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The Dates of the 2018 College Hockey Atlantic Combine Event Have Been Announced

October 14th, 2017

This upcoming summer, the 4th Annual College Hockey Atlantic event will be held from June 21st to June 24th, in the Halifax – Dartmouth area.

The significant  change to the 2018 event, is that we are really pleased to announce that we will also add a FEMALE division to the event,

“We have had a significant demand for this addition by many of the Prep School and Colleges, who have attended in the past, and who wish to attend in the future”, says David MacDonald, Chairman of the Event.

This year, we will have 4 divisions participating in the Event, and they will be as follows;

             Male – 1999 to 2002 born                     Female – 1999 to 2002 born

            Male – 2003 and 2004 born                   Female – 2003 and 2004 born

The event will feature physical fitness testing, team practice, highly competitive games, and several seminars which will include sessions led by current Prep School and NCAA College coaches, and current and former NCAA College Hockey Players.

We look forward to  this year’s event, and look forward to the possibility of seeing you in Halifax.








Eric Lang Will Be A Member of Our 2017 College Hockey Atlantic Staff

February 20, 2017

Coach Lang is the Head Coach of the Men’s Hockey Team at the American International College.

He began his third stint as a Yellow Jacket, after being a four year member of the hockey team while earning a psychology degree in 1998 and returning to serve as Graduate Assistant from 2006-08 earning his master’s degree in Organizational Behavior.

AIC is an NCAA Division I Hockey Program, located in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Lang, a ten-year coaching veteran, returned to his alma mater after spending the previous four seasons on the bench at Army West Point. During his tenure with the Black Knights, Lang worked his way up from a volunteer assistant during the 2012-13 campaign to serve as lead assistant over the last three seasons.”

While at Army, Lang was responsible for handling the power-play unit, which ranked fourth in Atlantic Hockey during the 2015-16 season, as well as coordinating video analysis of games and working with student-athletes in on- and off-ice drills.

Lang also served as a key factor in recruiting efforts during his time with the Cadets which saw Army West Point move from a last place finish in 2013-14 (6-28) to a berth in the Atlantic Hockey Championship Weekend in 2015-16 after a 15-15-9 finish. Led by a strong sophomore class, Lang recruited 2014-15 Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team member Tyler Pham as well as the leading scorer for the Black Knights in 2015-16, Conor Andrle (13-20-33).

Before his time at West Point, Lang spent four seasons at Manhattanville College, a Division III institution, guiding the women’s team for three seasons and the men’s team for one. At the helm of the Lady Valiants, Lang captured an ECAC East Conference and regular season title as well as the number eight ranking in the final Division III national poll while winning a total of 58 games. In his one season behind the bench with the men, Lang led the team to a 14-9 record.

Much of Lang’s success at West Point can be attributed to his time with the Yellow Jackets both as a player and graduate assistant coach. He holds an abundance of experience in Atlantic Hockey and understands what it takes to be competitive.

Lang skated in 80 games for AIC over his four years in the mid-90s, serving as a two-year captain while being honored with the ECAC Merit Medal and the College’s Henry Butova Leadership Award. He scored 25 goals and added 34 assists for 59 points from 1994-1998.

Lang graduated from AIC in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology before going on to earn his Master of Arts in organizational development in 2008.

He has also worked for the National Hockey League as an off-ice official, assisting with in-game scoring and analysis in addition to coaching for four years at Byram Hills High School during his 20 plus years of hockey experience.

 Eric looks forward to coming to Halifax this summer, and is looking to identify players who may be suitable to play NCAA College Hockey in the future (even in 5-6 years time).

He invites players to come out and “get on the radar”. He will be available to meet and talk with players and families while he is at the Combine.

Note: Ben Meisner, who a 1990 born goalie from Halifax, and is presently playing for Augsburger Panther, a German professional team is a Yellow Jacket Alumnus. Ben has spoken at our last two combines, to great acclaim, and has provided terrific insight regarding the NCAA college route.


Doug Friedman Joins Our 2017 Combine Staff, Set For Halifax from June 22 and 25th

February 10, 2017

Coach Doug Friedman is in his 3rd season as the head coach of the Kents Hill School Boys’ Prep Hockey Team.

This will be Doug’s third year back at the College Hockey Atlantic Combine event, in Halifax, NS.

Coach Friedman was born in Connecticult, and raised in Maine.

He played four years with Boston University in the NCAA before being drafted by the Quebec Nordiques. He later played for the Edmonton Oilers and the Nashville Predators.

Ice hockey has a long and proud tradition at Kents Hill School. Hockey has been played there since the early 1900’s and over the past 100 years the program has seen its share of great players, coaches, teams and advances in facilities

In 2001 the hockey program began play in the Alfond Athletic Center, a 7 million dollar athletic facility on campus that features pro style locker rooms and an NHL style hockey rink.

