We do it every year as we call it one of our 4 Majors. Every April we are proud to offer up all four bench bosses from the NCAA programs that have reached the pinnacle event on the college hockey calendar. Last night on The Pipeline Show it was the 2010 Frozen Four Coach's Show.
The first year we ventured to put together the special show we were only able to secure one of the four coaches. Ironically, Michigan State and coach Rick Comley would go on to win the 2007 National Title.
Perhaps it was seen as an omen because in 2008, Jeff Jackson (Notre Dame), Dave Hakstol (North Dakota), Red Berenson (Michigan) and Jerry York (Boston College) all found time in their busy schedules to join us. The Eagles would eventually go on the become champs that year.
The 2009 Frozen Four Coach's Show was another full house with Enrico Blasi (Miami), Tom Serratore (Bemidji State), Jack Parker (Boston University) and Kevin Sneddon (Vermont) all on board. The Terriers claimed the 2009 crown after an amazing late game comeback that forced overtime.
This year... only 3 programs were represented. Which school has decided to test Karma? We'll tell you in a click of the mouse...
The first coach we heard from last night was Miami's Enrico Blasi, the first back-to-back NCAA coach we've had on the special show. His club is basically the same roster as the one that lost in heartbreaking fashion last year - but a year older and a year wiser. We covered a lot of ground with the RedHawks bench boss including his goalie strategy this weekend, notable players like Tommy Wingels and Carter Camper, whether facing a legendary coach like Jerry York is intimidating on any level and also who he would vote for in this year's Spencer Penrose Award (Top coach). Hear that interview with Enrico Blasi by clicking here. (Photo: The Associated Press)
Next up was Miami's opponent on Thursday; Boston College Eagles head coach Jerry York. Like Blasi, this was York's second appearance on TPS and like last time, he was very entertaining to listen to. The coach with almost 40 years of experience behind the bench discussed his team's ridiculous record of 9 Frozen Four appearances in the last 13 years, goalie John Muse, his program's past record against Miami and much more. You can hear that interview with Jerry York right here. (Photo: AP/Steven Senne)
In the second hour of the show we were pleased to play our interview with Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves. It was the first time we'd had the head Badger on the program but I'm sure it won't be the last. Eaves talked about the success of his program, especially in regards to recruiting and churning out top quality defencemen. He also spoke at length about his history at Wisconsin as a player under "Badger" Bob Johnson and as a coach who helped develop a number of current NHL stars. Eaves gave us his scouting report on the RIT Tigers and, for Oiler fans, also chimed in on Tom Gilbert and future Badger Troy Hesketh. Listen to Mike Eaves by clicking here. (Photo: unknown)
By now you've done the math and have figured out that the only team who failed to show up was RIT. Unfortunately, we were told that head coach Wayne Wilson was not available at anytime on Tuesday around the Tigers' last practice and travel to Detroit.
For the record, all four teams practiced and traveled to Detroit on Tuesday. We pre-recorded our interviews with Mike Eaves and Enrico Blasi in the morning before the two coaches hit the ice with their teams. Jerry York was 5 minutes late for his time slot simply because he wanted to call us immediately from his hotel instead of from the bus as the Eagles drove into Detroit. It was a crazy busy day for all of the people involved with the teams but we'd like to offer up a huge thank you to Paul Capobianco (Wisconsin), Tim Clark (Boston College) and Jim Stephan (Miami) who made getting their coach on our show a priority.
It's unfortunate that RIT, with a roster that has 16 of its 25 players coming from Canada, couldn't manage to find 10 minutes at some point during the day or evening to tape with us.
We've found that, because we're the only show in this country that dedicates regular airtime (at least a segment every week) to NCAA hockey, college programs have come to recognize that they can use our show as a recruiting tool. We're based in Edmonton, in the heart of prime NCAA Western Canadian recruiting territory and by coming on the show at any point during the season, it's an opportunity for a coach to use TPS as a platform to promote his team. By my count, we've had 17 NCAA head coaches on the show over the last 3 years and every conference has been represented.
Hopefully the 2011 Frozen Four Coach's Show is standing room only once again.