The NWHL announced its second Orange signing with Brook Avery re-signing with the Metropolitan Riveters.
Avery, who scored five goals for the Riveters last season in 21 games, was an alternate captain as a senior in 2018-19, while finishing second on the team with 22 points. Avery is responsible for sending the Orange to their first NCAA Tournament after scoring the game-winning goal in the CHA title game in 2019.
Heading into the Rochester Americans’ 65th season in the American Hockey League, there are a lot of changes being made here in the Flower City. Arguably the biggest change to come this offseason is that of the new coaching staff that we’ll be seeing behind the bench at The Blue Cross Arena come the Amerks 2020-21 season.
From top to bottom, Rochester has three new faces leading the charge in head coach Seth Appert and assistant coaches Adam Mair and Mike Weber. All three of these new individuals have personal experience playing the game of hockey, coaching in various leagues across North America and having some type of connection to Rochester from their previous endeavors. Here’s a quick look at just exactly who these three newcomers are, ranging from where they grew up to what they’re most excited about come their arrival to Rochester in this Amerks coaching preview.
Head Coach, Seth Appert
Former Position: G
Birthdate: Aug. 9, 1974
Birthplace: Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Playing Experience: Appert is a product of the NCAA, having been a four-year letter-winner as a goaltender at Ferris State University from 1992-96.
Coaching Experience: Appert has a long history of developing players at all levels. He has spent the last three years as a head coach within USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP), where he alternated the head coaching duties between the Under-18 Team and one with the Under-17 Team.
During his first season with the NTDP in 2017-18, Appert guided the Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the Five Nations Tournament. The team also finished the season with an Eastern Conference-best 41-18-0-1 record, the team’s best finish since joining the United States Hockey League.
In 2018, Appert led the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to a silver medal at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. The year prior, he helped guide Team USA to a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship as an assistant coach and served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship. He also had two stints as head coach (2008, 2011) and one as assistant coach (2007) of the U.S. National Under-18 Select Team that competed in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Prior to joining USA Hockey, the Cottage Grove, Minn., native spent 20 years in the NCAA Division I coaching ranks, including 11 seasons as head coach of the men’s program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Appert guided the team to an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament following a 20-win season before leading RPI to its best finish in more than two decades just two years later with a second-place finish in the ECAC standings.
Appert, who formerly served as president of the American Hockey Coaches Association, also spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Denver, where he helped the Pioneers to a pair of NCAA National Championships as well as three WCHA playoff championships and two WCHA regular-season titles.
Personal Scouting Report: “I’m an energetic, passionate, honest, but optimistic coach. I think there’s a balance there because you have to be honest with your players in terms of what they need to get better at, but I am an optimist by nature. I do look for the best in people and try to bring that out in them. But competitive, aggressive, compassionate and together are mottos and keywords that really stick in my mind of what I’m about but what I want our team to be about as well.”
Looking forward to the ROC: “I’m just really excited to be there. I’m excited to get to work with the Sabres and with the Americans. I can’t wait to get a chance to meet everybody in person that works for the Americans. I can’t wait to meet the fans because I know what a great and passionate fan base we have. Those are the things I’m most excited about and I’m really looking forward to getting after it with everybody.”
Assistant Coach, Adam Mair
Former Position: RW
Birthdate: Feb. 15, 1979
Birthplace: Hamilton, Ontario
Playing Experience: A fourth-round pick (84th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1997, Mair spent the bulk of his 13-year pro playing career with the Sabres, playing a significant role in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007. He finished his career with 114 points in (38+76) in 615 NHL games with Toronto, Los Angeles, Buffalo and New Jersey as well as eight points (3+5) in 35 playoff contests.
He also added 120 points (53+67) over 172 American Hockey League appearances for the St. John’s Maple Leafs, Manchester Monarchs and Springfield Falcons, including a career-high 49-point campaign as a rookie during the 1999-00 season. Internationally, he led Team Canada to a silver medal with two points (1+1) in seven games at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Coaching Experience: Prior to serving as player development coach for the Sabres over the last five season, Mair spent two years as a coach at the Academy of Hockey and two years as the director of player development at Canisius College in Buffalo, joining the program shortly after his retirement following the 2011-12 season.
