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USCHO_FinalFile.fwOur guests on the March 22 edition of USCHO Live! are the four ESPN play-by-play broadcasters for this year’s NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey tournament: at 8:15 p.m. EDT, Allen Bestwick, Midwest Region; 8:30, Kevin Brown, East Region; 9:00, John Buccigross, Northeast Region and the Frozen Four; 9:15, Clay Matvick, West Region. At 8:45, Paula C. Weston, USCHO.com Big Ten columnist, joins us to talk about today’s news on Notre Dame heading to that conference.

Please note our new live streaming host: Join us for the conversation and information, Tues., March 22, at 8 p.m. EDT using the player below or listen using the Spreaker Radio app for iOSAndroid or Windows phone.

Be part of the conversation! Send your tweets to @USCHO or your emails to uscholive@uscho.com. Each episode of USCHO Live! features a look at news around NCAA hockey, a look ahead at upcoming games and events, and conversation with people who coach, administer and play college hockey, and journalists who cover the sport.

About the hosts

Jim Connelly is a senior writer at USCHO.com and has been with the site since 1999. He is based in Boston and regularly covers Hockey East. He began with USCHO.com as the correspondent covering the MAAC, which nowadays is known as Atlantic Hockey. Each week during the season, he co-writes “Tuesday Morning Quarterback.” Jim is the winner of the 2012 Joe Concannon award. He is the color analyst for UMass-Lowell hockey’s radio network, and is a studio analyst for NESN.

Ed Trefzger has been part of USCHO since 1999 and now serves as a senior writer and director of technology. He has been a part of the radio broadcasts of Rochester Institute of Technology hockey since their inception — serving as a producer, studio host, color commentator and as RIT’s play-by-play voice for nine seasons. Ed is general manager of CBS Sports Radio affiliate 105.5 The Team in Rochester, N.Y., and COO of its parent company, Genesee Media Corporation.

  • so sad

    FANS SHOULD NEVER ASSAULT COACHES OR PLAYERS, they can will and have right to protect themselves, Comely responded to the assault by multiple individuals with reasonable force, and did so while in altered mental state as induced by a hotly contested sporting contest. The persons at fault here is the gang of irate and uncontrolled fans, and the host team for not providing reasonable security.
    is how that story should read.

    • Interestedinseeingthefacts

      You don’t know the facts……period. From all reports I’ve seen, Comely was the one that assaulted the fans. I hope for his sake, the allegation that he put his hands on a female turns out to be false. Regardless of the situation, a man should never lay a hand on a woman….period.

  • P47sm

    Unbelievable how quickly people come to Comley’s defense. Seriously, he’s the coach; one of his jobs is to handle the hot situation with class and dignity and show his players by example how to act in the right way. Yelling at the referee isn’t what he should be doing. Loosing his cool isn’t what he should be doing. Taking the low road and reacting to a heckle isn’t what he should be doing. By this point in his career you would think he’s had enough experience in adverse situations to handle this one correctly. Makes me wonder if Michigan State is asking him to leave for a reason, or if he is retiring of his own volition.

    • fan

      Amen! Well put.

  • Onlooker

    I disagree. the coach gets hot and maybe the players respond. Did he throw chairs on the ice? Nope. Did he throw sticks on the ice? Nope. He let the incredibly awful CCHA officials have an earful. Much of his rant was in part because he sees his MSU career–uneven as it was–coming to a close. However, if he wants to get mad at the refs then they should be able to take the heat.

