Pilgrim Advanced Hockey School
At Pilgrim Skating Arena, we take pride in being 'The Rink That Teaches,' and our goal is to provide the best training at an affordable price. Meeting that goal begins with top-level instructors, which we are proud to highlight here. With decades of experience at the professional playing, coaching, and scouting levels, our team will provide players with top-level instruction. (scroll down or click on photo to jump to bio)
Sean grew up playing hockey at Pilgrim Skating Arena, and we are thrilled to have him
back in his retirement. Sean was Co-Captain (1975) at Archbishop Williams High School,
Captain (1976) at New Hampton Prep and Assistant and three-time Co-Captain at the
University of New Hampshire (Asst. Captain 1979, Co Captain 1980-1982). Sean received
UNH’s Most Improved Player Award following his freshman season; and as a sophomore
helped to win the ECAC championship and a fourth place spot at the Frozen Four national
tournament. Sean was the recipient of the 1979 Joe Tomasello Award, which is presented
annually by the New England Hockey Writers Association, the award goes to the Unsung
Hero in New England.
Sean’s professional career began in the American Hockey League with the Hartford
Whalers organization and he played with the Binghamton Whalers, Saginaw Gears, and
Mohawk Valley Stars.
He began his coaching career with Assistant Coaching positions at Archbishop Williams
High School, Princeton University, and University of New Hampshire. He was the Assistant Coach of Team USA at the World Championships in Sweden in 1995.
Sean began his professional scouting career with the Winnipeg Jets (1989-1994) and served as the Director of Player Personnel (1995-1996). From 1996-2001, Sean took a position as the Director of Player Personnel and a Scout for the Phoenix Coyotes. Sean’s ability to recognize talent also earned him a spot as a member of the Hobey Baker Selection Committee, which annually selects the top player in U.S. college hockey.
In 2001, every Boston hockey player’s dream came true for Sean when he was named Director of Player Personnel and Pro Scouting for the Boston Bruins. According to Bruins then general manager Mike O’Connell, “Sean has exTensive experience in the NHL in evaluating talent and he is a key addition to my staff.” Sean remained with the Bruins organization until 2011, when he accepted a position with the San Jose Sharks as Director of Pro Scouting, with whom he ended his professional career.
In 2008, Sean became Assistant Coach of Brown University’s women’s Varsity Ice Hockey program, and in retirement has also held the position of Head Coach for Sacred Heart High School, and Skills Coach of the Bay State Breakers.
We are happy to have him lend his experience here at Pilgrim as Director of our summer programs and Advanced Hockey School.
Rich attended Tabor Academy in Marion, MA, where his 1991 team were New England Prep school Champions. Brennan was chosen in the 3rd round, 46th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft out of high school. After being drafted Brennan chose to go to college and played at Boston University for 4 years. In 1992 he played in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship for the United States, winning a bronze medal, the first medal the USA had won in 15 years, beating a star-studded Canadian team (who did not medal). Brennan's most successful collegiate season came during his junior year (1993–1994) when he scored 35 points in 41 games and earned a number of honors including Hockey East First All-Star team honors and NCAA East Second All-American team honors.
Rich spent the 1996–97 season with the Hershey Bears, winning the 1997 Calder Cup Championship. He served as a captain for 11 of 15 years of his professional career and holds the AHL record for most consecutive All Star selections (7 times). That same season, he made his NHL debut with the Colorado Avalanche. In the 1997-1998 season, Rich played with the San Jose Sharks, the Kentucky Thoroughblades, and the Hartford Wolf Pack. In 1988, Rich joined the New York Rangers, where he played an NHL career high 24 games.
During the 2000–01 season, Rich played the next 2 seasons with the Lowell Lock Monsters, and the Los Angeles Kings, and in 2001 he signed with the Nashville Predators. Rich played with the Providence Bruins from 2002-2004, playing in 7 games with the Boston Bruins.
Starting in 2004, Rich began playing in European Elite Leagues. He split one year between Swiss team SC Bern of the NLA before transferring to Augsburger Panther of the DEL in Germany. He then went on to play 3 seasons with the Nürnberg Ice Tigers and spent the 2008-2009 season in the Austrian Hockey League with HC TWK Innisbruck before retiring.
Rich has spent his retirement coaching with Boston Advantage and Hingham Youth Hockey and we are thrilled to have him as a coach with our Advanced Hockey School at Pilgrim!
Coach Cunniff is about tradition and coaching excellence. The Cunniff family has been involved in the game of hockey as players and coaches at the highest level for the past 6 decades. Coach Cunniff has been passing on that knowledge and cultivating his own coaching style as a Professional Coach with the San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils and the Minnesota Wild for 17 years! He is currently coaching with the Minnesota Wild where he serves as an Associate Head Coach in the AHL with Iowa Wild.