Coach Friedman is looking for student-athletes who will make terrific classmates and hockey players, at one of New England’s premier boarding schools.

Doug is looking forward to watching  great hockey, and meeting players and parents at this year’s College Hockey Atlantic Combine. He will be available during the event to help answer questions and provide information regarding Prep School and College Hockey



Jeff Lewis Joins the 2017 College Hockey Atlantic Advisory Staff

January 20, 2017

Coach Lewis is currently in his 4th year as the Director of Hockey and Head Coach of the Boys’ Varsity Hockey team at Rothesay Netherwood School.. 

Jeff brings a wealth of hockey coaching experience from various levels and backgrounds. Prior to RNS, Jeff was a Physical Education teacher and Athletic Director at Pugwash District High School, in Pugwash Nova Scotia. Jeff has also acted as the development coordinator for the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association and has worked within the POE (Program of Excellence) with both Hockey Nova Scotia and Hockey Canada. Before his time behind the Riverhawk’s bench, Coach Lewis served as an Assistant Coach / Assistant GM as well as the Head Coach of the Amherst Junior A Ramblers of the Maritime Hockey League over a span of six seasons.

Coach Lewis continues to grow the RNS Hockey brand, and the program has seen great advancements during Jeff’s time at RNS. Jeff continues to engage and develop our young student-athletes so they are prepared for school, hockey and life after their time at RNS.

Jeff received a Bachelor of Kinesiology (with a Concentration in Coaching) as well as a Bachelor of Education from the University of N ew Brunswick. Jeff also has a passion for youth hockey in the local region and continues to be involved in on-ice instruction with KVMHA, GUSTO Hockey, The Danny Cleary Hockey School, and the UNB Varsity Reds advanced programs.

Jeff looks forward to meeting players and parents who may be considering attending a prep school in the future, and looks 



Darryl Plandowski joins the 2017 Combine Staff and Advisory Board

January 3, 2017

Darryl Plandowski has been the Head Amateur Scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past 6 seasons.

He aids in managing the team’s amateur scouting staff and is responsible for draft preparation and execution. Before joining the Lightning, he spent two seasons as an amateur scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins and before that, he served eight years in the same capacity for the Buffalo Sabres.

Before entering the NHL, Darryl spent four seasons in Hockey Operations with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL and two seasons as an assistant coach.

Darryl played college hockey at Northern Michigan University from 1987-1991, recording 53 goals and 131 career points in 166 games and won the NCAA Division 1 Championship title in 1991.

Darryl looks forward to seeing you in Halifax this coming summer.



Latest Update Regarding The 2017 College Hockey Atlantic Combine

December 29th, 2016

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Early Bird Special has been highly successful, and our Event is now 70% Sold Out.To date, we have had several dozen coaches / recruiters / scouts confirm they are coming to the 2017 Combine event.mapNever before, have as many NCAA Division I coaches been at one event at the same time in Eastern Canada, and this is the direct result of the high quality of players which have been enrolled in this event, during the past two years.Our Combine attracts many of the top Bantam and Midget players from throughout North America, as well as Europe.

The attached map indicates where players have already signed up from for the 2017 Event.

The Event not only provides an opportunity to play in front of some of the world’s best coaches, and top colleges / universities, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for players and families to find out the truth about College Hockey during the Seminars and Question & Answer Sessions that are schedule during the weekend.

For those who have applied for the goaltender spots for players born between 1998 and 2001, we are sorry but we are completely sold out.

We have already received double the goaltender applications, as we have available spots. Our Committee is now conducting research and will notify all goalies before January 20, 2017 regarding the status of their applications.

Unfortunately, we have been overwhelmed and have not been able to conduct all our due diligence regarding the goalies that have applied.

We are pleased to announce that this year, we have added another division to the 2017 College Hockey Atlantic year, we will have also a Junior All-Star Game during the event. For those players born between January 1996 and March of 1998, we will provide a practice and a game that will enable this group to play in front of the coaches, who will be in Halifax for the Bantam and Midget Combine. Participation is through invitation only, but players may express their interest in being invited by visiting our website and sending a note to us.

I wish to point out one of the greatest fallacies regarding these types of showcase events.

Often parents of Bantam-aged players are not aware of the tremendous amount of interest that colleges have in identifying players at the bantam-aged group. Although midget-aged players are of great interest to these coaches, I am always amazed at the attention expressed towards our Bantam-aged group.

In each of the past two years. we have had a 14 year old player (who had not even played their second year of bantam hockey) been identified at the College Hockey Atlantic Combine, and been offered a full scholarship to a US college (valued at about $300,000) for the future.

We think this is an excellent event for which players can get seen, and make a real impact.

