International Ice Hockey Federation

Cipparone’s success

Cipparone’s success

After Swedish title, coach joins veteran Boork

Published 31.03.2017 07:25 GMT-4 | Author Jeremy Darke
Cipparone’s success
Jared Cipparone stands behind the ice of USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, where the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship begins today. Photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Jared Cipparone’s step into women’s hockey four years ago was co-incidence. Now he’s Swedish champion and joined the national team’s coaching staff.

Seven years ago when Jared Cipparone made the move from Canada with his college girlfriend over the Atlantic to Sweden, he never thought he would end up making the trip back to North America as the assistant coach of the Swedish women’s hockey team, who will take on the best of the world in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth starting today.

Coming from Tecumseh, Ontario, a small town just outside of Windsor, Cipparone as many Canadians before him grew up on skates playing hockey for the majority of his life. His talent and passion for the game lead him to play in leagues like the OHL for the Windsor Spitfires, and also the CIS, for Carleton University. After the completion of his degree Jared and soon-to-be-wife Alexandra made the move to her native country of Sweden where Jared continued his playing career for third-tier team Jarfalla outside of Stockholm.

After some financial issues in the club in Jarfalla in 2012/13, Cipparone’s season was cut short, which sparked a decision to train with his wife’s team, which is where he began to stumble into a coaching career in women’s hockey. Heading into the relegation series, Segeltorps IF – now playing in the Djurgarden Stockholm organization – lost their coach just days out from the tournament. Knowing all the women and training with them, Jared was naturally the first person the club turned to.

In 2013/14 Cipparone hung up his playing skates and became the full-time assistant coach of the Segeltorps IF women’s hockey team. His first full year behind the bench didn’t go so well with the team getting relegated from the top league. In 2014/15 Cipparone became the head coach of the team which had now been taken over by one of Stockholm’s biggest hockey clubs, Djurgarden. As the leader of the team Cipparone had instant success taking Djurgarden directly back up into Sweden’s top division of women’s hockey that same year. In 2015/16, Djurgarden’s first year in the Swedish Women’s Hockey League (SDHL) after relegation, they had an outstanding year making the semi-finals. In 2016/17 their succuss continued taking them all the way, becoming the Swedish champion capping off what was a whirlwind introduction to coaching women’s hockey in Sweden for Cipparone.

On the back of his fast-tracked success in the coaching realm, Cipparone was asked to join Sweden’s head coach, Leif Boork, behind the bench in the Four Nations Tournament in Finland in early February as his assistant. After having a direct chemistry with the group he now accompanies the Swedish national team to the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Plymouth.

“At that level, obviously, the girls with their ability and their commitment to being good, their focus and their professionalism is something that I really enjoyed,” says Cipparone.

“It was a no brainer for me to say yes (to go to the World Championship). It’s obviously going to be good for my development, but it is also going to be very exciting to be there with the best players in the world of women’s hockey.”

After just four years of coaching experience, the step up to international coaching is clearly a big one, although with such an extensive background and spending his playing career in Canada’s system, Cipparone has had the privilege of being trained by talent coaches, which is where he himself draws his knowledge from.

“I take things that I have learnt from my playing days in Canada and from the coaches that I have had. I have had the opportunity to play for some really good coaches, within junior and minor hockey I had really good coaches and even here in Jarfalla,” he explains.

“I like to play with an offensive style and a high compete level and trying to find that balance has worked well for us so far.”

Being the newest addition to the rebuild that the Swedish women’s hockey team has undergone the previous four years, Cipparone will take on a very different role than what he has become accustomed to in Djurgarden. His role with the national team will be more of an advisory one as he supports veteran coach Boork while learning and understanding the process that he and the management team have been working through since the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

“I will be more observing and giving tips where I can on different things that I see. What I can bring is just helping where I can. Their leadership group has been together for the last four years and I am new in there, so I will just try and find my place.”

Heading into the World Championship and also looking forward to the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018, the Swedish women’s national team looks to be heading in the right direction and ready to take that next step which they have been working towards. Coach Boork and the management team have been monotonously going through the processes to make the team stronger physically and mentally and give the team a more balanced look at both ends of the ice with a mixture of experience and youth.

“I think that the team is ready to take that next step. Building towards the Olympics next year, the World Championship is the next step and if they continue going in the right way they are going to compete,” explains Cipparone.

The Swedes have been out of the medals in all major international tournaments since 2007, but heading into a crucial World Championship in 2017, they will be in search of finding their confidence again before the Olympic year.

“We have strong goaltending, which is the staple point. We have the offensive ability, we just need to break through and then it is going to come and get the confidence to score the goals while still doing their job defensively,” Cipparone says.


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