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October 01, 2003|Larry Stewart

What: "Coach."

Where: College Sports Television (CSTV), Friday, 4 and 8 p.m.

In the first episode of a new series, "Coach," CSTV, the new college sports network available on DirecTV (Channel 610) and some Adelphia digital systems, examines Herb Brooks' relationship with the players on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

The half-hour show, put together after Brooks' death in a traffic accident Aug. 11, is a remarkable production for a start-up network.

Mike Eruzione, captain of that historical team, serves as host and many of the key players are interviewed.

The show is concise yet tells the story of the team's run to the gold medal, including its victory over the mighty Soviet Union team in the semifinals.

Eruzione tells how Brooks threatened to cut him 10 days before the Lake Placid Olympics.

"I'm sitting there thinking, 'I'm the captain of the team, how can he do this?' " Eruzione says. "I think it was his last challenge, I think he wanted to see how close this hockey team was."

Defenseman John Harrington and forward Rob McClanahan talk about how Brooks' threat brought them closer together.

"Our players stood up to Herb and said, 'Listen, these are the guys that have been here all year,' " Harrington says. " 'You need to go with the guys you got.' "

McClanahan talks about the U.S.' first game against Sweden, when he suffered a thigh injury in the first period. "I was done for the game and was thinking I was done for the Olympics," he says.

Harrington says that when Brooks heard McClanahan wasn't going to play, he went nuts. "I mean, he snapped," Harrington says.

McClanahan played.

-- Larry Stewart

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