Gatto Helped ‘Horns to Improbable U Cup Run
into Maple Leaf Gardens and won a national championship.”
Gatto played three more seasons with the Pronghorns, nishing
his university career in 1997, having amassed 83 goals and 177
points in 135 regular season games. He was an All-Canadian
in 1995-96, and nished third all-time in Canada West with 45
He began his pro career overseas, playing three years in the
British Ice Hockey Super League, before joining the Colorado Gold
Kings for the 1999-2000 West Coast Hockey League season. From
there, he took a job as player-assistant with the Central Hockey
League’s San Antonio Iguanas.
Following the 2002-03 season, Gatto hung up the skates and got
his rst head coaching gig in 2004 with the CHL’s Austin Ice Bats.
Then a vacancy opened behind the Pronghorns’ bench.
After getting the thumbs-up from Babcock, it was a no-brainer.
“Going back to Lethbridge was awesome. My family was there, I
raised my little one there … it was enjoyable, it was rewarding,”
says Gatto, who coached Lethbridge men’s hockey for nine years,
overseeing three of the program’s ve regular seasons with 30 or
Now he’s here, somewhere in the middle of the Lonestar State,
stretched out near the front of a not-so-gently used vehicle that
once transported a country music legend, adding miles to his
amazing hockey journey.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love going to the rink,” he says. “I’m sitting on the bus right
now, there’s four guys up here with me telling stories.
“I love it.”
CANADA WEST YEARBOOK 33