Friday marks the 15th year of the Primelink Great Northern Shootout. We thought since it is a milestone anniversary why not invite the three local Shootout coaches, (Middlebury's Bill Beaney, Plattsburgh's Bob Emery and Norwich's Mike McShane) into the station for an interview:
Scott: Does time just go by fast for you guys?
Mike McShane: It seems like it. When Billy (Beaney) said 26 years at Middlebury I said boy is he old, but then I look back and I've been coaching for almost 40 years so. I think it has gone by. I think we're all fortunate we've worked at great schools and it's been very positive.
Scott: This is not the first time that all of you have done one of these types of interviews. It kind of ties into why where here, the Primelink Shootout.
Bob Emery: We all got together and started playing eachother and we wanted to try and get a tournament off the ground. Coach Beaney recommended to me that we start having an annual tournament with the three of us and it came to fruition. We had a press conference 16 years ago and it seems like yesterday at the Sheridan to kick everything off. It was a nice little dinner we had and people in the area got excited for college hockey.
Scott: You guys have a lot in common maybe more than people think, more than just hockey coaches in our region. Coaches McShane and Beaney are UNH alums, Coach Emery and Coach McShane were born in Massachusetts. You must talk a lot or at least talk often in the offseason or at least during the season, what's that relationship like?
McShane: The three of us obviously get a long very well and I think it's because we have mutual respect for eachother. The tradition of hockey coaches is that we all get along pretty well even though we're fierce competitors and we're always working hard to beat eachother up on the ice. But all said and done, off the ice we all get along, we play golf with eachother, we've gone out and had dinner. I think that's great and I think people should know that that's the case in most situations with hockey coaches.
Beaney: The toughest part over the last 10-15 years and I think these guys will agree is that everything has escalated. The recruiting, the season's gotten longer, your commitment to the school is really a 12 month commitment. So those opportunities, as few as they might be, are certainly special when we can get together and this is one of those times.
Scott: How tough is it recruiting? Do you often have a student that's deciding between one of your two or three schools? And does that put you in a tough position, because all three of you respect eachother so much, you would hate to lose a recruit to one of your rival programs but it is to someone you respect.
Emery: It's not like we're trying to beat eachother out in recruits. We're just trying to find the kid that has the right fit for the school. The schools are very unique in different ways so someone who might be a good fit for Plattsburgh may not be a good fit for Middlebury and Norwich and vice-versa. We're not only trying to find good hockey players, but good kids that have that good fit.
Scott: When you get that good fit, and you advance and you guys have tasted success in the final four and with national championships. On the off chance that your team doesn't make it to the final four or championship, do you follow along maybe even root or cheer for one of your colleagues?
Beaney: I should speak to that seeing that it's been a little while, but it's great to have the championship in Lake Placid for the time that it has and you're always cheering for good hockey and these guys play a great style of hockey that really get people excited about division 3 hockey and the quality that it has.
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