Rod Aldoff was brought back in mid-February to revive a struggling Pensacola Ice Flyers team.
Hired a day after Kevin Hasselberg was let go as the head coach, Aldoff has done his job, guiding the reigning SPHL President’s Cup champions to a 9-4-2 record in the 15 games since he returned to the franchise where he won two championships.
Pensacola was 15-15-6 at the time Aldoff was brought aboard. The Ice Flyers entered the final weekend of March with a 24-19-8 record, assuring them of a spot in the league playoffs.
Yes, Pensacola sat in seventh place as March came to a close – the same spot in the standings that it had the day Aldoff was hired – but that matters little at this point. The focus is now squarely on the postseason.
“My bigger picture is the playoffs,” Aldoff said. “Where we finish is where we finish. I want our team playing perfect hockey April 8 (final day of the regular season) and ready to roll to win a championship.”
Aldoff knows what it takes to win a title. He won two in three seasons during his first-go round in Pensacola.
His success earned him the head coaching job of the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL in 2016. He was let go when the franchise was sold to new ownership but continued with the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate in a scouting capacity.
Returning to Pensacola proved to be a seamless transition, which he talked about after practice at the Bay Center Wednesday afternoon.
“The transition was good coming in midseason,” Aldoff said. I knew some of the players but had to get to know some others. It’s a good group of guys. They work hard and have battled through adversity. We just have to believe in what we know and keeping pushing forward.”
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