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Hockey Canada Program of Excellence management group named for 2017-18 season

Bouchard, Hamilton, Staios to oversee U20, U18, U17 programs

NR.045.17
|
May 15, 2017

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada continues to prepare for the upcoming season with the announcement of its Program of Excellence management group for the 2017-18 season.

Steve Staios (Hamilton, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) will oversee and support the under-17 program, including the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., while Bruce Hamilton (Saskatoon, Sask./Kelowna, WHL) will support and manage the under-18 program, including the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In March, it was announced Joël Bouchard (Montreal/Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) would continue as the lead for Canada’s National Junior Team next season.

The management group will work in conjunction with Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada, director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski, and Shawn Bullock, senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams, who oversee operations within the Program of Excellence. The day-to-day operations include assisting in the selection of coaches and players, the support of coaching staff, as well as providing ongoing input during camps and events throughout the year.

“All three men have proven leadership qualities and experience within their respective leagues, as well as on the international stage,” said Salmond. “Their skill, knowledge and dedication to excellence will lead us through the year as we look to continue Canada's tradition of excellence on the ice, and further develop skilled, committed players through our program.”

Staios was named president of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs in 2015 after three years with the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Maple Leafs, Staios served in various capacities, including manager of player development, player development advisor, and assistant coach. Staios played 1,001 regular-season games over 18 NHL seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, and Vancouver Canucks before retiring in 2012. Staios served as director of player personnel with Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. He also donned the Canadian jersey as a player, winning gold at the 2003 and 2004 worlds, and came home with silver from the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Hamilton has been a part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence since 2013. He was part of Canada’s National Junior Team management group that won IIHF World Junior Championship gold in 2015 in Toronto, and with the management group at the 2014 World Juniors in Malmö, Sweden. Hamilton is the owner, president and general manager of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, and since moving the team from Tacoma to Kelowna, he has won the WHL Championship four times (2003, 2005, 2009, 2015) in addition to winning the Memorial Cup when Kelowna hosted in 2004. Hamilton is serving his second stint as chairman of the Western Hockey League’s board of directors since 2008. He also served from 1998-2004.

Bouchard has been a member of the POE management group since 2013. He has been president and general manager of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada for the past six seasons, and took over as head coach in August 2014 after three seasons as an assistant coach. The Montreal native played 15 professional seasons, including parts of 11 seasons in the National Hockey League with eight teams. As a player, Bouchard made three appearances with Team Canada, winning gold each time.

Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Policy Committee, comprised of Hockey Canada board chairman Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.), Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Tom Renney, Hockey Canada chief operating officer Scott Smith, OHL commissioner and CHL president David Branch, QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau, and WHL commissioner Ron Robison will continue to oversee the program.

For more information on the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca , or follow along via social media on Facebook, and Twitter.

Canada vs. United States

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. United States

Sunday, May 5 | 11 a.m. ET | Espoo, Finland | Gold Medal Game

Shannon Coulter
|
May 05, 2024

The gold medal is on the line as Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team takes on its rivals from the United States on Sunday in the finale of the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada started strong and hung on late, defeating Sweden 5-4 its Saturday semifinal. Liam Greentree, Gavin McKenna, Tij Iginla and Ryder Ritchie scored in the first period and Henry Mews added the game-winner in the second before Canada held off a late push by Sweden. Carter George made 31 saves in another terrific performance between the pipes.

The United States downed Slovakia 7-2 to advance to the gold medal game. Teddy Stiga scored just over three minutes in to get the scoring started, and a three-goal second period for the U.S. blew open a one-goal game. Cole Eiserman and Max Plante scored twice each, with Cole Hutson and Will Skahan rounding out the scoring and Jack Parsons making 22 saves.

Last Meeting

You have to all the way back to the prelimimary-round opener at the 2022 U18 Men’s Worlds for the last time the North American rivals clashed, with the Canadians dropping that game 8-3 to the Americans. Matthew Wood and Mathew Ward briefly tied the game in the second period, while Connor Bedard scored his first of what would be six goals in the tournament. Reid Dyck made 43 saves for the Canadians.

What to Watch

There were a few record-setting (or record-tying) performances by Canadians in the semifinals. With his first-period goal, McKenna set the record for the most points by a Canadians in one U18 Men’s Worlds with 16. Porter Martone’s assist on Mews’ goal set a new career scoring record by a Canadian with 22 points, surpassing Bedard, and also brought him even with McKenna at 16 points in the tournament. George has been fantastic in the Canadian goal as well. In five games, he has a .923 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average (both second among qualified goaltenders, behind American netminder Nicholas Kempf), with two shutouts. All three were named the best players of the tournament for Canada.

James Hagens has been all over the scoresheet for the United States. With three assists in the semifinals, the 17-year-old set the all-time scoring record at a single U18 Men’s Worlds—a record that had been held for 13 years by Nikita Kucherov. In six games in Finland, Hagens has nine goals and 13 helpers.

A Look Back

This is the 18th meeting between the North American rivals at U18 Men’s Worlds, with the record skewing in favour of the U.S.—Canada has just four wins in the first 17 games (two in regulation, one in overtime and one in a shootout).

That said, those two regulation wins have happened in the last six meetings; Laurent Dauphin had a goal and an assist in the 2013 gold medal game as Canada downed the U.S. 3-2 to win its third world title, and Raphaël Lavoie scored twice to help Canada to a 6-4 victory in the tournament opener in 2018.

All-time record: United States leads 13-4-0 (2-2 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 41
United States goals: 79

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Canada vs. Sweden

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Saturday, May 4 | 11 a.m. ET | Espoo, Finland | Semifinal

Shannon Coulter
|
May 04, 2024

A spot in the gold medal game is on the line as Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team travels to Espoo for the first time to face Sweden in the semifinals at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship at Metro Areena.

Last Game

Canada earned its semifinal spot by blanking Latvia 4-0 in its quarterfinal Thursday. Maxim Massé opened the scoring on a power play just over five minutes into the first period, with Ryder Ritchie, Porter Martone and Jett Luchanko rounding out the scoring. Harrison Brunicke and Tij Iginla had two assists each, while Carter George made 23 saves for the shutout.

Sweden defeated host Finland 2-1 to book its spot in the semifinal. Alfons Freij scored 2:40 minutes into the game to put the Swedes up 1-0 early, and Jack Berglund got the game-winner late in the middle frame. Love Härenstam made 21 saves for Sweden.

Last Meeting

Let’s throw it all the way back… 10 days to the beginning of this tournament when Canada kicked off the prelims with a 6-3 victory over Sweden. Luchanko and Malcolm Spence gave the Canadians an early 2-0 lead, Gavin McKenna scored twice in 1:49 apart in the first period, and Matthew Schaefer and Carson Wetsch rounded out the scoring. George stopped 26 shots for the win.

What to Watch

George has been fantastic in the Canadian goal. In four games, he has .936 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average (both second among qualified goaltenders, behind American netminder Nicholas Kempf), with two shutouts. His showing in Finland continues a strong season: the 17-year-old had a .907 save percentage and 3.30 goals-against average with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack,, and while representing Canada last summer at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the Thunder Bay, Ontario, native boasted a .889 save percentage and a 2.26 goals-against average.

Melvin Fernström and Lucas Pettersson have been leading the offence for Sweden, each recording two goals and six points in five games. Fernström had a plus-25 rating with 31 goals and 63 points during the regular season for the Örebro HK U20 team, while Pettersoon was plus-27 with 27 goals and 57 points with MoDo Hockey U20.

A Look Back

Meeting the Swedes at the IIHF U18 World Championship has always meant a tough matchup for Canada. In head-to-head, Canada holds a narrow 12-10 advantage.

It’s the third time in four years the teams will clash in the semifinals. The Swedes had the advantage last year in Switzerland, while Canada rode a Connor Bedard hat trick and four points from Shane Wright to an 8-1 win in 2021 in Texas.

All-time record: Canada leads 12-10 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 89
Sweden goals: 70

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Canada vs. Latvia

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Latvia

Thursday, May 2 | 12:45 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Quarterfinal

Jason LaRose
|
May 02, 2024

It’s on to the playoffs for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, which faces off against Latvia in the last of four quarterfinals on Thursday at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada closed the preliminary round in style, beating Kazakhstan 11-3 on Tuesday. Gavin McKenna continued his torrid scoring pace, scoring twice and adding four assists, while captain Porter Martone added a goal and four helpers of his own. In all, 10 different Canadians scored goals and 17 of the 19 skaters recorded at least a point.

Latvia wrapped up its prelim schedule Monday with a 5-3 loss to Norway. Daniels Serkins, Martins Klaucans and Darels Uljanskis provided the offence for the Latvians, who trailed 3-0 after the first period and 5-1 after 40 minutes.

Last Meeting

The teams met in preliminary-round action at the 2021 U18 Men’s Worlds, a 4-2 victory for the Canadians. Mason McTavish paced the offence for Canada with two goals and an assist, while Dylan Guenther added a goal and a helper. The Canadians peppered Latvian netminder Karlis Mezsargs with 52 shots and twice had the eastern Europeans pull within a goal, but saw out its second win en route to gold in Texas.

