CARROT RIVER — The Carrot River Outback Thunder have tabbed a veteran coach to lead the way.
The local Junior B hockey team has named Brian Noad as its head coach and vice-president of hockey operations. While announcing this move on social media, the Outback Thunder noted that Noad has been coaching for 37 years, with extensive experience at the U18 AAA and junior levels. Some of the players he helped developed include retired National Hockey Leaguers such as Raffi Torres and Trevor Daley. Noad is excited to join the Outback Thunder.
“I think they have the makings of a really good team,” Noad said. “The organization is run really well. I kind of kept an eye on them last year a little bit. … I think with a few additions and the right people, we can make a run for first place.”
Last winter the Outback Thunder posted a 26-13-0-1 record to finish third in the Prairie Junior Hockey League’s Bob Dybvig Division. Darrell Mann, now coaching the U18 AAA Yorkton Maulers, was named Coach of the Year. In the postseason, the Outback Thunder swept its Survivor Series, 2-0, against the Prince Albert Titans before falling to the Saskatoon Westleys, 4-3, in the division semifinals.
“We got a good nucleus,” Noad said.
The coach is definitely familiar with the PJHL. He led the Kerrobert-based West Central Rage two seasons ago. Noad noted the league is well run and features some good players who could play at a higher level but choose to play in the PJHL due to commitments such as work or school.
Noah also has coached and played at the Junior A level. Last season he coached the Junior A Vegreville Vipers. The squad split the 2021-22 campaign between the Western States Hockey League and the Can-Am Junior Hockey League. Noad said his knowledge of the next level can help the Outback Thunder. As well, Noad plans to bring in some players with Junior A experience.
The head coach expects to ice a hardworking team this season.
“Even if you have got all kinds of talent, you still have to work hard every night,” Noad said. “Just kind of my philosophy – work hard. You earn your ice time. Work hard, you get ice time. If you don’t work hard, you don’t get ice time. You control how much playing time you’re going to get by working hard.”
Another aspect of the game Noad feels strongly about is taking care of the puck.
“I’m a puck possession coach,” he said. “We’re going to build a team around that. We’re going to work on that.”
Noad said the team is working on filling out the coaching staff. He said they are looking for an assistant coach and a goalie coach. As well, the Outback Thunder are actively seeking a some more players to fill out the roster