Chill assistant hired for NA3HL coaching post

By Joel Badzinski | LaCrosse Tribune | Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Coulee Region Chill assistant coach Todd Sanden is headed back to Mason City, Iowa as head coach of the expansion North Iowa Bulls of the NA3HL.

Sanden, 47, was on the North Iowa Outlaws/Coulee Region Chill staff for two seasons under head coach Garrett Strot.

Now, Sanden has his own team again. He won three USA Hockey National Junior B championships (1993, 1995, 1997) in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League and was head coach of the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints in 1997-98.

"It is an opportunity to be a head coach in a community that I'm familiar with," Sanden said. "The people here (in the Coulee Region) are a great hockey community and I immensely enjoyed my stay here. It was nothing but positive things my entire stay here and if an opportunity came that made sense I would gladly come back to the area."

The NA3HL is a feeder league for the NAHL. North Iowa is owned by the Amarillo Bulls.

"We're a developmental team and that's our goal is to move ‘em along whether they're a player or a coach," Chill general manager Rick Wesp said.

Wesp and Strot are in the process of developing a list of candidates for a new assistant coach. The team's final tryout camp is July 21-24.

REISGRAF ACQUIRED: The Chill's trade to acquire defenseman Brady Riesgraf became official on Tuesday.

The Chill tried to work a deal with Jamestown (N.Y.) on draft day last week, trading the 13th pick for a tendered player, but the move was initially denied by the league. Jamestown took Riesgraf with the 13th overall pick of the first round.

Riesgraf played for Holy Family High School (Minn.) this winter and was named Minnesota AP All-State honorable mention. He led his team in scoring as a defenseman with 18 goals and 40 assists

(58 points) and a plus-22 rating in 28 games. He was drafted by the USHL's Fargo Force.