Hockey Professionals

All of the professional staff at Twin Rinks have achieved success in their own hockey careers and have demonstrated excellence in both teaching skating & hockey skills and in coaching competitive hockey teams.

Private Lessons

Players of all skill levels who are committed to improving their skills more rapidly will benefit from one-on-one or small group private lessons from the Twin Rinks’ hockey professionals. All instructors have the experience and teaching skill set needed to make a significant impact in a player’s game.

Contact our Hockey department to find the best private coach, call 203 968-9000 x14. See available times below.

Mike Backman, Director of Hockey
Mike, the only NHL Hockey Director in Fairfield County, was born in Nova Scotia, Canada and was an All-Star in the Canadian Hockey League before joining the New York Rangers.  He has been the Hockey Director at Twin Rinks for over 20 years, and has been head coach on a number of elite level youth teams who have won state, regional, and national championships. Many of Mike’s students have gone on to play at prep school, college, and professional levels.

Tucker Grose, Assistant Hockey Director
Tucker excelled at hockey for Endicott College in Boston, and, upon graduation spent the last four years coaching youth and high school teams to several state championships. He is an exceptional instructor, teaching hockey skills to all levels from novice to elite players. Tucker is currently the Head Coach of DYHA Pee Wee A travel team, Trinity Catholic school varsity program, CT Breakers and CT Condors programs.

Kevin Erving, Hockey Administrator
Kevin was a standout forward for St. Lawrence University, and then went on to coach the junior varsity team at Nichols High School in Buffalo, NY. He has also been teaching hockey camps and clinics to beginners thru high school varsity players for the past three years, where he has earned a reputation for his energetic, knowledgeable, effect style of instruction. Kevin is currently the Head Coach of DYHA Mite travel team, CT Breakers and CT Condors programs.

Victor Baryshevtsev, Skills Development Director
An alternate on the 1988 USSR Olympic Team, Victor was a pioneer in the development of the unique Russian Power Skating technique. His clients have included the U.S. National Junior C team, NHL players from the Montreal Canadians, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, KHL (Russia), and the AHL. One NHL coach stated “I saw Victor do things on hockey skates that no one else in the World can do”.

Chris Gragnano, Skills Development Coach

Grags played high school at Christian Brothers Academy, where in his senior year he was named team captain. That year he was also named to the All-County and All-State teams. Upon graduation he went on to play hockey at Providence College. After some time with the Friars he went on to Vermont where he joined the Green Mountain Glades of the EJHL. Chris currently serves as the assistant coach at the Gunnery, coming off a New England Prep School Championship in 2016-2017 and runs Total Hockey Development where he trains local collegiate and professional players in the summer.

Chris Ardito, Goalie Coach
Founding member of CT Crease, Chris has been coaching goalies of all ages and abilities for 14 years. From 2008 – 2012 Chris served as assistant and goalie coach for Southern Connecticut State University and has served as goalie coach for the Yale University Women’s Ice Hockey Team since September 2012.

Brett Farson, Skills Development Coach
Current Hockey Director of Darien Youth Hockey, Brett played prep hockey at Philips Andover and then moved on to Amherst College. He has been coaching youth hockey for 12 years and is currently the hockey director with the Greenwich Blues. Brett is currently the head coach of the Rye Country Day School which he led to a conference championship in 2017.