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Coaches


CLAUDE MORIN

Athletic Director - Cegep Andre-Laurendeau
Apex Sports Camp Director - Clarkson Alumni 1995

 
Claude Morin was named Athletic Director at Andre-Laurendeau in March 2010. His objective is to bring recognition to its athletic department and to build the hockey program into one of the best in the country. In only nine years the men’s hockey team won three provincial championships in 2018, 2017 and 2013, they also reached the final in 2014 and 2015. The Boomerang also added a new women’s hockey program in 2014-2015. 

Morin retired from professional hockey in May 2009, after a 14 year career in Europe and North America, winning two Allan Cups (National champions) in 2002 & 2004, one Bolton Cup (Eastern Canadian champions) in 2002 with the St-Georges Garaga, a Futura Cup as NAHL playoff champions in his final season in 2009 with Pont-Rouge, he also won the Guy Lafleur trophy as the NAHL scoring leader in 2002-2003

A graduate of Clarkson University in communications, Morin enjoyed a successful college career as a forward scoring 208 points over his 4 years at Kent State and Clarkson. Morin was named team MVP in his freshman and junior season at Kent State and led the Golden Flashes in scoring in each of his three seasons from 1991 to 1994. His 59 points as a sophomore placed him 15th in the nation and 5th in CCHA scoring. He also earned honorable mention on the CCHA All-Academic Team as a sophomore and was named team captain as a junior.

In his last season at Clarkson, he helped the Golden Knights capture first place in the ECAC before losing to Lake Superior State in the NCAA tournament. Morin earned ECAC honorable mention and was the recipient of the Paul J. Pilon memorial award given to the senior who has excelled both as a student and a hockey player. He also took part in the 1995 Shrine East/West senior all-star classic.

Prior to college, he played junior hockey for the Notre-Dame Hounds in Saskatchewan.

A native of Sainte-Marie de Beauce, Qc, Morin lives in St-Jean sur Richelieu with his girlfriend Manon and has a daughter Yamila and two sons Eliott and Yohan.

BEN GUITE
Assistant Coach - Maine University - Hockey East

 
Promoted to Associate Head Coach on October 14, 2015.

Ben Guite, who helped lead Maine to the 1999 NCAA National Championship, begins his sixth season as assistant coach of the Black Bears. Following his graduation from the University of Maine, Guite spent 13 years in professional hockey.
“The University of Maine hockey program is delighted to have acquired the services of Ben Guite,” commented Gendron. “As a player here at Maine, he was an extraordinary leader and national champion, combined with excellence in both the community and his academic endeavors. He had an exceptional professional career and now he returns to the program that he loves as deeply as any Maine hockey player who’s ever played here.”

“I am thrilled and very excited to be back where it all started for me at the University of Maine,” said Guite. “I’m very passionate about Maine hockey and feel honored to represent and give back to the University as a coach. I am looking forward to working with Red and Jay. He has incredible drive and experience and we both share a common goal; to bring Maine hockey back to prominence by competing for national championships year after year. For me, this is a chance to give that back to the program. I was very fortunate for my experience as a student and a player here at Maine. I want to provide the same opportunity to our players. And hopefully deliver a championship to our fans”.

While at Maine, Guite helped lead the Black Bears to their second national championship in 1999 before being named an assistant captain and guiding the Black Bears back to the Frozen Four in 2000. Guite totaled 47 goals, including nine game-winners, and added 49 assists for 96 points in 146 games at Maine. A Montreal, Quebec native, Guite scored the first goal in Maine’s national championship victory over New Hampshire and added an assist in the Frozen Four semifinal win over Boston College. During his senior year in 1999-00, Guite totaled a team-high 22 goals with 14 assists for 36 points in 40 games.  As a junior, the former Black Bear forward had 12 goals and 16 assists in 40 games after totaling six goals and 12 assists in 32 games as a sophomore. During his rookie season, Guite ranked second among Maine first-year players with 14 points on seven goals and seven assists in 34 games.

After his time at Maine, Guite spent 13 years in the professional hockey ranks where he totaled 175 games in the National Hockey League (NHL), 585 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) and 68 contests with the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League). Guite spent four years in the NHL where he competed for the Boston Bruins (2005-06), Colorado Avalanche (2006-07, 2008-09) and Nashville Predators (2009-10). Guite totaled 19 goals, including one playoff goal, and 26 assists while with the NHL. Guite tallied 103 goals and 176 assists with the AHL after notching 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in the ECHL.

Guite also has significant experience with the Players’ Association as he spent the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons as a PHPA Executive Committee member after serving the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons as an NHLPA player representative. Guite also served as a PHPA player representative in 2005-06 and 2009-10.

