Kevin Patrick, a Schenectady native and former assistant coach at Union College, never hadthe opportunity to play for the United States hockey team in international competition.
But he’ll get a chance to represent the U.S. next season.
Patrick, now an assistant coach at Vermont, was recently named assistant coach for Team USA in the World Junior Championships. The tournament takes place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Montreal and Toronto. The U.S. will play its preliminary-round games in Montreal.
“It’s a very exciting honor to be representing the United States at such a prestigious tournament as the World Junior tournament,” Patrick said. “This is the first time, and it was a phenomenal call to receive to be asked to be a part of the United States staff.”
Patrick was 11 years old when the U.S. won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. He wanted to be like Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig and all of those players from the “Miracle on Ice” team and play for his country.
“It was always in your mind, the idea of representing your country and wearing that sweater,” Patrick said. “So, growing up, the thought was to one day have that opportunity. That opportunity never came. But the opportunity now to be on staff and to be a coach for an event like the World Juniors is very special.”
Patrick will be working with someone very familiar to him.
Mark Osiecki is the U.S. head coach. Patrick and Osiecki worked together as assistant coaches at Wisconsin under Mike Eaves from 2005-10. They won an NCAA title together in 2006, and reached the Frozen Four final in 2010.
Prior to Wisconsin, Patrick and Osiecki also worked together with the U.S. Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers. That was before Patrick came to Union to join head coach Kevin Sneddon’s staff.
“Mark and I have a very strong relationship,” Patrick said. “It goes back before we worked together. I actually played at Notre Dame with his brother. Working hockey camps in the summers was when Mark and I started to develop our friendship. It’s a friendship that has grown into a professional relationship. It’s been an honor to work along side of him. Just his wealth of knowledge of the game and teaching the game is something that I enjoy being apart of.”
Osiecki is thrilled to be working with Patrick again.
“KP does a tremendous job,” Osiecki said. “He’s such a detailed person. He’s such a huge asset to our staff. He’ll take a lot of different things off of our plate. He’s so organized and detailed at what he does, and his preparation for games is unbelievable.”
The U.S. development camp will take place Aug. 2-9 in Lake Placid.