With new owner, coach is focusing more on team

Chris Tok

Chris Tok

As the Austin Bruins enter their fifth season, they are more ahead of the game than ever before.

The Bruins now have co-owners in Craig Patrick and Mike Cooper, and Cooper’s role has made Bruins’ head coach Chris Tok’s job much easier. Tok has been able to spend more time coaching the team and less time dealing with managerial items than ever before.

“Things were quite a bit easier this year,” Tok said. “Things were already in place and done, so you can actually do more things [with the team]. We’re steps ahead each year, because you’re able to set things in stone.”

Tok’s time with the team is especially valuable this season as the Bruins bring in 18 new players and looks to reload after making it to the Robertson Cup Finals last season. That run helped boost the community’s interest in the Bruins, and it’s certainly a far cry from the team’s first season when Tok recalled fans asking him if the Bruins played basketball or la crosse.

Austin Bruins owner Craig Patrick stands with Papa Murphy’s owner Mike Cooper, who was named minority owner of the team in July. Herald file photo

Austin Bruins owner Craig Patrick stands with Papa Murphy’s owner Mike Cooper, who was named minority owner of the team in July. Herald file photo

With former Bruin Christian Folin playing with the Minnesota Wild and many other Bruins moving on to Division I schools, Patrick said the team has built a reputation where fans are looking forward to getting to know the players.

“We’ve got really hard working guys who are really respectful of the spot they’ve earned,” Patrick said. “I think people are excited to see who’s next. I’m just real happy that the fans support our guys, and I’m excited to see who’s going to step up this year.”

The Bruins are also boosting their gameday experience this season. The team will have $100 cash giveaways on game nights, a $1,000 puck shot, a remote control aircraft flying around the arena, and updated lasers and lights. Bruins’ goals will also be extra special as fans will be able to purchase Bruins’ balls and throw them on the ice whenever Austin scores during a game.

As for Tok, he no longer has fans asking him what sport the Bruins play. He said the questions have become more focused on the success of the team.

“Now everybody’s asking if we’re going to be as good as last year,” Tok said. “The questions people ask have really changed, and they want us to win. They love seeing guys move on, and they’re always asking about Nick [Lehr] with the Gophers.”

Adams

Partnerships celebrated during community event for Mower, Fillmore solar installations

Mower County

Mayo Ambulance training program hopes to increase EMT numbers

Business

Workforce Development one of nine organizations to receive funding to train underrepresented workers for clean energy careers

News

Minneapolis police officer killed while responding to a shooting call is remembered as a hero

Mower County

Documentary follows AHS class across 50 years

Mower County

2024 Friendship Wagon Train coming to the area

Agriculture

New funding available for continuous living cover grants

Mower County

MDH inviting well users to seminar on nitrates

Mower County

In Your Community: May Sweeps winner claims her prize

Mower County

In Your Community: Final Bing-Oh prize claimed

Education

Austin junior achieves top ACT score of 36

Education

Education Briefs

News

President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is convicted of all 3 felonies in federal gun trial

News

Biden, gun control advocates want to flip an issue long dominated by the NRA

News

Minnesota poll: Felony conviction should disqualify presidential candidates, most say

Mower County

APS board approves sanctioning boys volleyball

Education

Austin Seniors receive Horatio Alger Scholarships

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man sentenced to over eight years for criminal sexual conduct with a child

Grand Meadow

2 injured in Saturday afternoon crash

Mower County

Courtney’s bench: Family and friends honor loved one lost in hope to raise awareness for mental illness

Mower County

Summerset Theatre opens Season 56 with the musical ‘Annie’

Adams

Adams Dairy Days celebrating 50th

Mower County

Gabby Weiss passes away, legacy will continue on the baseball diamond

Mower County

New sculpture is giving visitors another destination stop in Austin