Furies Begin New Era With Former Pro Brickley At The Helm

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Hockey

Cape Cod Furies first-year coach Connor Brickley, right, explains a drill during Friday's practice at Charles Moore Arena. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

ORLEANS – Cape Cod’s hockey landscape just gained a lot more credibility. And Lower Cape hockey players don’t have to look too far to see it.

The Cape Cod Furies co-op hockey team began a new era last week when the team began its preseason practices at the Charles Moore Arena in Orleans. Not only are the Furies beginning a new season, they are doing so with new leadership: Connor Brickley has taken over for Addie Weeks as the team’s head coach.

Weeks oversaw the program — which is open to girls from the Lower Cape’s three high schools, Cape Cod Tech, Monomoy and Nauset — the past few seasons before stepping down earlier this fall.

Brickley might be new to coaching, but he’s hardly a stranger to the sport. He shined at Belmont Hill High School and the University of Vermont before playing a nine-year pro career that included stints with the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers in the National Hockey League.

“I’ve been very impressed,” Brickley said of his first impressions of the Furies. “I’m really excited. We have a great coaching staff and we have some great youthful talent, I’d say. We have some great eighth graders that we’re fortunate to have in the program and we have some great leadership, so the experience with the older players mixed in with our younger players, I think it’s going to mix pretty well.”

Brickley is a native of Everett, but he grew up spending his summers on the Cape. He knew he wanted to plant roots in the area after his career to be closer to his parents, who retired in South Yarmouth, and his brother, Brendan, a Yarmouth Port resident and Harwich police officer.

Brickley last played for EC Red Bull Salzburg in the International Central European Hockey League during the 2019-20 season. After retiring, he moved to Centerville and launched Endless Potential, a skills development program he runs out of the Charles Moore Arena.

A few Furies players trained with Brickley through Endless Potential over the summer, providing the coach with an early glimpse at the talent he is inheriting.

“I worked with a lot of the girls during the summertime, so when this position opened up I figured I was already familiar with a lot of them,” Brickley said. “It’s been a pretty seamless transition for me to continue to work for them.”

Although he coached some tournament teams during the summer, this winter will mark Brickley’s first full season behind the bench in a head coaching capacity. He has plenty of past hockey experience to pull from — not only did he play collegiate and professional hockey, his dad Craig played at the University of Pennsylvania and his uncle Andy played for the Boston Bruins and now serves as a broadcaster for the team on the New England Sports Network.

“I have a pretty unique background,” Brickley said. “I’ve played for a lot of different teams and a lot of different international teams and I played at a pretty high level. I got to see what makes players really tick and what players respond to. I bring a pretty fresh perspective — I just finished playing about a year ago, so I’m still pretty fresh with the times.”

Brickley will be joined by two assistants with local ties, Zach Wells and Alex Tuckerman.

“Both are products of Cape Cod, which is awesome,” Brickley said. “Tuck went to Nauset High School as well, so it’s cool to have someone who went through the school system. Zach played at Barnstable High and Stonehill, and Tuck was fortunate to play at Northeastern.”

Brickley said he thinks the Furies will benefit from the collection of coaches.

“I think it’s a little added bonus that we don’t have an older group or have any parents behind the bench,” he said. “We just bring a new, fresh set of eyes and I think the players respond to it.”

Despite only having a few practices, Brickley said a few girls have already established themselves as leaders.

Senior defensemen Julia Weiner and Charlotte Manganaro will serve as the team’s captains, with senior Eve Abboud and junior Emily Underhill serving as assistant captains.

“Julia and Charlotte bring a lot of experience and a lot of skill and some great leadership to the group,” Brickley said. “Emily, I think, is really going to spearhead our forward group. I think a lot of girls look up to her and the coaching staff expects big things. Eve is an extremely hard worker. I think her hard work on the ice is something the players will continue to build off.”

The Furies also have the benefit of returning their goaltender from last year’s team, as Olivia Avellar returns between the pipes as a sophomore.

Even with a new coach, the Furies are setting their expectations high ahead of their scheduled season opener against Martha’s Vineyard at 5 p.m. Thursday at Charles Moore Arena.

“The team had some success last year, so I think they have some pretty high expectations already,” Brickley said. “Especially with adding some youthful eighth graders — there are some more numbers. I don’t think I bring any added pressure or expectations for the group. I think they already have some and it’s our job as coaches to just help them meet those each day and continue to demand a lot.”

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal