Gary Berggren, former assistant coach, will be taking charge for the 2016-17 season.
Battlefords AAA Sharks former head coach Ashley Rafuse parted ways shortly after the end of the season, and Berggren said he feels being with the team last season gave him great insight into what to expect moving into the top role.
“Just seeing how the league works and seeing what other coaches have done,” Berggren said. “I’m very excited. I’ve put in a lot of time already and the season is still three months away. I think it will be a lot of fun this year and as long as we keep working towards the common goal things will work out.”
The Sharks struggled to a 3-23-0-2 record last season, though Berggren said he believes the record doesn’t accurately reflect the team considering the number of one-and-two-goal-games they lost.
Berggren stressed the importance of recruiting for the upcoming season, as the Sharks have had troubles in past years convincing top prospects to come to the Battlefords instead of other teams.
Berggren did say he feels the team has done a good job with recruiting for this season, noting the team will be significantly younger than 2015-16. The Sharks have an especially large hole to fill on their roster in goal, as both Shelby Tornato and Chloe Marshall are graduating to the college ranks.
“We had a lot of older players last year so we’ll be bringing in some young ones this year,” Berggren explained. “It will be a learning curve for sure, it won’t be fixed in a day. Adding on to the returning players we have already, I think things will be all right for next season. We all just need to get everybody rolling in the same direction and keep things positive.”
Personally, Berggren said he is very excited for his first season as head coach with the Sharks. He said wants the job not only to further his coaching career, but also to try and turn the program around and bring a competitive girls’ team to the Battlefords.
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