Athletic Staff Hockey

Our athletic staff brings an incredible passion for teaching. Just like on our academic side, our athletic “teachers” bring a certain mindset to the equation.

Challenging these young athletes to get out of their comfort zones and getting them to believe in themselves: we regard these as critical aspects in the development process. And just as there are fundamentals a player must learn to better execute the physical skills and better understand the concepts involved in playing the game at a high level, so too are there fundamentals involved in the “processes” of athletic development.

There are also the “intangibles” that all great athletes possess. Discipline and mental toughness, the willingness to fight through adversity, KNOWING they will prevail over all obstacles in their way: this ultimately is even more important than skills or talent.

As with all Bridgedale teachers, our mantra remains: Training Elite Student- Athletes. We set the bar high, both for our student-athletes and for ourselves. And we take tremendous pride that we WILL have a positive impact on the development of all our student-athletes. Bridgedale Academy is proud that its on-ice curriculum is designed and overseen by 200 x 85 LLC, perhaps the top youth hockey development company in North America. 200 x 85 provides the lead instructors for our on-ice athletic training sessions.

Michal Pivonka

Director of Athletic Development

Michal PivonkaMichal is Bridgedale’s Director of Athletic Development, and a Skills Instructor with 200 x 85. He played his entire NHL career with the Washington Capitals after being selected in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Mike defected to the United States during the summer of 1986. During his NHL career, Pivonka played in 825 games, scored 181 goals and had 418 assists for a total of 599 points, twice leading the Capitals in scoring; 1991–92 (23G, 57A, 80P) and 1995–96 (16G, 65A, 81P). Pivonka last played in the NHL during the 1998-99 season, before finally retiring from hockey in 2000 after several injury filled seasons. He remains the Capitals all-time leader in career assists with 418. Mike currently coaches with the Chicago Mission AAA program.

Justin Lewandowski

On-Ice Skills Instructor

Justin Lewandowski - Hockey Skills InstructorJustin is 200 x 85’s Director of Boys Hockey. He played his youth hockey in Chicago. After Midgets, he went on to play parts of three seasons with the Chicago Steel of the USHL, captaining the team in his final season. From juniors, Justin received a full scholarship to play for the Ferris State Bulldogs of the CCHA, where he was a four year letter winner. Immediately following his senior season, Justin began his coaching career with the Chicago Mission AAA Hockey Club. Before positioning as 200x85’s Director of Hockey Operations, he attained his teaching license and was an active part of many hockey camps throughout the Midwest.

Mike McPartlin (Advisory Capacity Only)

Skating Agility and Fundamental Skills eMail

Mike McPartlin - Skating Agility and Fundamental Skills

Mike is the founder of the TAC Hockey Camps and has been teaching hockey skills for more than thirty years. He has conducted his “Elements of Agility” program and his Checking Skills Clinics in Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas and Rhode Island and has trained thousands of players over the years. Over the years he has served as power skating and skills instructor for the Chicago Mission, Wisconsin AAA, Chicago Hawks, St. Jude and Flames hockey clubs.

Mike served as USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program (CEP) Illinois Director from 1997 through 1999, conducting all the mandatory coaching education clinics/seminars in the state for the Level 2 and Level 3 coaching certifications during that time. He continued to serve as an instructor at subsequent coaching clinics/seminars. Mike has his Level 5 (Master) Coaching Certification from USA Hockey and has twice served as a coach at the USAH National Select 14 camp in Rochester, NY.

He is one of the founding directors of the Chicago Mission AAA Hockey Club, serving as an officer, director and coach for the first twelve years of the club’s existence.