Championship-Winning Coaching Staff Come to Mount, Belisle Named Coach Emeritus

Thursday, August 09, 2018


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Matt Plante, part of the trio taking over at Mount

Three coaches who brought 10 teams to national tournaments and won the 2018 U18 championship are joining the Mount Saint Charles Academy boys hockey program. They replace the Belisles at the helm of legendary Mount program.

Matt Plante, Devin Rask and Scott Gainey will start at the Mount this fall after spending the last seven years building the hockey program at South Kent School Selects Academy in Connecticut into a national power. Plante and Rask have been named co-directors of hockey operations for Mount and will begin building the program August 15th of this year. Plante, Rask, and Gainey will serve as head coaches for teams in the program in the fall of 2019.

The new coaches have decades of combined experience at schools including South Kent, the University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, Xavier High School in Connecticut, and Hebron Academy in Maine. Plante and Rask played Division 1 college hockey at Quinnipiac University and Providence College and minor league pro hockey in the U.S. and Europe.

Legendary Coach Bill Belisle will continue with the program as a coach emeritus. Belisle is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and winner of 31 state championships at Mount.

According to the Hockey Hall of Fame: Belisle as head coach at Mount Saint Charles since 1975, Belisle’s remarkable run to date has included many significant milestones, among them: 26 consecutive state titles (1978-2003); 32 state championships in 41 years at the helm; 990 wins entering the 2016-17 campaign; two first overall NHL draft picks, including Brian Lawton, the first-ever American to be selected first overall in 1983 and Bryan Berard in 1995; and more than 20 Mounties who have gone on to be drafted by NHL clubs, including 2015 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Mathieu Schneider.

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Hall of Fame Coach Bill Belisle

His son and coaching partner David will also remain in the program in a role yet to be determined by the new co-directors. College coach Peter Belisle has volunteered to advise students regarding college recruitment and will continue to direct summer camps at the arena. Mount alumni and former NHL stars Bryan Berard and Brian Boucher will continue to serve the program, Berard as the director of player development and Boucher as a strategic advisor to hockey operations.  

Long renowned for its high school ice hockey program, Mount Saint Charles Academy is bringing its brand of hockey to a whole new level with the pursuit of a national title.

“With Matt, Devin and Scott, we’ll be competing for national titles,” said Mount Saint Charles President Alan Tenreiro. “They have proven records of creating winning programs. Most impressively, they want to build a program of integrity that shares Mount’s commitment to the formation of well-rounded students focused on community, academic excellence, service, and building strong moral character.”

Plante coached South Kent’s U18 team to the national title at the 2018 USA Hockey National Championship Tournament and the U16 team to a New England District championship in 2016-17. His teams made the tournament in four previous years. From 2012 to 2018, his teams were 300-54-37 for an .815 winning percentage at South Kent. His experience before South Kent includes head coach at Hebron Academy in Maine from 2007-11. He won 82 games, a conference title, and made the New England Prep Small School Tournament every year. Immediately prior to South Kent, Plante was assistant coach of the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League.

Rask coached the South Kent U16 team to three national tournament appearances and four New England District championships. Prior to South Kent, Rask was an assistant coach at Providence College, the University of Connecticut and Wesleyan University; and general manager of the Northern Connecticut Wings club team. He was a second-team All American and first-team Hockey East player at Providence College.

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Berard will serve as advisor

Gainey coached South Kent U15 to a national tournament appearance in 2017-18. Before South Kent, he was a scout for junior hockey league teams in the U.S. and Canada and the head coach at Xavier High School in Middletown, Conn. He played college hockey at the Community College of Rhode Island and in the Western Pro Hockey League for the Monroe, La., Mudbugs.

The new coaching staff is the first of several changes in the Mount Saint Charles hockey program that will be announced in the coming weeks.  

“We’re changing to keep pace with the times,” Tenreiro said. “Students and parents have higher expectations for athletic programs. Bringing in national-level coaches shows that we’re committed to developing an outstanding program that gives our students every opportunity to reach their full potential.  At Mount, this will also continue to include creating opportunities for students of all ability levels throughout the athletic program to play just for the love of the sport, because that’s an important part of their development. We’re looking forward to telling the Mount community more in September, when more of the details have been finalized.”


Related Slideshow: Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

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Bryan Berard 

Berard played his high school hockey at Mount Saint Charles Academy before going to the Ontario Hockey League.

In 1995, he was selected number one overall in the NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators, but was eventually traded to the New York Islanders. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year following the 1996-97 season.

Following a brutal eye injury that cost him a full season, Berard came back for the 2001-02 season, signing with the New York Rangers as a free agent. Berard played in all 82 games for New York, scoring 2 goals and recording 21 assists.

He would go on to play another 6 seasons with the Bruins, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets before finishing his career with the Islanders in 2007-08.

In 2004, Berard won the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player that best shows sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey. 

Berard currently works at Providence-based WhaleRock Point Partners as a financial consultant. 

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Bill Belisle 

Belisle is the legendary head coach of Mount Saint Charles Academy.

At Mount, Belisle’s teams recorded over 1,000 wins, won 26 straight RI state titles, 32 overall and ten straight consecutive national titles.

He has seen more than 20 of his former players get drafted in the NHL including fellow Hall of Fame inductees Bryan Berard and Keith Carney.

Belisle was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.

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Ron Wilson

Wilson grew up in Riverside, R.I., and played four years at Providence College (1973-77).

