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Coaching Staff

Jeff Mielnicki

Executive Director of Operations / Head Coach Varsity Prep Major AA / CHSAA Varsity

Phone: 720-436-3298

Jeff Mielnicki.....Coach Mel.  

10th Season CHSAA Varsity Head Coach

2022-2020 Team Colorado NIT Minnesota Assistant Coach

2022-2019 Boston Junior Rangers Midwest Head Scout

2015 Head Coach CHSAA State Champion 

2015 Head Coach USA Hockey High School National Champion

CHSAA Varsity Head Coach 2014-2015-2017 Frozen Four Appearances 

CHSAA Director of Hockey Program.                                                                         
President/Director of Operations Cherry Creek Hockey Association.

Head Coach Fall Varsity Prep / Midget Major AA.  

USA Hockey Level 4 CEP.

Cherry Creek Baseball Diamond Club President (12 Years)

President PinchHitters For Youth Foundation.

2018 National Federation of High School Regional Coach of the Year.

2018 Cherry Creek Baseball Hall of Fame Team Induction ( Head Coach 2012 Don Mattingly World Series National Champion.)

2018 President Colorado High School Ice Hockey Coaches Association

2017 President Colorado High School Ice Hockey Coaches Association

2017 Head Coach Team Colorado Pittsburgh Showcase 

2015 Colorado Male Coach of the Year Xfinity Sports Award                            

2015 Coach Inductee Cherry Creek High School Baseball Hall of Fame  

Head Coach at Arapahoe Hockey Association for 14 Years.


Ralph Bammert

Varsity Prep Major AA Assistant Coach. CHSSA Team Manager High Plains Club Coordinator

Ralph Bammert is a Cherry Creek Hockey Association Vice President, Assistant Coach on the Varsity Prep. as well as our Association Registrar.   Ralph is also our Team Manager for our CHSSA Teams. Ralph has been a Director for USA Hockey for many years and is also the High Plains League President and serves as the Vice President of High School Hockey for CAHA and the Colorado Prep Hockey League.

Ralph is also USA Hockey National Risk Manager and is a member of the USA Hockey Disabled Section.

Ralph is also a part of the Team Colorado Coaching Staff that participates in the America's Showcase in St. Louis.

2019 Asst Coach and Team Manager Team Colorado White St Louis Showcase

2018 Head Coach Team Colorado White St. Louis Showcase

2017 Head Coach Team Colorado White Pittsburgh Showcase

Ralph has also previously coached with the Littleton Hockey Association for 12 years.

 


Ryan Bammert

Varsity Prep Major AA/CHSAA Varsity Assistant Coach

Ryan Bammert begins his 10th season year as a Varsity Prep Major AA and CHSAA Assistant Coach and 11th overall where he began with Coach Mel at Arapahoe and brings a competitive spirit to every game. Ryan was part of our State and National Championship Coaching Staff.

 Ryan is a Paramedic with the city of Aurora and was recently nominated for Paramedic of the Year for his lifesaving efforts. Ryan also earned the Dairy Max CHSAA Assistant Coach of the month in January. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, Ryan spends his free time with his beautiful girlfriend Nicole and their black lab Brady. 


Rob Flay

Varsity Prep Major AA / CHSAA Varsity Assistant Coach USA Hockey Level 4 CEP

Rob Flay returns for his 4th season as V-Prep Major AA / CHSAA Varsity Assistant Coach.

With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Coach Flay is extremely excited to return for his 2nd season with the Bruins.  His coaching experience includes coaching at the Midget Major AA, AAA, Junior A Tier !!!, and College Club levels.  His teams have won League and State Titles and competed at the Regional level.  Former players of Coach Flay have gone on to play at the Junior, NCAA Div I, Div III and Professional levels.  

A California native, Coach Flay started playing at the age of 3 and played at the AA, AAA levels which included State and Western Regional Titles and multiple appearances at Nationals.  His playing experience also includes competing at the Quebec International Peewee Tournament, College Club and Professional Roller Hockey levels. 

