Friday, 4 November 2016

Canada West First

UMFM's hockey broadcasts have done something that no other hockey broadcast has done in Canada West history. This might even be a CIS/USports first! While she didn't exactly have the same excitement that Ray Ferraro did as seen to the left, former Manitoba Bisons player Jessica Rosenbaum became the first person in UMFM history to broadcast from in between the benches at Wayne Fleming Arena! Rosie, as she's known on the broadcasts, was the color commentator for all radio broadcasts last season for Bisons women's hockey, and we decided to challenge her with a new location to watch and report on the game!

Rosie's first broadcast of the year came tonight as the Calgary Dinos were in town. She's a busy woman as she works for the AHL's Manitoba Moose when she's not winning senior women's hockey championships in Manitoba, and she documented the historic first tonight with a very nice selfie! TJ and I are always happy to have Rosie work on the broadcasts as she's extremely knowledgeable about hockey, but has played under head coach Jon Rempel and with a majority of the Manitoba Bisons. This knowledge makes her an important asset to the broadcast, and we're happy to have UMFM's version of Ray Ferraro with us whenever she's available!

There was some talk in the booth prior to the game about whether or not Jessica would be allowed down between the benches. Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette is known for not liking unforeseen surprises, but Jessica's arrival between the benches was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Bisons players. The Dinos didn't seem to mind Jessica's presence either, so we pushed forward with the broadcast as Jessica made a little bit of history with her broadcast location.

As the game went on, there was some excellent chemistry shown by play-by-play man Trevor Phillips, between-the-benches reporter Jessica Rosenbaum, and myself with the color commentary, but what made the broadcast even more special is that it wasn't one of Trevor or myself between the benches, but a person I trusted to do an excellent job. And Jessica did just that! So if anyone is asking who the first woman in CIS/USports history was to broadcast between the benches, I'm pretty sure Jessica Rosenbaum is the right answer. And she killed it!

As for the game, we had a lot of opportunities to speak of the incredible action that unfolded in front of Jessica. The Bisons and Dinos traded chances the entire game, but both Manitoba's Rachel Dyck and Calgary's rookie netminder Kelsey Roberts denied all chances through 60 minutes of regulation play! It took an additional two-and-a-half minutes, but the Bisons finally broke the stalemate when Courtlyn Oswald's shot as she was tied up by a defender found space between the wickets of Roberts, and the game ended in a 1-0 Bisons victory!

The idea of having Jessica between the benches was born out of trying to do something new and innovative around UMFM and the broadcasts we offer Bisons Sports. There's a lot of good happening at the station when it comes to technology, but I've been particularly focused with how the station is moving forward in an age where social media, video, and video clips seem to capture the public's attention. While adding someone between the benches seems like a small step after having seen TSN, NBC, and CBC do it, the fact that we're able to do this on a miniscule budget compared to the big dogs of the sports broadcasting world shows how innovative and talented some of the folks are at UMFM.

I'd say it was a pretty successful Friday night. Bisons win, UMFM takes a major step forward, and we made a little history with the Bisons Sports broadcast on 101.5 UMFM!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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