Mair made his pro coaching debut this past season when he served as an interim assistant coach for Rochester’s first 18 games of the 2019-20 campaign, helping the Amerks go 12-3-1-2 over that span and maintain a first-place standing in the American Hockey League’s North Division.
Personal Scouting Report: “I’m going to be a lot like I was when I was a player – I’m going to be extremely hard working, competitive, passionate to win but also I’ll be detailed and prepared. I think those are the two areas, that when it comes to working with our players and putting development and game plans together, that I’m excited about and I’m someone who likes to learn.”
Looking forward to the ROC: “Getting behind the bench, seeing the passionate fans of Rochester and being a part of a big team win. I think that ‘together teamness’ is important and it’s something we’ve talked about as a coaching staff as one of our biggest tendencies – being together and being together as a group for that first big win.”
Assistant Coach, Mike Weber
Former Position: D
Birthdate: Dec. 16, 1987
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Playing Experience: A second-round pick (57th overall) of the Sabres in 2006, Weber recorded 53 points (9+44) and 437 penalty minutes while playing all but 10 of his 351 NHL games for Buffalo prior to a brief stint with the Washington Capitals.
Weber also totaled 51 points (8+43) in 237 career AHL games, most recently serving as team captain of the Iowa Wild in 2016-17. He made his pro debut with the Amerks in 2007-08, his lone season in Rochester, and would spend a majority of the following two seasons with the Portland Pirates, leading the team to a playoff appearance in 2010 after a career-high 21 points during the regular season.
He was rewarded with a trip to the AHL All-Star Classic in 2010 before going to spend the next six full seasons in the NHL.
Coaching Experience: Weber transitioned into coaching with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League midway through the 2017-18 season following an 11-year playing career as a defenseman.
Prior to embarking on his pro coaching career, this past season Weber guided the Spitfires to a third-place finish in the OHL’s West Division with a 34-20-8-0 overall record and what would have been their fifth straight playoff appearance prior to the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Personal Scouting Report: “Relentless in my efforts, hardworking and bringing huge energy to the rink every day. My favorite saying is, ‘There’s never a bad day in pro hockey,’ there should never be a bad day in pro hockey in general. Coming to the rink every day, there should be a sense of pride and a sense of urgency to win the day.”
Looking forward to the ROC: “Obviously, getting there will be exciting in itself, but being with the team and being with the staff. I’m a big team guy. That was one of the biggest things was staying in the game and you always want to be in the locker room with the guys and with your group that you have.”
GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, announced that forward Josh French has been signed to a standard player contract for the 2020-21 season.
French joins the Thunder following a four-year career at Minnesota State University (Mankato) where he appeared in 149 games (14G-23A-37P). The Woodbury, MN native was a part of three Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship teams and one postseason championship team in 2018-19.
Before his collegiate hockey days, French laced up for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League. The 5-foot-11, 174-pound center played in 116 games (26G-49A-75P) and served as an assistant captain during his final season.
French played for two years with Minnesota’s Hill-Murray School and was named captain for the 2013-14 season. In USHS-MN, French skated in 50 games at the high school level and racked up 38 points (34G-34A).
16th Annual Event Set Feb. 4-7, 2021 on Dollar Lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Registration for the 16th Annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships set for Feb. 4-7, 2021, on Dollar Lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin – will begin on Sept. 30 at 12 p.m. ET, it was announced by USA Hockey.
Teams interested in participating can find the online registration portal by clicking here.
“We’re excited to be returning to Eagle River for what is one of the most anticipated hockey events each season for our adult players,” said Ashley Bevan, USA Hockey’s senior director of adult hockey. “We’ve worked with stakeholder groups, including local health officials, in establishing protocols to provide the safest possible environment for everyone involved, and while things will certainly be a bit different, we look forward to a great tournament.
“This event sells out quickly each year and we encourage those teams that are interested in participating to be ready to register on Sept. 30.”
The registration fee is $700 per team and all players must be registered with USA Hockey prior to the start of the tournament.
BINGHAMTON - Tioga State Bank‘s TSB Foundation presented the Southern Tier Independence Center of Binghamton with a check for $5,500, culminating a successful “Goals for Charity” campaign with the Binghamton Devils hockey team, in which the bank donated $50 per goal scored by the team at home.
