By CoRe Sport Communications
The Greater Metro Junior “A” Hockey League (GMHL) will be welcoming a pair of new teams for the upcoming 2016-2017 season, including Niagara’s own Lincoln Mavericks.
Since being accepted into the league in January 2015, the Mavericks have been preparing to make their highly anticipated debut, with one major step being the search for a highly capable head coach. And with Mark Barrick, along with his sparkling track record, set to take the reigns behind the bench for the team’s inaugural season, the Mavericks are undoubtedly in good hands.
Barrick’s coaching history began nearly 20 years ago as part of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). After a brief stint with the Port Colborne Schooners, helping to guide the team to a second place finish in the league, Barrick joined the St. Catharines Falcons in their head coaching role. With the Falcons, Barrick truly found his stride. In his initial six year tenure, Barrick tallied three first place finishes, three Golden Horseshoe Championships, two Sutherland Cup Finals, and served as Head Coach for the League All-Star Team on three occasions.
As the years progressed, Barrick continued to move onward and upward, finding himself in the critical role of Scout for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (Ontario Hockey League (OHL)) within the Niagara Region and Western New York. Tasked with drafting players to join the Major Junior hockey ranks, Barrick was quick to find elite talent, including the likes of Joe Thornton (first-round NHL draft pick, Boston Bruins) and Richard Jackman (first-round NHL draft pick, Dallas Stars).
Throughout his success across the various leagues, however, Barrick remained tied to the GOJHL’s Falcons, a team with whom he also played during his hockey career. He spent three additional seasons (1999-2002) with the club beyond his first tenure, before joining the team for a third stint in 2006-2007 to help rebuild the program to its elite ranks. Barrick’s efforts once again helped guide the Falcons to prominence, notching a second place finish overall. In addition, Barrick was instrumental in helping to develop the team’s top talent, including two more NHL first-round draft picks (Riley Sheehan, Detroit Red Wings; Dalton Lavellea, Atlanta Thrashers).
Since 2012, meanwhile, Barrick has served as Head Coach of the Niagara North Stars “AAA” of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA). Here, he has helped to develop young men to further their careers, having two players drafted to the OHL in the past, along with potentially five more this season.
From his time on the ice as a player to his tenure behind the bench, Mark Barrick has been a long-standing part of the game of hockey. And thanks to his vast experience, his team-first , and his commitment to development, the Lincoln Mavericks’ first year in the GMHL is sure to be filled with great success!