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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Gaudet

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, December 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Gaudet enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Big Green hosts Harvard on Friday, December 16 on CSTV.



Bob Gaudet


Bob Gaudet enters his eighth season as head coach of the Big Green. Gaudet is a 1981 graduate of Dartmouth and played four years for the varsity hockey team as a goaltender. He came back to Dartmouth after nine successful seasons behind the Brown University bench.

At Dartmouth, Gaudet has guided the Big Green to four straight winning seasons, including 20 victories in 2002-03. Last year's 14-11-9 mark was the fourth consecutive campaign above .500, the first time that has happened at Dartmouth since 1946-50. Gaudet also led the Big Green to home playoff series the last four years and in 2001, the program made its first trip to the ECAC semifinals in 20 years. During Gaudet's time at Brown, the Bears were crowned Ivy League champions twice (1991 and 1995) and, in 1993, made the school's first NCAA appearance since 1976. In 1993 and 1995, he was a finalist for Division I Coach of the Year honors. Gaudet's career coaching record stands at 187-240-61.

Gaudet graduated from Dartmouth in 1981 after four seasons for the Big Green hockey team. In 1979 and 1980, Gaudet led the Big Green to Ivy League titles and appearances in the NCAA Final Four. As a senior, he served as co-captain and was a recipient of the Philip D. McInnis Award for spirit, loyalty and dedication to Dartmouth ice hockey. In 76 career games, he made a school-record 2,129 savesand had a 4.00 career goals against average. He was first team All-Ivy in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Following graduation, Gaudet signed a free-agent contract with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League and played for minor league affiliates of Winnipeg in the CHL and IHL for one year.


** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Bob won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 13th, 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". We are now joined by Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Gaudet.
Coach Gaudet: Hi. It is great to be here. I'm ready to answer all of your questions.

Lou (Lyme, NH): Coach, how have the scheduling difficulties that come from being Harvard's travel partner (academic calendar, Beanpot, etc.) affected the team this season, especially having to start off with three road conference games?
Coach Gaudet: The scheduling change is something we have to adapt to. We had Vermont for a number of years as a travel partner and you get used to the scheduling ups and downs in terms of academic schedule, non-league opponents - things become set as far as the different times of year. With Harvard, it is new to us and we are still getting used to it. The biggest difference is the amount of time we have to prepare for our first game. We start on October 15 with official practice and have to turn around and be ready to play a Division I game October 29. That change and the speed with which the guys have to catch up with practice regimens and systems is a challenge. I think, as time goes on, we'll have a better grip on the preparation cycle that will help get the guys in shape and have a little continuity in our preparation. This is a good question because it is a major change in our schedule.

Don (Etna, N.H.): Coach, Dartmouth has been outshooting teams in a lot of its losses, including the two this past weekend. Is there something that's happening - besides good goaltending at the other end - that can explain why the shots haven't been going in, or is this the sort of thing that should even out as the season progresses?
Coach Gaudet: I think it is definitely the sort of thing that evens out as the season progresses. Hockey is a funny game because the number of opportunities you get to score doesn't necessarily equate to goals, but without those chances, you can't score. I feel really good about how hard the guys are working. The scoring part of it comes and goes. Obviously, we have run into some hot goalies along the way, but I like the quality of shots we have had and I really feel that on another night, we may have scored four or five goals each game in some of those games where we had large shot totals. I feel we have some streaky scorers, also, that get into a groove and the puck seems to go in for them. Nick Johnson, for instance, is a guy that scores in bunches. Mike Ouellette is another guy, along with Eric Przepiorka, those are a few guys that come to mind as seeming to score in bunches when they do score.

Josh (Hanover): Coach, over the past few years, it seems you haven't been able to settle on and stick with a No. 1 goalie, except for 2003-04 when Dan Yacey played almost all the minutes. Why do you think it's been such a struggle?
Coach Gaudet: For a four year period, we had Nick Boucher, who came in as a freshman and found a way to become the number one goalie and held on to that position with just a few exceptions for four years. Dan Yacey was behind Boucher as his backup for two of those years and came in and played as our starting goalie his junior and senior years. So, for a six year period, we had real continuity in goal. Most of the Dartmouth goaltending records are held by one of those two guys. This year, we are trying to find that guy that is going to carry the team and take the starting goaltenders job. I'm fine with alternating if that is going to be the best situation for our team to be successful. I feel that we have the athletes in Sean Samuel and Mike Devine as veteran goalies and Dan Goulding as a freshman. We haven't had the consistency yet. Some of that is due to team defense. There have been situations where we haven't protected the goalie as well as we should. Some of it has been due to growing pains by individuals trying to find a comfort zone. They are all great kids that work really hard. I have a lot of faith that our goaltending is going to be in great shape very shortly.

Rick (Claremont, N.H.): With your old teammate Buddy Teevens coming back to coach the football team this year, have any of your players gone over to the football office to try and dig up some dirt on you?
Coach Gaudet: I think it should be the other way around. I'm waiting for some football players to knock on my door. Buddy was a teammate and is a good friend. I am excited that he is here and heading up our football program. He has a ton of energy and passion for Dartmouth and is going to have a winning program here very shortly.

Chris (Lindenhurst, NY): Just how close was Hugh Jessiman to staying for his senior year? Who would you say is the best player you've ever coached?
Coach Gaudet: Hugh was really torn in making his decision. He loves Dartmouth and is very close to his teammates here. The decision was a difficult one due to the opportunity the Rangers were giving him financially and in terms of the future. Hugh knew that he had complete support from me with whichever way he went in his decision process. I got to know him really well since he was a 15 or 16 year old and knew that the opportunity to play professional hockey was a dream of his. I would have loved to have had him graduate college and play his senior year, in that order. As far as the best player I've ever coached, I would say Lee Stempniak. Lee was the hardest working guy on our team, incredibly skilled and he carried his work ethic and excellence to the classroom, where he was a 3.6 student. As a role model for our players and other athletes on campus, he was absolutely the best I've ever been around. He was a two time All-American selection and a Academic All-American. We are proud, but not surprised, with what he is currently doing with the St. Louis Blues.

Scott (Springfield, Vt.): You mentioned the records held by Nick Boucher and Dan Yacey...your name is pretty high on some of those career lists yourself. Given the changes in goalie equipment over the years, do you think it's fair to compare your career numbers (and others from your era) to those put up by today's goalies?
Coach Gaudet: I can say (with a laugh, of course), that I would still be playing today if I had the equipment these guys are wearing. It is a different game today. The goalies are so well trained in the specifics and technique of puck stopping. I believe there was a lot more open ice when I played, but I don't believe I was anywhere near as gifted technically as guys nowadays.

John (Boston): What did you take away from your team's first meeting with Harvard? Was the third period the entire difference in that game, or were there other things that need to change this time around?
Coach Gaudet: The third period was a key to that game. Harvard has an outstanding team and we didn't do as well as we could at protecting the puck. Turnovers in bad areas against really good transitional teams like Harvard are very costly. I feel that our team has grown since the first part of the season. We are a better team now at keeping the game more simple. My hope is that this will translate into a better result this time around.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Coach Gaudet this afternoon.
Coach Gaudet: Thank you for all the great questions. I enjoyed answering them. And thanks for your support of Dartmouth hockey.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us next week for another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". Check back later in the week to find out what guests will be joining us. See you next week.

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