CALGARY, AB– Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Tuesday that Olympic gold medal-winning head coach Pat Quinn will be behind the bench as head coach for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, April 13th to 23th in Kazan, Russia.
In addition, Hockey Canada and the CHL announced that Guy Boucher of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Drummondville Voltigeurs and Jesse Wallin of the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels will join Quinn behind the bench as assistant coaches.
The 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship will be Quinn’s ninth appearance at an international event for Canada, his first since serving as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Team at the 2006 Spengler Cup. Quinn, a native of Hamilton, ON, was head coach of Team Canada at the 20 Winter Olympic Games, leading Canada in 2002 to their first gold medal in 50 years, and led Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey to a gold medal victory. He was also assistant general manager of Canada’s 1996 World Cup team, general manager for Team Canada at the 1998 IIHF World Championship, co-general manager of Team Canada at the 1997 Worlds and head coach of Canada’s bronze medal-winning team at the 1986 Worlds.
Quinn’s professional head coaching career began in 1978-79, when he won the American Hockey League championship with the Maine Mariners. From there, he went on to coach in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Any chance you get to be a part of Hockey Canada is very special, and this experience will be no different,” said Quinn. “I have always enjoyed working with young players, and am excited to work with some of Canada’s future stars at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.”
“We are very excited that Pat has agreed to step behind the Team Canada bench once again,” said Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson. “His past experiences make him the ideal coach for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, and we look forward to watching him share his wealth of hockey knowledge with Canada’s young players.”
Boucher, who just completed his second season as head coach in Drummondville, will return for a third time as an assistant coach with the Under-18 Program, having been behind the bench at the 2007 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka summer tournament and the 2006 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Wallin, who was named head coach in Red Deer on March 24th, is no stranger to Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, winning a gold medal with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship and serving as co-captain at the 1998 World Juniors. He has spent the past three seasons with Red Deer, serving as assistant coach for the first two before being promoted to associate coach prior to the 2007-08 season.
Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team will be assembled in early April in Toronto, led by Hockey Canada head scout Al Murray. The team will fly to Europe from Toronto on April 7th and will play two pre-tournament games, April 10th vs. Belarus and April 11th vs. Finland, before opening the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championship against Germany on April 13th.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against Slovakia on Friday, March 18th, as well as a quarterfinal on Sunday, April 20th, a semi-final on Monday, April 21st and the gold medal game on Wednesday, April 23rd. The bronze medal game on April 23rd will also be broadcast if Canada plays for bronze. Check your local listings for game times in your area.