Thursday, March 12, 2009

photo from

I think Frank Schwab taking over the Tigers coverage at the Gazette was the best thing ever to happen. I hated the previous writer's style and topics and I thought she was pretty amateurish. Frank's latest article was from a full week ago and I completely forgot about it until Missy J posted the link for me on my facebook page (oh and a big thanks to all the Tigers who confirmed my friend requests this week, pretty cool to be friends with all the guys on the team and I may harrass you guys more for some interviews after the season is over).

If anyone ever tells you that hard work doesn't pay off, just have them give Berni Horowitz a call. The guy was just chillin' and playing on the club team at CC (I didn't realize that had both club and D1) and now he is on the Tigers roster as the #3 goalie and getting worked over in practice. It gives Bachman a break and also seems to have given the Tigers a little energy and fun in practice-something that could pay off bigtime this weekend. Check out the article below.

One other fun thing that Missy also pointed out to me which is the video of Jack Hillen's first NHL goal and it's a beaut!
Club team goalie gets dream chance with Tigers

Bernie Horowitz isn't in Colorado College's media guide or listed as a player on the team's Web site. And he won't be dressed and on the bench Saturday when the Tigers play at Denver.

All Horowitz gets is to live the dream of every recreational athlete who wants the chance to compete at a higher level.

When backup goaltender Drew O'Connell suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, CC needed a third goalie for practice. That's how Horowitz went from playing on the school's club team to practicing every week with the nation's No. 15 team.

"Wonderful, amazing," Horowitz said. "My highest aspiration was to play open hockey against these guys just once, to see how I matched up against them."

O'Connell hurt his shoulder Jan. 16. For a while, the Tigers were hopeful he could return, but O'Connell never recovered and recently had surgery.

Finding another goalie isn't easy. There aren't free agents like in the pros, and CC is a small campus.

While the Tigers were worried about finding a new goaltender, Horowitz was enjoying himself on the club team. He wasn't going to challenge Richard Bachman for supremacy at CC, not with his 4-8-1 record and 4.94 goals-against average, according to the club team's site. But the former New York City high school starter never dreamed of playing with the guys on scholarship.

"When I came to this school, I saw I could play with the club team five times a week, and that was great," he said. "The D-I team was never part of the equation."

Horowitz, a junior, knew some of the Tigers players. He was friends with former CC goalie Chris Kawano as a freshman and a neighbor to some Tigers players last year in the dorms. During the summer after his freshman year, he even practiced against some of them, which fulfilled a dream.

CC's coaches asked Charlie Litch, a part-time video editor for the varsity team last year, about club team goalies. Litch, who is handling administrative duties for the club team, recommended Horowitz.

"We just asked around," coach Scott Owens said. "It takes some of the practice workload off Richard, and you're able to run a full hour-and-15-minute practice with three goaltenders without having to worry about burning out your two goaltenders. From that standpoint, we needed it."

Horowitz was given what amounted to a two-week tryout, then was added to the roster.

Horowitz has taken it in stride. He laughs along when teammates mercilessly tease him during an interview, and he jokes about getting "red light burns" after he practiced despite being under the weather this week. He admits if anything in his game is off, he'll "get killed." Yet, for the most part, he doesn't think he has embarrassed himself.

And the practices are a blast, for himself and even the coaches.

"He's a good kid," Owens said. "He's been a fun addition. He's pretty jacked about it."

There's one question he constantly receives from friends and family back home: Is he ever going to get in a game? If another goaltender goes down, he's all that's left to be the backup. Even though he has far surpassed any college hockey dreams he had, he daydreams about the possibility of playing in a game.

"Of course I have," Horowitz said. "I think I'd have a heart attack before I made it into the net."