He was an All-America selection twice and a four-time All-ECAC selection. Wilson still holds the school records (and NCAA records for defensemen) in career points (250), assists (172), most points in a single season (87) and single-season assists (61). 

He spent 18 seasons as a head coach in the NHL with stops in Toronto (2008-12), San Jose (2002-08), Washington (1997-02) and Anaheim (1993-97).

He has coached 1,401 NHL games and has 648 wins to his credit.

Internationally, Wilson has been Team USA's head coach for some of its biggest moments, including leading Team USA to the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to the championship in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996.

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Lou Lamoriello

Lamoriello played and coached hockey at Providence College.

He ranks 33rd on the Friars’ all-time scoring list with 58 goals and 60 assists for 118 points in 64 career games.

After graduating, he served as assistant coach to Zellio Toppazzini.

In his 15 seasons as head coach, he racked up 248 wins and saw 11 of his 15 teams qualify for post-season play, including the NCAA Tournament in 1978, 1981, and 1983. Lamoriello's final team, the 1982-83 squad, went 33-10-0 and finished third in the NCAA's.

Lamoriello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 9, 2009 in Toronto and also was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 15, 2012.

Currently, he serves as the General Manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Richard Rondeau

Rondeau is a former Hope Street High School and Mount St. Charles All-stater.

In college, he set eight scoring records including most goals (12) and most assists (11) in a single game at Dartmouth College in the mid-1940’s.

In 1952, Rondeau became coach of the Providence College Friars and helped revive the program after a 26-year absence.

In his third season, the Friars produced their first winning season with an 8-7-0 mark. Rondeau stepped down following the 1955-56 season after four years behind the Friars' bench.

In 1985, he became the first Rhode Islander to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.


Photo: US Hockey Hall of Fame

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 Sara DeCosta-Hayes

Sarah DeCosta-Hayes was the first girl to play in the RI’s high school hockey Championship division when she did so for Toll Gate High School.

At Providence College, she was a two-time All-American and a two-time USA Hockey Player of the Year. She finished her career with a .929 save percentage, a 2.15 goals against average and 2,324 total saves.

DeCosta went on to represent the United States at the Olympics in 1998 and 2002, helping the USA to gold in ’98 and silver in ’02.

In 2009, she was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of the 1998 gold medal squad.

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Cammi Granato

Cammi Granato is considered by many experts as the greatest women’s hockey player of all-time.

At Providence College, Granato was a four-time ECAC All-Star and a three-time ECAC Player of the Year at Providence College. In 1996 she was also named USA Hockey Player of the Year.

She is atop the leaderboards in points (256) and goals (139) at Providence College as well as points (343) with USA Hockey.

She captained the gold medal team in the 1998 Olympics and the silver medal team in 2002.

In 2010, Granato became the first woman ever inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Chris Terreri 

Terreri is a two-time all-stater at Pilgrim High School before going to Providence College.

At PC, Terreri was a Hockey East Player of the Year, two-time All-American, Academic All-American, and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Terreri led the Friars to the first-ever Hockey East Championship in 1985 and set NCAA records while leading the team to the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game.

Terreri played 14 seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils and participated with Team USA in three World Championships, including the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

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Zellio Toppazzini

Toppazzini was inducted into he AHL Hall of Fame in 2012 and is considered one of the greatest RI Reds of all time.

He played in parts of five NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks and 12 seasons in the AHL with the Reds, where he was the team’s leader in all statistical scoring categories.

Toppazzini was head coach of Providence College from 1964-68, where he led Providence to the ECAC playoffs in his first season.

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Matthieu Schneider

Schneider helped Mount St. Charles to three state championships and two national championships before playing 21 seasons in the NHL.

Schneider won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens before helping Team USA beat Canada in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996.

He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

Schneider is the Rhode Island leader in almost all NHL statistical categories.

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Brian Lawton 

Lawton is the first American-born player ever picked first in the NHL Entry Draft.

At Mount Saint Charles, Lawton won the scoring title two times and was named an all-star three times.

In the NHL, he recorded 266 points over a ten-year NHL career, while he represented Team USA in four World Championships.

Lawton currently works as an analyst for the NHL Network.

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Louis A.R. Pieri

Pieri was the general manager of the Providence Reds and the owner of the RI Auditorium.

His teams won three Canadian-American League Fontaine Cups and four AHL Calder Cup championships.

Pieri was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Curt Bennett

Bennett is a former Cranston East All-Stater and a Brown University All-American and Hall of Famer.

In 1970, Bennett became the first RI-developed player to skate in the National Hockey League (NHL) and the first American-developed player to record a 30-goal season in the NHL.

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Harvey Bennett Sr.

Bennett Sr. played goal for the Rhode Island Reds three Calder Cup championship teams in over a 12-year AHL career.

He saw five sons play in the pros including fellow inductee Curt, and sons Harvey Jr. and Bill, who reached the NHL.

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Keith Carney

Carney was part of four state championship teams at Mount Saint Charles before playing college hockey at Maine.

In the NHL, Carney played in 1,018 games, which is the most ever by a Rhode Island native. His +164 is the eighth best +/- of any American-born defensemen.

Carney is also an Olympian, playing for Team USA during the 1998 Winter Olympics.

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Joe Cavanagh

Cavanagh is regarded as one of the greatest high school hockey players in New England history.

Cavanagh, out of Cranston East, was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994 and is a three-time all-stater and RI state scoring champion.

At Harvard, he was a three-time All-American and team scoring leader.

He is the all-time scoring leader of Boston’s Beanpole Tournament.


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