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Former BG hockey announcer settling in with new CHL team

Last September, Daniel Nieves had just begun his final year of classes at BG.

He had also recently been hired as the Bowling Green Radio Sports Organization play-by-play announcer for the Falcon hockey team.

His life is a little different this fall.

In July, Nieves became the media relations director and play-by-play man for the Central Hockey League’s newest team, the Rapid City Rush.

South Dakota’s most recent hockey expansion team is so new that its Web site does not yet list a full roster of players.

But the team knows who will be in the radio booth this season.

Nieves will be responsible for calling all 64 Rush home and away games in 2008-09, and he said he’s already begun writing press releases and the team’s media guide. He compared his new job to that of BG hockey Sports Information Director Kevin Shields, plus the radio responsibility.

‘I basically have Shieldsy’s job and my old job from BG combined,’ Nieves said. ‘I have to do stats and put together the game recaps, all that good stuff.’

Nieves will travel on the team bus for every road trip, many of which will be far longer than any he took while covering the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The Rush will spend much of the first half of their season away from Rapid City, as construction on the city’s new hockey arena will not complete until December. From Oct. 10 to Nov. 28, Nieves will cover games in cities throughout Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Rapid City’s schedule features nearly twice as many games as a team in the CCHA, but Nieves said he feels prepared.

‘It’s a longer season, but it’s not like I’m a player where I have injuries and stuff to deal with,’ Nieves said. ‘I’ve traveled anywhere and everywhere, all over the country, ever since I was little.’

Although Nieves will trade the flat plains of Ohio for the mountains of the American west, he’ll still see the same passion for hockey in Rapid City that he did on cold nights at the BGSU Ice Arena.

‘So far the buzz for this new team has just been amazing,’ Nieves said. Rapid City’s population is less than 60,000 and its average temperature from October to March is right around freezing – a perfect town and climate for hockey.

‘The Rush is the biggest thing in town right now,’ Nieves said.

BG hockey coach Scott Paluch said he was very happy when he heard about Nieves’ new gig.

‘It’s tremendous,’ Paluch said. ‘Danny did a great job for us, and he’s on his way to a very promising broadcasting career. He’s knowledgeable, he’s entertaining and he works very hard at what he does.

‘That’s a good move for Danny and we’re proud of him.’

Nieves will call his first game for Rapid City’s The Fox 100.3 FM on Oct. 10 when the Rush faces the Rocky Mountain Rage in Bloomfield, Colo. – 1,248 miles from BG.

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