NEWARK, N.J. -- Nick Paccione made his broadcasting debut for the New Jersey Devils a memorable one.
The 12-year-old from Toms River, New Jersey, who won a contest to do play-by-play of the first period for the Devils radio broadcast against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center on Sunday, sat beside regular play-by-play voice Matt Loughlin and color commentator Sherry Ross.
Judging by the rave reviews, he did a tremendous job.
Paccione had the best audition of many entries submitted by young, aspiring broadcasters. His call of a Taylor Hall overtime goal earlier this season was the winning entry.
"They picked me because they thought I really knew the players," Paccione said. "This is something I've been dreaming of. I was a little nervous at the start, but [Loughlin] said to me afterwards that he hopes that when I get older I'll be able to do it for the Devils."
Paccione not only called a good game, but had provided interesting commentary during a break in the action. With the Blue Jackets holding a 2-1 lead late in the first, Hall and Kyle Palmieri broke in 2-on-1 but couldn't generate a quality scoring opportunity.
The effort prompted Paccione to say: "I think Taylor Hall should have shot that. He had a wide open lane to shoot."
Loughlin, who has served as play-by-play voice of the Devils since 2006-07, was impressed.
"He did a good job and handled the pace well," Loughlin said. "He had excellent energy and his goal calls were spot on. What a way to begin a career. A shorthanded penalty shot, another shorthanded goal and a power-play goal. That's not easy."
Adam Henrique scored for the Devils 10:30 into the first period but not before the play was challenged by Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella. When the goal was upheld after a video review, Paccione said, "It's a good goal. Devils on the board."
Said Ross: "Nick was very enthusiastic and loves his Devils. I can't imagine how overwhelming this must have been for a 12-year-old. His favorite moment was when Adam Henrique scored the power play goal."
Paccione is the son of Michale and Tina Paccione and attends St. Joseph Grade School in Toms River. He has a brother, Joe, 14, and a sister, Olivia, 10. He said he's been happy with the play of many of the young players on the Devils roster this season.
"I really like the new guys, they're helping the team and the future looks bright," he said.
He was grateful to Loughlin and Ross for helping guide him along during his broadcasting debut.
"They really helped me a lot," he said. "I really like how [Loughlin] knows everyone's name on both teams. And he knows it right off the top of his head."