The former Black Bear assistant captain participated in the 2012 NHL Draft Coaching Clinic. Guite also dedicated countless hours to hockey school coaching around the country including the University of Maine Hockey School in Orono, Bill Armstrong Hockey in Providence, R.I., Can/Am Hockey in Lake Placid, N.Y., Huron Hockey in Orange, N.J. and Outside Edge Hockey in Denver, Colo.

Guite earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maine in 2000 before achieving his Masters in Business Administration from Maine in 2009.

Guite and his wife, Kristen, a Portland, Maine native and University of Maine alumna, are the proud parents of two sons, Patrick, 5  and Maxime who is 3.

TY EIGNER
Head Coach - Bowling Green University - WCHA

 
Ty Eigner was named the eighth Head Coach of the Bowling Green Falcon Hockey program on April 20, 2019. A 1993 graduate of BGSU who has spent the previous nine years as an assistant coach for the Falcons, Eigner has accumulated almost 25 years of coaching and administrative experience, playing three years at the professional level.
 
“I am incredibly humbled and very proud that President Rodney Rogers, Bob Moosbrugger and Jim Elsasser have the confidence in me to be the next head coach of the hockey program,” Eigner said. “I was fortunate to play for the winningest coach in college hockey history, Jerry York, and now I get the chance to lead this program. Bowling Green has an incredible hockey history. I am confident that with the continued hard work of our student-athletes and a coaching staff dedicated to teaching and development, we will take the next steps toward being a championship program.”
 
Eigner will be formally introduced in a press conference Tuesday at 1:30 pm, held on the second level of the Stroh Center. The press conference will be streamed live on BGSUFalcons.com.
 
“We are thrilled to announce Ty Eigner as the next head hockey coach at Bowling Green State University,” Moosbrugger said. “Ty has earned this opportunity to lead our hockey program. His passion for BGSU, the hockey program and the BG community is clear and abundant. His vision for taking the program forward is inspiring. We consistently heard about his recruiting, his work ethic, his teaching ability and the strong connections throughout hockey, Bowling Green and the BGSU community. We look forward to many years of continued excellence in the hockey program under Ty’s leadership.”
 
In Eigner’s nine-year tenure as an assistant coach, the Falcon Hockey program has risen back to national prominence, posting an overall record of 171-154-44. This includes winning seasons in each of the past six years and a current stretch of five straight 20+ win campaigns. The Falcons have finished in the top three of the WCHA regular season standings five times and have advanced to the WCHA Tournament Championship game twice in the past three years. In 2018-19, the program tallied the most wins since the 1995-96 season by going 25-11-6. This earned Bowling Green an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Eigner was a player in 1990.
 
“BGSU hockey is an important asset to our community,” President Rodney Rogers said. “Coming off of our first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990, it is important to continue the positive momentum. Ty Eigner has been instrumental in the rise of our program and has earned his appointment to Head Coach. We look forward to continued success on the ice, in the community and in the classroom.”
 
With his experience as a defenseman from his playing days, Eigner has helped guide nine freshmen classes, aiding heavily in the development of the defensive corps. BGSU has continued to rely heavily on Eigner’s strengths, as BGSU led the country in team defense in 2018-19 with a 1.78 goals against average. That 1.78 GAA is a stark contrast from the from the 3.77 goals against average in the year prior to his arrival. In his first year, the Falcons improved by almost a goal allowed per game, to 2.94. Since that time, the program has allowed less than 3.00 goals per game in all nine of his seasons, and has improved to fewer than 2.50 goals against average in each of the past five seasons.
 
Under Eigner’s tutelage, defensemen Mark Friedman, a third-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Nolan Valleau were both named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team in 2014-15. Friedman was the WCHA co-Rookie of the Year and went on to All-WCHA Second Team honors in 2016-17 prior to signing a professional contract. Alec Rauhauser also earned the accolade for his success in the 2016-17 campaign and then took another step forward in 2017-18, being named AHCA/CCM Hockey Men’s Division I Second Team All-American and the WCHA Defenseman of the Year. Friedman has since made his NHL debut with the Flyers, while former Falcon blueliner Sean Walker has debuted with the LA Kings. Walker played in 39 games with the Kings in 2018-19, scoring 10 points.
 
Prior to his return to the Orange and Brown, Eigner completed a two-year stint as an associate coach for the boy’s hockey program at Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. While there, Eigner helped lead the Eagles to the Minnesota AA state championship, and was named State AA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009. Thirty young men coached by Eigner went on to play collegiate or junior hockey.

Between 1996 and 2008, Eigner led two Minnesota high school hockey programs, receiving recognition as an outstanding head coach at both stops. Between 1996 and 1999, he headed the Rosemount High School (Rosemount, Minn.) hockey program, and was named the Section 5AA Coach of the Year for the 1997-98 season. In 1999, Eigner moved on to coach Brainerd High School (Brainerd, Minn.), where he was named the Section 7AA Coach of the Year for the 2005-06 season.

The Minnesota Hockey Coaches also honored Eigner with the Dave Peterson Award in his final season (2007-08) with the Warriors. From 1999 to 2008, Eigner served as a full-time instructor for Minnesota Hockey Camps, as well as the Hockey Director for the Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association. He also coached and evaluated within USA Hockey 15 & 17 National camps, a position held since 2005.

Eigner served as Bowling Green’s captain for the 1992-93 season, and was a member of the program’s last two NCAA tournament teams prior to the 2018-19 season. Eigner’s playing career at Bowling Green spanned 123 games, where he had a line of four goals, nine assists and 13 points. He played under Falcon coaching legend Jerry York, and as captain in 1992-1993, led the team to an 11-game turnaround, as well as a five-game improvement in CCHA play from the year before.

Eigner and his wife, Erika, reside in Bowling Green with their three children -- Peter, Ellie and Kate.

MIKE TOWNS
Assistant Coach - Clarkson - ECAC

Head Coach Casey Jones announced on June 25, 2019 that Mike Towns has joined the Golden Knights staff as an assistant coach.

Towns comes to Clarkson after serving five years on the staff at American International College, including the past season as the Yellow Jackets associate head coach. Since coming to AIC in August 2014, Towns helped guide the Yellow Jackets to the most successful seasons in the program's history.

"I am very excited about Mike and Dianna joining the Clarkson Hockey family," states Jones.  "Mike's body of work and reputation aligns him perfectly with how we want to conduct our business. Ultimately every successful program starts with the people you have and the relationships you build.  Our athletes will benefit greatly from Mike's addition to our staff."

Serving as AIC's recruiting coordinator since 2016-17, Towns was instrumental in recruiting efforts that helped rebuild the Yellow Jackets program. Towns helped recruit head coach Eric Lang's first recruiting class for the 2016-2017 season, which was regarded as one of the best in the conference. The 2017-2018 season saw more impressive recruiting efforts. The team set program records for wins in a season (15), and was able to host and win its first Atlantic Hockey Championship Tournament series. The Yellow Jackets continued improving and enjoyed unprecedented success in 2018-2019, reestablishing a record for victories (23), and winning both the Atlantic Hockey regular season and playoff championships. AIC excelled at the NCAA tournament as well, upsetting No. 1 St. Cloud State to advance to the West Regional Championship. Towns was responsible for many facets of AIC's hockey program. His primary responsibilities included coaching the team's forwards, including bench management and skill development. He was also responsible for video and statistical breakdown and coaching the power play.

 "My wife, Dianna, and I couldn't be more excited to join the Clarkson University hockey program and Clarkson community," states Towns. "I was very impressed with the campus and facilities when I came up here, but was even more impressed with the incredible people I got to meet with. It will be a pleasure working with Coach Jones and Coach (Josh) Hauge. I can't wait to get started."

As a player, Towns spent four seasons in the BCHL playing with the Penticton Vees before attending Adrian College. At Adrian, Towns was an alternate captain his first two seasons, and the team's captain in his junior and senior years. During his senior season, Towns captained the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four, eventually losing in the National Championship Game. Towns graduated from Adrian with a Bachelor's of Business administration in Management, and completed his Masters of Business Administration at AIC in May 2016. Following his successful collegiate career, Towns embarked on a three-year professional career, making stops with the Denver Cutthroats of the CHL, the Idaho Steelheads and Ontario Reign in the ECHL. 


DAVE NOËL-BERNIER
Assistant Coach - Omaha - NCHC

 
Dave Noel-Bernier joined the Omaha hockey staff as an assistant coach in April of 2017.

Noel-Bernier was an original Maverick, playing forward in the first four years of the program.  The native of Montmagny, Quebec appeared in 138 games for UNO, scoring 24 goals and 26 assists for 50 points.  He was a two-time CCHA Scholar Athlete, graduating from UNO with a degree in exercise science in 2001.

Noel-Bernier spent the 2015-17 hockey seasons as an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings, working with players both on-ice and in video sessions.  He was responsible for skill development, scouting reports of opponents and both in-game and post-game breakdown of video.

