HOOKSETT, NH -- Earlier this week, the 2019-20 end of the year awards were announced in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP). Combined together, the New Hampshire Avalanche saw its teams recognized with six different honors, highlighted by Vinny Caligiuri being named the EHLP Coach of the Year.
"Vinny did a great job for us this season, despite not joining the program until late in the summer," said Chris Cerrella, the head coach of the EHL team and general manager of the junior program. "He has great leadership skills and understanding of the game, and it truly showed. Winning the Coach of the Year award in his first season of coaching is not a surprise to me, he earned it every step of the way. I couldn’t be more proud of him; he is a fantastic addition to our staff."
As Cerrella mentioned, this was Caligiuri's first season of coaching following a pair of seasons playing in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). Prior to his minor pro years, the native of New York played four seasons at SUNY Potsdam, an NCAA Division III program that he committed to while playing on Cerrella's former junior team in Connecticut. Caligiuri is very grateful to his coach and mentor, as well as the Avalanche program, for giving him a great first season to look back on in his coaching career.
"This was a great year," Caligiuri. "I can’t thank the rest of the league enough, but mostly thank you to Mario Martiniello and Coach Cerrella for giving me the responsibility and teaching me on the fly; I couldn’t have learned and developed as a coach if it wasn’t for them showing me the way. Thanks to the players as well for buying into the Avalanche culture, and giving their all each and every day, to make this year a truly great experience."
As for the five other honors taken home by members of the Avalanche, these individuals were recognized with spots on the respective All-Conference rosters. Be sure to scroll down to see the two EHL players and three EHLP players that earned these honors.