Puck University Professor
My name is Matt Gates, but my teammates have always referred to me as "Gater." That's how I played during my career, like an alligator with a hockey stick.
I have always been fascinated with the game of hockey--the dynamics of a team, the effort of each individual, the speed, quickness, and unique nature of being on small blades of steel grinding against frozen water in order to put a small piece of rubber into a small net....All of these aspects and many more make coaching a fun and satisfying job for me.
Played for Team Illinois U16 and U18 Mission in the chicagoland area growing up.
Played two years of Junior A hockey in the Eastern Junior Hockey League just outside of Boston for the Bridgewater Bandits where I recorded 34 points in 43 games in my rookie season, leading the team in post season points.
Played one year in the North Dakota in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Bismarck Bobcats where I served as captain and lead the team in scoring with 57 points in 56 games.
I received a scholarship to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Division 1) where I played in 17 games.
Then, I ended up taking a year off, but served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Young Americans hockey club in IL.
I finished my last two years of college hockey at Concordia University, WI where I was named an alternate captain.
What I can offer players and parents is my experience as a player and insight as to what it takes to make it to the next level. I fought my way to earning a scholarship without a strong mentor and made mistakes along the way. But I learned a lot and have a lot to offer younger players.