KENSINGTON – Kyle Dunn is the new head coach of the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild.
The 27-year-old Dunn, who served as an assistant coach under Mark Carragher the past two years, was promoted earlier this week. Carragher has accepted an assistant coaching position with the UPEI Panthers of the Atlantic University Sport Men’s Hockey Conference.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to it,” said Dunn. “I can’t wait to get things going.”
The Wild is a member of the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League, and will be entering Year 2 playing out of Community Gardens in Kensington. The franchise, which was previously known as the Cornwall Thunder, has won the last three provincial major midget hockey championships.
“We feel Kyle is quite capable of taking over as head coach,” said Wild manager Ivan Gallant, who wished Carragher all the best with UPEI. “We were very pleased with all the input our assistant coaches had last year, and have confidence that Kyle can do the job.”
Dunn, who is from Charlottetown and played three years of major midget with the Islanders and “a couple of seasons” of junior A with the now-defunct Charlottetown Abbies, said two of his priorities are to finalize his coaching staff and plan for training camp, which is scheduled to open on Aug. 29.
The Wild and Charlottetown Islanders play a regular-season schedule in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. league, and then play a best-of-seven playoff series to determine the provincial champion and the Island’s representative at the Atlantic championship.
The 2015 Atlantic championship will be hosted on P.E.I. in April. A host has yet to be named.
“I have expectations for our team and what our league is about,” said Dunn, who describes himself as a players’s coach. “It’s a process towards the end of the year, and building towards that.
“I’m pretty fortunate I was there the last two years, and got to experience that with Mark.”
Dunn, Carragher and assistant coach Matt Fortier joined the franchise early in the 2012-13 season, and led the Thunder to the Atlantic championship game. The franchise then relocated to Kensington last year, and compiled a 14-17-4 (won-lost-overtime losses) regular-season record. The Wild went on to defeat the Islanders in six games to return to the Atlantic championship.
Dunn said it’s important to keep developing a winning culture and program.
“Kids are wanting to come to a winning organization,” said Dunn. “I believe we are positive, and have had a great experience with these kids.”