David MacDonald
Committee Chair

Brian Hills of RIT to Join College Hockey Atlantic Combine Coaching Staff

December 28th, 2016

hills_brianBrian Hills begins his 12th season at RIT, and tenth as the associate head coach in 2016-17.
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. Last season, the Tigers won their second consecutive AHC Championship and advanced to the NCAA East Regional. In addition, Hills helped lead RIT to four Atlantic Hockey Championship game appearances, and four Atlantic Hockey Regular Season championships over a six-season span.
Hills played ice hockey at Bowling Green State University the same time as current RIT head coach Wayne Wilson where they were teammates. 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.

ritlogoHills 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.

Hills spent seven years (1994-2001) as an assistant coach with Bowling Green. During that time he 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.
He would later become the head coach at SUNY Geneseo, a position he would hold for four seasons where he led the Knights to a record of 18-7-4, a SUNYAC Championship, the quarterfinals of the NCAADivision III Tournament, and a No. 7 ranking in the final Division III poll during his last season. 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.

Coach Brian is looking forward to seeing some great hockey in Halifax this summer, and looks forward to meeting players and families and helping to answer any questions regarding the college hockey experience.


Bill Riga Joins Our 2017 College Hockey Atlantic Staff

December 26th, 2016

bill_riga_ncaa_1Bill Riga enters his  third season as the Bobcats’ Associate Head Coach, and his ninth year  at Quinnipiac.

This will be Coach Riga’s third year back to Halifax’s College Hockey Atlantic Combine, and it has proven to be a very good event for him, as three past participants of our event have committed to play NCAA Division 1 Hockey at Quinnipiac University.

The Bobcats’ recruiting coordinator, Riga has played an  instrumental part in Quinnipiac’s four consecutive NCAA Tournament  appearances, highlighted by a pair of appearances in the NCAA Frozen  Four and National Championship Game in 2013 and 2016.

Since arriving at Quinnipiac, the Bobcats have accumulated 183 wins,  including 108 over the last three seasons, which is tied with North  Dakota for the most inNCAA Division I men’s ice hockey in that span. In  addition, Quinnipiac has won three of the last four Cleary Cups for the  ECAC Hockey Regular Season Championship, while this past season saw the  Bobcats win their first Whitelaw Cup for the ECAC Hockey Tournament  Championship.Riga’s squads have consisted of five National Hockey League (NHL) draft  picks, the first two Quinnipiac players to appear in a NHL game in Eric  Hartzell and BryceVan Brabant, as well as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award  Hat-Trick Finalist and two All-Americans (Hartzell and Sam Anas), in  addition to the Tim Taylor National  Rookie of the Year and ECAC Hockey  Rookie of the Year (Anas) as well as multiple
All-ECAC Hockey league  selections.

Academically, Quinnipiac has registered a 3.275 grade-point-average over  Riga’s 16 semesters in Mt. Carmel. 2013-14 saw Quinnipiac post its  highest GPA in program history, as 27 of the 28 Bobcats’ posted a 3.00  GPA or higher on their way to carrying
a 3.44 team-wide cumulative GPA.  At 24-10-6, Quinnipiac was ranked No. 6 nationally in the year’s final  polls.

quinnipiac-logoIn 2012-13, the first class in which Riga served as the primary  recruiter reached unprecedented highs as the Bobcats were ranked No. 1  nationally over the final three months of the regular season, while also  winning the Cleary Cup for the ECAC Hockey Regular-Season Championship  by the largest margin in league history. As a result, the Bobcats were  the top-ranked team in the NCAA Tournament, as they
made their first  appearance in over a decade in the national competition. Quinnipiac won  the first game and regional championship in Quinnipiac’s Division I  history,reaching the coveted NCAA Frozen Four. The Bobcats defeated St.  Cloud State in the national semifinal game, before losing in the  National Championship Game to finish as National Runner-ups.

Riga’s college hockey recruiting prowess became evident in his first  sting prior to joining Quinnipiac at Union College. While at Union from  2003 through 2008, Riga also served as the Dutchmen’s primary recruiter.  As a result, Union won two ECAC Hockey championships and also advanced  to the NCAA Frozen Four.

Before joining the Union coaching staff, Riga was the head coach of the  Eastern  Junior Hockey League’s Boston Junior Bruins from 1996 through  2003. In eight seasons as the Bruins’ head coach, Riga placed 33  athletes on NCAA Division I rosters,  while two played in the NHL. In  addition, Riga served as the EJHL Director of Media Relations from 2000  through 2003.

In addition to his coaching experience, Riga has also served as an  instructor at USA Hockey’s Select 16’s and 17’s Festival in Rochester,  N.Y. from 2009 to the present. He has also served as an ownership  partner of the Rand Pecknold Power  Skating  Camp, from 2012 to the  present, as well as the Junior Bruins Power Skating Camp, from 2002 to  the present.

Riga graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where he was a four-year letter winner on the River Hawks hockey team, with a  bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology. He recently completed his  master’s degree in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac  University’s School of Business. In addition, Coach Riga is one of two NCAA Division I coaches on the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee.


