For a guy who had success as a forward in college and minor league ice hockey, Isaac Coy has an interesting philosophy going into his first season as the Columbus Icemen head coach.
“I would like this team to be the top penalty-killing team in the state,” said Coy, a 2004 Columbus North graduate and a former Columbus Icemen player. “I also want us to be the top shot-blocking team in the state. We are going to incorporate those things in practice.”
Coy, who played Single A hockey with the Evansville Icemen, said that those two factors will go a long ways into turning the Icemen into a solid defensive team and, in turn, a winning team.
“We have set some goals,” said Coy, who was an Icemen assistant last season. “We want to have another chance at a state championship. We want to take this group of players and develop their hockey skills and hockey sense as much as possible. We will be trying to play as a team by the end of the season.”
After a rebuilding year in 2014-15, the Icemen lost only four seniors. However, Coy said that all players on last season’s roster must try out again.
“I think we are expecting 28 to 30 kids at the try out,” he said. “We’re a new staff and my message to the kids is that no spots are guaranteed.”
Coy will be coaching the team with his brother-in-law and former Evansville Icemen teammate, Aaron Garner of Columbus. Chuck Fry will help out with the goaltenders.
“As a coach, I think team defense is where we can have the most success,” said Coy, who is 30. “We will plan things from the net out. I would like to win games 1-0.”
Coy and his wife, Erica, have a 3-year-old son, Maddox, and another child due in September. He works in electrical sales for Graybar of Indianapolis.
He took over the program in June and the team’s first official practice will be Aug. 13.
Players who would like to try out need to be a freshman or above in high school and must live in the Icemen’s territory, which includes Bartholomew, Brown, Johnson, Jackson and Jennings counties.
Coy said that players wanting to try out should have played two or more years of competitive hockey to be in the right situation to make the team.
“To just try to step on the ice without having played a competitive game, their not going to have any chance of surviving in the high school atmosphere,” he said. “It’s very competitive. Over the past six to eight years, the Columbus Icemen have been ranked in the top five in the state. We’ve been a top team although last season was a rebuilding year.
“We made the statement on our website that we are looking for good attitudes and players who are coachable, willing to do the things we ask them to do. We need to perform as a team and not individuals.”
The team will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.
The Icemen will carry a roster of 20 players and the remaining players will have the opportunity to play for a “B” team made up of players from Columbus and Greenwood.
Coy attended the University of Southern Indiana and played Division III club hockey there. The Evansville Icemen scouted him and gave him the opportunity to play two seasons as the captain.
After those two years, he moved back to Columbus to start his career.
“Columbus is unique,” he said. “Even though it doesn’t seem like a big hockey town, it really is well-known in the state for hockey.”
High school hockey
WHO: The Icemen
WHEN: Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Hamilton Center ice arena
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to www.columbusyouthhockey.org