Zoo Bruins Staff

New Owners for a New Team

LizJasonDJason and Liz DiMatteo, Owners

Jason and Liz moved to Missoula in July 2014 with their five boys. Jason has been around hockey for over 30 years, playing at both the Junior A and NCAA collegiate levels as well as coaching at both levels and now plays in the Missoula adult
hockey league, GHL. Liz is in banking while Jason works in finance. They both
enjoy spending time with their kids and they love the community of
Missoula for their support of hockey!

>>KPAX story on the new team



Experienced Coaches

coachMarcus Baxter, Head Coach/General Manager

Marcus will be entering his first season with the Missoula Jr Bruins organization.
He brings with him a record of 230 wins, 98 losses, and 10 overtime losses during his time coaching in Missoula. He has also been named Coach of the Year twice.
Prior to moving to Missoula in 2009, Marcus spent two seasons coaching tier 1 Midget hockey in Colorado. Marcus played division 1 hockey for the University of Connecticut and in his first season at UCONN his teammates voted him the recipient of the 7th player award. Prior to his college career, Marcus spent two seasons playing tier 2 hockey for the Bozeman Icedogs. In his second season with Bozeman,
Marcus and his teammates took home both the regular season and playoff championships and represented the league in the Gold Cup National Tournament. A native of Pittsburgh PA, Marcus played his youth hockey in numerous cities across North America.
Marcus now lives year-round in Missoula with his wife Bridget and their dog, Bodie. During the off season you can usually find him on the rivers of Western Montana.

20160909_192008Joren Johnson, Assistant Coach

Joren was born and raised in Bismarck, ND where he spent countless hours on the ice as a kid, player, and coach. He spent his high school years playing for the
Bismarck High School Demons and from there found his passion for coaching and helping develop youth hockey players.
In 2005 he moved to Missoula and dove head first into the city’s growing hockey community. He’s been coaching at various youth levels ever since, all the way from Bantams to High School Varsity. In 2010, as head coach, Joren helped lead the Missoula Bruins High School Varsity team to a State Championship.
Joren made the switch to Junior Hockey in 2010 and now enters his 6th season as an assistant coach. He spent his first five seasons with the Missoula Maulers and now transitions to assist Coach Baxter and the new Missoula Jr. Bruins.
Joren lives in Missoula with his wife Emily, and they are expecting their first child in December.
He is looking forward to a successful inaugural season with the Bruins and is so glad to be back in black and red!
Go Bruins!


Mitch Willert, Athletic Trainer   

Mitch, a Sun Prairie Wisconsin native, is entering his first season as the athletic trainer for the Missoula Junior Bruins. A 2017 University of Wisconsin Stevens Point graduate, Mitch received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and is now pursuing his master’s degree in health and human performance at the University of Montana. In addition, Mitch will be providing athletic training services to the Missoula youth hockey association.

Growing up, Mitch began playing hockey at the age of 5 and played competitively up until high school graduation. Beginning at age 12 Mitch began giving back to the game by officiating local youth games. Mitch continues to play and officiate as much as possible.

Bruins staff pic-LachinaFarrah Lachina, Team Massage Therapist

Farrah Lachina, a Licensed Massage Therapist, graduated from massage school in 1995 and has been working with the Missoula Jr. Hockey
Programs since 2011. She supports the team by reducing muscle tension and improving mobility through therapeutic massage and assisted stretching tailored to athlete’s needs. Her goal is to
assist in injury prevention and accelerate recovery from injury. Farrah accepts clients at her office in Missoula; to schedule a massage contact her at 406-396-1385.