CALGARY – National Women’s Team general manager Melody Davidson announced Monday that Sarah Howald (Regina, SK/University of Regina, CIS) will serve as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for the 2008-09 season, including a three-game series vs. the USA’s Women’s Under-22 Select Team in Pierrefonds, QC in late August and the MLP Cup (formerly the Air Canada Cup) in Ravensburg, Germany in early January.
In addition, it was announced that Pierre Alain (Mirabel, QC/St-Jérôme, CEGEP) and Jim Fetter (Waterloo, ON/Wayne State University, NCAA) will join Howald behind the bench as assistant coaches.
“All three of the coaches we have selected to be part of our under-22 program have previous experience with Canada’s National Women’s Teams, experience that we feel is a great asset as we move forward,” said Davidson. “The under-22 program is an important step in the development of Canada’s top female players, and we believe we have the right coaches to help further that development.”
Howald, who just completed her tenth season as the head coach of the women’s hockey team at the University of Regina, spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team under head coach Dan Church, helping the team to a 7-0 record – the first perfect season in the history of the under-22 program. She was also the team’s video coach during the 2006-07 season. Howald led the University of Regina to a Canada West championship and a silver medal at the CIS championship in 2001, and was head coach of Team Saskatchewan at the November 2005 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Alain returns to Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for a second consecutive season, having served as video coach for the 2007-08 season. He led St-Jerome to a perfect 27-0 season and a CEGEP championship in 2007-08, the fifth CEGEP championship in six seasons for the Cheminots. Alain was also head coach of Team Quebec at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, winning a bronze medal.
Fetter moves to the under-22 program after spending 2007-08 as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, winning a silver medal at the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship. He just completed his fifth season at Wayne State, and was named College Hockey America women’s hockey coach of the year for the third consecutive season in 2007-08 after leading the Warriors to a share of the conference regular season championship and a school-record 21 wins. He has also spent time behind the bench as an assistant coach with women’s hockey teams at the University of Maine (1999-00) and Mercyhurst College (2000-03), and as a head coach at the University of Lethbridge (1998-99).
The coaching staff, along with Davidson and Canada’s scouting staff, will work together to choose Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for the 2008-09 season. Forty players will gather in Pierrefonds, QC for the National Women’s Under-22 Team selection camp, August 10-17.
The roster for the selection camp will be announced on Tuesday, July 15.