Millersville Adds Depth

CPIHL: Central Dauphin head coach Pat McKenna accepts assistant coaching job with Millersville U. team

JEFF DEWEES, For The Patriot-News, January 05, 2013 5:51 p.m.

Central Dauphin ice hockey head coach Pat McKenna has been named as part-time assistant coach with the Millersville University men’s hockey club.

McKenna, 44, is in his second full season behind the bench as head man for the Rams, who have struggled to a 1-11-0 mark this season in CPIHL Tier I. He intends to remain with the CD program through at least the end of the season, possibly beyond, while simultaneously working with the Marauder icers.

“I’m going to have to evaluate that,” McKenna said. “I’ll have to evaluate the time. I’d like to stay on. I enjoy working with the high school kids.”

McKenna was an assistant coach at CD to former head coach John Parker, who stepped down at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season. The Rams have been hurt the past couple of seasons by defections of noted top players to the AAA travel club Central Penn Panthers, who extend exclusive playing contracts to prospects.

McKenna said he interviewed with Millersville and its head coach, Ryan Behnken, in December just before Christmas. He’ll be joining the Millersville staff by the middle of the month.

“I got a tremendous opportunity, working with the Millersville University staff and scouting kids at the CPIHL,” McKenna said. “Through that relationship, they interviewed me for an assistant coach job. Coach Behnken offered me the job and I’ll be joining them shortly.”

“It’s a D-II team and I’m looking to move up in the ranks. You have to pay your dues and this is one more step for me. Coach Behnken is a great coach, has been coach of the year numerous times in numerous leagues. This is a chance to coach with him and to hopefully learn the collegiate hockey system.”

The Marauders compete in the 15-member Great Northeast Collegiate Hockey Conference (GNCHC) and were league runners-up last season. They are currently 11-4-1-3 in GNCHC West, with the next scheduled game set for Jan. 25 at Lancaster Ice Rink against New Jersey Institute of Technology.