Play-​​by-​​play sports­caster Alex Faust, who calls men’s hockey games for Northeastern’s student-​​run radio sta­tion, WRBB, paints an award-​​winning pic­ture with simple words, such as “stick,” “save” and “slapshot.”

Calling a game isn’t about having a for­mula for when you’re sup­posed to get excited,” Faust says. “It’s about having a con­ver­sa­tion with the lis­tener and giving him the best pos­sible descrip­tion of the action.”

The junior received the 2011 Jim Nantz Award — an honor bestowed upon the nation’s top col­le­giate sports­caster — on May 16 at the National Sports­casters and Sports­writers Asso­ci­a­tion ban­quet in Sal­is­bury, North Car­olina. Judges included play-​​by-​​play sports­casters for the Cincin­nati Reds, Atlanta Fal­cons and Indiana Pacers.

To bring this award back to North­eastern is not only a vic­tory for me, but for WRBB,” says Faust, whose broad­cast partner, senior Jared Shafran, received an hon­or­able men­tion. “The whole team has good chem­istry,” he says. “The way we act on the air is the way we interact off the air.”

The Brooklyn, New York, native has enjoyed dozens of games at the old Yankee Sta­dium in the Bronx. But he has a soft spot for broad­casting hockey from high above the ice level in Matthews Arena, a grand edi­fice, he says, “with a lot of soul.”

You can’t repli­cate the sound,” says Faust, who also hosts a sports talk show — “Hockey East This Week” — on WRBB. “It’s a unique adren­a­line rush to call games in that place.”

He got his biggest rush on Valentine’s Day, when the Huskies grabbed a 2–1 lead over Boston Col­lege in the Beanpot Cham­pi­onship. The Black and Red had not taken a lead in the tour­na­ment finals since 2002.

I was yelling so loud that my sides were hurting,” says Faust, who’s quick to add, “You have to make sure you keep your com­po­sure in a moment like that.”

Faust won’ t rule out a full-​​time gig as a play-​​by-​​play guy for a col­le­giate club, but the eco­nomics and polit­ical sci­ence dual major plans to pursue a career in con­sulting.  Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram, he says, has “given me the prac­tical work­place expe­ri­ence to use to my advantage.”