St. Cloud, MN – One of the top festivals of 15-18 year-old players took place at the Plymouth Ice Center in Plymouth, MN this past week. Due to an aggregation of a number of age groups it’s a top venue for Division I and Division III coaches and scouts to get another gander at players prior to the collegiate coaches departing for league, NCAA and AHCA meeting taking place in Naples, Florida this week. I spent this past Saturday at the event with one of the Division III coaches and had the opportunity to catch up with an impressive number of coaches and former players with connections to St. Cloud State University. It was great to see how well these former Huskies are doing. Here’s a quick run down for those interested.
- Mike Hastings – A former player at St. Cloud State under Herb Brooks, he was also an assistant under Craig Dahl for the 1990-91 and 1993-94 seasons. He also had an extensive tenure as a head coach in the USHL from 1994 to 2008 and was an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota and Omaha. Most recently he has been the Head Coach at Minnesota State University in Mankato for the past seven seasons.He was also head coach of the USA World Junior team for the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2019.
- Brett Peterson – Brett was an assistant under Craig Dahl for six seasons from 1994 to 2000. Since that time, he’s been the Head Hockey Coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN. He was also on the coaching staff of the Saint Paul Vulcans of the USHL for two seasons after completing four seasons as a defenseman for the Denver Pioneers of the WCHA.
- Garrett Raboin – A former captain for the St. Cloud State Huskies, Garrett was a player from 2006 to 2010. After two seasons competing in Europe professionally, Garrett returned to SCSU as an assistant under Bob Motzko for six seasons from 2012 to 2018. This past season he joined Motzko as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota.
- Bob Motzko – A former player at SCSU, Motzko was also an assistant under Herb Brooks for the 1986-87 season prior to departing for the head coaching job at North Iowa of the USHL. After six seasons in the USHL he returned to the collegiate ranks as an assistant at Denver and Miami from 1991 to 1998. He returned to the USHL to be Head Coach pf the Sioux Falls Stampede for two seasons before returning the University of Minnesota as an assistant from 2001 to 2005. He was named Head Coach of the SCSU Huskies in 2005 and held that position for 13 seasons before accepting the University of Minnesota Head Coaching position this past season.
- Mike Gibbons – Currently the assistant at St. Cloud State University, a position he’s held for the past 12 seasons. Previously. Gibbons has an extensive coaching resume including coaching positions at Bemidji State University, Northern Michigan and Denver. He was also a head coach in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League for one season and two seasons in the American Hockey League.
- Nick Oliver – Named an assistant coach under Brett Larson at SCSU in 2018-19, Oliver was a former player and captain for the Huskies from 2011-2015. Following his playing days he joined the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL as an assistant coach from 2016 to 2018.
- Grant Clafton – A former SCSU hockey player from 2003 to 2007, Clafton also played several years of professional hockey before getting into the coaching ranks. From 2010 to 2014 he was an assistant at Hibbing-Chisolm High School and a year at Grand Rapids High School as an assistant for the 2014-15 season. Clafton was named head hockey coach of Greenway High School in 2015 and has been instrumental in the resurgence of that storied Minnesota high school hockey program. He was named Class A coach of the year after the 2017-18 season and coached his team to the MSHSL state tournament following the 2018-19 season finishing as runner-up to St. Cloud Cathedral in the Class A state championship game. He has compiled a 78-35-1 record as a high school coach at Greenway.
- Jon Ammerman – Another former SCSU player, Ammerman played defense for the Huskies from 2006 to 2010. Following his playing days he coached for two seasons at Windom, MN High School and then was named head coach of Moorhead High School in 2013. At Moorhead he’s coached the team to two Minnesota State High School tournament appearances including finishing as runner-up in 2016-17. His overall record at Moorhead is 118-63-1.
I also had an opportunity to catch up with former SCSU hockey star Tim Hanus who played for the Huskies from 1988-92. The native of Minnetonka was a draft choice of the Quebec Nordiques and played on a very productive line at SCSU with Jeff Saterdahlen and Chris Scheid. Together, the threesome combined for 470 points over four seasons of play as trailbreakers for Division I hockey at SCSU. Hanus completed his career at St. Cloud State and is currently fourth on the all-time scoring list with 73 goals and 99 assists for 172 points in 144 games. His son Clay was a highly recruited defenseman from Minnetonka High School and opted to continue his hockey career with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 18 year-old has just completed his second season with Portland.
Also, former St. Cloud State University Associate AD of Facilities and Event Management and Coordinator of Sports Facilities and Events Erik Halverson is now the Manager of the Plymouth Ice Center (PIC). This has been the home of the CCM High Performance Hockey Festival for a number of years. Of interest is that Erik recently joined the Minnesota Wild ice crew during a home game and was featured in their video publication “Bold North”. Have a look: