CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Friday that former NHL player and coach Ryan Walter will serve as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship, taking place April 16-25, 2011 in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland.
Walter made his debut with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2010 4 Nations Cup, held in St. John’s and Clarenville, N.L., in November 2010, guiding Canada to the gold medal, including a 3-2 overtime win against the United States in the gold medal game.
He will be joined on the bench at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship by Dan Church (Toronto, Ont./ York University, CIS) and Lisa Jordan (Westville, N.S./Saint Mary’s University, CIS), who will serve as assistant coaches.
"Hockey Canada is pleased to have Ryan Walter lead Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Switzerland,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “Ryan, along with Dan and Lisa, will provide great experience behind the bench as Canada strives for a tenth world championship."
Ryan Walter has extensive experience playing at the international level, and this year made his mark coaching with Hockey Canada, leading Canada’s National Women’s Team to its twelfth 4 Nations Cup gold medal. Prior to coaching Canada, the New Westminster, B.C., native captained Canada’s National Junior Team in 1978, winning a bronze medal and recording two goals and six assists over six games at the 1978 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal, Que. Walter also represented his country at the IIHF World Championship on three occasions, during which he collected five goals and five assists over 20 games. He won bronze with Team Canada in 1982.
"I really enjoyed working with the national women’s program at the 4 Nations Cup, and look forward to the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship,” Walter said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I know our players and staff are a strong team capable of accomplishing our ultimate goal of winning gold."
Walter, 52, played in 1,003 NHL games with three different teams: the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks. In total, he accumulated 646 points over 15 seasons in the NHL, including a career high of 38 goals and 49 assists for Washington in 1981-82. He also won a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1986. He was the second pick overall in the 1978 NHL draft and played in the 1983 NHL All-Star Game.
After his playing career, Walter worked for TSN as a colour commentator from 19, where he
focused on international hockey and the NHL, subsequently becoming a commentator on television broadcasts for
Vancouver Canucks from 19. He moved from the broadcast booth to the bench in 2008, serving as an assistant coach with Vancouver through the 2009-10 season.
Dan Church is in his seventh season as head coach of the women’s team at York University in Toronto, Ont., and has extensive experience coaching for Hockey Canada’s national women’s programs. Most recently, Church guided Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team to its first-ever gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship, held in Chicago, Ill., in April 2010.
Additionally, Church was head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team during the 2007-08 season, leading the team to a 7-0 record and a gold medal at the 2008 Air Canada Cup. He also served as assistant coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team during the 2006-07 season, winning a gold medal at the 2007 Air Canada Cup. Church also served as head coach of the Canadian team that won gold at the inaugural women’s hockey tournament for the Winter Universiade, held in 2009 in Harbin, China. He won a CIAU (now CIS) national championship in 2001 as an assistant coach with the University of Toronto women’s team, under former National Women’s Team head coach Karen Hughes.
Lisa Jordan is in her fourteenth year as head coach of the women’s team at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S., capturing four AUS championship titles (1998, 2002, 2003, 2010) and being named the 2003 CIS women’s hockey coach of the year. She too has extensive experience coaching within Hockey Canada’s national women’s programs, including her role as assistant coach under Church with the U18 team that won gold at the 2010 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Additionally, Jordan served as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Team during the 2007-08 season, winning a gold medal at the 2007 4 Nations Cup and a silver medal at the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Championship. She was head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team in 2005-06, winning a gold medal at the 2006 Air Canada Cup, and was an assistant coach for the U22 team for two seasons, winning gold medals at both the 20 Air Canada Cups.