CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that Mike Mondin (Trail, B.C.) has been named head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team for the 2010-11 season. It was also announced that Billy McGuigan (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) will join Mondin behind the bench as an assistant coach.
Mondin has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Sledge Team, winning gold medals at the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge and 2009 Hockey Canada Cup. He also helped Canada to a silver medal at the 2009 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, and bronze at the 2009 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship.
A former coach in BC Hockey’s Best Ever program, Mondin served as a guest coach with Canada’s National Sledge Team in 2007-08 before joining the staff in a full-time role the following season.
Mondin replaces Jeff Snyder, who spent six seasons as head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team, leading the team to gold medals at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, 20 World Sledge Hockey Challenges and 2009 Hockey Canada Cup. Snyder will remain with Hockey Canada in an advisory role.
“Mike has a terrific knowledge of our players and our program, and we are excited that he will be leading the National Sledge Team this season,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “We look forward to a successful season, and the continued growth of sledge hockey across Canada. We would also like to thank Jeff Snyder for his six years of service and his contributions to our program and to the development of the sport.”
McGuigan, the current head coach and general manager of the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Hockey League, joins the staff of Canada’s National Sledge Team, bringing a wealth of playing and coaching knowledge to the team. He has also served as head coach and GM of the Charlottetown Abbies of the MHL, and played parts of four seasons of professional hockey in the Colonial Hockey League, West Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League with Detroit (CoHL), Saginaw (CoHL), Alaska (WCHL), Fort Worth (CHL) and Idaho (WCHL).
Canada’s National Sledge Team will kick off the 2010-11 season with a selection camp from September 9-12 at CFB Petawawa in Petawawa, Ont.
Thirty players have been invited to take part in the selection camp, with a final roster of 15 being chosen on Sunday, September 12. Those selected will remain in Petawawa for Canada’s National Sledge Team orientation camp, September 13-15.
The roster announced for camp includes 11 of the 15 players who were on the ice for Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Four players – captain Jean Labonté, Herve Lord, Todd Nicholson and Paul Rosen – announced their retirements from competitive sledge hockey on Tuesday.
The 15 players chosen from the group in Petawawa will participate in a number of international events over the course of the 2010-11 season, including a pair of three-game series against the United States in October and November, a tournament in Japan in February and the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, which will be held in April 2011 in a Canadian city still to be determined.
The sledge players will be on the ice a total of five times in three days in Petawawa, with a pair of practices and three Red vs. White games.
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