Former Lakehead Thunderwolves captain Jordan Smith is the new coach of the Thunder Bay North Stars.
Todd Howarth, who took over the reins of the Superior International Junior Hockey League team before Christmas, has stepped aside for undisclosed personal reasons.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance, it’s not the way you want to fall into that position. But it’s all about the boys, it’s about the team. We’re trying to keep things together and those kids haven’t really lost any faith,” said Smith, an observer Friday night as Lakehead knocked off Waterloo 4-3 in a men's hockey shootout.
“I know we’ve had our ups and downs. It’s been a very tough year for them. But they still believe in themselves and we’re going to keep moving forward.”
Smith, a former 2004 second-round pick of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks forced to retire after losing an eye in an American Hockey League contest, said he’s been the coach for the past couple of weeks and has no intentions of changing the way the Stars play.
“It’s about basics. If you watch our team … we’re not a flashy team. We’re not a very skilled team outside of one or two guys. So it comes down to winning the ugly games, winning the road games and doing the things you need to do to win.”
Smith, 27, said he hopes it’s the start of a lengthy coaching career.
“Absolutely. This is something I’d like to do for a living. It’s a great opportunity, it’s a great start to build my resume. In one year I’ve gone from helping the Minor Midget Kings to being a head coach in a junior A league. So anything can happen. I’m enjoying it right now.”
The fourth-place North Stars (25-18-1) hired Ear Falls Mayor Kevin Kahoot to coach the team, unveiling him three games into the season.
The Stars next game is Feb. 8 against the Minnesota Wilderness at Port Arthur Arena.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.