Hockey notebook: Chapman ready to guide JM girls in new era

April 23, 2017

Josh Chapman took this school year off from coaching.

As much as he enjoyed his time with his wife and three children, Chapman didn’t like being away from the hockey rink after four seasons as an assistant coach in the Rochester Lourdes boys hockey program.

So when a chance to coach at his alma mater came up, he couldn’t pass it up.

The 2001 Rochester John Marshall grad is heading home in a way. Chapman was named the head coach of the JM girls hockey team on Thursday.

“I’m just excited to get going,” he said on Friday. “I took the last year off and realized how much I missed it.

“I’m ready to get back to my roots. I graduated from JM, played there (under then-coach Aaron Neurer) and my parents still live five blocks from the school.”

The Rockets will head into a new era next school year. The co-op between JM and Lourdes ended when the Rockets lost to Dodge County in the first round of the Section 1AA playoffs in February. Those schools will each put their own teams on the ice come October.

And two former Lourdes boys assistants will lead those programs, Chapman at JM and Jeff True at Lourdes.

“We’ll try to get a little ice time this summer, get the girls together on the ice when allowed,” Chapman said. “I want to get to know them away from the ice, too, just bond as a team and know where we’re at going into October.”

JM/Lourdes finished second in the Big Nine Conference this past season after winning conference titles the previous two seasons.

“We’ll go in with a positive mindset and have full confidence that we can get to the caliber that they were as a co-op,” Chapman said. “We can reach that level. There’s no reason we can’t get there.”


Motzko to coach U.S. again

Austin native Bob Motzko led the United States to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships in January in Montreal and Toronto.

He’ll get a chance to do it again next year in Buffalo.

Motzko, the head men’s hockey coach at St. Cloud State University, has been named the head coach of the U.S. Team for the 2018 World Junior Championships, a tournament that features the top players 20 years old and younger in the world.

“We’re looking forward to having the tournament on our home soil and it will be a real benefit to have an experienced coaching staff lead us in our quest to repeat last year’s gold-medal performance,” said Rochester Mayo grad Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team.

Motzko was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2014 WJC in Sweden.

“While winning gold was special, the opportunity to win gold on home ice is even more enticing,” Motzko said.

Bruins make coaching change official

The Austin Bruins confirmed on Friday what the Post Bulletin reported Thursday afternoon, that Kyle Grabowski has been fired after two seasons as the Bruins’ coach and general manager.

The Bruins missed the North American Hockey League playoffs this year for the first time since their inaugural season, 2010-11.

Assistant coaches Keenan Kelly and Brad Clayton have been retained for now, as the organization searches for a new head coach. Multiple sources have told the Post Bulletin that the job will be offered to former NHL player and coaching veteran Moe Mantha.

Grabowski signed a three-year contract extension after last season, when he led the Bruins to the Central Division Finals. He finished his two-year stint as Bruins head coach with a 57-58-13 record.