Trevor Stienburg is back behind the Saint Mary’s Huskies’ men’s hockey bench and says he couldn’t be happier. His players, however, might need some convincing.
“It probably doesn’t show to them, because I’m always yelling and screaming at them, but I don’t know any other life than going to the rink every day,” said Stienburg, who sat out the first half of the season because of health problems.
“When you have that taken away from you, it’s pretty demoralizing. Being back is awesome.”
Stienburg was stuck in a hospital room for the first half of the season because of a series of ailments: pancreatitis, a stomach infection and a perforated bowel.
The two-time national coach of the year has slowly recovered, and says he’s back to about 65 to 70 per cent from a strength and endurance perspective.
But he admits that road trips are tiring and take a lot out of him. After one visit to Acadia in Wolfville, he got sick and was forced to miss a game.
But he says he relies heavily on assistant coaches Paddy Flynn and Doug Doull, just as he has in the past.
“I’m approaching it like I’m the head coach, but we’ve always done it more like a committee,” Stienburg said.
“Dougy and Paddy still do the bulk of it and I chip in my two cents.”
• Huskies forwards Marc Rancourt and Cam Fergus are engaged in a head-to-head battle for the Atlantic University Sport scoring title.
Rancourt has the edge, with 45 points in 22 games, but Fergus isn’t far behind with 43 points in 22 games.
The Huskies’ league-leading power play (29.5 per cent) has helped them pile up a good chunk of those points.
“The team’s reaping the benefits of those guys,” Stienburg said.
• The AUS decided yesterday to lengthen the semifinals from a best-of-three to a best-of-five, while at the same time shorten the final from a best-of-five to a best-of-three.
The AUS has two berths in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship in Thunder Bay, Ont., meaning both finalists will be assured a spot at nationals.
“Let’s make sure the best two teams go to nationals,” Stienburg said.
“This is the best way to do that. There’s no reason to draw out the final when both teams are going to nationals.”