Students create livestream for Rider hockey team

By Hannah Newman

The moment that the ice of the rink became visible again for fans of the Rider ice hockey team was the moment that three sports enthusiasts who were destined to multiply the audience of this club sports team and lift its level of professionalism after the pandemic, seized the opportunity for the team to be livestreamed to viewers.

Prior to the pandemic, the Rider club hockey team games were broadcasted on 107.7 the Bronc, but after restrictions were lifted in the fall of 2021, the station was unable to support the live broadcasting of the games entirely.

Senior sports media major Carolo Pascale, a former member of 107.7 the Bronc, refused to let the pandemic strip him of his passion to broadcast. He decided to get together with another former member of the radio station, Erik Johnsen, ‘22, and a lifelong friend of his, Colton Reynolds, of Flemington, New Jersey, to create another way for viewers to access the hockey games online and not only listen to them, but also watch them.

Each of the three have their own designated job behind the scenes: Reynolds is the livestream manager, ensuring that each stream runs smoothly without any glitches or mishaps.

“Before being brought onto the team, I already had a wide knowledge in livestreaming with my background in eSports, so being able to bring that information to a hockey layout isn’t too different,” said Reynolds.

Johnsen is the color commentator who provides the analysis of the game alongside Pascale who does the play-by-play.

“It’s really fun, the dynamic Carolo and I have, and I think we bounce off each other really well. There was a time where I thought not doing the hockey games was possible, especially after I graduated. But as much as there is a brotherhood on the ice, Carolo, Colton and I have a brotherhood of our own,” said Johnsen.

Pascale is also responsible for the graphics used for the score bug and intermission screens. Between
the different equipment that each of them already had, such as a camera, microphones, experience with livestream networks and digital designing, the broadcasting team improved their abilities to a substantial level of expertise quickly. The hockey team also donated some of their funds to the broadcast team in order to make their journey skating the web possible.

The games are streamed via Twitch, a platform where live footage can be streamed anywhere free of charge. The team streamed their first game on Sept. 24 2021, and have managed to stream nearly every home game up until the date of publication.

Rider club ice hockey Coach Sean Levin said, “They are such professionals even though they are students; it really elevates the level of professionalism, and we want our program to be considered ultra professional.”

Although Pascale is graduating this coming year, he would like to continue streaming the games; however, his next journey is still uncertain.

“I would love to come back and do it again, but depending on where life takes myself, Erik, and Colton after this year, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I truly love broadcasting the games. It’s so much fun to call the games with both Erik and Colton by my side, and it means the world to know that they helped to get the streams to where they are now. I know that the team, parents, and all the fans support us, and I just want to thank everyone who has,” said Pascale. “They’ve truly made us feel like part of ‘the brotherhood,’ and it’s something we’ll never forget.”

Levin has high hopes that the streaming can stay alive if it is passed down to the proper people; however, the team that designated their time, money and love to the streams can never truly be substituted.

“I would be lying if I said Carolo was replaceable, but I truly believe that the broadcasting team is similar to those on the ice. The people that they recruit must have the same passion and energy for what they are doing,” said Levin.

As an alumnus working as a broadcaster for his college, Johnsen can never find enough pride in the sport that has brought him a passion to stay in tune with his college after graduating.

“Knowing what we’ve been able to accomplish really puts a smile on my face, and to hear the players’ families talk about what we’ve done makes me so proud,” said Johnsen.

Although this team’s journey together is still young and their future together is unwritten, all that has been documented about the ice hockey team on livestream will always have three names on it.

“I hope that this isn’t the last year, because I feel like we’ve only just started, but if it is, I’ll be forever grateful to those who gave us a shot at creating something special,” said Pascale.

Carolo Pascale is a sports editor for The Rider News. Pascale had no part in the writing or editing of this story.

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