Mike Chiellino to join our 2017 Conbine Coaching Staff

December 22nd, 2016

chiellino_mike_2015-16Mike Chiellino is in his third season as the Head Coach of the Gilmour Academy Prep Team, of Gates Mills, Ohio.

Coach Chiellino brings with him a fresh approach to the game as it relates to his personal experience as both a player and a coach at the collegiate level, as well as within private school and youth settings.

During the past two year’s College Hockey Atlantic Combine events, he has provided an incredible “down to earth” perspective for those young players, and families, who had important decisions to make over the next year, or two.

His love of the game dates back to his days as a player before transitioning into the coaching ranks in 2009.

He grew up in New York where he was one of the varsity boys ice hockey team’s top five leading scorers his junior and senior years at New Hartford High School. He went on to play two seasons at Mohawk Valley Community College where he ranked in the nation’s top 15 in points as a team captain in his second season. He then took his playing career to Siena College in Albany, NY. He helped lead the team to two ACHA Final Four appearances, including a third place finish his senior year. During his 141 college hockey games he recorded 116 points.

lancergilmourOn the coaching side, Chiellino began his career at the Nichols School in Buffalo in 2009, serving as the head coach of the boys 7th and 8th grade prep team before moving up less than one year later to become the head coach of the senior boys division 2 prep team as well as a key piece to growing the boys hockey program.

During the off-season, he served as an assistant director and coach with Complete Hockey NY, was a clinics instructor with David T. Smith Hockey and a team leader for the USA Hockey Select 16 and 17 National Player Development Camps.

Additionally, Chiellino has been a NYSAHA – USA Hockey Coaching Education program presenter and an assistant coach for the Women’s Western NY Team at the 2012 Empire State Games in Lake Placid, NY.
Prior to arriving at Gilmour Academy, Chiellino’s was a two-year NCAA assistant coach with the men’s ice hockey program at Hamilton College (NESCAC) in Clinton, NY.

Chiellino has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in criminal justice from Siena College and a master’s degree in counselor education from Canisius College.

He is a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association and USA Hockey.

Coach Chiellino is looking forward to meeting players and their families during this year’s Atlantic Combine, and is looking forward to providing honest and direct answers to difficult and confusing questions regarding prep school and college opportunities, as they relate to playing hockey. He also is looking forward to possibly identifying future student-athletes who may be interested in attending Gilmour Academy to help fulfill their academic and athletic dreams.


 Dartmouth College’s John Rose to Join the 2017 Combine Staff

December 21, 2016


The 2016-17 season is John Rose’s eighth on the bench for Dartmouth since joining the men’s hockey staff for the 2009-10 campaign. Previously, Rose had spent one year coaching at the junior hockey level with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL.

At Dartmouth, Rose works closely with Associate Head Coach David Lassonde on the team’s recruiting process. His evaluation and development with young players, especially defensemen, has translated to success at the collegiate level at Dartmouth as well as his previous two collegiate coaching stints.

That Division I collegiate hockey experience came while working as an assistant at the University of Alaska and Mercyhurst College.In his most recent stint with a college team before the Big Green, Rose made the move to the CCHA in 2007-08 and was instrumental in recruiting 12 players that helped Alaska improve to a fourth-place finish in 2008-09.Prior to Alaska, Rose spent three years at Mercyhurst, where he served as a volunteer assistant for two seasons before being promoted to assistant coach for the 2006-07 season.During his time in Erie, Rose helped lead the Lakers to an Atlantic Hockey League Championship and a trip to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. With Mercyhurst, Rose was responsible for recruiting, strength and conditioning, video breakdown and analysis, scouting opponents and practice coordination.


Rose coached for a year at Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston), a Division III program of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Northeast, the year before his stint at Mercyhurst. The Leopards went 16-9-4 during the 2003-04 season, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

Rose spent the 2008-09 season in the USHL as an assistant coach for the Tri-City Storm and spent five consecutive summers coaching at the Minnesota Hockey Camps run by Pittsburgh Penguins scout Chuck Grillo. Rose also coaches each summer at the USA Hockey National Select Festivals.

Originally from Potsdam, New York, Rose attended New England College of the ECAC East in Henniker, N.H., and graduated in 2003 with degrees in business administration and sport recreation management.

While at NEC, Rose was a four-year defenseman for the Pilgrims’ hockey program. During his sophomore campaign (2000-01), the Pilgrims won the ECAC East championship and participated in the NCAA Division III Tournament. As a senior, Rose played in the 2003 Division III East/West All-Star Game.
 Coach John looks forward to returning to Halifax for his second Combine event, and anticipates meeting some great players again this year, on and off the ice. He looks forward to helping answer questions that players and families might have about College Hockey, and how an Ivy League education can be helpful down the road.  


Ben Guite Joins Our Staff for the 2017 College Hockey Atlantic Combine

ben_gDecember 17, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Ben Guite has joined our 2017 Combine Coaching Staff.

