Leaman joins U.S. staff for junior championships

Union College head coach Nate Leaman is heading back to the World Junior Hockey Championships.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Nate Leaman is heading back to the World Junior Hockey Championships.

The Union men’s head coach was named an assistant coach for the United States team that will compete in the World Juniors

Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Ottawa, it was announced Thursday by USA Hockey.

Leaman will assist Ron Rolston, who was named head coach for the second time. Rolston was the head coach and Leaman the assistant when the U.S. won the bronze medal in the 2007 tournament.

“It’s an outstanding opportunity to represent your country,” Leaman said. “It’s a great honor to be coaching with a person of Ron Rolston’s expertise.”

Leaman and Rolston worked together as assistant coaches at Harvard under head coach Mark Mazzoleni from 1999-2002. Leaman and Rolston will coach against each other Oct. 11, when Rolston brings his Team USA Under-18 squad to Messa Rink for an exhibition game against the Dutchmen.

The U.S. lost to Canada, 2-1, in a shootout in the semifinals. It recovered to beat

Sweden, the host country, by a 2-1 score for the bronze medal.

“From that team, there’s seven kids who played in the NHL last year,” Leaman said. “It’s one of the best tournaments in the world for hockey, if not the best outside of the Olympics. It’s extremely high level.”

This will be Leaman’s third tour of duty for USA Hockey. He was an assistant coach for the gold-medal winning U.S. squad in the 2005 World Under-18 Championship. Rolston was the head coach.

Leaman completed his fifth season with the Dutchmen. He has a 72-88-22 record. He led the Dutchmen to a fourth-place finish, it’s best ever in 17 Division I seasons. Union earned its first-ever ECAC Hockey tourn­ament first-round bye.

Much like two years ago, Leaman will miss some Union games. He won’t be at the Lightning Classic in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 2-3. Two years ago, Leaman missed out on Union’s third-place finish in the Catamount Cup in Burlington, Vt. Associate head coach Rick Bennett will guide the Dutchmen in Leaman’s absence.

The U.S. national junior evaluation camp will take place Aug. 1-10 in Lake Placid. Jay Varady, a former Union player who is now an assistant coach with the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips, will be on the coaching staff during the camp.

WARNER DIES

Ed Warner, who served as equipment manager for Union for three years before joining Colorado College in 2006, died Wednesday from complications from a stroke. He was 35.

Warner, a native of Chenango Forks, was also an assistant coach for the Dutchmen’s men’s lacrosse team.

“Ed was a very fun-loving and caring person,” Leaman said. “It’s just a tragic happening. He’ll be missed.”

Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph said Warner’s organs are being

donated.

“There is no way to fully explain the sense of loss we all feel,” said Ralph, the former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute athletic dir­ector. “Ed was a true professional who also remembered that we all need to have fun.”

Categories: Sports

Leave a Reply