Discussing BrockTV’s When It Matters Most with creator, Neville Madill

BOn Jan. 20, BrockTV dropped the first installment of their new docu-series When It Matters Most. Episode One: New Beginnings is the introductory chapter of BrockTV’s partnership with the Badgers men’s hockey team.

Besides the obvious new beginning of a blank season, When It Matters Most shows just how much a turnaround this season is from the last.

Fresh faces on both sides of the bench and a brand-new arena mark a massive change for the hockey program, which is exactly what creators Neville Madill and Joel Antony had in mind.

“For me, I just got my job at BrockTV over the summer, and I only have one more year left, so I felt like I wanted to do something big, I wanted to go all in.” Said Madill, a third-year Sport Management student.

“I wanted to make something I could be proud of and maybe could open doors for me. And I wanted to match it with some passion, with my love for university sport in Canada.”

Madill is the current Brock Sport Management Council President and a producer for BrockTV. Hoping to make his name in the sport industry, When It Matters Most, and BrockTV by extension, gave Madill an exciting opportunity.

Just as much as BrockTV, it was head coach TJ Manastersky who provided Madill with the chance. Though he didn’t create the project, Manastersky actually was responsible for getting the ball rolling.

“I started at the beginning of the year when [Manastersky] reached out to me,” said Madill on his partnership with the coach.

“We didn’t know each other, he was new to Brock this fall, he got hired over the summer, we really just wanted to chat… so he really just brought about this opportunity for me. He was like, ‘Oh we’d like more surrounding the team, we want to let everyone know that the rink is right across the street, its right here on campus’, so he’s giving me this opportunity, but we’re also helping him grow the program.”

In Madill’s eyes, When It Matters Most is a mutually beneficial arrangement for him and Manastersky:

“[Manastersky wants to] build a hockey team that can hopefully be the best in Canada one day, and to hopefully win the National Championship. So I think it goes for both sides where I get to really start my career with this project, and on his side, he’s got a documentary that he can show recruits, show to friends and family, and share with his network.”

It also gives a chance to put some Brock Badgers in the spotlight.

The men’s hockey team has had a strong season thus far, with a 15-7-0 record through 22 games, and have the third-most goals in the OUA. Though their 30 points are good for fourth in a very tightly fought OUA West Division, if they could have stretched even two of their losses into overtime, they would be second in the West and third in the OUA overall.

The team themselves has, unsurprisingly, been instrumental in letting Madill and Antony document their success.

“The whole team, we’ve appreciated the support, letting guys infiltrate their locker room. … we’ve appreciated their support through this opportunity,” said Madill.

It’s also been a banner season of individual performances for the Badgers. Tyler Burnie, Jared Marino, Jacob Roach and Adam Berg are all in the OUA’s top-20 scorers. Berg, who is fifth in points-per-game and tied for seventh in goals, earned an OUA Athlete of the Week honours for Jan. 23 after scoring eight points in two games.

As expected, the players and their personalities are what shine through in the documentary.

“Olivier Deroches and Christian Cote, two players, both from Quebec, the Quebecois-Canadian really shone through in that interview, and we’re going to be putting that one in the fourth episode. Those two personalities are really good,” said Madill, naming some of the team’s prominent personalities.

“Cole Tymkin is a really funny guy in the locker room… and Jared Marino, Captain, he’s just that classic captain. You can just tell that all the guys really like him, but he’s also really intense, he’s a really tenacious leader and really wants that chance to win the Queen’s Cup and make their way to Nationals this year. The guy who’s really captivating is Marino.”

Personality is what’s going to sell the product, but in demonstrating the skill and competition that occurs in the OUA, it might be high time some of these athletes get their due.

“In U Sports, there’s a lot of really good players coming from Major Junior, whether that be the OHL, WHL, QMJHL,” said Madill,  “[we’re] really just trying to showcase the talent and try to grow OUA hockey and U Sports hockey because we think they should have a little bit more shine on them.”

The discussion of talent in the OUA has never been more relevant, especially here at Brock. Brock alum Logan Thompson recently became the starting goalie for the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, in addition to being a potential front-runner for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year award. This all happens less than four years after Thompson started 14 games for the Badgers.

This documentary provides opportunities to different stakeholders to show their mettle, the Badgers as a top team in U Sports, Manastersky as a vision-driven coach, and the skill and personalities of the athletes. Despite this, Madill is most cognizant of the benefits BrockTV has provided for him, and can provide for other Sport Management students.

“Everyone at BrockTV has been amazing in the production. There has been so much support from everyone and we’ve been able to get multiple producers involved, whether that’s with b-roll footage collection, interviews, or narration.”

As more episodes drop in the coming weeks, make sure to follow along on BrockTV’s YouTube page.

After wrapping up two games this weekend, the Badgers are back in action on Friday Feb. 3 and 4, when they play an away game at University of Toronto and a home match against Lakehead. 

For their full schedule and results, go to the gobadgers.ca page, and for more information about BrockTV, visit them at their website. 

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