Coach Flay is committed to bring his passion for the game and passion for player development to the Bruins’ organization to help prepare players for the next level as well as for life after high school and hockey.

Coach Flay has been happy to call Colorado home for the past 11 years and lives with his wife, Marie and two boys, Luke and Logan.


Neil Ruffini

Varsity Prep T1 / CHSAA Assistant Coach / V-Prep T1 /T2 Skills Performance Coach

Neil Ruffini begins his 4th Season as Assistant Coach. Neil begins his 1st Season as a Varsity Assistant Coach. In addition, Coach Ruffini will be the Varsity Prep T1/T2 Skills Performance Coach.

Coach Ruffini will bring a passion of teaching skills and preparing our players for advancement. Being able to directly impact players at the High School level and help prepare them for Junior or College careers is a primary goal.

Neil began his hockey career in Southern Michigan playing Tier 1 for Detroit Little Ceasars, Detroit Compuware, and Detroit HoneyBaked.

Neil attended  Prep School at Proctor Academy notching 128 Points in 65 games over 2 seasons with the Hornets in the New England Prep Hockey League.

Collegiate career Division 1 Hockey at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. 4 Year Letterman.

 Neil is the Owner/Director of Warehouse Athletes LLC Training Company. 


James Angelicola

Head Coach Varsity Prep Makar T1 NAPHL U16 / Head Coach CHSAA JV Varsity Assistant Coach

James Angelicola begins his 5th season with our Hockey Program. Coach Angelicola is the Head Coach of our Varsity Prep NAPHL Tier 2 Team and CHSAA Junior Varsity Team. Angelicola will also serve as a V-Prep Major AA / CHSAA Varsity Assistant Coach.

Coach Angelicola went to Fayetteville-Manlius High School where he played both Hockey and Lacrosse. James notched two seasons with the F-M Varsity Hockey team before continuing his career. His Junior Hockey playing career included two years with the Syracuse Stars of the EMJHL, two years playing for the Rochester Stars of the EJHL and one year serving with the Rochester Jr. Americans of the USPHL during the league's inaugural season.

James went on to play 3 seasons of NCAA Hockey for legendary Coach Tom Carroll at New England College and received All-Academic Team on multiple occasions. James also played Lacrosse at New England College. He was named an NAC Champion and NCAA Tournament Participant.

Following his collegiate hockey career, James went on to play professionally for the Danville Dashers of the FHL.

Coach Angelicola brings a passion for assisting players of all ages through skill development. Angelicola is a current private lessons instructor and coaching staff member of Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools. In addition, Angelicola will represent the 2022 RMHS Select team headed to Zurich, Switzerland as an Associate Head Coach. Angelicola has also spent time assisting Coach Mielnicki at the HPHL Varsity level.

 

Outside of Hockey: James is a native of Manlius, NY and is one of four boys to his parents Tish and Tom. James is a co-owner of Faceoff Factory, INC.


Matt McGregor

Associate Head Coach Varsity Prep Makar T1 NAPHL U16 / CHSAA JV / High Plains Director of Operations

 Matt McGregor begins his 2nd Season with our Coaching Staff. Matt is the Associate Head Coach for our Varsity Prep NAPHL T2 CHSAA JV Team. Matt is also Cherry Creeks High Plains Director of Operations.

Matt has been a Varsity Head Coach at Columbine and will bring his passion and coaching experience to the Bruins in the 2022-2023 season.

I grew up playing hockey competitive locally and extremely excited to bring what I have learned to grow the sport and develop players.
I developed as a young player through Denver University’s youth Hockey program, the Jr. Pioneers, Colorado Jr. Eagles & Colorado Thunderbirds AAA.

I also played competitive Lacrosse for Cherry Creek youth until the decision was made to pursue hockey.

After graduating from ThunderRidge HS in 2007 I moved to Spokane, WA to play Junior hockey in the NPHL where I served as a captain in my third season with the club. I then moved to Bloomington MN to play in the MNJHL using a lot of the lessons I learned along the way in my coaching today.

