The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced that assistant coach Steve Bergin will return to the team for the 2017-18 season, his second with the squad after being hired last August.
“Steve really grew throughout the year as a coach,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky. “He did an outstanding job running our defensive corps and was instrumental in getting us to the Kelly Cup Finals. We are very excited to have him back for his second season. He knows exactly how we want to prepare our players on and off the ice.”
Bergin helped the team to a 40-28-3-1 record last season before a run to the Kelly Cup Finals in June. The Groton, Mass. native also oversaw the team’s video preparation and pre-scout initiatives while helping guide South Carolina’s penalty killing unit to the third best percentage in the league during the regular season at 84.9%. In addition, the Stingrays led the ECHL in shots allowed per game, giving up an average of just 27.53 shots on goal per contest and had a record of 26-14-1 when they out-shot their opponent.
“Last year was a huge personal learning experience for me in my first year as a coach,” Bergin said. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to come back for a second season and continue to grow the winning culture that has been created here. It really couldn’t be a better scenario when it comes to coaching in a city like Charleston and under someone like Ryan. I feel very fortunate with the way things have worked out.”
Bergin, 29, played five professional seasons with the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The former defender finished his playing career at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season and moved behind the bench with the Rays after leading the Ice Flyers to three SPHL titles in five years, including a President's Cup Championship during the 2015-16 season. Bergin collected 64 points (11 goals, 53 assists) in 217 professional games with Pensacola, compiling a +53 rating. He also notched 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 30 career playoff games.
Prior to turning pro, Bergin played four seasons of NCAA Hockey at the University of Connecticut, scoring 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) in 131 career games. He is also a product of Lawrence Academy and the Boston Jr. Bruins.