AFFTON – Matt Ocello has been named as Assistant Coach and Goalie Coach for the St. Louis Jr. Blues.
Ocello has been coaching at various levels of youth hockey for almost the past 30 seasons in St. Louis. Most recently with the St. Louis Eagles CSDHL U14 team who are coming off a USA Hockey Nationals appearance. In 2019 he was the Head Coach of the St. Louis AAA Blues U18 team winning a State Championship in 2020. In 2018, the St. Louis AAA Blues U14 team won the 2019 Tier 1 Elite League Championship and Missouri State Championship with an appearance at USA Hockey Nationals.
In previous years, he was a Head Coach with the Affton Americans CSDHL Program at both the U18 and U14 levels from 2007-2016. With the U14 team, he appeared at USA Hockey National Championships in 2011 (2nd Place) and captured National Championships in 2012 and 2013. In 2016 the U18 team appeared in another National Championship tournament with a 3rd Place finish. Also won numerous CSDHL League Championships over this span. He was the Head Coach of the U18 AIC Prospects team in 2016 and 2017. Matt also coached with the St. Louis AAA Blues and Chesterfield Falcons from 1993-2007 at the U14 and U18 levels. He coached at numerous goalie camps from 1989 – 2000 including his own camp in the late 1990’s which was known as the St. Louis Goaltending Academy. He has continued to work with the goalies on his team’s year after year.
As a player (goaltender), Matt played for the Affton Americans Hockey Club from 1973-1984 and was a member of the St. Louis Jr Blues/Affton Americans Jr. Teams from 1985-1988. He was a member of the 1988 St. Louis Jr. Blues NAJHL Gold Cup Championship Team. In high school, attended Christian Brothers College and captured the Mid-States Club Hockey Association Championships in 1987 and 1988 with a team record of 56-0 in two seasons. After graduating, he played Jr. hockey in the USHL with the North Iowa Huskies capturing the 1989 USA Hockey National Jr. A Championship and then with the Indianapolis Jr. Ice of the North American Hockey League while being among the league leaders in GAA and Save %.
Played minor pro briefly in the CHL, CoHL and the AHA.
“I look forward to coaching with the St. Louis Jr. Blues and carrying on the legacy that many players, coaches and managers have built over the 30 years of the program. It is a very historic program with a lot of success on the ice. Because of that, there have been many players over the decades moving onto Collegiate, Minor Pro and even the NHL,” stated Coach Ocello.
The St. Louis Jr. Blues are a Tier III Junior A ice hockey team in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL). Based out of the Affton Ice Rink, the St. Louis Jr. Blues organization has been part of St. Louis hockey for more than 30 years and has won five USA Hockey National Championships. Notable alumni include current and former NHL players Paul Stastny, Brandon Bollig, Chris Butler, Joe Vitale and Cal Heeter. For more information, visit www.stljrblues.org.