After graduation, Noel-Bernier spent six seasons as a professional player in North America and Germany.  He returned to his alma mater in 2007 and served as the Director of Hockey Operations and Assistant Strength Coach for three seasons.  In 2010, he joined the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL as an assistant coach and Assistant General Manager, working three seasons there as both an on-ice coach and in recruiting.

Noel-Bernier spent the 2013-14 season as the hockey director of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Blades Association before returning to coaching as an assistant coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.  Among other duties there, he ran the team's power play and coached the forwards.

JAMES MARCOU
Assistant Coach - Harvard - ECAC - IVY LEAGUE

James Marcou has joined the men's hockey coaching staff in August of 2019. Marcou most recently worked as an assistant coach at Brown last year, where he helped the Bears record their first winning season since 2012-13. The Huntington, N.Y. native guided Brown to ECAC Hockey championship weekend for the first time since 2013.

Marcou, an All-American and the career assists leader at the University of Massachusetts (2007-10), began his collegiate coaching career in 2016 as a graduate assistant at UMass, where he aided the coaching staff in all aspects of the program over the course of two seasons.

 
Marcou put together a standout collegiate career at UMass. He earned AHCA Second-Team honors following his sophomore season in 2008-09, when he racked up 47 points on 15 goals and 32 assists, and tied for the Hockey East scoring title that season. A two-time All-Hockey East performer and New England Hockey Writers All-Star, Marcou broke his own school record for single-season assists (40) as a junior in 2009-10. He finished with 130 career points (34g, 96a) in 111 games played.

After his junior season, Marcou signed a free agent contract with the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. He played for two and a half seasons before medically retiring. Marcou returned to UMass, completing his degree as a 2015 graduate of the Isenberg School of Management. He later served on the varsity boys’ hockey staff for Milton Academy during the 2015-16 season, where he helped lead the program to a Co-ISL Championship.

JEFF HILL
Assistant Coach - Vermont - Hockey East

 
Former Catamount goaltender Jeff Hill '08 was promoted to assistant coach in June, 2018. He enters his fifth year with the men's hockey staff after two years as the director of hockey operations.

Hill began as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2015-16 season and worked with Catamount goalies. He helped the group post a combined 2.64 goals against average, .912 save percentage, and four shutouts.

Hill spent four years as a student-athlete for Vermont from 2004-08. He appeared in three career games and won the team's Mike Gilligan Award for leadership and community service as a senior. Hill was also a three-year member of the men's lacrosse team and graduated from UVM with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology.
 
After graduation, Hill served as an assistant coach at Rice Memorial High School, where he helped start the program with former UVM assistant coach Damian DiGiulian. He was an assistant and goalie coach at nearby St. Michael's College during the 2011-12 season and moved on to become the head coach and hockey director at Culver Military Academy.

GREG GARDNER
Assistant Coach - Mercyhurst College - Atlantic Hockey

Greg Gardner will be entering his sixth season on the Laker coaching staff. Gardner assists with all aspects of the program, focusing on all recruiting efforts, Video and system coaching and on ice development of all players. 
 
In 2015-16 Gardner's tutelage led to freshman goaltender Adam Carlson, signing a NHL contract with the Washington Capitals and Fr Defenseman earning ALL Atlantic 1st team honors and Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year. 
 
Prior to Mercyhurst, Gardner spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Princeton University, where he, among other tasks, was responsible for coordinating and monitoring all aspects of the recruiting process and overall team and individual player development. While at Princeton, he contributed to the development of four players that went on to sign National Hockey League contracts including NHL Goalie Michael Condon. 
 
Prior to joining Princeton's coaching staff, Gardner spent five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Niagara University. He helped lead the Purple Eagles to two CHA regular-season championships, one CHA tournament championship, and one NCAA tournament appearance. 

Gardner was a standout goaltender for Niagara graduating cum laude with a degree in commerce and psychology in 2000. During the 1999-2000 season Gardner led the NCAA in goals against average (1.53), and set an NCAA record for shutouts in a season (12). He also led the Purple Eagles to the CHA regular season and tournament titles while earning an NCAA at large bid and defeating top seed UNH in the first round. He was named to the NCAA West Regional All Tournament Team. Gardner was also named Niagara University's Student-Athlete of the Year and earned the school's Ockerman Award as the top business student.
 
After graduating from Niagara, he became the first-ever player signed to an NHL contract by the then-expansion Columbus Blue Jackets. He was also the first player signed to an NHL contract from Niagara University.
 
