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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.  

11th Season CHSAA Varsity Head Coach

2023-2020 Team Colorado NIT Minnesota Assistant Coach

2023 Pueblo Bulls NCDC Rocky Mountain Scout

2023-2019 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.

2023-2020 Team Colorado NIT Minnesota General

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.


Toby Petersen

Hockey Operations Director/ Asst. Coach / CHSAA Varsity Special Teams Coordinator

Toby Petersen to our Coaching Staff for his 2nd Season as CCHA Hockey Operations Director and CHSAA Varsity Special Teams Coordinator. Coach Petersen  will assist all CCHA and CHSAA Teams.

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.

Ryan Bammert

Varsity Prep Major AA / CHSAA Varsity Assistant Coach

Ryan Bammert begins his 11th season year as a Varsity Prep Major AA and CHSAA Assistant Coach and 12th 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 5th 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 12 years and lives with his wife, Marie and two boys, Luke and Logan.

Matt McGregor

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

 Matt McGregor begins his 3rd Season with our Coaching Staff. Matt is the Head Coach for our Varsity Prep NAPHL Makar T1 / 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 2023-2024 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.

Jackson Ross

Assistant Coach Varsity Prep Makar T1 NAPHL U16 / CHSAA JV

Cherry Creek welcomes Jackson Ross to our Coaching staff as CC NAPHL U16 Assistant Coach and CHSAA Defensive Skills Coordinator.

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. 

Connor Halbert

Assistant Coach Varsity Prep Makar T1 NAPHL U16/U18 / CHSAA JV

Cherry Creek welcomes Connor Halbert to our Coaching staff as CC AHF / NAPHL U16 /U18 Assistant Coach and CHSAA Assistant Coach.

Coach Halbert is excited to bring Tier 1 Coaching experience to our CC Forwards. Coach Halbert was instrumental in developing players for the Sioux Falls Power Tier 1 AAA team and is looking forward to working with our Cherry Creek players.

Connor resides in Littleton with his wife Katie and their dog Romeo.

Joe Sadozai

Varsity Prep Major AA NAPHL U18 V-Prep MAKAR T1 NAPHL U16 Assistant Coach

Joe Sadozai returns to our Coaching Staff for his 6th season as a Varsity Prep Major AA and V-Prep Makar T1 Assistant Coach.

Coach Sadozai brings 24 Years of Coaching experience with Littleton  Hockey Association, Arapahoe Hockey Association and Denver University Hockey Association.


Scott Bagwin

Head Coach CC Prospects / CHSAA JV Royal

Scott Bagwin returns to our Coaching Staff for his 2nd Season as Head Coach on the CC Prospects team.

Scott coached at the Littleton Hockey Association for 7 seasons and will bring that experience to the Prospect team.

Scott is USA Hockey Level 4 Coaching Certified. 

Scott is looking forward to sharing his passion and experience to our CC Prospect players. 

Scott resides in Centennial with his family.


Jake Estares

Assistant Coach CC Prospects/ CHSAA JV Royal

Cherry Creek welcomes Jake Estares to our Coaching staff as CC Prospects Assistant Coach and CHSAA JV Royal Coach.

Coach Estares is excited to share his passion for the game with our CC Hockey players.

Welcome Jake!

Chris Jellsion


Chris Jellison returns to our Coaching Staff for his 2nd season as Assistant Coach of the Cherry Cherry Creek Prospects Team.

Chris is excited to share is competitive passion for hockey with our players.
Chris will be working with our forwards as their position coach.

Chris played College Hockey at Connecticut College and was a 4 year Letterman.

Chris resides in Denver.


Lauren Gunter

Head Coach Cherry Creek Lady Bruins

Cherry Creek welcomes Lauren Gunter to our Coaching Staff as our Lady Bruins Head Coach.

Coach Gunter begins her 6th season with Cherry Creek Hockey, and will be Head Coach of the first ever Cherry Creek Lady Bruins. The Lady Bruins will compete in the Colorado Prep Hockey League in the 2023-2024 Season. 

In her time with Cherry Creek, Lauren has served as a mental skills coach, strength and conditioning coach, and State Championship winning Tier II/JV assistant coach.

A native of Owatonna, Minnesota, Coach Gunter has over 10 years of playing experience at the AAA and high school varsity levels. She is a graduate of the University of Denver with a master’s in Sport and Performance Psychology.

Coach Gunter is committed to making the game fun and developing players on and off the ice. She believes that hockey is a great way for young people to learn teamwork, respect, and handling adversity. She is passionate about making players feel valued through positive communication and creating an environment that fosters growth through rewarding effort, dedication, and a positive attitude.

Lauren resides in Centennial with her husband Drake.

Corey Wagner

Associate Head Coach Cherry Creek Lady Bruins

Cherry Creek welcomes Corey Wagner to the Lady Bruins as Associate Head Coach. 

Brian Lukasezck

Assistant Coach Cherry Creek Lady Bruins

Cherry Creek welcomes Brian Lukasezck to the Lady Bruins as Assistant Coach. 

Matt Zaba

Goaltending Coach Cherry Creek Hockey Association

 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 


Shannon Valerio

Power Skating Coach Cherry Creek Hockey Association

Cherry Creek welcomes Shannon Valerio to our Coaching Staff as our Power Skating Coach.

Shannon Valerio, MA, CSCS, is a former world class speed skater. She began competing at the age of seven and quickly rose to the national ranks. During her 20-year career in short-track and inline speed skating, she competed internationally, amassed 14 national titles and eventually landed a contract with a professional racing team. While in college, she took a brief hiatus to play hockey for the University of Denver Women’s team, where she played under exceptional coaches, eventually becoming a player-coach.

Over the past decade, she coached part-time with  high school, USA Hockey, NCAA D1 and Stanley Cup champions, combining speed-specific training with hockey tactics. In 2020, she left a successful career as an IT Director/Software Consultant to become a full-time speed and power skating coach. In her short time working with primarily youth hockey players, she has established herself as the premier speed and power skating coach in the Rocky Mountain region, helping her athletes reach tremendous heights such as advancement to USA Hockey National Development camps, USHL and WHL draft selections, and NCAA commitments.

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 3 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 6th 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 3rd season in the NAPHL. Cherry Creek will continue with a U18 and U16 NAPHL team as we continue to offer additional competitive games for our players.

Cherry Creek will also compete in the National Division of the Atlantic Hockey Federation in the 2023-2024 season. This will be year 2 in the AHF.

Cherry Creek Lady Bruins take the ice in the 2023-2024 season. The Lady Bruins will compete in the CPHL.

 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 31st 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 42 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