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Ohio Hockey Digest On Air Podcast

Ohio Hockey Digest "On Air" podcast staff

Tim Sullivan, co-host
Jason Levanduski, co-host
Dan Humphrey, producer
Scott Harrington, executive producer

In connection with Ohio Hockey Digest, current Ohio high school hockey coaches Tim Sullivan and Jason Levanduski bring their ideas and opinions to the masses of the great state of Ohio.  The Ohio Hockey Digest On Air Podcast will focus on the greatest game going and all levels of hockey being played across the state, but also touching on pop culture, interviews, and other entertainment. Growing the game of hockey the best they can in the state of Ohio.  If you don’t know, they will make you know! Produced by Daniel Humphrey. New episodes released every Friday.


The boys talk with Carolina Hurricanes goalie and Parma native Alex Nedeljkovic (Ep. 7)

Ohio Hockey Digest On Air Podcast Archives

OHD ON AIR EPISODE 8 (MAY 29, 2020) GUESTS: Lee W. Mowen, The Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Podcast & Zach Sens, head coach, Talawanda Brave

Lee W. Mowen talks about covering high school hockey in Southwest Ohio, especially broadcasting Centerville and Springboro games, tells us how he got into broadcasting and recalls his time covering the Dayton Demons on their championship run in the Federal League.

Talawanda bench boss Zach Sens compares winning the SWOHSHL title as a player versus as a coach, talks about how he got buy-in from his players in his first season as the head coach at his alma-mater, and challenges what you might think about high school hockey in the southwest part of the state. 

OHD ON AIR EPISODE 7 (MAY 22, 2020) GUESTS: Dawson DiPietro, Buffalo Sabres & Alex Nedeljkovic, Carolina Hurricanes

Medina native Dawson DiPietro (Cleveland Jr. Barons, Team Ohio and Walsh Jesuit) talks about the drive needed to move his career from high school to AAA then NCAA DI hockey at Western Michigan University. He also talks about his experience at NHL development camps and how that led to him signing a contract with the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres in March despite being previously passed over in the NHL Draft.  DiPietro was also the subject of the first Ohio Hockey Digest feature story in 2017.

OHL and AHL Goaltender of the Year Alex Nedeljkovic has scored goals in the ECHL and AHL, but talks about the downside of playing the puck too much as a goalie.  He traces his career path from his native Parma and the Cleveland Jr. Barons to the pressure-packed Ontario Hockey League and representing the United States at major international competitions.  The second-round pick of the National Hockey League's  Carolina Hurricanes also recounts the drive to the 2019 Calder Cup championship with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.  Read our feature story on Alex here.

OHD ON AIR EPISODE 6 (MAY 15, 2020) GUESTS: Dan Watson, head coach, Toledo Walleye & Ian Moran, Director, Neutral Zone

Toledo Walleye head coach Dan Watson gets out of his car long enough to tell us about how far the ECHL has come over the years - overall and specifically in Toledo - and to give us some insight on what his game days are like and the challenges and mechanics of assembling a roster at the "AA" level.

In a must-listen episode for any young player, Ian Moran of Neutral Zone details the process of scouting young players and provides a very revealing look at what it is scouts are noticing when you don't think they are watching.  He also reflects on spending the first two years of his pro career in Cleveland - the last year of the Richfield Coliseum and the first year of "The Gund".

OHD ON AIR EPISODE 5 (MAY 8, 2020) GUESTS: Seanna Conway, head coach, Gilmour Academy Girls Prep & Trent Vogelhuber, assistant coach, Cleveland Monsters

Seanna Conway tells us about all the amazing places the game of hockey took her all around the globe, starting in a hockey-playing family of (mostly) goalies, to playing on the boys team at Gilmour Academy, then on to college in the U. S. and Canada and then Ireland, where she played professionally and internationally on the one and only rink in the country.  She also shares her thoughts on girls playing with and against boys vs. girls-only competition.

Cleveland Monsters assistant coach Trent Vogelhuber talks about growing up in a youth hockey scene that was just starting to take off after the arrival of the NHL's Blue Jackets, being the first hometown draft pick of the team, and playing for some great coaches with lots of Ohio-grown talent at Miami.  He also tells some stories about the Monsters’ 2016 Calder Cup championship, the ensuing parade, and his surprisingly sudden decision to go into coaching.

OHD ON AIR EPISODE 4 (MAY 1, 2020) GUESTS: Aaron Portzline, The Athletic/PHWA/NHL Network/The Hockey News & Sebastian Ragno, head coach, Mentor Ice Breakers

Mentor Ice Breakers head coach Sebastian Ragno reflects on his young career in hockey, and the path that led to him to be a head coach in the pro ranks at 23 years old, tells us about his goals for the Federal Prospects Hockey League franchise, and updates us on the pieces put in place for the 2020-21 roster.  

