The Pittsburgh Vengeance have announced they will field a Midget U18 AAA team for the 2016-2017 season. Sean Berkstresser will be the head coach of the team, with Scott Gallagher joining the Vengeance staff as assistant coach.
“We’re proud to have someone of Berky’s experience so involved in our organization. He knows what it takes to get to the next level, and that work ethic and focus is something we want to instill in our kids,” Vengeance General Manager Dave Dorsey said, “Scott’s been coaching this age group for the better part of a decade. The two of them together are going to make a great staff.”
Scott Gallagher has been coaching at the Midget AA and AAA levels since 2006, spending time with the Pittsburgh Viper Stars and Armstrong Arrows before joining the Steel City Ice Renegades in 2012. He is an alumni of the Pittsburgh Jr. Pens, and played four years of ACHA Division 1 hockey at Slippery Rock University and two seasons of semi-professional hockey with the Pittsburgh Pounders and Mon Valley Thunder.
Sean Berkstresser recently stepped away from his career as a professional player after spending eight seasons in the ECHL. Berkstresser accumulated 201 points and 590 penalty minutes over 458 games with the Wheeling Nailers (Penguins), Johnstown Chiefs (Avalanche), Greenvile Road Warriors (Rangers), and Gwinnett Gladiators (Coyotes). He was a team captain his last three years in the league. Prior to playing professionally, Berkstresser was part of the inaugural NCAA Division 1 team at Robert Morris University. He joined the staff of the Vengeance this past season as the Strength and Conditioning coordinator.
The team will participate in NJPHL showcase tournaments supplemented with an independent schedule of approximately 48 games. The coaching staff plans to focus on skill and strength development through practice and off ice conditioning, preparing players for the next level of competition.
The U18 team will hold an Open Skate on Wednesday, March 30 at 8:00pm. The skate is free, but all prospective players must register online here. Tryouts will begin Monday, April 11.