Coach of the year returns to Rivermen, EOSHL adds seventh team

WEST CARLETON – The reigning Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (EOSHL) coach of the year will be behind the bench for the West Carleton Rivermen in the team’s second season.

Rivermen coach Mike Byrne pulled double-duty last season also serving as the team’s general manager.

The Rivermen finished the inaugural 2019-2020 EOSHL season as the regular season champions with a 14-2-1-1 record and battled to Game 5 of the league’s first championship series. While they came one game short of winning it all, the league recognized their success as the EOSHL honoured Byrne with the coach of the year award and named the Rivermen the 2019-2020 Top Management in the four-team league.

So, team owner, Galetta’s Adrian Moyes, was pleased to announce the coach and some key personal have committed to year two.

“The West Carleton Rivermen are pleased to announce that Captain Dave Nelson and Head Coach/GM Mike Byrne have committed to returning for the 2020-2021 season,” Moyes released in a statement last week.

Prior to his season-ending injury, Nelson played in 12 games for the Rivermen, recording one goal and nine assists. The Rivermen were also 10-0-1-1 with Nelson in the lineup.

In his first season behind the bench and as GM, Coach Byrne led the Rivermen to an 18-5-1-1 record, and a second-place finish overall.

“As well, the Rivermen would like to announce that Cody Waite will not be returning as assistant coach, and will transition in to a role as assistant general manager,” Moyes said. “Further announcements regarding the coaching staff will be made later this summer.”

In league news, the EOSHL announced a seventh team will be participating in the 2020-2021 season.

The league has almost doubled this offseason as the EOSHL have added three new teams over the break so far.

“The league has confirmed after last night’s meeting the town of Smith Falls will be joining the EOSHL for the upcoming 2020-2021 season,” league president Mitch Gagne released in a statement today (April 28). “The management will have a name and team colours by next week. Welcome to the league Smith Falls Ontario.”

The Smith Falls team will be joining the Frontenac Phantams and the Glengarry Pipers as expansion teams this season.