During his seven-year professional career, Gardner spent time with Rochester and Syracuse in the American Hockey League along with Mississippi and Dayton in the East Coast Hockey League from 2000 to 2004 before heading overseas to play in Germany for ESBG Bundesliga from 2004 to 2006. He was an All-ECHL Second Team selection in 2003 and was the Bundesliga Goaltender of the Year in 2006.

Greg, resides in Fairview PA, with his wife Lauren, and children Ava (12) Rachel (9) and Joshua (6)


MARK PHALON
Associate Head Coach - Niagara - Atlantic Hockey

Mark Phalon joined the Niagara University men's hockey staff as associate head coach prior to the 2020-21 season.

Phalon is moving back east following a two-year stint on the coaching staff at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Prior to working with the Seawolves, he spent three seasons at Hobart College in Geneva, New York. Phalon's resume also boasts work with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the AHL's Toronto Marlies, and St. Lawrence University.

​Phalon graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from SUNY-Potsdam in 2007 and a master's degree in educational leadership from St. Lawrence in 2008.


ZACK CISEK
Assistant Coach - Lake Superior State University, WCHA

Zack Cisek, begins his second season as an assistant coach for Laker hockey in 2019-20.

“We're very excited to add Zack to our staff and he comes to us very prepared for this opportunity,” said Whitten. “One of the things, as we went through this process, that stood out is his time in Division I hockey with two really great programs. (Zack’s) developed a skill set that we believe will have an immediate impact on our program.”

Cisek joins the Lake State bench after spending the last year as an assistant with Notre Dame under the tutelage of college hockey icon and former LSSU bench boss, Jeff Jackson. As the head coach from 1990-96, Jackson lead the Lakers to six-straight NCAA Frozen Four appearances with two NCAA Titles (1992 & 1994).

“Zack did an exceptional job for our program last year,” said Jackson. “He is a quality person and a bright young coach. I am confident that he’ll do a great job for Damon. I’m excited for Zach and proud that he will start his coaching career, as I did, with the Lakers.”

As a member of Jackson’s Fighting Irish staff, Cisek was responsible for goaltender development, practice planning, individual film sessions and postgame film analysis and player evaluation. “Obviously (Jackson) means a lot to Lake Superior, college hockey and the sport in general,” Whitten said. “He does a tremendous job at Notre Dame and other places he's been, to develop young coaches within the organization. He talked a lot about how much room he gave Zack to build his experience and skill set. We really took to heart what he had to say about how prepared Zack was for this opportunity.” During his lone season in South Bend, Cisek was a part of a UND team that won the Big Ten Regular Season and Playoff Championship, appeared in the Frozen Four and came up just short of an NCAA Championship falling to Minnesota-Duluth, 2-1, in the title game.

Individually, Ciskek was instrumental in guiding Irish goaltender, Cale Morris, to one of the most successful season’s in program history. The sophomore was the 2018 recipient of the Mike Richter Award, which goes annually to the top goaltender in country. Morris was also a Hobey Baker Award Top 10 Finalist and Big Ten Player of the Year.

Prior to his stint with the fighting Irish, Cisek spent two seasons (2015-17) as a graduate assistant with the University of Miami (Ohio) serving under head coach Enrico Blasi where he assisted the staff with day-to-day operations, opponent scouting and film analysis, on-ice skill sessions and player evaluation. Cisek completed his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology & Health in August, 2017.

With three goaltenders presently on the Lakers roster (Nick Kossoff, Mareks Mitens and Roman Bengert), Cisek’s arrival at LSSU is expected to pay immediate dividends in the net as well as the defensive side of the puck. Cisek will also have a key role in recruiting, video analysis and game plan development for the Lakers. “I am ecstatic and grateful for the opportunity to join the rich tradition of Lake Superior State Laker Hockey,” said Cisek. “First and foremost, I would like to thank (LSSU President) Dr. Rodney Hanley, (Director of Athletics) Dr. David Paitson, Coach Whitten and Coach York for welcoming me into the Laker family. I look forward to working with a knowledgeable staff, passionate student-athletes and being a part of the Sault Ste. Marie community.”

As a player, Cisek was a goaltender for Michigan State from 2013-15 where he was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection with the Spartans and was also named to the Dean’s List three times. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology.

Cisek, a Canton Mich., Native, also spent time with the NAHL’s New Mexico Mustangs, Michigan Warriors and Traverse City North Stars. He played high school hockey at Detroit Catholic Central, where he served as team captain and was part of two state championship teams. He earned first-team All-State honors during his senior season (2009-10).


TOMMY HILL
Assistant Coach - Saint-Lawrence University, ECAC

Hill joined the St. Lawrence men's hockey staff as an assistant coach in June 2019. 

