ECHL: An Interview With Adirondack Thunder Assistant Coach Mike Bergin

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

The Adirondack Thunder currently hold the second spot in the ECHL with a record of 32-11-4-2, and a lot of that credit goes to the coaching staff of head coach Pete MacArthur and Mike Bergin, but with MacArthur always in the spotlight. I recently sat down with the Thunder’s assistant coach Mike Bergin, who joined the coaching staff about a month after MacArthur was named the team’s fourth head coach in Franchise History, “I was thrilled when I got the phone call and he said he wanted me to be a part of it, I was ecstatic, there’s not a better guy I could be in it with, we’ve been a part of this organization since day one, he came in a little later. We used to carpool up together from Sararoga and talk about what it would be like coaching together, and when I got that call, it was a dream come true.

Bergin would spend four seasons as a player in the ECHL, as he spent his rookie year with the Elmira Jackals, before spending three seasons with the Adirondack Thunder, putting up eight goals and 32 assists for 40 points in 107 games. During his final year as a player during the 2017-18 season, the Ottawa native joined Skidmore College as a volunteer assistant coach before spending two seasons as an assistant coach and another two seasons as an associate head coach, and I asked Bergin how that experience prepared him for the experience he has now, “Ya, it made a huge impact in my coach career, it was the first real gig and first time getting my feet wet and learning from the head coach there coach Hutchison{Bob Hutchison}, who is one of the most detailed guys I know, it was awesome to learn from him, the college game the recruiting game, what happens behind the scenes, it was such a good experience why I’m here today.

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Heading into the 2022-23 season, it was new territory not only for Pete MacArthur, who was also an assistant at Skidmore College, as both Bergin and MacArthur were entering their first year as coaches in the ECHL, “It was a pretty big adjustment from college hockey to here, It’s similar in age groups, obviously a lot bigger and higher skilled players, it’s fun coming that. It’s just a different adjustment getting used to the league and the players and kind of the standard. Maybe the first little bit was a little tough getting our grasp on things, but I think we figured it out as we went on there, and I think we put together a really good team for the second half of last year, and it’s kinda carried over to this year” said Bergin.

One of the big factors that has led to Adirondack’s success has been the three-headed goaltending monster of Vinnie Purpura, Jeremy Brodeur, and Tyler Brennan, as both Broduer and Purpura are in the top 10 amongst ECHL goaltenders in GAA and Purpura leads all goaltenders with three wins in the shootout this season, “Ya, I can’t say a negative word about any one of them, they’ve been incredible all year, and when we’re struggling whether it’s upfront or on the D side they are always there to bail us out, it seems like they’ve won us a countless number of games this year and even when we lose they are playing well, it’s so nice to have three goalies ready to go at all times, and they’ve been such a big part of our success. When asked about the decision to bring in three goaltenders, Bergin talked about the need to have three, knowing how the ECHL is with injuries and call-ups, “For sure, that goes back to getting into the league and understanding what’s needed to be successful, Pete was a player and turned coach right away and knew that the previous year they had a lot of issues keeping a goalie here and having an “A” goalie and made it a point to have three goalies at the start of training camp that are all capable and are all ready when we know we are going to lose a goalie and have two more” Bergins Said.

Adirondack Thunder Assistant Coach Mike Bergin Post-Game Remarks 2/10/2024
Adirondack Thunder Head Coach Pete MacArthur Post-Game Remarks 2/17/2024

I asked Bergin what this year means to the fans, knowing he played here during his playing days and has always had relations with the area, “It’s awesome, it’s amazing, we won the North Division when I was here, and I just remember playoffs being absolutely insane, the whole crowd was there chanting your name, and it gives me goosebumps just to think about it” said Bergin, he also mentioned that he can’t wait to feel that feeling again if the Thunder made the Kelly Cup Playoffs but wanted to stay complacent and not jinx anything.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECHL: Maine Mariners Make Roster Moves Prior To Game 2 Of North Division Semifinals

On April 20th, the Maine Mariners had two players called up to the Providence Bruins of the AHL. The first of these is forward Owen Pederson. He’s currently signed to a two-way, two-year contract with Providence. Pederson has played 54 games with the Mariners so far this season, putting up 13 goals and 12 assists […]

Read More

ECHL Central Division Semifinals Game 2 Recap: Toledo Walleye vs. Kalamazoo Wings | 04/20/2024

The Kalamazoo Wings played against the Toledo Walleye in Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals on Saturday night. The game took place in a packed-out Huntington Center in downtown Toledo, Ohio, and the Wings were hoping to level the series at 1-1. The Wings had lost 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 on Friday […]

Read More

ECHL: Kansas City Mavericks on the Verge of a Sweep in Opening Round Of Kelly Cup Playoffs

Kansas City Mavericks and Tulsa Oilers met starting on the 17th for their first-round series in the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Mavericks are favored to win the series. They have had a solid season, landing them at the league’s top. They finished the regular season at 54-12-4 and won the Branham Cup. But winning the […]

Read More