The bench boss of the Jets affiliate, Pascal Vincent has done an excellent job this season as he guides the farm club to their first playoff appearance since moving to Winnipeg while helping to get the young prospects up to the big club. He had the club in 1st place for 133 days before injuries and call-ups eventually caught up to the team. Well deserved recognition for the Moose bench boss.
The Manitoba Moose Hockey Club, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced today that Moose head coach Pascal Vincent is the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2017-18 season.
Vincent, 46, is in his second season as head coach of the Moose. With three games remaining in the 2017-18 campaign, the Laval, Que. native has guided the team to a 20-point improvement over last season. That mark has advanced the team from a seventh-place finish in the Central Division in 2016-17, to clinching a Calder Cup Playoff berth and hunting for the division title down the stretch.
The Moose have seen an impressive year-over-year change in their goal differential, improving from minus-45 in 2016-17 to plus-51 in 2017-18. Manitoba currently ranks in the top five in the league in goals-for (3.36, T-3rd) and goals-against per game (2.66, fifth). The team also improved its power play ranking from 13th in 2016-17 to second in the league this season, and its penalty killing from 29th in the AHL to 14th at this point of the campaign.
With Vincent behind the bench, the Moose set multiple franchise records, including a 16-game run without a regulation loss (Nov. 15 – Dec. 22), and 13-straight home games without a regulation loss (Oct. 15 – Dec. 22). Manitoba recorded its best first half in franchise history with a 25-8-3-2 record (0.724 points percentage), resulting in Vincent representing the team at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic. In addition to the new team marks, 10 players on the Moose roster have recorded career highs in at least one offensive category.
Vincent is the second head coach of the Moose to be recognized by the league, following Scott Arniel who received the honour in the 2008-09 season.
Prior to joining the Moose, Vincent was an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets for five seasons. He was one of the original hires on the Jets’ coaching staff when the team moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011. Before joining the Jets organization, was a head coach in the QMJHL for 12 seasons with Montreal and Cape Breton, earning coach of the year honors in 2007-08.
The Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1968, honors the late Mr. Pieri, a long-time contributor to the AHL as the owner and general manager of the Providence Reds and a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.
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