  • fan

    I have always been a fan of your columns, and have been reading them for years. I was born and raised in Fairbanks, and I am admittedly bias for the Nanooks. I have been watching them build a quality class hockey program for 30 years. I know Mr. Downes and he is a intelligent well respected man that did not become a judge by being rash or bias. Saying that, I’m at times equally unimpressed at the quality of reporting at times that the News miner exhibits. I’ve played, watched many games at the Carlson Center, and its design might not be the best for isolating visiting teams and officials. Regardless of the facts, which hopefully will all come out, ask yourself two questions Paula…..how inappropriate could a visiting coaches behavior be, to prompt a judge/winning fan to confront him? Secondly, I would ask why a respected veteran coach not be able to show restraint in front of his own team. We all know everyone hates the trip to Fairbanks and loves to fall back on that when they don’t have success there. But it seems all of the other 10 teams in the ccha fail to realize that the Nanooks travel more than any other team in the league. Jet lag is not just from travelling north! That being said, teams are always complaining about the trip there but the Nanooks never complain about travelling south for 3-4 weeks at a time. My guess is that Mr. Conley wasn’t happy when he got off the plane in fbks. Anyway, my opinion is just that, but I can assure you that There are few classier fans than the folks in Fairbanks. I hope the facts will all come out and the issue will be put to bed.

    • Paula Weston

      Nanooks fan, it’s true that you don’t know all the facts. Neither do I.

      I don’t doubt that Judge Downes is a respected man. So is Coach Comley. Many Alaska fans have emailed me about the character of Mr. Downes, about the fact that he’s a judge. At the moment he confronted Rick Comley in that rink, however, he was a hockey fan confronting a coach. His role as a local judge was and is moot. Would you be defending him so vehemently if he had a less prominent position in your community? Does it matter?

      Your question about Comley’s behavior leading to a confrontation baffles me. If Comley’s behavior was inappropriate, why would Downes — or anyone else — confront him directly? What is the point of that? Downes was a fan at a game. Downes had no authority there to enact any change in Comley’s behavior, so why would he confront Comley — or any other coach? What was he trying to accomplish?

      Furthermore, how could Downes have had such access to Comley?

      Your second question seems to say one thing and mean another. You begin by asking why a “respected veteran coach” would have such a lapse in restraint, but move quickly into an issue — travel — that has nothing to do with your question or to what transpired between Downes, Tallerico and Comley.

      I cannot think of a single coach in the league that wouldn’t have argued that call on the game-winning goal, regardless of whether the call was correct or not. I can think of several — including several respected veteran coaches — who would have displayed every bit of the anger that Comley did. I don’t think his players, their parents, or any other fan of Spartan hockey thinks any less of him for passionately making a case to the officials — who are men enough to take it.

      As for the travel, you are implying that Comley was angry about having to return to Fairbanks. Here’s where I know for a fact that you are not correct. I was at the post-game interview following MSU’s last regular-season game, when the Spartans found out they were traveling to Fairbanks. Comley wasn’t upset about the travel in the way that you imply, not at all. Was Comley thrilled? No, but name a coach in the league that would be. Every coach would have reacted the same way, with good-natured resignation — which is how Comley reacted.

      I’m as eager as anyone for the facts in this case to come out. It boils down to this for me: who made physical contact first. The rest is dressing.

      • fan

        Your absolutely correct on all counts! I guess there is no room for bias attitudes when it comes to being a fan. If you can honestly say your column was not biased towards the defense of Rick Comley, as well as mildly scathing to the community of Fairbanks as well as its fans, then I retract my comments. I actually attended both schools, and even though my family are Alaskans, my parents and sister, all hold degrees from…….Michigan State! We all have some allegiance to the Spartans, so when we witnessed last Fridays incident, we were ashamed of Mr. Comleys behavior. You are absolutely right that Mr. Downes was “just a fan”, but Mr. Comley is much more than that. With that said, I ask just one question. Who was responsible for restraining in that situation regardless of “who started it?”

        • Paula Weston

          This is the last I’ll say about this: I was not indicting Nanooks fans in my blog post. There was nothing in it that insulted the community of Fairbanks, nor Nanooks fans specifically — nothing. I stand by what I say about fans in general: none of them has the right to confront a coach in that manner, and none has the right to physically access a coach (or players or team personnel) post-game, as Downes and Tallerico apparently did in Fairbanks, without the willing consent of the coach.

          I had legitimate questions not only about what transpired but about how it was reported. That’s why I asked the questions.

          My last paragraph in that segment says it all. If Comley initiated physical contact, then he is in the wrong; if he did not, then he has been wronged, especially since the article accuses him of having done so and is corroborated by nothing other than the accuser.

          • fan

            Look up the definition of alleged.