AJ Degenhardt grew up playing at Green Island Ice Arena. On Friday, he closed the book on another chapter at the ice rink on La Crosse's south side.
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs eliminated the Coulee Region Chill from the NAHL Playoffs on Friday, signaling the end of Degenhardt's three-year coaching career. Degenhardt announced earlier in the season he would leave the Chill to coach with Team Illinois. Ryan Egan will take over as head coach.
"It was awesome. I thank the Bryants for everything that they've done for me," Degenhardt said after Friday's 4-1 loss. "I'm sure Ryan is going to do a great job with the team here and I look forward to following him in the future and watching where they can go from here."
The Chill went 92-77-11 in the regular season under Degenhardt, making the playoffs each of the last two seasons. The Chill lost both playoff series, last year to the Robertson Cup champion MN Wilderness in five games, and more recently 3-1 to top-seeded Fairbanks.