NORTHFIELD – Inside Norwich University’s Kreitzberg Arena on Friday night, fans gathered not only for the Cadets game against the University of Southern Maine, but also to celebrate the Norwich broadcasting career of George Commo
The longtime broadcaster of Norwich men’s hockey is stepping down from his role with the team at season’s end. On Friday, the team honored his 25 years behind the mic prior to puck drop.
“It’s really kind of mind boggling,” he said. “I do what I do. My whole career I’ve been a play-by-play sports announcer. I love doing it. I enjoy the process, the whole thing. But to be recognized by a school like Norwich for all the time that I put in is very special, and I appreciate it very very much.”
The team presented Commo with a custom jersey on the ice pregame while reading his lengthy broadcasting resume to the crowd and then of course a ceremonial puck drop took place.
Commo has been public about his battle with Parkinson’s disease. It’s continued to progress for nine years and in terms on broadcasting the fast pace of hockey, it’s become too difficult leading to the main reason for his decision. This is the first season he hasn’t done the cadets play-by-play, instead acting as each home games’ color commentator.
He also cites the lengthy commute from his Burlington home as a reason to step away.
Commo has had his voice intertwined with Vermont athletics for decades. Before Norwich, he broadcasted UVM men’s hockey for 18 years and still is the voice of the Vermont Lake Monsters of the FCBL. The latter is a role he plans to continue in this summer.
“That is the plan,” he said. “No one has told me I’m not, so at the moment I’m planning that I will be [in the role]. I love it and I think from what I’ve heard we have a great team coming in and it should be a good season.”
In terms of Friday night’s hockey… an early goal by Southern Maine put the cadets in a 1-0 deficit. Despite battling for the first two periods, the Cadets couldn’t find the back of the net. In the third period, the pressure finally mounted. Norwich scored tits first goal seven and-a-half minutes in on a tip by Bryan O’Mara from a high-slot shot. Just two minutes later in a mad scramble in front, the game winner is deposited by Alex Lewis. The Cadets added an empty netter and beat Southern Maine 3-1.
With the season wrapping up, the final men’s home regular season game Commo is set to broadcast is on Saturday. , But playoffs are on the table for this team and Commo has his sights set on the perfect way to conclude his Norwich broadcasting career…
“Hopefully get that fifth banner before we wrap it up,” he said.
Norwich wraps up its regular season on the road against Elmira college on February 11.