Mattawa coach packs it in

August 1, 2014

In a surprise move — and with the start of the 2014-2015 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season less than five weeks away — Zane Neily has stepped down as head coach of the Mattawa Blackhawks.

Mattawa owner-general manager David Beauchamp confirmed Neily’s abrupt departure to

“Zane was amazing last year through some tough times,” Beauchamp began. “(In resigning as head coach of the Blackhawks) Zane has indicated he would like to spend more time with family and friends.”

Beauchamp told that he expects to announce a new head coach by the end of the weekend.

Neily was Beauchamp’s coach in 2013-2014 when the franchise was based in North Bay and known as the Trappers.

The Trappers finished seventh in what was an eight-team NOJHL in 2013-2014, posting a regular-season record of 15-35-6 before losing to the eventual-champion Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in the first round of the playoffs.

Playing before small crowds at tiny West Ferris Arena in North Bay, the Trappers closed out the 2013-2014 campaign by moving their home games to Mattawa’s Mike Rodden Arena.

During this off-season, NOJHL governors approved Beauchamp’s request to officially move the franchise that he purchased over a year ago from North Bay to Mattawa.

The 25-year old Neily becomes the second member of the Blackhawks hockey department to depart the team since the end of the 2013-2014 season.

Earlier, Chris Dawson resigned as Mattawa’s general manager and was eventually hired to oversee hockey operations for the new Powassan Voodoos of the NOJHL.

As Mattawa’s owner, Beauchamp assumed GM duties of the Blackhawks following the departure of Dawson.

What you think about “Mattawa coach packs it in”

  1. First it was Dawson and now it is Neilly leaving the Mattawa Circus!
    This makes 2 good men having quit on Ring Master Beauchamp & the Mattawa Circus.
    Still on bord with the Ring Master are Marcel the Clown & Jay the Jack Ass which means there is still room for a High Wire Act or 2 to join the Circus!

  2. Dave Beauchamp is a nice kid and I feel who has good intentions having said that Dave has to stay away from the bad actors of Junior Hockey and surround him self with better people. He has already burnt bridges with the Battalion and now his GM and Coach have both quit. In my opinion he should start fresh and clean house and ask Claydon to join the CIHL and bring in a guy like Darren Turks to Coach or at least as Adviser. Before it is too late Dave.

  3. Wow I am shocked….no not really. First Chris and now Zane leaving whether it’s true or not
    I hear there was a financial issue with the Blackhawks. Good luck Zane you are still young and are a good coach.

  4. RR – have you heard that the “Central Ontario” team may be leaving the CIHL cause the owner wants to stay in the GMHL?

  5. North Shore,

    The GMHL’s schedule has already been released with no mention of Central Ontario. Also Jenya Feldman the owner of Central Ontario was at one time the head coach of the Bradford Rattlers. He broke away to start his own hockey training school. He is not the kind of person that would commit to something and just back out. I very much doubt he is going back to the GMHL.

  6. The Barrie team is no longer found on the CIHL website. Seems to be replaced with a Toronto team…interesting that their bailing is neither being confirmed or denied..

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