality opponents this weekend. We have had the chance to watch both on tape. I don't feel Bowling Green's record is indicative of the way the way they have played. They are a very hard working team and have beaten quality opponents in Northern Michigan and Michigan State. In Miami's case, they are obviously playing as well as anyone in the nation right now. They are very physical, finish hits, are great in transition and are a team that is going to make an impact in this year's NCAA Tournament.

Todd (Boston): What are your feelings on returning to your Alma Mater (BGSU) this weekend now as the head coach of a D-I team?
Coach Roll: I think it is secondary to the game, obviously. Scotty and I are very good friends and have been for a very long time. It is a game where I think for both of us, once the game starts, the friendship will be put aside. I'm not going to lie, I think it is going to feel strange coaching against the school that I had a great four years at, but I'm very excited to go back. I was a finalist for the job when Scotty got it and, after he got the job, he offered me a position to come back as an assistant. It was a very difficult decision and it is tough to say no to your alma mater, but I think it has worked out for everyone.

James (Rochester, NY): Coach, It's great to see this team playing so well early in the season after years of Clarkson teams getting out to slow starts. Are you surprised that such a young team has clicked right from the start of the season the way this team has?
Coach Roll: No, I'm not. I could tell last spring when the season ended when our captain, Chris Berkelmans, pulled the team together. In the spring and over the summer, he held everyone accountable for their off-ice workouts and he, along with Jeff Genovy, as the only two seniors, have taken a very strong leadership role. It started in the spring and has carried over to this season.

Casper from Canton: What do you think of USA Hockey's decision to leave Shawn Weller off the roster for this season??
Coach Roll: I was certainly disappointed in the decsion. I know it is a tough choice and this pool of players is one of the deepest pools they have ever had to pick from. I know they were pleased with Shawn's performance in last year's tournament and he is certainly a much better player this year than last in terms of production. To leave him off, with his experience, is certainly tough for Shawn, but he has handled the situation very well. He was disappointed, but knows he will be with us for our Christmas Tournament and is very excited for that opportunity. Although it is not easy to make those decisions, Shawn has done everything we have asked of him as a player.

TN (Littleton, MA): What do you think the reasons are that a school from the ECAC has not won an NCAA championship since '89 with Harvard?
Coach Roll: In my experience here for eight years as an assistant, and being in the tournament six of those years, and having been close to being in the Frozen Four, I don't think Clarkson was that far from winning the National Championship. Certainly, the academic standards of our league make it, at times, difficult to compete for the talent pool that is available. That being said, we feel here at Clarkson, our goal as a staff is to get back to that level andd compete for a National Championship. We feel the resources are here to do that. I have been part of a National Championship and a lot of things have to fall into place for that to occur. In the brief three years I have been here, I have seen improvement across the league and think it is just a matter of time before an ECAC school does win a National Championship.

Dick (Oswego): Would your national championship team at Bohling Green beat your current team at Clarkson?
Coach Roll: That team had a lot more experience being in the national tournament. I believe there were eight seniors on that team and I think the experience factor would have to give Bowling Green the edge. I know our players wouldn't want to hear that, but I think the experience would give that team the edge. Not to mention that team had Dave Ellett and Garry Galley, who would go on to play quite a few years in the NHL. With the youth of this team, maybe in a year or two, I might feel differently.

Ron (Bowling Green): George Who were the 5 best college players that you played against while at BGSU.
Coach Roll: I would have to say James Patrick, Chris Chelios, Tommy Kurvers, Newell Brown and Tommy McFall, but there are so many, that it is tough name just five.

Andy (Massena): Would you consider going back to a rotation among your two goaltenders as you did earlier in the season?
Coach Roll: I think you'll see that this weekend. We went with Kyle against Harvard and Dartmouth because we thought he was playing better at the time. We are going to go back to the rotation this weekend, but who knows - those roles may be reversed later in the season.

Nate (Watertown): George, the Golden Knights will be away from Cheel for a significant amount of time over the next several months. How would you characterize your team's ability to be "road warriors" and finish the season with an above .500 winning % on the road?
Coach Roll: I think it was important for us, as a young team to be home for the early part of the season. In that home stretch, we gained a lot of confidence, which will help us when we go on the road this weekend and the second semester. Of the 20 games we have left, around 12 are against nationally ranked teams. Obviously, we are going to have to play well both at home and on the road, but I do believe this team has the confidence to go on the road and be successful.

Richter547(NY): How are you preparing your team for this weekend against your alma mater Bowling Green and #2 Miami?
Coach Roll: Luckily, we have had some time off and are pretty rested. I think this weekend will give us a barometer of where we are as a program. We will need to be disciplined - both teams are very good on the power play. We have always focused on our team and our preparation instead of the other team's tendencies. That being said, we will try to take both opponents out of their comfort zone, especially on specialty teams.
CSTV.com Moderator: Coach Roll needs to get ready for practice, so that is all the time we have with him this afternoon.
Coach Roll: Thanks for having me today. I had a great time.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us at the top of the hour for the second half of our Golden doubleheader, when we are joined by Minnesota Golden Gopher forward Ryan Potulny. See you at 2PM Eastern.

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