AUBURN (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The first head coach of the Twin City Thunder needs only to draw on his own experience to relate to the young players under his tutelage.
Doug Friedman greeted fans and media at his official introduction on Monday at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn where the Thunder make their home. The rink is a short drive up the Maine Turnpike from Friedman's childhood home in Cape Elizabeth.
After making a name for himself on the ice at Boston University, Friedman worked his way through the various stages of minor league hockey. His playing career culminated with a two-year run in the NHL including stints with the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators from 1997 to 1999. His accomplishments were rewarded with enshrinement into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
As he prepared for the Thunder job, Friedman said he did his research into the USPHL and became a regular spectator at games to gauge the background and skill level of players.
"It's really about getting these kids on to the next level of collegiate play, working on their development," Friedman said. "And obviously we want to make sure that these are good-character kids that we have here, too, and they're going to be involved in the community."
The Thunder is still building a team to get ready for its inaugural season next fall in the USPHL's Premiere North division. The league is composed of players around the ages of 18 to 20 years old who aspire to compete at the collegiate level.