48 in 24 Series: Glacier Nationals
August 17, 2016
The 48 in 24 series will feature an in-depth look into all 48 teams in the NA3HL for the 2016-17 season, with new teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 48 in 24 goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 48 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2016-17 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2015-16 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 48 in 24 will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
2015-16 Record: 2-43-2, 6 pts. (7th in the Frontier Division)
2015-16 Playoffs: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Rob Powell
2016-17 Division: Frontier
The Glacier Nationals, out of Havre, Montana, joined the NA3HL as part of the AWHL merger in March of 2014. They finished their second season in the league at the bottom of the Frontier Division with six points.
Coach Rob Powell will be returning for his second season with the team, after taking last season off, and hopes to see a bit of a better out come than last season with an older roster.
“Coming off a two-win season is pretty traumatic,” Powell said. “Obviously we have to get a full roster and we have to get older. We need to get some veterans who will help the younger guys adapt to junior hockey. I’m trying to bring in kids who have a vision of where they want to be after college. We’ve got guys that are hungry and ready to advance.”
Although this is only his second season with the Nationals, Powell is exploding with hockey experience and knowledge. He has over 20 years of experience at the junior, college, and professional levels, and hopes this insight will help him push more players on to the next level.
“There are certain adjustments you have to make coming from minor to junior hockey and adjustments you have to make going from junior to professional hockey,” Powell said. “The difference between good players and great players is one and a half steps. They skate one and a half steps faster, they shoot the puck one and a half steps faster. I know what they teach at the higher levels having coached there, so I try to incorporate that with my players at the junior level.”
Powell and the rest of the league will have to adjust to a new structure this year. The league will host 48 teams in eight divisions, giving the Nationals the chance to prove themselves against a host of new teams.
“[The new structure] makes it nice because you cut down on playing the same teams a large number of times,” Powell said. “It doesn’t hurt our travel by any means. You get to play the other teams less, which balances things out throughout the division.”
In the NA3HL, advancing the players is each teams top priority. One Nationals alumni player moved up to the NAHL this summer, Blake Evenou, who will play with the Lone Star Brahmas for the 2016-17 season.
“I like helping the players - not only with their skills but also moving them along farther in life with college or pro hockey,” Powell said.
With the Nationals 2016-17 season starting on September 16th against the Great Falls Americans, the pressure is just starting, but Powell knows that their success is in the players’ hands.
“Obviously we want to have a better win loss record than last year and we want to be competitive,” Powell said. “I’m just the guy who guide the team. The expectations of the team have to be up to the players and what they want to accomplish.”
Next in the 48 in 24 series: Granite City Lumberjacks