According to Tioga State Bank President and CEO Robert Fisher, “The Goals for Charity program is a natural for the TSB Foundation to support. We are all about care for the community, and so are the Binghamton Devils and the Southern Tier Independence Center.” STIC is a community-based advocacy and service organization for children and adults with all types of disabilities.
Despite a shortened hockey season, the program still saw a record number of goals produced. In 32 games played at home, the Devils scored 110 goals, which made the total $5,500 donated by TSB to STIC.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch presented Upstate University Hospital with a $5,000 initial donation from the sale of Puck Off COVID-19 T-shirts.
“It’s an honor and privilege for the Crunch to be able to support the outstanding work being done on an ongoing basis by the brave and talented workers at Upstate University Hospital,” said Crunch Owner Howard Dolgon. “They continually dedicate their life and risk their health so that others can get well. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”
The tees, which feature “Puck Off COVID-19” on the front with “We will be back… stronger” across the back, are an initiative by the team to support local COVID-19 relief efforts. Shirts are still available at www.syracusecrunch.com/stronger. The Crunch will make additional donations as sales continue.
In addition to the recent monetary donation, the team previously donated meals to healthcare workers screening and treating patients affected by COVID-19 at Upstate University Hospital through the Fuel The Force initiative with Tully’s Good Times and CopperTop Tavern. Fan donations and a contribution from the Crunch Foundation helped feed 220 front-line workers in April.
POTSDAM, N.Y.- SUNY Potsdam Interim Director of Athletics Mark Misiak has announced Greg Haney as the Bears women’s hockey team’s new head coach. Haney replaces Jay Green, who restarted the program in 2007 and led the Bears for 13 seasons.
“I’m thrilled that Greg has decided to accept our offer to become the next head coach of our women’s ice hockey program,” said Misiak. “Everyone I spoke with about Greg commented on his professionalism, work-ethic and dedication to his craft. I’m positive he will be a great addition to our staff and a great role-model for our student-athletes.”
Haney comes from the women’s Division I program at Lindenwood University, where he served as an assistant for the last two seasons. While with the Lions he assisted in all recruiting, ran all aspects of team video, scouted opponents, led team skill and situational development sessions, coordinated team travel, assisted in the running of the program’s social media accounts and assisted in academic advising.
Haney is no stranger to Potsdam and the Northeast Women’s Hockey League, spending the three seasons prior to Lindenwood as the assistant coach at Oswego State. He helped guide the Lakers to three straight postseason appearances and to the NEWHL Championship game in 2018. Haney was Oswego’s lead recruiting coordinator, bringing in the 2017 and 2020 conference rookie of the year.
Haney also spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant on the men’s staff at Wisconsin’s-Stevens Point, where he helped guide the Pointers to the national championship game, and two seasons with the men’s program at Western New England from 2012-14. Haney played three seasons at SUNY Cortland (2007-10) before an injury cut his career short.
Haney holds a bachelor’s in communications studies from Cortland and is currently working on a master’s in education from Wisconsin-Steven’s Point.
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Jamestown Rebels have suspended operations for the 2020-21 season. The Rebels will not play during the 2020-21 season but have set a return date for the 2021-22 season.
A dispersal draft will be held in the near future for those players currently on the Rebels 2020-21 Protected List, which includes veteran players, tenders, and draft picks.
Currently, the State of New York does not allow for scrimmages or games to played in the sport of ice hockey, which has been placed in the ‘high risk’ category by the Governor.
“We are disappointed that the Rebels will not be able to participate in the 2020-21 NAHL season. We exhausted many options in our attempt return to play, but unfortunately none of them were in the best interest of our players, staff, and fans. We remain fully committed to return to play in the NAHL for the 2021-22 season and look forward to continuing our proud tradition we have established the past six years with our great partners in the East Division. We appreciate the support of the NAHL and specifically Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld, who worked tirelessly to try and keep us playing this season. We are looking forward to our return to the ice in the 2021-22 and wish good luck to our partners in the East Division and all the players in the NAHL this season,” said Rebels Owner and Govenor Ken Dennis.
