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Coaching Staff Announced for 2019-2020 Season

We are excited to announce the Hunterdon Bears coaching staff for the 2019-2020 season.

Goalie Coach: Kevin Dluhy (“KD”) – Kevin has 8+ years of coaching experience. He has worked for some of the nation’s top goaltending development programs including Pro Ambitions, Future Pro, and Pro Crease. Kevin has been involved in goaltending development for the Westchester Express, NJ Rockets, Princeton Tigers and NJ Penguins youth programs. He was a two-time participant of the Warren Strelow National Goaltending Camp, a select invite-only camp made up of the top goaltenders in each age group eligible for international play. Kevin ended his playing career with the New York Applecore’s Junior A program.

Skills Coach: Andrew Kappers – Andrew played his youth and high school hockey in Minnesota. After high school, he played junior hockey for the Sante Fe Roadrunners in the NAHL. Andrew went on to play for the University of St. Thomas from 2007-2011 where he helped lead his team to 2 conference tournament championships and participated in 2 NCAA tournaments. He was an Assistant Coach at his alma mater, the University of St. Thomas from 2012-2014. Andrew is currently entering his 2nd season as an Assistant Coach for Rutgers University’s Division II ACHA hockey program.

Power Skating Coach: Dave Errickson – returning Bears coach. Coach Dave is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who ended his playing career as a 4 year starter for Morristown high school. After high school, he had the opportunity to work alongside Laura Stamm for a year, and became a Power Skating instructor. Coach Dave coached 10 seasons in the Morris County Youth Hockey League. He has worked with every division, Mite through Midget, with the Flemington Hawks, NJ Freeze, and Hunterdon Bears, as either or both a Head Coach and Power Skating Instructor.

Mite A (advanced): Pat Pellegrino – returning Bears coach. Coach Pat is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach with an extensive playing and coaching background. He is the Learn to Skate and Learn to Play Hockey Instructor with the Flemington Ice Arena, and has literally taught the majority of players in Flemington how to skate early in their careers. Coach Pat played at Kean College, Division II, and ended his career playing semi-pro hockey with the Newark Sabres.

Mite Developmental: Mike Petersen – returning Bears coach. Coach Mike is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who has played a huge role in the development of our area’s youngest players. He was the Lead Instructor for years at Flemington with the their in-house program. This season will mark the 3rd year Coach Mike will be a Head Coach with the Hunterdon Bears.

Squirt A & B: Head coaches will be assigned to team once tryouts are complete.

Troy Gorski – Level 3 certified coach with USA Hockey. Coach Troy played hockey most of his life, from youth hockey in the early 80s at Warinanco, in Roselle Park, to four and a half years at Rider University (1992-1993 through 1996-1997), an ACHA Division 2 program. He led Rider in points during the team’s 1994-1995 season.  Coach Troy has coached the Learn to Skate Program, Intro to Hockey, Mite/Squirt/Pee Wee in-house League at the Flemington Ice Arena, NJ Freeze Mites, Protec Predators AA, Protec Ducks Mites, Squirts, and has also been a Skills Coach.  Coach Troy was an Assistant Coach during the inaugural season for the Hunterdon Bears Mite program.

Rich Bland – Advanced Level Coaching Certification with USA Hockey (achieved 1996). Coach Rich played youth hockey for the Essex County Chiefs (eventually became the Youth Devils), Junior B for the Essex County Golden Blades, and finished his career playing for Rutgers University (1987-1988 through 1990-1991).  Coach Rich has spent 20+ years coaching various Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams for the New Jersey Devils (youth) and New Jersey Avalanche hockey clubs.  In addition to his playing and coaching career, he has been both a USA Hockey Certified Level 3 Official (20+ years), and a member of the NY/NJ NIHOA (the governing body over High School Officials) for 15+ years.

Pee Wee B: John Turkynak – returning Bears coach. Coach John is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who has coached at every division, Mite through Midget, with the Flemington Hawks, NJ Freeze and Hunterdon Bears. He led his Pee Wee B team to a 3rd place finish in the NJYHL during the 2018-2019 season. Coach John was also the Head Coach at U16A last season.

Pee Wee A: Jim Donnelly – Coach Jim will be a Level 4 USA Hockey coach this season. He has coached Squirt through Bantam with the Flemington Hawks, NJ Freeze and NJ Rockets. Coach Jim was a coach for 2+ years with the Watchung Warriors. This will mark his first year as a Head Coach with the Hunterdon Bears.

Bantam B, A Minor, A Major: We intend to field 3 Bantam teams (1 B and 2 A) with the following Head Coaches:

Derek Weaver – returning Bears coach. Coach Derek is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who has coached with the NJ Freeze and Hunterdon Bears at the Squirt and Pee Wee divisions. He played youth hockey with the Junior Flyers and Valley Forge Colonials and finished his career at Skidmore College, a Division III program.

Graham Fair – returning Bears coach. Coach Graham is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who has coached at the Mite through Pee Wee divisions with the Flemington Hawks, NJ Freeze, and Hunterdon Bears. He played 10 years of youth hockey in British Columbia as well as three years of Junior A hockey in B.C. and Alberta. and finished with the Huntsville Channel Cats of the Southern Professional Hockey League, where they won a league championship.

Bruce Turnbull – returning Bears coach. Coach Bruce will be a Level 4 USA Hockey coach this season. He has coached at the Squirt and Pee Wee divisions with the NJ Freeze and Hunterdon Bears. Coach Bruce will also be entering his 3rd season as an Assistant Coach with the Hunterdon Central Red Devils. The Red Devils won a State Championship during coach Bruce’s first season with the program.

Bantam A Major: Ron Pace – returning Bears coach. Coach Ron is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who has coached youth hockey since 2001. He has coached every division from Squirt through Midget with the Bridgewater Bears, Protec Ducks, and Hunterdon Bears. He led his Bantam A Hunterdon Bears to a District Championship during the 2017-2018 season.

U16 A: Kevin Brown – returning Bears coach. Coach Kevin will be a Level 2 USA Hockey coach and has already coached at the Squirt through Bantam divisions. His Bantam team qualified  for the NJYHL play-offs. Kevin played four seasons with Hunterdon Central and ended his playing career with Montclair State University, an ACHA Division II program.

U16 A: TBA

U16AA: Mike Murphy – returning Bears coach/Hockey Director. Coach Mike is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who has coached every division Mite through Midget with the Flemington Hawks, NJ Freeze, and Hunterdon Bears. He was an Assistant Coach for 6 seasons with the Hunterdon Central Red Devils, where they won a State Championship his last season with the program. Coach Mike is entering his 2nd season as the Head Coach of Rutgers University’s Division II ACHA hockey program.

U18A/AA: Harald Oeckinghaus – returning Bears coach. Coach Harald has been coaching youth hockey for over 15 years. He is a Level 5 USA Hockey coach who has coached at the Squirt through Midget divisions with numerous teams across the state where he has had multiple NJYHL playoff appearances. Coach Harald thoroughly enjoys coaching at the U18 division and working with players to transition to high school and college hockey.