Tonight, the U.S. meets Canada at HarborCenter for the gold medal in Women's Under-18 World Hockey Championship. One person behind the USA bench holds a local connection.
Team USA equipment manager Ben Kogut found his love for hockey while hitting pucks in his Town of Amherst driveway as a youngster. That passion has brought him to where he is today, behind the U.S. bench for tonight's World Championship at HarborCenter.
"It's certainly not a popular career path. But, anybody who has ever seen me around the rink knows that I love it," Kogut said.
Kogut volunteered during the 2012 Under 18 women's tournament when it was held at the University of Vermont where he was a student and he wound up working for USA Hockey.
"I've been very fortunate. It's worked out for me pretty well to this point," Kogut recalled.
"For the University of Vermont to offer me a job right out of college was fantastic. It was really something special for me and it was nice for me to be able to stay there and stay around some of my younger friends and just have a great time in a college town."
Kogut says he networks on his way toward a potential career in the NHL, learning along the way. That might include going back to school for a graduate degree.