Sioux Falls Stampede Head Coach/GM Kevin Hartzell earned his 400th USHL coaching victory on Sunday when his team captured a 6-2 win over the Fargo Force.
The milestone victory was extra special as it secured a playoff spot for the Stampede who currently sit in second place in the Western Conference with a 32-18-6 record (70 points). The team scored three goals in the first period and six different Stampede players scored a goal in the contest. Goaltender Stephon Williams made 37 saves in the game to record his 20th victory of the season.
Hartzell is his sixth season with the Stampede and 12th overall in the USHL. He earned his 200th win with the Stampede earlier in the month and is the team's all-time winningest coach. The St. Paul, Minnesota native currently holds a 400-197-45 career USHL record (.658 winning percentage). He has now led the Stampede to the playoffs in all six seasons he has been with the organization. Hartzell guided the Stampede to their first-ever Anderson Cup title in his first season with the club, earning the League's best regular season record (43-16-4) and totaling a team record for wins in the process. The Sioux Falls Stampede also won their first-ever Clark Cup title under Hartzell during the 2006-07 season.
Hartzell began his USHL coaching career with the St. Paul Vulcans during the 1983-84 season and compiled 195 victories in a six-year run with the organization. He was named USHL Coach of the Year in his first season with the Vulcans (1983-84) and first year with the Stampede (2005-06).
Over 70 USHL players have earned NCAA Division I college scholarships in the time that Hartzell has been with the Stampede while he has coached 20 players who have been NHL Draft picks during his USHL career. Four former Stampede players that Hartzell has coached have played in the NHL this season – Andreas Nodl (Philadelphia Flyers), Dan Sexton (Anaheim Ducks), Ben Holmstrom (Philadelphia Flyers), and Nate Prosser (Minnesota Wild).
Hartzell played two seasons in the USHL with the St. Paul Vulcans (1976-78) prior to the League becoming an all-junior league. He went on to a collegiate career at the University of Minnesota and was part of a national championship at the school under legendary coach Herb Brooks.
Hartzell becomes the seventh coach in USHL history to accumulate 400 wins and the second this week as Mark Carlson earned his 400th with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on March 22nd.
All-Time USHL Coaching Wins Leaders
Mike Hastings - 529
Dave Siciliano - 522
Bob Ferguson - 517
Steve Johnson - 470
*P.K. O'Handley - 425
*Mark Carlson - 402
*Kevin Hartzell – 400
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)