STOCKTON, Calif. – Stockton Heat head coach Mitch Love has won the American Hockey League’s Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award for the 2021-22 season, given annually to the league’s most outstanding coach, announced Wednesday by the AHL.
In his first season at the helm in Stockton, the Heat set a Pacific Division record with 97 points and won Stockton’s first-ever division championship with a record of 45-16-5-2. Under Love’s leadership, the Heat set club records for wins and points as well as individual Stockton records for points and goals in a season (Matthew Phillips), goalie wins (Dustin Wolf) and rookie points (Jakob Pelletier). Stockton’s personnel also set 23 personal career highs through the course of the year.
The Heat saw six players earn NHL call-ups through the regular season, including Adam Ruzicka, Byron Froese, Connor Mackey, Dustin Wolf, Juuso Valimaki and Walker Duehr.
Love is the second coach of the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate to win the award, joining Bill Stewart of the 1997-98 Saint John Flames.