Hill spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach at Holy Cross after spending the previous five years as the Director of Hockey Operations at Miami University in Ohio where he worked alongside Coach Brekke as part of the RedHawks staff. Hill was also a volunteer assistant coach for Miami during the 2012-13 season prior to moving to Hockey Operations.

In 2018-19 with the Crusaders, Hill served as the co-recruiting coordinator and was also in charge of academic and compliance coordination, as well as team video and pre-scouts.

A 2012 graduate of Ferris State University, Hill captained the Bulldogs' NCAA runner-up team during the 2011-12 season. He was a two-time recipient of the team's Most Competitive Award, and was also the Most Improved Player in 2009-10. He obtained a Master's degree in Sports Studies from Miami University in 2015.


JUNIOR LESSARD
Hobey Baker winner 2004 - University of Minnesota Duluth - NCHC

 
Junior Lessard from Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec attended the University of Minnesota Duluth where he led the NCAA with 32 goals and 63 points during the 2003-04 season. He also led the WCHA in the same categories with 19 goals and 39 points in conference play.  Lessard is the fourth player from the University of Minnesota Duluth to win the Hobey Baker Award. 

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award annually honors the top player in Division I college hockey in the U.S. The first round of balloting, done by all 58 Division I college coaches and a fan ballot, determined the top ten finalists. The Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists was senior goalie Yann Danis of Brown University and sophomore forward Zach Parise of the University of North Dakota. Junior Lessard is the only player from the Province of Quebec and the ninth Canadian to win this prestigious award.  

Lessard was selected to the All-WCHA First Team andwas honored with the illustrious award of WCHA Player of the Year for 2003-04. Lessard helped the Bulldogs advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in 11years. He was rewarded for his efforts by being named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team.

After graduation Junior Lessard played with the Dallas Stars, Atlanta Trashers, as well the New York Islanders organization.  He also skated in Europe for SM-Liiga team Ilves and the Augsburg Panthers of the DEL. 

His pro career took him to Idaho where he played with the Steel heads of the ECHL and back to Quebec with the Thetford Mines Isothermic of the NAHL where he won the CANAM Cup in 2013 before retiring. Lessard is now an english teacher, he also owns a hockey school and is an assistant coach with the Polyvalente Veilleux Juvenile D1 hockey team in his hometown.

BRIAN HILLS
Associate Head Coach - RIT - Atlantic Hockey                                                                                                                           

 
Brian Hills begins his 15th season at RIT, and 13th as the associate head coach in 2019-20. Hills, who joined RIT before its inaugural season of Division I play in 2005, is a vital reason for RIT’s success. In 2011, Hills received the prestigious Terry Flanagan Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA), honoring an outstanding assistant coach’s career body of work.

Hills has played a major role in recruiting and building a team that won the 2010 Atlantic Hockey and NCAA East Region Championships and advanced to the Frozen Four. The Tigers won back-to-back Atlantic Hockey Championships in 2015 and 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship in 2015. In addition, Hills has helped lead RIT to five Atlantic Hockey Championship game appearances overall and four Atlantic Hockey Regular Season championships over a six-season span.

Hills played an integral role in the development of defenseman Chris Tanev, the 2010 Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Year, who signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks in May 2010. Tanev made his NHL debut on Jan. 18, 2011, played 29 regular season games, and five playoff games for the Canucks, including games five, six, and seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Tanev, who won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2016 World Championships, will enter his ninth NHL season in 2018-19.

Before his success at RIT, Hills was the head coach at SUNY Geneseo for four seasons. In his last season at Geneseo, he led the Knights to a record of 18-7-4, a SUNYAC Championship, the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament, and a No. 7 ranking in the final Division III poll. Hills amassed a record of 53-42-14 while reviving the Geneseo hockey program. His record during his final two seasons at Geneseo was 32-14-9.

Prior to his stint at Geneseo, Hills coached for seven years at his alma mater, Division I Bowling Green State University and also assisted with Team Canada’s national team selection committee in 1997 and 1998. He also coached the Chur (Switzerland) Junior Hockey Team in 1986-87.

Hills is a 1983 graduate of Bowling Green, where he was a teammate of RIT head coach Wayne Wilson. Hills was a two-time All-American and two-time Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist. He led the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in scoring twice and was the CCHA Player of the Year in 1983. In addition, Hills was a two-time CCHA All-Academic team member, and was a second team CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-American as a senior. Hills left Bowling Green as its all-time leading scorer and is currently second on the list. He scored 116 goals and added 154 assists for 270 points in 156 games. In 1982-83 he set a school single-season record that still stands with 94 points (37-57-94) in 40 games. Hills led the Falcons in scoring during his final three seasons.

