A wealth of junior, college and pro experience added to growing market
(PHOENIX, ARIZONA – August 25, 2020) – Brett Blatchford, Director of Hockey-Operation for Total Package Hockey (TPH) Phoenix has announced the additions of Matthew Vanden Berg, Brian Slugocki and Scott Munroe as Player Development Coaches and Mentors. The addition will bring a plethora of experience and knowledge to TPH Phoenix.
Slugocki played junior hockey in Phoenix with the Phoenix Polar Bears before going on to play for the University of Arizona. He also took his talents overseas for a year in Sweden following his college career. Lately, he’s spent time with Darryl Belfry, who is recognized as a leader and innovator in hockey having spent time training players like Auston Matthews, Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and John Tavares.
“Brian has first class detail in skill development,” said Blatchford on Suglocki. “He’s spent time on the ice with Darryl Belfry learning how Darryl teaches and the best ways for people to acquire skill. He’s very trusted in the Phoenix community as a skills instructor, especially in the way he communicates with the kids.”
Matthew Vanden Berg adds copious amounts of knowledge in coaching. He’s been a Director of Player Advancement as well as a coach and mentor with the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals. Plus, Vanden Berg continues to serve as a video coach and analyst with various organizations. His skills in analyzation will also be valuable as TPH locations begin evolving ways to evaluate player performance.
“Matthew has spent the last few years with the Milwaukee Jr Admirals developing players there,” said Blatchford. “His level of detail is going to help us, especially with the Kinduct app.”
Adding the wisdom of a goaltender is going to be extremely valuable to TPH Phoenix. Scott Munroe brings with him a background in playing and coaching at multiple levels of the sport, including leading the University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers to a College Hockey America regular season championship in 2003.
“Scott Munroe is a high character guy,” said Blatchford. “Scott has coached in the QMJHL and Division III college hockey. He also played eight years in the American Hockey League, so there’s a huge amount of knowledge for us to draw from. He’s a goaltender and fellow coach and mentor Brendan Burke is a goalie as well. They’ve been collaborating on the best ways to develop a player here. Those two will lead us.”
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All three additions to TPH Phoenix will be excellent role models both on and off the ice, and the student-athletes involved in the program will learn valuable skills that will carry them through life.
“They have to be a role model for the kids from a character perspective, who they are as people and also as mentors,” said Blatchford. “That is almost not hockey related, but obviously in the end, they’ll have something else to offer. It’s character, it’s mentorship, it’s being a good role model for the kids at our center. I don’t think we could have done a better job in Phoenix in that regard.”