Brown Bears announce staff for upcoming season

After hiring Josh Petrich as head coach last month, the Kenai River Brown Bears announced the filling of a number of staff positions with a press release Saturday night.


Joining Petrich on the bench will be Nick Sova of Cottage Grove, Minnesota. Sova recently graduated from Hamline University, where he played forward. He also played in the North American Hockey League and played junior hockey in Canada.

Jed McGlasson will also be an assistant for the team and continue as director of business operations. McGlasson was a standout player for Kenai Central and the Brown Bears. He went on to play hockey at St. Mary’s University.

Chris Hedlund will be director of hockey operations. Hedlund served as a regional scout for the team last season. Hedlund has coached AAA hockey and scouted for Granite City Lumberjacks, an NA3HL team in St. Cloud, Minnesota, that has won the Silver Cup Championship three times. Having served as a regional sales manager for Versatex Building Products, Hedlund also adds business experience.

Steve Stuber will join the Bears as director of marketing and community liaison. When the Bears declared dormancy for the upcoming season in late February, Stuber stepped forward and spearheaded an effort to raise $300,000. The team was reactivated in mid-April.

Stuber did all that as a passionate fan, but now will be a member of the staff charged with promoting events in the community and game-day efforts.

The new billet coordinator will be April Weber, taking over for longtime coordinator Gwen Johnson. The press release said Johnson helped build the billet program into one of the best in junior hockey, and that Weber has previous experience in this role.

Another member of the community stepping forward in an official capacity is Vince Redford, a longtime hockey coach in the community. Redford will focus on developing Alaska talent.

“With Vince’s dedication, the Bears will once again become Alaska’s team, helping to identify and develop top talent within the state,” said Nate Kiel, general manager of the Brown Bears, in a released statement.

Redford also has been a leading force in the recent creation of the Brown Bear Booster Club.

Lisa Zulkanycz, who also has done a lot of volunteering for the Bears over the years, will serve as administrative manager.

“Lisa has been invaluable to the organization,” Kiel said. “Her knowledge of the program and community is essential as we transition with a new staff.”

Kiel added that he is encouraged by fans and supporters that have stepped up to volunteer for the current season. Those wishing to volunteer can call 907-262-7825 or


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