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Rick Kowalsky - Head Coach

eric_bogeniecki_assistant_coach.jpgRick Kowalsky - Head Coach


Rick Kowalsky was named head coach of the Bridgeport Islanders on July 13, 2023 after serving two seasons as an assistant with the club. He is the ninth head coach in team history. Kowalsky joined the organization in 2021 following three seasons with the New Jersey Devils.


The Simcoe, Ont. native was head coach of New Jersey’s American Hockey League affiliate for eight seasons, guiding the Albany Devils from 2010-17 and the Binghamton Devils in 2017-18. In addition, Kowalsky was head coach of New Jersey’s ECHL affiliate for four seasons, leading the Trenton Titans and Trenton Devils from 2006-10. He was elected into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2017.


Kowalsky led Albany to back-to-back playoff berths in 2015-16 and 2016-17, including its most successful season in 2015-16. The Devils earned 46 wins and 102 points that season, and Kowalsky was named AHL Coach of the Year. He also guided the ECHL Trenton franchise to a 40-win season in 2008-09 and received the John Brophy Award as the league’s top coach. Trenton’s 40 wins were the most since 2004-05 when the Titans won the Kelly Cup Championship with Kowalsky as team captain.


Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Kowalsky enjoyed a 12-year professional playing career as a forward in the AHL and ECHL. He had 92 points (35 goals, 57 assists) in 183 AHL games with the Cornwall Aces, Portland Pirates and Norfolk Admirals, and 550 points (221 goals, 329 assists) in 516 ECHL contests with the Hampton Roads Admirals, Trenton Titans and Roanoke Express. He skated in the 1995 and 2003 ECHL All-Star Games and served as North team captain in 2003.


A 10th-round pick (227th overall) of the Buffalo Sabres in 1992, Kowalsky played four seasons with the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 1989-1993. He was named team captain in 1992-93 and led the Greyhounds to the 1993 Memorial Cup Championship.

Matt Macdonald - Assistant Coach

Macdonald Web.pngMatt Macdonald - Assistant Coach


Matt Macdonald was named Assistant Coach of the Bridgeport Islanders on September 1, 2023. He spent the last five seasons in the same capacity with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). The Griffins went 144-137-38 in 319 games during that span. Macdonald also spent six seasons behind the bench for the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, including four years as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations from 2014-18. He guided the Cyclones to a winning record during each of those four seasons, totaling a 142-116-16-14 record and two Kelly Cup Playoff appearances.


Prior to his coaching career, the Niagara Falls, Ont. native played seven professional seasons as a defenseman. He combined for 133 points (30g, 103a) and 601 penalty minutes in 385 career games between the CHL (2005-06), ECHL (2006-09), AHL (2007-09), Italy (2009-10; 2011-12) and Denmark (2010-11). He won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Championship with Cincinnati in 2008. Macdonald played college hockey at St. Lawrence University, where he had 30 points (14g, 16a) in 118 games from 2001-05.

Pascal Rhéaume - Assistant Coach

Rheaume Web.pngPascal Rhéaume - Assistant Coach


Pascal Rhéaume was named Assistant Coach of the Bridgeport Islanders on September 1, 2023. Previously, he has coached in the AHL, ECHL and major junior hockey in addition to playing 318 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Rangers and Arizona Coyotes. He spent each of the last two seasons as Assistant Coach of the ECHL’s Trois-Rivières Lions.


Prior to joining Trois-Rivières for the 2021-22 season, Rhéaume served as Head Coach of the Val d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for two years (2018-20). He was also Assistant Coach with the Sherbrooke Phoenix and Drummondville Voltigeurs before that. Rhéaume spent the 2015-16 season as Assistant Coach with the Iowa Wild (AHL).


A native of Quebec, Que., Rhéaume played nearly 20 professional seasons as a forward beginning in 1993-94 with the Albany River Rats (AHL). He recorded 408 points (174g, 234a) in 589 career AHL games with the River Rats, Worcester IceCats, Hartford Wolf Pack, San Antonio Rampage, Lowell Devils, Manchester Monarchs and Peoria Rivermen. He won the 1995 Calder Cup with Albany and the 2003 Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils.

Mike Antone - Video Coordinator