Coach Guite, who helped lead Maine to the 1999 NCAA National Championship, is in his fourth season as a coach of the Black Bears. Following his graduation from the University of Maine, Ben spent 13 years in professional hockey.

“As a player 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 then he returned to the program that he loves as deeply as any Maine hockey player who’s ever played here”, says Red Genron. Head Coach for the Black Bears/

“I am thrilled and very excited to be coaching 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 was very fortunate for my experience as a student and a player at U-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.

maine_logoA 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 has also dedicated countless hours to hockey school coaching around throughout North America,  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.

We are extremely pleased to have Ben at this year’s upcoming College Hockey Atlantic Combine, to be held in Halifax from June 22nd – 25th. During this weekend, he will be on the ice for practices, behind the bench for games, and taking part in presentations and Q&A sessions for players and families.



Coach Leigh Mendelson of the University of Nebraska – Omaha, to join our Combine Staff for 2017


December 16, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Leigh Mendelson willl be in Halifax to help with this year’s College Hockey Atlantic Combine Event,

Leigh Mendelson was named assistant coach for the Mavericks in April of 2016/

In two years working with UNO’s goaltenders, Mendelson helped Ryan Massa set a school record for goals-against average and save percentage in a season as well as earn All-NCHC Second Team recognition in 2014-15.  

Last season, freshman Evan Weninger was named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team after leading UNO in wins, goals-against average and save percentage.

nebraska-omahaMendelson brings extensive amateur and professional coaching experience to bear for the Mavericks.  As an assistant coach with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, he was a member of Clark Cup Championship teams in 2001 and 2008 while working for former UNO associate head coach and current Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings.  

He has held similar positions in the USHL for Green Bay, Sioux City and Waterloo, in the North American Hockey League with Marquette and in the Western Hockey League with Spokane.  He also was the goaltender coach for the U.S. National Team Development Program during the 2002-03 season.

His professional hockey experience is equally vast.  Most recently, he was the head coach and senior director of hockey for HC Eppan in Italy for the 2013-14 season, one of two European stops.  He also was an assistant coach for Pelicans Lahti in the Finnish Elite League during the 2003-04 season.  In North America, he was an assistant coach and later elevated to the role of head coach for the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League and also held the position of assistant coach with Atlantic City and Utah in the ECHL.

Mendelson, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., graduated from UNO with a degree in history in 2015.


Coach Mike McCourt of Ridley College Prep School of St. Catharine’s (Ontario) to join our  2017 Combine Staff

December 15th, 2016

mccourt-mikeBorn and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Mike McCourt has enjoyed an extremely successful playing career followed by a long and distinguished coaching career that has covered the spectrum including minor professional, Tier 2, the NCAA and the Ontario Hockey League.

Coach McCourt played for three seasons with the Brockville Braves of the CCHL claiming numerous team and league awards including Best Defenseman garnering him a scholarship to St. Lawrence University in Canton New York.

He was a four-year letter winner and captain of some very successful Saints teams including the 1991-92 ECAC Champions and NCAA Quarter Finalists. Coach McCourt was the recipient of the Peter McGeough Award as the Saints Top Defenseman as well as league honors as a member of the ECAC All-Rookie Team in his freshman year and League All-Star in his senior campaign.

Graduating in 1994 Coach McCourt embarked on an eight year playing career, which included stops with the Canadian National Team, the American Hockey League and the International Hockey League as he ventured overseas and played for the three seasons in Europe, including Finland, Germany and Italy.

Following a career-ending shoulder injury, he was added to the Fresno Falcons coaching staff where he captured a WCHL championship.

He then proceeded to Clarkson University (ECAC) as an associate coach for a year before taking over as Head Coach and General Manager of his hometown Brockville Braves.

In three seasons with the Braves McCourt enjoyed a close to 60% winning percentage but more rewarding to him pushed close to 40 of his players on to the NCAA, CIS and OHL.

His success and ability to develop players led him to Robert Morris University (Atlantic Hockey) as an Associate Coach before joining the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

In three seasons in Niagara two as an Associate and one as the Head Coach McCourt’s teams made the playoffs each season while producing a number of National Hockey League draft picks including first round picks Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues) Doug Hamilton (Boston Bruins) Ryan Strome (NY Islanders) and Mark Visentin (Pheonix Coyotes).

Coach Kyle Wallack, of the University of Vermont, to join Our Combine Staff for 2017

December 7, 2016


kyle_wallackWe are pleased to announce that Associate Head Coach Kyle Wallack of the University of Vermont Division 1 Men’s Hockey Program will be at this year’s College Hockey Atlantic Combine, being held in Halifax from June 22nd to 25th 2017.

Coach Wallack will be on the ice during practices, and behind the bench during games. He will be taking part in presentations, and will be available to answer the questions of players and parents during this year’s event.

