Tier 1 and AAA youth hockey association boys and girls teams central CT

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Black Bear Sports Group, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack hire Bob Ferraris as Hockey Director of Hartford Jr. Wolfpack AAA and Champions Ice Center

Coach Ferraris to remain as Varsity Head Coach of Trinity-Pawling Boys Hockey


Cromwell, CT – Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Coach Bobby Ferraris as the incoming Hockey Director of the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack AAA Youth Hockey Club. Coach Ferraris will join Bob Crawford and the current Jr. Wolfpack staff to begin building teams for the 2022-23 season and to launch elite spring and summer training programs and tournament teams. Black Bear previously announced the acquisition of Champions Skating Center and Bolton Ice Palace from Mr. Crawford, as well as the appointment of Mr. Crawford to its Board of Directors. Black Bear has also appointed Coach Ferraris to the scouting staff for its junior hockey franchises in the USHL (Youngstown Phantoms) and NAHL (Maryland Black Bears).

Coach Ferraris brings an accomplished hockey pedigree to the Cromwell, CT-based Jr. Wolfpack AAA program. He spent 12 years coaching NCAA Division I hockey, most recently serving as the Associate Head Coach of Mercyhurst University before relocating to New York in 2015 to serve as Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Hockey team for the Trinity-Pawling School, where he will remain the Head Coach.  Coach Ferraris has established the Pride as a consistent contender in the Founders League, which is widely considered to be the premier prep school hockey league in the United States; this success included a championship in 2018. Coach Ferraris has also effectively developed his players and helped them earn college roster spots.  In 2021-2022, Trinity-Pawling featured freshmen alumni on three Division I rosters and seven Division III rosters.  In 2022-2023, another three Trinity-Pawling hockey alumni will be Division I freshmen at Army, Boston University, and Merrimack College. “I’m thrilled to join Bob Crawford and Black Bear Sports Group to grow the Jr. Wolfpack AAA club and expand youth hockey programming at Champions Skating Center,” said Bobby Ferraris. “Black Bear’s ladder of development with its internally owned junior hockey franchises is unparalleled in our industry.  With a direct line to our USHL and NAHL coaching staff, movement to and from the USHL and NAHL clubs will provide our Jr. Wolfpack players with every opportunity available to develop into exceptional players prepared for college hockey.”

“We’ve graduated over 200 players to college hockey. Player development and advancement will continue to be our priority at the Jr. Wolfpack,” said Bob Crawford, current program director. “The addition of Bobby to our staff is exciting for our organization. He’s an excellent coach and brings new energy and ideas to our club.”

Coach Ferraris is a New England native. He played his minor hockey growing up on Cape Cod and captained the St. Anselm NCAA varsity team before turning professional in 1997.

“Bobby is an elite coach and recruiter that will make a tremendous impact in both Connecticut and our overall Tier I player ascension program to our junior teams and on to college or pro,” said Murry Gunty, CEO and Founder of Black Bear.  “We are committed to building a team of elite coaches throughout our ice arenas to expand and support youth hockey in the United States.”  

About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc.

Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams, and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean, professionally managed, and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, markets with a National Hockey League club presence and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. Black Bear not only features the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas, but also the expertise required to turn around mismanaged or under-performing facilities. The largest owner/operator of ice rinks in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 29 facilities across the United States with 53 sheets of indoor ice, four indoor turf fields, 17 youth hockey clubs, two youth hockey leagues (Atlantic Hockey Federation and National Girls Hockey League) and three Junior “A” hockey franchises with membership in the United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League.

About Hartford Jr. Wolfpack AAA

The Jr. Wolfpack has graduated over 200 student-athletes to various NCAA/ACHA hockey programs, and its success is driven by our unparalleled commitment to both on and off ice skill development, academic achievement, good citizenship and self-respect. The program has fielded boys and girls teams from U12 to Junior. The Jr. Wolfpack’s primary objectives are building the foundation of each player’s success through the development of technical hockey skills, knowledge of the game, understanding of the role of fitness and nutrition, core hockey values, and leadership attributes. Our student-athletes live by the code “Have Pride in the Pack” following our simple motto of the 3 Ps: “Play with Pride; Prepare with Pride; and Present Yourself with Pride,” which is part of our roadmap to success.