New head coach Kyle McAllister foresees a brighter future for the St. Thomas University men’s hockey team after struggling the past seasons.
McAllister recently incorporated a new partnership with STP fitness, an off-ice facility dealing with control-strength and conditioning for the players.
“Through STP fitness, we brought on professional guys like owner [trainer] Richard St Pierre and trainer Ben Springer,” said McAllister.
“Every coach has his own way of doing things. You hope guys trust you and buy into what you are doing…. I am confident in the way we are running the program. If the players, buy into [my] philosophy, I can see the team doing great things.”
The 34 years old is a former hockey player himself. He played five seasons for STU men’s hockey, five years in the OHL, and played professional hockey in the IHL and ECHL.
McAllister says creating culture and atmosphere is vital for the team success.
“If we take care of the little things, the production on the ice will increase.”
He believes when it comes to success, training and playing as a team is a key element to winning.
“It’s not one or two people, everyone has to contribute and fit into the puzzle. Everyone pulling on the rope at the same time,” said McAllister.
According to McAllister, previous coach Pat Powers built a solid foundation for the team.
Despite Powers decision to integrate 16 rookies last year, McAllister perceives this as something positive this season.
“Now we have 16 (former) rookies ready this year.”
This season, the team has a few third and fourth year players, two rookies, and a majority of second year players.
Mike Eagles, the Director of Athletics at STU is, excited about the upcoming season.
I am pleased to have Kyle on board leading the program. I have a lot of confidence in Kyle and the steps he has put together,” said Eagles.
Eagles is hoping for more wins this year compared to last year’s record of two wins and 22 losses.
“The team shows a lot of potential this year,” said Eagles. “Kyle and his staff will have the ability to bring the team to the next level to win hockey games.”
“We need to put together a solid defensive team,” said Eagles. “You need to be able to play well defensively to win in this league.
For Eagles, one of the biggest challenges players face is believing is one’s self.
“Sometimes that self-belief is the first step,” said Eagles.
The STU men’s hockey team is on the ice daily said McAllister.
“It’s a tough league, I firmly believe that these guys are ready to go.”