The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team was dealt a blow Nov. 5 when veteran coach Bruce Marshall announced he was taking an indefinite medical leave of absence. Assistant coach David Berard, a former assistant at Providence (where he was also a standout goaltender), took the reins, but it was a jarring development for the players.
“It was a surprise,’’ said Berard. “I think the coaching staff knew he had some things he had to take care of, but the players had no idea. We were in Niagara [Nov. 2-3] and we drove back early Sunday morning. He was there for practice on Monday and after practice is when he made the announcement to the team, and I think our guys were stunned.