June 26, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - UConn men’s ice hockey coach Mike Cavanaugh has named a pair of former Hockey East standouts as assistant coaches on his staff --- Mike Souza, who played at New Hampshire, and Joe Pereira, who played at Boston University,
“I am very pleased that Joe and Mike will be joining my coaching staff at UConn,” said Cavanaugh. “They both enjoyed successful collegiate careers in Hockey East and have a keen knowledge of the league. Joe and Mike also played professionally and have strong ties to the recruiting areas where we need to be successful.”
Souza most recently served as an assistant coach at Brown for the past two seasons and was responsible for recruiting, game and practice preparation and video breakdown. His also had position responsibilities with the forwards and the operation of the bench during games.
He played at New Hampshire from 1996-2000 and was part of the Wildcat team that advanced to the 1999 NCAA Championship game, scoring a goal that forced the contest to overtime. Souza was a member of the UNH President’s Athletic Advisory Committee in 2000.
Souza, a third round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Draft, had an extensive professional career both in the United States and Europe. Souza played for the Hershey Bears, Portland Pirates, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Norfolk Admirals of the AHL from 2000-05. While a member of the Sound Tigers, he was the team representative to The Professional Hockey Players Association.
Souza then played professionally in Germany and Switzerland in 2005-06 and in Italy from 2006-11. He was a three-year member of the Italian National Team as the team won the Division I gold medal in 2009 and ’11.
He is a native of Wakefield, Mass., and a 2009 inductee into the Wakefield High School Hall of Fame.
Pereira played for the Terriers from 2007-11 and was a team captain his senior year. He was part of the 2009 BU team that won the NCAA national championship plus the Beanpot Tournament and the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles.
Pereira was a two-time winner of BU’s Bennett McInnis Memorial Spirit Award and was the Albert Sidd Unsung Hero Award winner as a senior, as he led the team with 15 goals. He earned Hockey East All-Academic honors and the Regina Eiberg Scholarship as the top student-athlete on the team.
Pereira earned a bachelor of science degree in business of management in 2011 and had a professional career that saw him play for the Worcester Sharks and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (2010), the Idaho Steelheads and South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League (2011-12). He also played professionally in Sweden in the summer of 2011.
He was the club hockey coach at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport during the 2012-13 season and led the school to its first-ever Northeast Collegiate Hockey League championship.
Before joining the Huskies, he was the Director of Scouting for Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment.
Prior to enrolling at BU, he played two seasons at the South Kent (Conn.) School and was a team captain in 2006-07 and led the team in scoring. He led the Cardinals to their first appearance in the New England Prep Division I playoffs. He is a member of the South Kent Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pereira is a native of West Haven, Conn.