The skills competition still needs some work, but it’s getting there. I wish there were more emphasis on the players themselves and less on trying to make sure the audience was having “fun”. People I talked to were there for the competition and not the promotions and comments from the various people with mics. My unsolicited advice: interviews with the players and correctly announcing what was going on – good. Trying to get cheers going for East vs. West, left hand people vs. right hand people, kids spinning around on hockey sticks until they get dizzy, etc. – bad.
My hat’s off to St. Norbert’s Kyle Jones, who I had the pleasure of watching pitch back-to-back shutouts in the Division III Frozen Four in Lake Placid a couple of weeks ago. Jones, the Division III Player of the Year, had 25 career shutouts and posted a 1.08 GAA and a .950 save percentage this season.
Jones (#35 in the picture) was the only D-III player in the skills competition, and he proved he could play with the best, not allowing a single goal in any of the skills challenges.
I ran into his coach, Tim Coghlin, on Thursday night after the semifinals and he said to me, “Maybe three of the four teams tonight could have used Kyle Jones.”