Coach Cunniff played both defense and forward through high school and college at Salem State. He then went on to play professionally as a forward for five seasons, including three-plus seasons in the N.J. Devils organization for the Raleigh Ice Caps (ECHL) and Albany River Rats (AHL) between 1997-2000. He appeared in 368 professional games.
David has a track record of developing players and turning prospects into NHL Stars. Cunniff’s coaching efforts are and have been, pivotal in the rapid development of such N.H.L players as:
Logan Couture (2010-11 N.H.L. Rookie of the Year Nominee & 2011-12 N.H.L. All-Star) Douglas Murray, Johnathan Cheechoo (2005-06 Rocket Richard Winner, 2007 N.H.L. All-Star), Jason Demers, Joe Pavelski (2016, 2017, & 2018 NHL All-Star), Ryan Clowe, Matt Carkner, Christian Ehrhoff, Brad Boyes, Justin Braun, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Jamie McGinn, John McCarthy, Devin Setoguchi, Macel Goc, Josh Georges, Rob Davidson, Matt Irwin, Tommy Wingels, Nick Seeler, Zach Palmquist, Carson Soucy, Alex Tuch, Luke Kunin, and Joel Eriksson Ek to name a few.
Pilgrim is proud to have Coach Cunniff’s vast experience as part our Advanced Hockey School!
Mike played hockey for Scituate High School from 1972-1976 and went on to a professional career with the Sherbrooke Castors from 1976-1977. He played for the Flint Generals from 1977-1978, the Hershey Bears from 1978-79 and signed with the Buffalo Sabers in 1978, where he played with the Rochester Americans until 1981. Mike played for the Cape Cod Buccaneers, from 1981–1982 and the Hampton Road Gulls, from 1982 –1983 before an injury ended his career.
Mike is best known, however, as the beloved Head Coach of Scituate High School Boys Hockey, where he coached for 18 years earning 253 wins, six sectional titles, 2008 and 2010 Eastern MA Championships, 2006 and 2017 MIAA South Championships, four trips to the Garden and one State Champtionship (2007, MIAA D-3).
Mike was named the 2010 Boston Globe Coach of the Year and Pilgrim’s Advanced Hockey School will be greatly enhanced by his expertise—we are lucky to have him here!
Chris is the Director of Girl's Hockey and the Head Coach of the U19 Green Girls for the Bay State Breakers. Chris played varsity hockey at Catholic Memorial High School and was inducted into the Catholic Memorial High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. Chris continued on to play hockey at Williams College and after graduation in 1989, he had a brief playing career in Europe. Chris then began coaching skills sessions and running the learn to skate program for Hyde Park Youth Hockey. In 1999, Chris began coaching with the Duxbury Youth Hockey Program and transitioned to the Bay State Breakers Girls' Program in 2004. Since then, Chris has coached at every level of the Bay State Breakers Girls' Program while his three daughters progressed through the levels. He has also run summer hockey camps and assisted at the Mike Sullivan Hockey School. Donato has directed the Bay State Breakers Girls' Skills sessions for many years.
Chris is also from a hockey family—his brother Ted is the head Hockey Coach for Harvard University and his brother Dan is the Head Hockey Coach for the Dexter School in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Ron was the goalie for St. John’s Prep in Danvers, MA from 1983-1987 (High School-Catholic Conference). After high school, he played goalie for Princeton University (ECAC) from 1987-1991 and went on to play goalie with the Flint Bulldogs from 1991-1993.
Ron has served on the Board of Directors/youth teams for Duxbury Youth Hockey from 2009—present. He has also served as an Assistant Coach for Sacred Heart High School in Kingston, MA since 2015. Ron's goaltending expertise will be a valued addition to our coaching staff.
Dan played Varsity hockey for Hingham High School and was Assistant Captain for the 2014-2015 season. He scored a goal at TD Garden, when Hingham won the MIAA D-1 State Championship in 2015.
Dan also played for the Bay State Breakers (EHF) Hockey club EHF Championship team in 2014.
For the 2015-2016 season, Dan played for the Bradford Rattlers (GMHL), Bradford, Ontario, Canada, and he played for the Boston Advantage, U20 Team for the 2016 - 2017 season. He gained great experience training players while working with Lovell Hockey School from September 2016 - May 2017.
Dan currently plays hockey for Salem State University and we are happy to have him as a member of our coaching staff for Pilgrim’s Advanced Hockey School!