Kyle Wallack is in his fifth season on the University of Vermont men’s hockey coaching staff in 2016-17. He was promoted to the position of associate head coach in the summer of 2015.

Wallack boasts 16 years of Division I coaching experience and one season as a head coach in the United States Hockey League. Wallack has helped to craft some of the most prolific offenses in college hockey, while mentoring several standout goalies throughout his coaching career. 

Two years ago, Wallack helped the Catamounts secure back-to-back 20-win seasons for just the third time during the program’s Division I era. Wallack coached the power play to a 20.1-percent success rate to rank 13th in the country. It marked the first Vermont power play unit to eclipse 20-percent in a single season since 2005-06. UVM’s man advantage clicked at better than 22-percent in Hockey East play to rank second in the league.


In 2013-14, Wallack’s recruit Mario Puskarich became the first Vermont freshman to win the Hockey East Rookie of the Year Award. Puskarich was also one of three unanimous selections to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team after tying the NCAA lead with seven game-winning goals. Vermont ranked sixth during Hockey East play in power play percentage, as Wallack helped UVM to a 20-win campaign and a berth in its sixth NCAA Tournament in school history.


In 2011-12, Wallack was the head coach of the Indiana Ice in the USHL, leading the team to a 35-16-9 record in the regular season. Prior to his time with Indiana, he spent five years as an assistant coach at Yale and recruited the nation’s top scoring offense during his final two years in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Bulldogs won two ECAC titles in the final three seasons of his tenure, and he recruited several members of Yale’s 2013 NCAA national championship squad.


Wallack previously served as an assistant at Holy Cross for two seasons and helped the Crusaders register a historic overtime upset of Minnesota at the 2006 NCAA West Regional as part of a 27-win campaign. The West Hartford, Connecticut native also spent three years at Quinnipiac, winning the 2002 MAAC Championship, followed by two seasons at Connecticut before accepting the job at Holy Cross.


As a player, Wallack was a four-year starting goaltender at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He served as the team captain as a senior and earned All-NECHA honors twice during his career. Wallack has mentored several standout goaltenders as a collegiate coach, as goalies from all five of his Division I jobs have gone on to sign NHL entry level or AHL contracts.



Coach Rob Rassey, of Harvard University,  To Join Our Combine Staff for 2017

December 6, 2017


rassey_rob_headshotWe are pleased to announce that Rob Rassey has confirmed that he  will be at this year’s College Hockey Atlantic Combine.

The Event is being held in Halifax (Nova Scotia) from June 22nd – 25th, 2017.

In addition to working with players on the ice, and behind the bench, Rob will also be involved in delivering presentations and be able to answer questions that players and families may have, regarding College Hockey.

Rob Rassey joined the Harvard men’s hockey coaching staff in the fall of 2013 and is in his fourth season with the Crimson in 2016-17.


In his first season with Harvard, Rassey helped forwards Jimmy Vesey and Sean Malone earn All-Ivy League accolades, while Malone was tabbed Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year.


In continuing to develop the forwards, Vesey made national waves in Rassey’s second year, leading the country in goals and finishing as the Ivy and ECAC Player of the Year, as well as a Hobey Hat Trick finalist. The culmination of Vesey’s development occured in 2016 when he earned the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player.


Harvard’s offense ranked ninth in the country in 2015-16 with a 2.41 goals per game average. The Crimson’s high-powered offense led to it reaching the ECAC Hockey Tournament championship game for the second-straight season, while also earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Harvard posted a 19-11-14 record and won the Shillelagh (Notre Dame) and Mariucci (Minnesota) regular season tournaments.


The 2014-15 season also saw Harvard lead the ECAC in scoring at 3.23 per game. Vesey led the conference in scoring and Kyle Criscuolo and Tyler Moy each finished in the top-10. Nationally, Harvard ranked 10th in scoring offense at 3.27 goals per game. Its offense prowess led to a 21-win season, the ECAC Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Rassey comes to Cambridge after a successful two-year stint as an assistant coach with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League (USHL).


In his first year coaching with the club, he helped the Phantoms return to the USHL playoffs, securing a fourth-place finish thanks to a 32-win season. Last year, he saw the team notch 37 wins and finish third in its division, claiming another playoff berth. 
Prior to working with the Youngstown program, Rassey worked with USA Hockey Massachusetts Player Development for the select festival as a scout and coach. Before that, he was a volunteer coach with his alma mater, Northeastern University, from 2009-2011, helping the team to a 30-32-10 record. At Northeastern, Rassey was in charge of special teams, in game scouting/adjustments, game plan design, video breakdown, and bench management.
Rassey skated at Northeastern from 2005-2009, where his team improved from a three-win season his freshman year to a 25-win campaign as a senior – setting a university record and earning the school’s first NCAA tournament bid in more than 20 years.  He was a four-time letterman, a four-time Hockey East Academic Honor Roll recipient – including being named a Hockey East Distinguished Scholar in 2009 – and recipient of the 2008 Coaches’ Award for loyalty and friendship to the NU hockey program. He graduated in 2009 Magna Cum Laude with a degree in finance and management




College Hockey Atlantic Combine ’17 Event Plans Announced

November 30th, 2016


Plans have now been finalized for the hosting of the 2017 College Hockey Atlantic Combine.

img_5125-x2The Event will be held at the BMO Centre (in Halifax) again this upcoming year, from June 22nd – 25th, and it will be open to players born between 1998 and 2003. Players will be divided into two divisions.

