IRONBOUND STAFF

Sam Cheema - Hockey Director

London, UK

Hockey Director and Head Coach, 19U & 14U Minor. Sam was born and raised in London UK and ended his playing career whilst representing Great Britain internationally at the World Games in Kazakhstan,  Sam started his coaching career while still playing with Guildford Flames Juniors and Imperial College, London.

In 2017, Sam moved to New York City and has progressed full time into coaching.  Sam's coaching resume extends to skills development for mites through college athletes (training NCAA, NCDC and Junior Hockey Players) - with a heavy focus on athletic development.  Outside of his team commitments, he works with athletes on a holistic view to training (recovery, nutrition, mobility, performance, and on-ice skill development). Sam also works with NY Blind Hockey Association and College Hockey Showcases (Sweden & Denmark) as the lead skills and skating educator.

Sam graduated from Kingston Business School, London, with a degree in communications planning and strategy.

Blake Kessel

Verona, WI

Head Coach, 16U; Assistant Coach, 14U Minor. Blake’s was drafted by the New Islanders in 2007. He went on to play for UNH hockey for 3 seasons where he was added to the all-hockey east team 2009-10 season and represented the USA at the 20U World Jr Championships. Blake signed with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 and played for within 13 professional organizations over his 10-year professional career.

Now, Blake has settled in New Jersey with his wife Courtney (Birchard) Kessel – who also coaches for Princeton University. Blake has 2 siblings who also play hockey – Amanda and Phil – who are both currently playing in the US national team and NHL respectively.

Brittany Parisi

New Jersey

Coach, 17U.

Originally from Clifton, NJ, Coach Parisi is a licensed attorney practicing corporate litigation in Morris County. With Brittany’s true passion being hockey, she aspires to help mentor and guide young girls who share the similar talent, skill and work ethic she had back when Brittany was navigating the twists and turns of girls youth hockey.

Before acquiring her JD from Brooklyn Law School, Parisi graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Psychology where she played in goal for the women’s hockey team. She also played 4 years on the varsity team at the Hotchkiss School, where she captained the girl’s team during her senior year.

Brittany started her hockey career as a Devils Youth goalie and played for both girls and boys programs. On the boys’ side, Parisi was teammates with Kevin Shattenkirk (2020 Stanley Cup Champion) and several other others who went on to play professional men’s hockey. For the girls, Brittany represented the Devils Youth and the Atlantic District at several USA Hockey select festivals in Lake Placid. Separately, Parisi attended the USA Hockey invite-only girls National Goaltending Development Camp where she was the youngest invited and earned a 4th overall ranking by camp’s end.

Ross Gibby

Assistant Coach, 17U. Ross Gibby began playing hockey at age 8 in Chatham, NJ and went on to be named Captain of the Chatham High School varsity team. 

He is a Level 4 USA Hockey Coach with 6 years of experience working with female hockey players. He is as passionate about character development as he is about the game. 

Zac Gross

New Jersey

Coach, 16U Minor. Ironbound is proud to announce the addition of Zac Gross to the Ironbound team. Gross brings a wealth of experience with him. He began his coaching career 10 years ago in the New Jersey Stars organization as the head coach of the Midget AA team and the NJ Kings Junior Tier 1 independent team. For the past seven years, he has coached his daughter Gabriela from Mite to Bantam with the Jersey City Capitals.

In addition to his coaching career, Gross played professional-level hockey in France and NCAA Division 1 at Quinnipiac University. Gross also played Juniors in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Rochester Mustangs, Major Juniors with the Wexford Raiders in Toronto and was a member of the United States 17U National Development Team.

Dave Barbossa

New Jersey

Head Coach, 14U Major. Dave Barbosa is a returning coach for the girls' 12U Peewee A team. Dave played varsity high school hockey at Hudson Catholic in Jersey City and was in the 10 all-time scoring leaders in the state. He then went on to play Midget tier 1 with the Essex County Chiefs and from there onto Juniors Hockey with the NJ Golden Blades. In 1988 Dave was invited to try out for the Weyburn Red Wings for tier 2 Junior hockey in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Dave played at Seton Hall University where he also played varsity baseball. In 1991 Dave began playing with the Newark Sabres off the M.A.S.H. League until 1999 when the league folded.

Dave graduated from Montclair University and from 1992 to present he has been a firefighter in Jersey City. Dave has been coaching youth hockey for the past 7 years.

James Whitmer

New Jersey

Assistant Coach, 14U Major. James is a native Canadian with a passion for the game and owns the Cutting Edge Ice Facility. James has a deep passion for the game of hockey and the growth of player development. James has worked with leading skill coaches through his facility and provides opportunities for players to develop their game through innovative ways.

Alexa Aramburu

Glen Rock, NJ

The Garden State girl from Glen Rock, NJ wanted to play professional hockey ever since she was a little girl. Her midget career led her to play forward at SUNY Oswego (2013-17). 

Alexa went on to play forward in two leagues over the course of her career - the Canadian Women's Hockey League and the National Women's Hockey League. She was drafted 5th round 30th overall into the Toronto Furies (2017-18), moved back home to skate with the Metropolitan Riveters (2018-19), and has recently been skating with the PWHPA (2019-20). In 2020 Alexa signed with the NWHL CT Whale. Alexa is also the Head Coach of IHA High School in New Jersey.

Frankie Loftus - Skills Director

New Jersey

Frankie is a specialist skills coach with over 10 years of experience working with Olympians, USHL, Prep School, NCAA D1 and professional hockey players. He specializes in overspeed training and creativity.

Aerin Frankel - Goaltending Coach and College Mentor

New York

Aerin started her hockey career in Westchester, NY. Since then she has gone on to be the prominent goaltender in the NCAA with the Northeastern Huskies.  She was named to the U.S. Under-22 Women’s Select Team for the first time in August 2019 where she competed for Team USA against Canada at Lake Placid, New York.

Frankel was also selected to the U.S. Women’s National Team for the first time in December 2019 where she participated in the two-game Rivalry Series. The highlight came on Dec. 17, 2019, when Frankel backstopped the U.S. to a 2-1 victory against Team Canada during the second game of the Rivalry Series in Moncton, New Brunswick. Frankel stopped 27 of 28 shots faced in the victory.