“We support the Rebels decision to suspend operations and will continue to work with them to make sure they can make a safe return to play in 2021-22. The local and state restrictions currently in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic made it very difficult for them to successfully operate,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld.
The Rebels have been members of the NAHL since the 2015-16 season. Over the course of their five seasons in the East Division, the Rebels have posted a 178-94-22 record in 294 NAHL regular season games. This past season, the Rebels were in 5th place in the East Division with a 21-30-3 record when the season was canceled.
The Rebels made back-to-back appearances in the Robertson Cup Championships in 2016 and 2017 as the East Division Playoff Champions. Their best season in the NAHL came during the 2016-17 season when the team won the East Division Regular Season and Playoff titles and had the best record in the NAHL during the regular season with a 46-11-3 mark.
The New York Rangers are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Nevin. A captain and fan favorite during his tenure with the Blueshirts, his honest, two-way play and leadership earned him the respect and admiration of his teammates and Rangers fans alike. Our thoughts are with Bob’s wife, Linda, and his family.
The staff of NY Hockey OnLine also add their thoughts and prayers to the Nevin family. RIP Bob.
NewEdge Hockey Development Academy is excited to announce the addition of Lucian Forcucci to our Professional Trainers staff. Forcucci brings over 20 years of coaching experience to our team and has experience working with athletes from the youth to professional ranks.
Forcucci is the head coach of the Buffalo Regals SCTA Minor Atom Team as well as the Head Coach for the Orchard Park Girls Varsity hockey team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in skill development and athletic performance. Coach Forcucci played his college hockey at Fredonia State and is currently a teacher and coach in the Orchard Park School District.
Lucian Forcucci / Professional Trainer NewEdge Hockey Development Academy
“I have been following NewEdge Hockey for some time now and can see why they are the number one hockey development company in NYS. I am excited to be part of their professional staff”
The Elmira Junior Enforcers, proud member of the USPHL Premier Division, have announced the signing of forward Lance Hamilton.
Hamilton, a 2001 born player who was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii has played in Colorado the past 2 seasons, competing for the Colorado Rampage 18U AAA in 2018-2019, and Monument Hockey Academy 18U this past season. Lance is a versatile player who can skate at forward or defense, and will provide skill and speed to the Junior Enforcers lineup.
CHICAGO, IL – The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced that the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Madison Capitols will suspend operations for the 2020-21 season.
The RoughRiders home arena, the ImOn Ice Arena incurred substantial damage during an August 10, 2020 derecho storm. The Capitols face significant county restrictions related to COVID-19 that affect their ability to practice, play and host spectators.
A dispersal draft will be held for the players currently on both team’s rosters. Both teams plan to resume play for the 2021-22 USHL season.
“Both clubs were resolute in their desire to take the ice, but ultimately these extenuating circumstances prevent them from playing this season,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “We share the disappointment of RoughRiders and Capitols fans, and we look forward to welcoming these Clubs back for the 2021-22 season.”
This will be the first USHL season without the RoughRiders since they joined the league for the 1999-2000 season. Since joining the league, Cedar Rapids and General Manager & Head Coach Mark Carlson have amassed a 665-467-116 record. Carlson is the second-winningest Coach in USHL history and three-time USHL Coach of the Year (2005, 2011, 2016) and led the team to the Clark Cup Championship in 2005.
“The property damage suffered in the entire Cedar Rapids area by its residents and businesses was significant,” said RoughRiders President, General Manager and Head Coach Mark Carlson. “Our community will rebuild and recover from the storm. We have already begun planning our return for the USHL 2021-22 hockey season.”
The Capitols joined the league starting in the 2014-15 season and have registered 20-or-more wins in four of their five full seasons. Tom Upton was hired as General Manager & Head Coach this offseason and was set to compete in his first season as a USHL head coach.
“This is an extremely difficult decision for our organization as we are deeply disappointed for our players, fans and the Madison community,” said Capitols Owner Ryan Suter. “However, due to Dane County’s restrictions, we are unable to play games and host fans in our venue. We are preparing our return in the 2021-22 season.”
The USHL is preparing a 14-team regular season schedule to be released soon. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Friday, November 6.