The Combine Event will offer the opportunity for players and families to learn more about the various opportunities that are available for advancing their athletic and academic experiences.

There will be a number of NCAA College and CIS University Coaches, Junior Programs (from both Canada and US)  and Canadian and American Prep Schools in attendance during the four day event.

The weekend Event will offer dry-land fitness testing, on-ice practices with College and Prep Coaches, Games, Educational Seminars and Question and Answer Sessions.

This year, the price will be $575 Cdn (plus HST), and a Early Bird Price of $500 is available to players who are registered and paid by December 31, 2016.

Please click here to apply to participate in The College Hockey Atlantic Combine ’17.

Space is limited.



College Hockey Atlantic Combine Proves To Be A Very Good Event For Identifying The Road To College For Several Players

Summer of 2016

The College Hockey Atlantic Combine Event, held this past June in Halifax, was very helpful for identifying those players who are interested in possibly playing hockey at the next level, says Sean Flannigan, an Assistant Coach of Cornell University, an Ivy League School from New York State.

“This is now my second year at the Event, and it is extremely informative for players and parents who are interested in considering this option”, says Flannigan.

img_4915-sThis year’s event attracted a number of hockey players in two divisions, from across North America and from Europe. It provided a great weekend of competition for male hockey players between the ages of 13 and 14 (bantam), and also from 15 to 18 years of age (midget-junior).

In attendance were a number of universities and colleges from across Canada and the United States, several junior programs, as well as Prep School and midget programs.

“We know of eleven (11) different NCAA Division 1 College offers that were made at this year’s event, as well as a number of Division 3 and Junior offers. Of the Prep Schools, in attendance, we know of at least a dozen players who will be attending those schools over the next two years as a result of the June Event”, says David MacDonald, Committee Chair.

John Rose, Assistant Coach of Dartmouth’s Division 1 Program, could not believe the talent that he observed while in Halifax, and has already written and said, “Count me in for your Showcase next summer”.

img_5199-x2Quinnipiac’s Associate Head Coach, Bill Riga, was in attendance again for this summer’s event, and he identified at least one other of Atlantic Canada’s premier bantam players, who he hopes will soon commit to attend Quinnipiac University in the future, on an athletic scholarship.

Several bantam-aged and midget aged players were able to have candid discussions with Canadian and US based Prep Schools. Mike Chiellino, the Head Coach of Gilmour Academy of Cleveland (Ohio), states “This is a very worthwhile trip for us as we identify players who wish to leverage their hockey skills and receive a fabulous education, as they move closer towards playing College Hockey. I think this is a terrific Event for meeting players and families, and to provide exposure for our programs in a favourable environment.”

The 4 day event included the opportunity for fitness testing, on-ice practices, games, and a number of Educational Seminars as well as Question and Answer Sessions.

img_5342-x2Viktor Hatina, a 2001 born player from the Czech Republic, wrote to say, “Many thanks for chance to play with players from Canada and USA. It was good experience for me to measure where I am in relation to players from other parts of the World.” Viktor is now entertaining several offers from various Prep Schools from North America, as he readies for the World U-16 Championships and to come back next year to again show his skills to various junior, university and college coaches who he has spoken to at this year’s event, and who identified him as a player to watch in the future.

Plans are already underway for the College Hockey Atlantic Combine for June 2017, at the BMO Centre in Halifax, and more information will be available later in the Fall-Winter.






College Hockey Inc. Endorses The Atlantic Combine Event

January 20th, 2016

CollegeHockeyIncLogoToday, College Hockey Inc. has endorsed the College Hockey Atlantic Combine, being held in Halifax from June 23rd-26th.

College Hockey Inc., along with the Commissioners of the six NCAA Division I men’s hockey conferences, and the coaching staff and administrators of the 60 Division I programs, promotes College Hockey through grassroots initiatives, such as our Atlantic Combine, and it’s College Hockey Summits.

The organization is funded through a grant from the National Hockey League.

College Hockey is the fastest growing development path to the NHL, and is seen as the best hockey experience in the world, thanks to an elite on-ice product, outstanding educational opportunities and the unique campus environment.

ncaalogoGiven that the average NHL career lasts for less than five years, regardless of how good an athlete is, and the fact that he will face retirement at some point, a college education is seen as the best opportunity to give a player a “leg up” when it comes to the next stages of life.

