Dennis Sievers/Peoria Rivermen
The Peoria Rivermen and head coach Jean-Guy Trudel agreed Monday on a one-year deal to keep the former AHL and ECHL Peoria player at the team’s helm for the 2014-15 campaign.
“I’m very happy to be back with Kevin Tucker (Scouting Services Manager) to try and pick up where we left off last season,” Trudel said. “I was very proud of what we accomplished last year and I think it will only get better.”
“We’re out to win a championship.”
Trudel, 38, was named Peoria’s 19th head coach in franchise history on May 25, 2013, and served at the helm for the team’s inaugural season in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) last year. Overall, he guided the Rivermen to a 30-18-8 record and a third-place finish in his first season as a professional head coach. Trudel was also the runner-up for SPHL Coach of the Year honors last year.
“We’re very excited to have Jean-Guy back for his second season as our head coach,” Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers said. “What he and coach Tucker were able to do last year was nothing short of remarkable.”
“His ability to put a winning team together so quickly was amazing. Plus, what he and the players did off the ice with the fans played a critical role in continuing to growing the product.”
Despite the success, the Rivermen were removed from the first-round of the President’s Cup playoffs last March after dropping consecutive games to the Columbus Cottonmouths.
“The way things ended last spring left a bitter taste in my mouth,” Trudel said. “We’re determined to build it better, take it further.”
Before joining the Rivermen, Trudel spent three seasons as the head coach of the amateur Peoria Mustangs (North American 3 Hockey League). During his tenure, the Mustangs qualified for the playoffs in each season and compiled a record of 77-52-12. He won 11 additional playoff games and led the Mustangs to the NA3HL Silver Cup Championship this past March.
Inducted into the Peoria Rivermen Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, Trudel played 177 games for Peoria over parts of three seasons. Overall, he finished with 234 points (87g, 147a) and had another 19 points in 12 ECHL playoff games between 1996 and 1998.
He is the third former Rivermen player to become the team’s head coach, joining Jason Christie and Mark Reeds.
Ticket packages for the 2014-15 season are on sale now and start at just $280! To reserve your seats, call 309-676-1040 today or visit the Rivermen office located at 201 SW Jefferson Street from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter (https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen).