Monsters’ Sacco joins Team USA staff

USA Hockey today named Joe Sacco, head coach of the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, as an assistant coach for the 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete in the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship from April 24 to May 10 in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland.

Sacco just completed his second season at the helm of the Monsters, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. This season was Sacco’s fourth with the Avalanche organization, having served as assistant coach for the club’s previous two AHL affiliates, Lowell and Albany.

The 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team will be led by head coach Ron Wilson, current head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs and recently named head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders and the AHL’s 2008 Coach of the Year with Providence, has already been named as an assistant coach for the 2009 U.S. Men’s Team.

Sacco played on eight different U.S. National Teams over the course of his career, including one U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team (1992); six U.S. Men’s National Teams in the IIHF World Men’s Championship (1990-92, 1994, 1996, 2002) and one U.S. National Junior Team (1989). This will be his first time joining the coaching staff of any U.S. team.

Sacco was a fourth round draft pick (71st overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 213 points (94G, 119A) in 738 total games over his 13-year career in the NHL, which included stints with Toronto, Anaheim, New York Islanders, Washington and Philadelphia.

Born in Medford, Mass., Sacco attended college at Boston University, where he posted 128 points (63G, 65A) in a total of 111 games over three years.