University of Maine associate head men’s hockey coach Bob Corkum is going to gain some valuable head coaching experience later this summer.
Corkum will direct the United States Under-17 national team in the Five Nations Cup Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. from Aug. 9-14.
Corkum attended the Select-16s festival in Rochester, N.Y. this week and chose his 22-man team for that tournament. The round-robin tournament will also include teams from Slovakia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
He has been a head coach of one of the Selects-16 festival teams but has never been the head coach of a national team.
“It’s going to be a good experience for me. It’s going to be a fun process,” said the 43-year-old Corkum. “I’ve already taken on a GM (general manager’s) role by picking the team and setting up the schedule for the guys.”
The schedule will include practice times, meal times, leisure trips and “team-building exercises.”
“I want the players to get to know each other and feel comfortable with each other,” he said.
In addition to gaining valuable head coaching experience, Corkum said this will also be beneficial from a recruiting standpoint.
“I’ll get a real good idea of what is out there for the 1995 birth year,” said Corkum who will have a chance to develop a rapport with the players.
“You had to cut 180 players down to 22,” he said. “There were 10 other guys who also deserved to be part of the team.”
He will have a good team.
“It is a very offensive team. Our defensemen are very offensive-minded,” said Corkum, who will be assisted by former Michigan Tech assistant Pat Mikesch. ”The challenge will be to teach them, in a short time, to play within a system and distribute the puck.”
He said he will have “three good, skilled lines and one real good checking line with physical players.”
Corkum will begin his fourth season as the associate head coach of the Black Bears this fall.
The former Black Bear winger played 12 seasons and 720 regular season games in the NHL before beginning his coaching career as an assistant hockey coach at his alma mater, Triton High School in Salisbury, Mass. He has had several assistant coaching jobs including the Portland Junior Pirates and the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs of the Eastern Junior Hockey League.