After graduating from Bowling Green with a degree in business administration, Hills spent 11 seasons playing professionally in Europe - eight years in Switzerland and three in Germany. He won three gold medals with Team Canada in Europe’s Spengler Cup before returning to his alma mater, where he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach from 1994-2001.

Hills lives in Honeoye Falls with his wife, Andrea. They have two children, a daughter Alexandra (30), and son Trevor (27). Alexandra was a forward on the RIT women’s hockey team that won the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship. She also earned her bachelor’s degree from the university and is married to John Focke. Trevor graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2017. In 2015-16, he was an American Hockey Coaches Association Second Team All-American and led Division III in goals per game. Trevor played one season professionally in Germany for the Dorfen Ice Pirates.

NEIL SINCLAIR
Head Coach - Middleburry College, NESCAC

Sinclair took over the reins of the men’s hockey program in the spring of 2015. He came to Middlebury from Skidmore, where he served in the same role for 10 seasons. The former Panther All-American was Middlebury’s interim head coach in 2002–03, after serving three seasons as an assistant coach for the recently retired Bill Beaney. Sinclair is just the fourth men’s hockey coach at Middlebury since 1946.

Sinclair recently completed his 10th season behind the bench at Skidmore. In his second season with the Thoroughbreds, his team finished third in the ECAC East/NESCAC interlock and hosted a first-round postseason tournament game. Sinclair led the team to the ECAC semifinals three times and was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 2006–07. He was also a finalist for the Edward Jeremiah Award as the National Coach of the Year.

While at Skidmore, Sinclair obtained his Master of Arts degree in 2011. As part of his master’s work, Sinclair published a piece in The International Journal of Sports and Society titled “Building a Collegiate Athletic Leadership Model for NCAA Teams,” which he wrote with Tim Harper and Jeff Segrave in 2014.

As a player at Middlebury, the senior defenseman was a first-team All-American and ECAC selection in 1993. He began his coaching career at Middlebury Union High School, leading the team to the 1996 State Championship.
He returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach from 1999–2002, serving as the team’s interim head coach in 2002–03 while Beaney was on sabbatical. That season, Sinclair guided the team to a 22-5-2 record with a trip to the NCAA final four. The Panthers also finished first in the NESCAC and advanced to the league’s championship game. Following the season, he was again named a finalist for the Edward Jeremiah Award. 
The following season, Sinclair moved to Williams College, where he served as head coach of the women’s hockey program for two seasons prior to arriving at Skidmore.

Sinclair is an active member of USA Hockey and has worked the National Festival at the 14–16 level for the boys and the National 14 Festival for the girls. He has been a speaker at USA Hockey Programs of Merit and numerous coaching symposia for the New England and New York districts. He has also served on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee.


ED HARDING
Head Coach - Southern Maine University, NEHC

The seventh head coach in the 40-year history of the University of Southern Maine men’s ice hockey program, Ed Harding, was named head coach in April 2015 after taking over as interim head coach at the midway point of the 2014-15 season.  Harding is a former USM player (1985-88) and assistant coach (1993-96).

Harding has an impressive coaching background.  His most recent stint was as head coach at North Yarmouth Academy (2010-11).  Prior to his time at NYA, Harding had a six-year run with the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  He began his association with the Maineiacs as an assistant coach for two seasons (2003-05) before moving into the dual role of assistant general manager/assistant coach for the next two seasons (2005-07).  Harding served as the Maineiacs head coach and general manager for two years (2007-09).

Harding began his coaching career in 1989 filling the head coaching position at Greely High School (Cumberland, Maine) for four seasons (1989-93).  He came back to USM as an assistant coach for three seasons. (1993-96).  In 1996, Harding became the first coach and general manager of the Flagstaff Mountaineers (WSJHL), guiding the Mountaineers to two league championships and a combined 66-10-3 record.  Harding also had coaching stints with the Portland Pirates (volunteer assistant, 1998-99), Arkansas Riverblades (assistant coach, 1999-2000) and the Tulsa Crude (head coach; 2001-02).

A three-time captain for the Huskies, Harding played two seasons (1985-87) for former coach Gordie Clark and one season under Jeff Beaney (1987-88).  During his three seasons wearing a Huskies jersey, Harding scored 37 goals and dished out 33 assists for 70 points.  He was inducted into the Husky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.  After his playing days at USM, Harding split one professional season between the Maine Mariners and the Johnstown Chiefs (1988-89).