Latham, NY– Julie Bergman of Hancock Central School (Section IV) officially took over as the 50th President of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association on September 1st. Bergman begins a two-year term (2020-2022) as President after serving as an officer for the previous four years (2016-2020).
Also, on Tuesday, September 1st Tim Mullins of Bayport-Blue Point (Section XI) began his term as a NYSPHSAA officer in the role of second Vice President. Russell Bartlett, Superintendent of Tupper Lake Central School District (Section X), moves into the role of first Vice President. Bartlett served as second Vice President for the last two years. Paul Harrica (Section X) transitioned from President (2018-2020) to the role of Past President for the next two years and Jim Osborne (Section IX) completed his eight years of service to the Association as the outgoing Past President.
Julie Bergman is a former student-athlete at Binghamton High School (Section IV) and has been an educator for nearly 30 years. She previously worked at Franklin Central School District, Walton Central School Districtand Delaware Academy and Central School District at Delhi, all in Section IV. Currently, she is the PreK-12 principal at Hancock Central School District.
“Serving NYSPHSAA as President is an opportunity I never envisioned in my career. I am truly humbled and honored,” said Bergman. “I am looking forward to continued collaboration with Dr. Robert Zayas (NYSPHSAA Executive Director) and the other members of the NYSPHSAA office staff, officers, the Executive and Central Committees and sport coordinators to provide the student-athletes of New York State with a variety of athletic opportunities to supplement their academics.”
Harrica served as Association President from 2018-2020 and remains an active officer in the role of Past President. A career that has spanned over 45 years in high school and college athletics, Harrica has deep roots in Section X. He has worked at Dannemora High School, Clinton Community College, Malone Central School District and Chateaugay Central School District. In his time as NYSPHSAA President, he has led the COVID-19 Task Force and accomplished a bevy of other projects during his time including the restructuring of the championship site bid process. Harrica was inducted into the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame in 2013.
“From watching my own children, to all the student athletes that I have observed for over 45 years in athletics, it is the joy on their faces while competing that I enjoy the most,” said Harrica. “Whether it is a modified game or the finals of the state championships, their smiles say it all. I don’t think you can truly appreciate what goes on behind the scenes at the state championships until you are at them from start to finish. From the set-up hours or days before to the dismantling after the spectators have left, the NYSPHSAA staff, sport coordinators and volunteers work tirelessly.”
Mullins has been the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics at Bayport-Blue Point School District (Section XI) since 2003. Prior to that he worked at West Islip School District (Section XI) and has been a member of the Section XI and NYSPHSAA boys’ lacrosse committees since 2006. He begins an eight-year term as a NYSPHSAA officer (2020-2028) in the role of second Vice President.
“My goal as an officer is to keep the rich tradition of excellence going that has been created by NYSPHSAA,” said Mullins. “Dr. Zayas and his staff have created tremendous opportunities for student-athletes around the state. I want to ensure the association continues to make positive impacts on student–athletes and coaches across this great state. During these unprecedented times I think the importance of athletics has never been so vital. There is no time like the present where our students need an outlet, their teammates and coaches to get back to some sort of normalcy.”
Osborne has been a NYSPHSAA officer since 2012 having served his presidency from 2016-2018. He graduated from Burke Catholic High School (Section IX) and was hired as a teacher/coach/athletic director at Burke from 1977-1994. Osborne was inducted into the New York State Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006 after a 17-year coaching career that included 233 wins and a pair of appearances in the NYSPHSAA Final Four. He recalls some of the highlights of his tenure as an officer were attending NYSPHSAA championships where he had the opportunity to congratulate student-athletes and coaches firsthand in addition to working with Dr. Zayas and the Association staff, and being able to attend all eleven section athletic council meetings.
“Athletics are so important to the social, emotional and educational development of our student–athletes. So many life experiences can be found in athletics which is why we need strong programs,” said Osborne “It’s easy to see a problem from your own perspective but to find the solution for that problem, you have to look at it from other people’s perspective.”
All NYSPHSAA officers serve an eight-year term on a voluntary basis. The current NYSPHSAA officers are:
President – Julie Bergman (Section IV) 1st Vice President – Russell Bartlett (Section VII)
2nd Vice President – Tim Mullins (Section XI) Past President – Paul Harrica (Section X)