In addition to it’s endorsement, College Hockey Inc. will have a presentation to be made at this summer’s Atlantic Combine, followed by a Q&A session.

To date, over 80 midget, prep school, junior, college and university programs have indicated that they will be in attendance at this year’s event, in Halifax.



College Atlantic Hockey Combine  Event

Update – January 13th, 2016

UpdateHeaderWe have written this brief update regarding the Atlantic Combine event being held this June in Halifax, Nova Scotia

So far, we have received confirmation from over 30 prep schools and 25 colleges and universities that they will attend to identify future student-athletes for their programs. In addition, we have over 50 local and international junior and midget programs who have said they will attend. We have also heard from 4 NHL scouts.

Recognizing that the identification and recruitment of hockey players is a long process, and not just a “chance glance” during an event, we have taken the liberty of sending information about our registrants out to various programs.

Because the organizers of the Combine are committed to ensuring that our participants have the very best chance of being recognized and offered opportunities to move on to the next level(s), we told those coaches and GMs that we would be pleased to provide any additional information they required.

Last year, over $1million of financial aid and athletic scholarships were awarded directly to participants of the Combine, and this year we have set a goal of over $2 million.With the high quality of players who have been applying, we think it is achievable.

To help achieve that goal, we are ensuring that as much information as possible is in the hands of our scouts and recruiters before they arrive in late June.

One of the events that we promoted this past weekend was the annual Ice Jam Event that was held at the BMO Centre (the same arena that we will be using this summer).

Many of those games were broadcast over the Internet and we sent information out to prep school, junior and college programs about those players who had signed up prior to last Wednesday. Our Watch List included about 40 players who played in that event.

We also included information regarding games broadcast from New York, Ontario, New England, Florida, Alberta, and British Columbia.

We are pleased to say that our staff  received many enquiries for additional information regarding players from the Watch List, which we then passed along, including future schedules, coach information and parent contact information.

This is the level of commitment that our committee has regarding  those players who sign up for the College Hockey Atlantic Combine. We see this, not as a one time event, but as a commitment to help as best we can, whenever we can…..

Looking forward to seeing you in soon,

The Combine Committee



College Atlantic Hockey Combine  Event

Summer 2016


Posted September 2015

xHillsTeachingOnIceFollowing the tremendous success of last year’s event, arrangement are now underway for the 2016 College Hockey Atlantic Combine.

This past June, we had players arrive from throughout North America and Europe to participate in an educational, fun-filled, action-packed weekend at the Dartmouth Sportsplex, to learn from some of North America’s top College and Prep School Hockey Coaches, and to compete in front of them, in an attempt to catch they eye of various coaches.

x-Player1As part of the weekend’s itinerary, players and parents were also provided the opportunity to participate and interact with future, present and former college and professional hockey players,  coaches and administrators, as well as college, junior and NHL recruiters and scouts.

x-CoachesOnBenchDuring the weekend, and shortly thereafter, we were made aware of over 30 different offers  that  have been made to participants, including several college commitments for as far  out as 1018-19. From that perspective, the 2015 Atlantic Combine event was surely a tremendous success.

The monetary value of the athletic and academic scholarships, as well as the financial aid, that resulted directly from the Event has exceeded $1 million.

As we wrap up the final details of the 2015 event, we wanted to let you know that we look forward to seeing  you in Halifax-Dartmouth for the 2016 College Hockey Atlantic Combine Event“, says Committee Chair David MacDonald.

Thanks to all the players, coaches, officials and volunteers who helped make this event happen.







CTV News Story – June 12th, 2015






Recruiting Tips

Listen to Bill Riga, Qinnipiac’s Associate Head Coach, talk about recruiting and some of his recruiting tips.

Coach Riga, has had an extensive NCAA background, having played 4 years  at U. Mass-Lowell, and then having coached at Union for 5 years and at Quinnipiac for 6 years.

Coach Riga will be in Halifax for the College Hockey Atlantic Combine from June 18th to the 21st, and is looking forward to watching some terrific hockey, and meeting players and their families who are interested in pursuing the possibility of leveraging  their hockey skills for a college education in the future.






NHL Scout Paul Gallagher  to speak to players and parents at the Combine

Florida Panthers HeadshotsPaul Gallagher has a wide perspective of the hockey world.

Imagine being the fellow who can say he coached Sidney Crosby in his first year of organized hockey when he was five years old and wore No. 8 in Tim Bits hockey. He again coached Crosby when he was in bantam hockey at the age of 13.

Paul played NCAA Division-1 hockey for St. Lawrence University in the mid-70’s.

As a hockey dad, Paul has seen it all. His son played at the highest levels coming along, and then for Cornell University, where he earned an Ivy League education while playing hockey.

Paul has worked within the NHL scouting community for over 10 years, with the St. Louis Blues and the Florida Panthers organizations.

He will speak to players and families about the  things that scouts are looking for when they become interested in a player.