NATE EWELL
Guess Speaker, Deputy Executive Director, College Hockey Inc.

 
Nate Ewell joined College Hockey, Inc., as Director of Communications in January 2011 and coordinates the organization's digital media, media relations and communications efforts. He was named Deputy Executive Director in January 2013.

Prior to joining the staff of College Hockey, Inc., Ewell served as the Vice President of Communications for the NHL's Washington Capitals. In eight seasons with the Caps, he created a comprehensive media strategy for league MVP Alex Ovechkin, established a program for accreditation of bloggers that became a model for other sports franchises, and led a staff that captured four consecutive Dick Dillman Awards as the top media relations group in the NHL's Eastern Conference.

A 1996 graduate of Princeton University, where he was the sports editor of the campus newspaper, Ewell went on to become the Assistant Sports Information Director at Michigan State University. There, he served as the principal media contact for the MSU men's hockey program.

In 2002, Ewell co-founded "Inside College Hockey," a popular web site and ESPN.com affiliate that showcased the personalities, issues, and events of NCAA college hockey.

Ewell worked for NBC Sports during its coverage of the Olympic hockey tournament at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City (2002) and Torino (2006).  He has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching a class in its Sports Industry Management master's program on sports communication and public relations.

Ewell may be reached by email at newell@collegehockeyinc.com or on twitter @nateewell
 

Social

NCAA Division I sports will return to their regular recruiting calendars as of June 1. Here's a reminder of what that looks like for men's hockey:
The national leader in goals and points, Cole Caufield is the 2021 Hobey Baker Award winner
NCAA divsion 1 hockey will crown a new champion tomorrow 7 pm on TSN.
One day away!
Hobey Baker hat trick finalists announced. https://www.hobeybaker.com/2021-hat-trick
The Frozen four is set. It will either be a first-time champ, or the first school to win three in a row since 1951-53 (Michigan)
TSN to Provide Complete Coverage of NCAA Tournament https://collegehockeyinc.com/articles/2021/03/tsn-to-provide-complete-coverage-of-ncaa-tournament.php
Road to the Frozen four in Pittsburgh. #NCAAHOCKEY
Registration for the 2021 Apex Sports Camp is now open. This year the 10th edition of the camp will be held August 6th-7th-8th at Jacques Lemaire arena in LaSalle. There is a great line up of NCAA coaches coming to Montreal to evaluate and discover new prospects, Don't miss your chance to showcase yourself in front of them in this unique setting. www.playinthencaa.com
The 2021 Frozen four is a month away! https://www.ncaa.com/championships/icehockey-men/d1
College hockey has also helped many players become coaches and executives at the highest levels. Dominic Ducharme is a good example. https://www.mychamplainvalley.com/sports/former-uvm-hockey-player-dominique-ducharme-named-montreal-canadiens-interim-head-coach/
Notre entraineur et ancien récipiendaire Junior Lessard parle des chances de Cole Caufield remporter le Hobey Baker avec Jean-Philippe Bertrand de la Dose. https://www.tvasports.ca/2021/03/01/le-trophee-hobey-baker-a-cole-caufield
Watch NCAA Hockey live tonight on TSN 3 à 8:30 PM.
2021 Apex Sports Camp Dear futur Apex participants, Due to a new NCAA rule extending the dead period for recruting to May 31st. We are looking and planing to hold the 2021 camp at the beginning of August. Make sure to follow the web site and social medias for further updates, ​all depending on the evolving situation with the covid 19 pandemic. Thank you very much for your interest in the camp. We hope to see you soon.​ Claude Morin, Apex Sports Camp Director
http://collegehockeyinc.com/articles/2021/02/hwaa-2021-state-by-state-mvps.php?fbclid=IwAR3jTvKHFkncxV8fUYqrbSpfqV_lr_Stvm-XPsChm3qpGvZnnt9PDvA8gmo
Congratulations to 2018 Apex alumni Isack Bandu on his commitment to Northern Michigan University.
Another late bloomer using college hockey to develop. https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/penguins/2021/01/29/Pittsburgh-Penguins-Drew-O-Connor-Dartmouth-NHL/stories/202101290148
One of the advantage of College Hockey, it gives you time to grow. https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2021/02/07/le-potentiel-inexplore-de-jake-evans-1
College hockey on TV this weekend
Happy new year. All the best in 2021!
Congratulations to Apex alumni Mathieu Bourgault on his commitment to RPI.
Un article pour vous : https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/11/23/enfin-avec-son-equipe-de-reve
https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/11/18/un-bordeleau-chez-les-wolverines

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