JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), pass along their congratulations on a tremendous season to former assistant coach Erik Largen, now head coach of the Division III Marian University Sabres in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA).
Largen finished his first year as a college hockey head coach with an overall record of 18-6-3. The Sabres placed third in the competitive NCHA, losing to St. Norbert, the top-ranked team in D-III hockey, in a two-game Harris Cup semifinal series. Marian finished the season ranked 11th, and their conference record of 15-4-1 marks a six-year high.
“On behalf of our players and the entire Janesville Jets organization, I would like to congratulate coach Largen on an incredible season,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble, with whom Largen set NAHL records for wins, points, and fewest goals against in the 2014-15 season. “He and the rest of the Marian hockey program should be proud of what they accomplished this season, as I’m sure they are.”
Largen’s Sabres posted a particularly stingy defense in the NCHA, much as his Jets did last season. The Sabres’ 47 goals against trailed only St. Norbert for the best mark in the conference. On a per-game basis, Marian’s goals against average of 1.74 finished nearly half of last year’s 3.04.
“I’m impressed but I can’t say I’m surprised by his success,” said Dibble. “When Largen was here, I felt lucky to have him on my staff. I think the players knew, too, that this was just a brilliant coach who would soon go on to great things.”
Largen, an Alaska native, played in 17 NAHL games as a goaltender before playing college hockey at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He began his coaching career as a goaltending coach for the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs in 2009. He joined the Jets from the United States Hockey League’s Tri-City Storm midway through the 2013-14 season.
It was last year’s Jets team, a 49-win, 100-point campaign featuring 16 players now with Division-I commitments, that became the boost Largen needed to join the ranks of college hockey coaches. His attention to detail and dedication to video put him among the league’s best assistant coaches.
“His X’s and O’s, his ability to not just develop but recognize schemes, is second to none that I’ve worked with,” Dibble said. “It always seemed by the nine-minute mark of each first period that he’d come to me and tell me everything the opposing team was doing. He’s a great coach with many more great seasons ahead of him.
“When you look at our league, and especially our team, you see it’s all about player advancement,” Dibble continued. “But what I think can sometimes get overlooked is that it’s an entire culture of advancement. Whether it’s players, front office, or coaching staff, this league and this team are here to grow people in their hockey careers. The Jets are fortunate to have helped a great young coach like coach Largen, and we want to wish him more success moving forward.”
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