CALGARY, ALBERTA - The Canadian Hockey Association and the Canadian Hockey League named on Wednesday Mike Kelly, of Shamrock, PEI, the head coach of Canada's World Championship Under 18 Team for the upcoming 2003 IIHF World Under 18 Hockey Championship, taking place this spring from April 12-22, 2003 in Yaroslavl, Russia.
"Mike Kelly has shown, over the past three years in the CHA's Program of Excellence, a passion and a knowledge of international hockey that will be valuable for Canada at the 2003 World Under 18 Championship this spring," said Johnny Misley, Vice president, Hockey Operations, with the CHA.
Kelly, 42, an NCCP Advanced 1 certified coach, has just come off a third straight year as an assistant coach of Canada's National Junior Team, capturing silver medals at the 20 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Kelly also won a bronze medal (2001) as a member of the National Junior Team coaching staff.
During the 2002-2003 season, Kelly was also an assistant coach on Canada's National Men's Team working under Head Coach Gary Green, as Canada captured the 2002 Deutschland Cup in Hanover, Germany in October 2002.
"It is quite an honour for me to represent Canada at the World Under 18 Championship," said Mike Kelly. "This will be a tremendous opportunity for these players to gain experience against the best players of their age group in the World, an experience that may serve them and Canada well in the future with the National Junior Team."
Kelly was the OHL's North Bay Centennials' Head Coach and General Manager for three seasons through 2001-2002 until it was announced that the franchise would be moved to Saginaw for the 2002-2003 season. Prior to joining the Centennials, he led the University of New Brunswick to a CIAU Championship in 1997-98.
Canada's National Under 18 Program consists of two separate teams, assembled twice a year. The National Under 18 Summer Program, which captured a gold medal at the 2002 Eight Nations Cup in August, 2002, and the National Under 18 World Championship Team which Kelly will coach this in April.
Canada's 2003 World Championship Under 18 Team is comprised of players under 18 years old (born in 1985 or later) whose teams are not playing in either the CHL, Junior A or collegiate playoffs.