2016 Duluth Coaching Staff

Team Northwest continually strives for excellence in providing our players with challenging drills, competition and overall experience. Our passion for excellence is further delivered by the outstanding coaches that have embraced our program. This year we continue to demonstrate that passion and we are excited to announce the 2016 coaches!

TNW 2002 Coaches;

Nick Fuher –
Nick is a Team Northwest 1981 birth-year TNW Alumni, originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota. He has been with the TNW program for many years as a player and coach. We welcome Nick back to the program!
Fuher spent the 2001-2005 seasons with the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota, appearing in the 2005 NCAA National Championship game. After his AHL career with the Utah Grizzlies, Fuher began his coaching career in Lincoln (USHL, and Winkler (MJHL) before joining the Vees for the 2014-2015 season. Nick will be entering into his 3rd season with the Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey team in the BCHL. Fuher primarily works with the Vees defense and special teams units.

Neal Pionk – 
Neal is a 2013 World Junior A challenge gold medalist in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
He revceived the “Best Defenseman” Award 2014 Junior Hockey Club World Tournament UFA, Russia
In 2014-15 he became the USHL Defenseman of the year and in 2015-16, Neal became UMD Rookie of the year! Neal iis slso a TNW alumni and this is his 3rd year assisting for Team Northwest!

 TNW 2003 Coaches;

Guillaume Desbiens (Desi) –
-Played 4 years with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Was an alternate captain for the last two seasons with them. (2001-2005).
-Represented Quebec at the World U-17 Challenge in Winnipeg, MB. Team Quebec placed 4th. (2002)
-Drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 4th round (116th overall) (2003)
-Named QMJHL Humanitarian Player of the year. (2005).
-Played in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.
-Been playing professionally in the ECHL, AHL and NHL since 2005. Was an alternate captain for the last 5 seasons.
-Currently plays with HDD Olimpija Ljubljana of the Austrian Hockey League
-Calder Cup Champion (AHL) with Chicago Wolves. (2008)
-Manitoba Moose winner of the American specialty/Man of the year award for outstanding contributions to the Manitoba community. (2009-2010). This is Desis 2nd year with Team Northwest!

Brandon Perrone –
Brandon is a defenseman at the University of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, MN. He is entering into to his senior year finishing his pre-med classes. Brandon has been head counselor for 5 years in Brainard, MN for Minnesota Hockey Camps. This is Brandons 1st year assisting with Team Northwest!

TNW 2004 Coaches;

Doug Garrow –
Born and raised in Marquette, Michigan and began playing hockey at age 6. Doug has 4 children and has been married to wife Joanne for 17 years. He has his level 4 USA Hockey certification.
He played on various Marquette Jr Hockey teams and landing a National Championship with the Marquette Electricians in 1984! Doug played in the USHL and then lived his childhood dream and played for the Northern Michigan Wildcats. He lettered for 4 years , from 1986 to 1990, appearing in 134 games, scoring 23 goals and 32 assists. After college, in 1991, Doug started working for IDS Financial and a Financial Advisor and has been in that position for the last 23 years.
He began his coaching career in 1991 also, as the assistant coach for the Wildcats, winning the NCAA National Championship! His coaching at all levels from Mites to College, has given him additional experience and insight of the game. Doug is currently the head coach for the Marquette Redmen High School Hockey team. This is Dougs first year with Team Northwest!

Joe Papin –
Marquette Senior High Coach for many year that took his team in a. Division 1 State Championship with 8 overtimes!

TNW 2005 Coaches;

Brendan Flaherty –
Coach Flaherty is a three-time Section Coach of the Year. He has won 4 Conference Championships, 8 Section Championships, is a 3 time State Championship finalist, and has placed 3rd in a State Championship. He has coached 9 Division I players and 19 Division III players, among them Jack Connolly, UMD, Hobey Baker recipient 2012. The Hilltoppers have appeared in 7 state tournaments, and most recently finished 5th in the state tournament (2013).

Billy Owens –
Coached at St. Thomas and St. Paul academy .

TNW 2006 Coaches;

Aaron Slattengren –
Aaron has played Minor Pro in the AHL and ECHL – 2005 -2012. This is Aarons first year with Team Northwest!

Nate Pionk –
Nate is an alumni of the All Lake superior Conference First Team in 2014 -2015, along with playing for the Minnesota State High School Hockey All tournament team 2014 and 2015. He’s been chosen as the Duluth News Tribune “Player of the Year” .Nate just finished up his 2nd year with the Minot Tauros in the NAHL. This is NAtes 2nd year assisting with Team Northwest!