From 2017-2020 I held the position as Assistant Director of a local youth hockey program until making the decision to use the skills I learned to run the Columbine HS hockey program.
Along the way I have had the chance to meet and create great relationships with coaches and players which have also led to the opportunity to coach at high level showcases.

I have served as a bench coach/scout for: CCM Showcase Denver CO, and Air Force Academy Hockey showcase. I have also been a part of Colorado Prep Hockey League’s (CPHL) “Team Colorado” where we select top HS players from around the state to compete in St. Louis at the America's Showcase.

My goals for HS hockey is to represent the school and community with Integrity, Pride & Passion.

Our student athletes will be knowledgeable and cognitive about not only the game we love, but the bigger picture of what it truly means to be a hockey player.


Jack Venuto

Assistant Coach Varsity Prep Makar T1 NAPHL U16/ CHSAA JV Assistant Coach/CHSAA Varsity Assistant Co

 Jack Venuto begins his 4th season with our Coaching Staff. Jack is the Assistant Coach with the NAPHL T2 /CHSSA JV Team. Jack will continue in his 3rd season as a Varsity Assistant Coach. 

State and National Champion Bruin Captain Alumni will work with our Defenseman in the 2022-2023 Season.

Jack played youth hockey with the Colorado Rampage and Colorado Thunderbirds. Jack is looking forward to the 2022-2023 season.


Jackson Ross

Assistant Coach Varsity Prep Makar T1 NAPHL U16/ CHSAA JV Assistant C

Coach Ross is excited to bring NCAA Division 1 experience to our CC Defenseman. The ability to teach the skills needed for success and advancement to Junior and College Hockey are a primary goal for Coach Ross.

Collegiate career; Division 1 Hockey at Colorado College.
4 Year Letterman. 
Academic All-NCHC.

Junior experience; A stellar career in the AJHL, SJHL and BCHL with the Surrey Eagles.

Jackson is a Cherry Creek Alumni and Captain. 


Toby Petersen

Associate Head Coach CC Prospects / CCHA Special Teams Coordinator / High Plains T2 Head Coach

Cherry Creek welcomes Toby Petersen to our Coaching Staff as CC Prospects Associate Head Coach and CCHA Special Teams Coordinator.

Coach Petersen will bring a passion of teaching skills and game strategies along with Special Teams Coordination for our Teams.

Toby's NHL playing career included 398 games with the Pittsburg Penguins, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars.

Collegiate career; Division 1 Hockey at Colorado College. 4 Year Letterman amassing 128 Points. 

International experience; US World Junior (Geneva '97, Helsinki '98). US World Championships (Moscow '97)

Coaching career; 6 Season in AHL with Springfield, Cleveland and Rochester.


Chris Donovan

Assistant Coach CC Prospects / CHSAA JV /High Plains T2

Cherry Creek welcomes Chris Donovan to our Coaching Staff.

Chris will be an Assistant Coach on the Varsity Prep NAPHL T2 / CHSAA JV Team.

Chris is looking forward to helping our players achieve their goals both on and off the ice. Chris works with the Minnesota Wild and brings passion and energy to the game.

Chris is a Teacher and Eaglecrest High School. 

Chris resides in Centennial with his wife and daughter.

 


Matt Zaba

Goaltending Coach Varsity Prep Major AA /V-Prep T2

 Matt Zaba begins his 3rd season with our Coaching Staff.

Matt Zaba is currently a goalie coach based out of Denver, Colorado. After an 8 year professional career, including stops in the NHL, AHL, ECHL and Europe, Matt Zaba began his coaching career with his alma mater Colorado College Tigers. Coach Zaba has worked directly under the guidance of New York Rangers Goalie Coach Benoit Allaire, Los Angelos Kings Goalie Coach Bill Ranford and Swedish National Team Goalie Coach Stefan Ladhe.

Matt Zaba is currently in his third season as goalie coach for the Tri-City Storm where he has coached back to back USHL Goalies of they Year in his first two seasons.

Matt Zaba

MHH Goalie Club Founder

Tri-City Storm Goalie Coach

www.mountainhighhockey.com 

719-651-3153


Brady Mielnicki

Goaltending Coach Varsity Prep Major AA /V-Prep T2 Assistant Coach

Brady Mielnicki begins his 6th Season as a Assistant Coach and Goaltending Instructor for our Prep Teams. Brady has  worked for several years as our Goaltending Instructor at our Summer Camps.

Brady is Founder and Owner of Shut Out Goaltending and works with Goaltenders individually to improve their performance.

Brady has been a Goaltending Instructor for ITC Goaltending Camps and a CAHA Combine Goaltending Evaluator for the Rocky Mountain District.

A Cherry Creek Alumni, Brady was the 2015 CHSAA Goaltender of the Year leading the Bruins to a State and National Championship.


Lauren Gunter

Mental Skills Performance Coach / Sports Nutrition Coach

 Lauren returns to our program for a 5th season as our Mental Skills Performance Coach. Lauren is looking forward to helping our players achieve Committed Action Goals to improve peak performance. A native of Minnesota and Denver University Graduate, Lauren resides in Denver.

Lauren was an outstanding AAA Player in Minnesota and brings those ice skills to as well to the Mental Skills Performance Coach position. 
Lauren also is a sports nutritionist and will offer programs to fuel the on ice performance of our players.

Lauren resides in Centennial with her husband Drake.


Travis Duffle

Landow Sports Performance

Travis Duffle

Sports Performance Specialist - Dry Land Coach

Travis grew up in Montrose, Colorado where he was involved in various sports—from competitive skateboarding and snowboarding to organized team sports such as hockey and football. He moved to Fort Collins to complete his Bachelors of Science in Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University. During his senior year, he completed an internship at Landow Performance where he became passionate about strength and conditioning. Travis has been coaching at Landow Performance since 2016 and has worked with a wide variety of athletes. He has become experienced in both developing fundamentals in youth athletes and fine-tuning the mechanics of high level professionals.
 
Travis has been the Cherry Creek Hockey’s dry land performance coach for 2 years and is excited to further facilitate the strength, agility and injury prevention of Cherry Creek athletes. His ultimate goal is to ensure that his athletes feel strong, robust, and ready for the ice. 
 

Landow Performance returns for a 5th season. Landow Sports Performance Coaches will work with all of our teams to provide off-ice training and nutrition analysis. We look forward to continuing our Cherry Creek partnership with the Landow Performance Team.


 I am looking forward to another year of building our Hockey Program. Cherry Creek will being back a solid group of young players who competed well in our 2nd season in the NAPHL. 2022-2023 Cherry Creek will add a U16 NAPHL Team as we continue to offer additional competitive games for our players. I look forward to another season of developing our players. 

Congratulations to several of our Alumni who have moved on to Junior Hockey across the country and are working towards a NCAA commitment.

This will be my 30th season of coaching hockey in Colorado at both the High School and Competitive Travel level, which would include the Arapahoe Warriors Youth Hockey Association, Littleton Hockey Association, and Valor Christian High School.

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan as a Goaltender and played Travel hockey at several age levels including the Detroit Junior Red Wings Junior A Team and was a Western Michigan University recruit. After moving to Colorado to begin my business career I continued playing in the Rocky Mountain Men’s A Competitive League and in 1997 went One on One with Joe Sakic to help the Colorado Youth At Risk Foundation in cooperation with Fox Sports.

I am a graduate of Western Michigan University and for the last 30 years have been President and owner of my own company. I am also President of the Pinch Hitters For Youth Foundation.

My family includes my wife of 41 years Jackie and 3 boys: Jeff, Alec and Brady. In addition I have 4 beautiful grand babies Noah, Oliver, Jayden and Marshall.

 

Jeff Mielnicki
President- Director of Hockey Operations
CCHS Varsity Head Coach