A familiar voice to hockey fans handled the play-by-play for the 2014 state Class AA boys hockey tournament March 6-8. Gary Thorne, who has broadcast the NHL and college hockey for ESPN worked all seven championship round games with veteran analyst Lou Nanne.
"I always loved coming here and it's been a great weekend," Thorne said.
When KSTC-TV needed an announcer to handle the Class AA portion of the state tournament, Thorne, coveted by the station for several years but unavailable became available. "I thought it would be a great chance to do something I've never done before," he said.
Thorne described the caliber of play among the eight AA teams as high, fast paced and outstanding depth.
"These eight teams you're going to see are as good as some college teams around the country. You have some kids who are ready to play college hockey."
Thorne prepared for the tournament by receiving information from KSTC as well as looking through about three or four websites to help him familiarize himself with the teams.
On working with Nanne, a 50 year tournament broadcast veteran, Thorne described him as just a delight and praised his depth of knowledge.
"All I have to worry about is what's going on the ice and Lou fills in the rest," Thorne said.
In addition to hockey, Thorne also broadcasts baseball, He's currently the TV voice for the Baltimore Orioles and has also called games from Target Field. He loves the fact that they're playing outdoors and a great view of the field and downtown Minneapolis. He also mentioned about the origination of his home run call "Goodbye home run!"
"Not something planned. It just happened."
Viewers got a chance to hear an outstanding hockey broadcaster this weekend in Thorne. He and Nanne had really good chemistry and outstanding preparation.