Adrien Melrose made his first trip back to Glens Falls as a coach last Wednesday.
His next one is this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s the same old [Glens Falls] Rec Center,” said the first-year CBA boys’ ice hockey coach. “Cold, hard to play in, good teams.”
The Brothers lost to Adirondack, 9-2, but they return this week to take on Queensbury, hoping for a better result.
Melrose, son of former NHL player and coach, and most recently commentator, Barry Melrose, grew up in Glens Falls. His father spent the majority of his final four seasons as a player — 1983-87 — at the then-Glens Falls Civic Center with the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Red Wings. The older Melrose then went behind the home bench at the Civic Center from 1989-1992, winning the Calder Cup in his final season as coach.
While his dad was finishing his career on the ice, Adrien Melrose was getting started in the Adirondack Youth Hockey Association, playing at the Rec Center. While he joked that the homecoming “wasn’t very welcoming” last week, an AYHA team was on the ice when they first arrived.
“It’s at the point now where most of the youth coaches all went through the program now, and all the dads played hockey together,” Melrose said.
Despite heading up to Northwood School in Lake Placid after his freshman year of high school, he did play for Glens Falls as an eighth-grader and his dad’s U14 bantam team the following year. So, he also ran into some familiar faces on his return.
“Tom Gerard, who I grew up playing with, he was actually coaching his son on the ice,” Melrose said. “We grew up playing together, we’ve been buddies for 20 years and he was out there. So It’s still a small town. Everybody knows everybody. I knew a few other guys on the ice who are coaching. …Yeah, it’s still AYHA.”
After beginning college at Skidmore and playing briefly for the Thoroughbreds, Melrose finished his degree at Castleton University in Vermont. He didn’t play there. He chuckled.
“The dream was over by that point.”
He told his dad he would never coach, but then his first son Cooper, now 10, came along. His dad said, “You can’t complain about anything unless you’re going to volunteer and help,” which stuck with him. Next, he was teaching Cooper to skate and play. Living in Stowe, Vermont, at the time, the opportunity to coach a u10 girls team game came up and he volunteered. He made an adjustment in between periods, one girl scored a bunch of goals, and he was hooked.
Next season, he was offered the girls’ head ice hockey coach job at Stowe High School and led the team to a state championship. The following season, he added the boys’ job and led them to a state title game. After a year off from coaching to help his family out in Tampa, the CBA job popped up to bring him back to the Capital Region. Although, his family currently lives back in Vermont, just over the border in Bennington.
Nevertheless, he’s leading the Brothers’ program back in the area he first called home. CBA is 2-3-1 thus far in the Capital District High School Hockey League, tied for seventh. But, despite a seven-goal loss to Adirondack on Jan. 4, the team just tied 1-1 on the road on Jan. 6 against a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake/Ballston Spa team averaging 4.9 goals per game. They also lost just 7-6 at the Capital District Jets — currently tied for second in the CDHSHL — on Dec. 29.
“I redid everything from the special teams to all the systems. So there’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve,” Melrose said, “but the last few games, [I] started to see them kind of figure out the systems, where to push [and] where to pull back on them.”
TOP 10 TEAM
The first New York State Sportswriters Association boys’ ice hockey rankings were released Jan. 7, and one Section II team made its respective top 15 — Queensbury at No. 10 in Division II.
The Spartans are off to a 6-3 start (4-1 CDHSHL), tied for fifth in the league. The lone Division II team in the section, Queensbury picked up a pair of 4-2 early season wins over Shenendehowa (Dec. 14) and Adirondack (Dec. 7) — both currently sit above them in the league. That being said, the Spartans are 1-2 against other teams in the state rankings, losing 5-2 to Section VII’s Beekmantown (T-1) and 8-3 to Section X’s Salmon River (T-1) and defeating Section X’s Ogdensburg Free Academy (No. 11) 6-5.
Queensbury has scored 49 goals through nine games, second-most of any CDHSHL team, led by Tyler Dufour with 10 and Tanner Fearman with nine. Fearman is fourth among CDHSHL players in points with 23, once adding in his 14 assists.
CBA heads up to the Glens Falls Recreation Center Wednesday, but there are two other games on tap Wednesday.
Saratoga Springs is on the road at Bethlehem as the Blue Streaks try to tack on a third win to their first win streak of the season. They have scored 13 of their 28 goals this season in the last three games, led by Jake Badar and Payton Borak with eight goals apiece. But, they’re running into an Eagles squad that has allowed 14 goals in 10 games. Their netminders, Rory Cairns and Theodore Plummer, have three shutouts combined already.
The late game in Glens Falls is the Jets at Adirondack, a battle of first and tied for second place in the CDHSHL — separated by a single point with two on the line. Both are coming off non-league weekends. The Jets lost their second game of the season Saturday against Section III’s Rome Free Academy, ending a four-game winning streak during which they outscored opponents 18-10. Their trio of Joshua McKinney (27 points), Cole Davidson (27) and Colin Wilson (21) continue to lead the way. Adirondack is undefeated in its last six — winning three and tying three. On Saturday, they tied Beekmantown 1-1.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports