The New England hockey community was overcome with sadness Monday as the United States Premier Hockey League announced the passing of New Hampshire Junior Monarchs NCDC head coach and general manager Ryan Frew, who died as a result of complications from peritonitis at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Named the USPHL’s NCDC Coach of the Year in 2018-19 after spearheading the team’s assimilation into the league at the start of the year, the longtime coach and mentor was an irreplaceable figure in the Junior Monarchs Tier 3 Junior A program.
Frew is survived by wife, Nanna, his sons Seamus and Quentin, his daughter Layla, as well as an extended family that is grieving the loss of its devout leader — a father, husband, friend and coach to so many in the local hockey world.
“Ryan was a dear friend and colleague that I’m going to miss and will be missed by all,” said Tony Dalessio, interim head coach and GM of the Junior Monarchs NCDC team. “He had an infectious smile and humility about him that not many people possess. He always saw the good in people and strived to make every life he touched just that much better. He was a tremendous father, husband, friend and coach, and the impact he had on so many in and out of hockey will live forever.”
NCDC commissioner Richard Gallant, in a release, said, “I have been personally blessed to have known Ryan for close to 19 years. He is someone who always greeted me with a smile and a positive outlook on life and our passion of hockey. To me, Ryan was a true player’s coach, and I will remember him as such.”
After his days playing college hockey at Division 3 Southern New Hampshire University, Frew was hired by the Monarchs in 2004. As coach of the former Empire Junior Hockey League team, he led the Monarchs to the Tier 3 Junior B National Championship games in both 2007 and 2011. He did the same with the Tier 3 Junior A Monarchs team, winning three straight titles from 2007-09 and again in 2012.
I am broken about the passing of Coach Frew; he is everything to his family, players, friends, and everyone who has been fortunate enough to have a relationship with him. My heart goes out to his family and the @NHJRMONARCHS community. I just don’t understand. I love you, Coach. pic.twitter.com/dmoUI0bwVQ
— Alex Steeves (@steeves_alex) October 5, 2020
In addition to his national accolades, the Concord, N.H., native coached the Monarchs to Empire Junior Hockey League titles in 2010 and 2012 and was an All-Star coach in six of the eight years he spent in the league. In 2014, he led the Monarchs to the first-ever regular-season title in the new Eastern Hockey League.
In 2017, he received the New Hampshire Union-Leader 40 Under Forty Award.
Beyond his success as a hockey coach, Frew’s impact will be missed most by the people he touched in life. Following the announcement of the news, several of his former Junior Monarch players and coaches took to social media with condolences and to share memories of their days developing under their beloved former head coach.
Liam Flaherty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @_LiamFlaherty.