Aaron Portzline gives us a look behind the scenes of the day-to-day life of an NHL beat writer, shares some opinions on the immediate future of the Columbus Blue Jackets and speculates on the viability of Columbus as a divisional hub should the NHL resume 2019-20 regular season play in the coming months. 

OHD ON AIR EPISODE 3 (APRIL 24, 2020) GUESTS: RUSS SINKEWICH, FOUNDER OF THE OHIO HOCKEY PROJECT & MATT BUSS, HEAD COACH, NEW ALBANY

Absolutely he's from Cleveland!  Ohio Hockey Project founder Russ Sinkewich tells us about the path he took from Cleveland-area youth hockey to the pros, including a year playing JV that might have been the most influential year in his development, and what he is trying to add to the hockey ecosystem in Ohio with the Ohio Hockey Project.  Russ also talks about how he is continuing to push hockey players to reach their potential with the OHP at Home virtual training sessions during the stay-at-home order.

A former Mr. Hockey for the state of Wisconsin, Matt Buss, ended up in Ohio and the Columbus-area hockey community is the beneficiary.  Matt talks about how the strong hockey market in Columbus, with the Blue Jackets, Ohio State and growing high school hockey, made the area attractive to his hockey-playing family and the sense of accomplishment leading New Albany to their first district title.  He also recounts being in Nationwide Arena with the Eagles on a pre-states orientation visit when they learned the tournament had been postponed. 

OHD On Air episode 2 (April 15, 2020) guest: Toledo St. Francis head coach Chris Varga

Toledo St. Francis head coach Chris Varga talks about the lack of closure with the state tournament being cancelled, his time in the junior ranks, changes he has seen in the game over the years – including the cost of playing – and reflects on winning for the first time at St. Francis.

OHD On Air episode 1 (April 10, 2020) guest: OHD founder Scott Harrington

Ohio Hockey Digest founder Scott Harrington joins the boys to talk about the origins of OHD, the ACHA and high school jersey tournaments substituting for actual hockey this spring, and to reminisce about his stint working in minor league hockey.

Upcoming episodes

JUNE 5: R. J. Umberger, Chill Youth Hockey and former Buckeye, Blue Jacket & Lynsey Wallace and Elise Riemenschneider, OSU Women's team

R. J. Umberger has been a fixture of the hockey scene in Columbus going back to his NCAA career with the Ohio State Buckeyes.  The 16th overall selection of the 2001 NHL Draft, we split his 12-year NHL career between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers, and now works developing the next generation of players with the Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association where he is the associate coach of the U16 and U18 teams.

Seven Hills native Lynsey Wallace played for Gilmour Academy as well as four years of varsity hockey on the boys team at Padua Franciscan before walking on with the nationally-ranked women's team at The Ohio State University.  Lynsey, who was named to both the WCHA and Big Ten All-Academic teams, is also a member of ROTC at Ohio State, and was the subject of what is still the most read article in the history of Ohio Hockey Digest.

Elise Riemenschnieder recently completed a four-year career with The Ohio State University women's team where she was a two-time All-Academic selection for both the WCHA and Big Ten.  A defensemen, she scored her first career goal on Senior Night, February 22 against St. Cloud State.  Elise played for Rocky River high school before heading to Connecticut to play two seasons with the Southern Stars organization.

JUNE 12: John Malloy, head coach, Gilmour Academy Varsity A & Patrick O'Rourke, head coach, Saint Ignatius

John Malloy has been a mainstay with the Gilmour Academy hockey program since 1998.  He guided the Varsity A team to Division I State Runner-Up honors in 2008 and district titles in 2011 & 2020. He previously served as the boys prep hockey head coach from 1998-2004.  Prior to Gilmour, Malloy was the head coach at Cleveland Heights High School (1982-1995) and directed the team to five city championships, four Final Four appearances, one state runner-up finish and a state championship. He also served as the head coach at Rocky River High School (1995-97) when the varsity team was the Baron Cup champions.  Malloy was a four-year hockey player at Miami University and was a team captain for the RedHawks’ inaugural varsity season.

Patrick O’Rourke has been coaching hockey at Saint Ignatius for 23 years. O'Rourke has led the Varsity hockey team to a 417-126-21 record in his 15 years at the helm since the 2004-05 season.  In that time, the Wildcats have won six state titles (2010, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), six city championships (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), and eight league championships (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).  In 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the cancelation of the state tournament, ending the team's quest for an unprecedented fifth straight crown.  As a player at Saint Ignatius, he was named co-MVP of the team his senior year (along with John Farrell).