• Joel Vanderlaan

Hershey Homecoming for Belleville Bench Boss


Image Credit: Jason Scourse

The Belleville Senators will make their lone trip of the season into Hershey this afternoon for a matinee affair against the Bears.


For Troy Mann, this afternoon's game means more, it's a homecoming of sorts, a business trip with a personal side for Belleville's candid bench boss, who would be lying if there weren't any emotions involved. "It's exciting but at the same time, it's a little bit nerve- wrecking, spending that amount of time in one place."


Mann, in total, spent eight seasons in Hershey, the last four seasons (2014-2018), as head coach. Under Mann's leadership, the Bears’ compiled a 162-102-22-18 record in his first AHL head-coaching stint, guiding his club to two Atlantic Division titles and a Calder Cup final appearance in 2016. The Campbellton, NB native also served four season as an assistant coach with the Bears, helping to guide Hershey to a Calder Cup title in 2010. His great accomplishment is seeing 14 players he'd develop hoist the Stanley Cup last spring with the parent club, Washington Capitals.


"We had a lot of success as a team, both when I was the assistant and head coach. Anytime you're able to win and have success in a place, it makes the memories a lot fonder. "


On the business side of the equation, despite having gained points in four straight, Belleville's playoff hopes are on thin ice, sitting eighth in the North Division, currently nine points out of a playoff spot with 29 games remaining on the season.


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