When Jeremy Rintala left the TC Central coaching staff to take the lead job at West in early August, it created an interesting dynamic.Rintala
, a Houghton native, will face off with former boss Chris Givens, who grew up in nearby Hancock, for the second time this year.
...That's part of the reason Givens hired Rintala as an assistant coach just over two years ago, even though he never met him face-to-face beforehand.After several phone conversations and a glowing recommendation from Givens' younger brother, Tim, who was a college roommate of Rintala's while the two were at Northern Michigan University, Rintala joined Givens and assistant coach Scott Harvey on the TC Central bench for two years.
"And when Tim told me (Jeremy) and his wife Kelly were coming here, it all came together.
came to Traverse City
wife landed a teaching position at West
.Rintala, who played in the North American Hockey League for two years for Jackson Hole, was an assistant coach at Freeland and was thrust into the head coaching spot there when Gregg Killmer was killed in a car accident on I-75 during the season.
"It was weird when I first met Chris because I only knew his brother," Rintala
coached at Central
last year when West
took the Jeff McCullough Memorial Challenge Cup from Central for just the second time in the 10-year history of the trophy.Now he
wants to keep it.
"I'm not a huge fan of having layoffs like that, but it gave us some time to get healthy," said Rintala
said Snider could be eased back into the lineup, and will likely play at least a few shifts tonight.