What to Watch

McKenna (6-8—14) and Martone (4-9—13) are in the process of rewriting the Team Canada record book. The duo have basically every major offensive record in sight between them – both all-time and in a single tournament. Martone, who won bronze a year ago as an underager, sits just two points back of Connor Bedard for the all-time scoring lead (21), and his four assists Tuesday moved him past Cody Hodgson and Mathew Barzal for most assists by a Canadian at the tournament (he has 12), and within one of Hodgson’s single-tournament record (10). McKenna is just three goals back of Shane Wright for the single-tournament record (9), and both players are within striking distance of the single-tournament points record of 15, currently held by Tyson Jost (2015) and Macklin Celebrini (2023).

Olivers Murnieks is the second-youngest player on the ice in Finland (Kazakhstan defenceman Svyatoslav Evplov is four weeks younger), but the 15-year-old has been a key cog for the Latvia machine. Only eight forwards are averaging more ice time than Murnieks (who’s at 19:30 per game), and he contributed a goal and two assists in the prelims, scoring in the win over Slovakia that secured the playoff spot for the Latvians. He played 18 games for HK Mogo in the Optibet Hockey League, the top men’s league in Latvia, finishing with 15 points (5-10—15).

A Look Back

Canada has owned the head-to-head history, winning all six meetings by a combined score of 36-12.

The most memorable of those six came in the tournament opener in 2015 in Switzerland, when the teams combined for 17 goals in an 11-6 Canadian win. Jérémy Roy scored a hat trick, Mitchell Stephens had two goals and an assist and Barzal had three helpers for Canada, which erased an early deficit and took control with six unanswered goals in a span of 6:49 in the second period.

All-time record: Canada leads 6-0
Canada goals: 36
Latvia goals: 12

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Canada vs. Kazakhstan

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Kazakhstan

Tuesday, April 30 | 12 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Preliminary Round

Jason LaRose
|
April 30, 2024

With first place in Group B secured, Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has its sights set on finishing a perfect preliminary round when it takes on Kazakhstan on Tuesday at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada used a record-setting second period to down Switzerland 8-1 on Sunday. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Canadians erupted for seven goals in the middle frame, becoming the seventh team in U18 Men’s Worlds history to hit that number in a single period. Porter Martone had two of the seven before finishing his hat trick in the third period, and Gavin McKenna added a goal and two assists.

Kazakhstan made history of its own Monday, getting an overtime goal from Mstislav Shiplin to earn a 4-3 win over Czechia for its first-ever Top Division win at the U18 level. Roman Bolshedvorsky added a goal and an assist for the Kazakhs, who erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to secure the victory.

Last Meeting

You have to go all the way back to 2003, the only other year Kazakhstan was part of the Top Division. In that one, Canada got two goals each from Geoff Platt and Steve Bernier, and three assists from Marc-Antoine Pouliot in an 8-1 win. That tournament, played in Yaroslavl, Russia, ended with Canada winning its first U18 world title.

What to Watch

The name on the back of the jersey is enough to draw attention from even the most casual of Canadian hockey fans, but Tij Iginla has the game to back up the name. The son of Hockey Hall of Famer and two-time Olympic gold medallist Jarome Iginla, Tij has inherited his dad’s goal-scoring touch, potting three goals in as many games in Finland after posting 47 in 64 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. The 17-year-old – ranked as the No. 9 North American skater in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft – can become the third Iginla to win a world title, following his dad and older sister Jade, who helped Canada to gold at the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.

As is the case most years with a team coming up from Division 1A, the Kazakhstan roster looks nothing like the one that won gold a year in France. The lone returnee is Bolshedvorsky, who went without a point in five games in 2023. The 17-year-old spent this season with Snezhnye Barsy Astana in the MHL, the top Russian junior league, and the goal he scored against the Czechs on Monday was his first of the season – he had four assists in 41 MHL games and two helpers in nine playoff contests.

A Look Back

Not much more to say that hasn’t already been said. Just one, mentioned above, in 2003.

All-time record: Canada leads 1-0
Canada goals: 8
Kazakhstan goals: 1

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U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Thursday, April 25 | 12 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
April 25, 2024

The 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship gets underway Thursday in Finland, with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team facing off against Sweden in its preliminary round opener at Vantaa Trio Arena.

Last Game

The Canadians closed out pre-tournament play Tuesday with a 4-3 overtime win over Norway in Vantaa. Matthew Schaefer scored the winner 2:18 into the extra period for Canada, which saw the Norwegians score twice in five second midway through the third period to erase its two-goal lead. Schaefer finished with a goal and an assist, as did Ryder Ritchie.

The Swedes finished their exhibition schedule Monday, getting two goals from Leo Sahlin Wallenius and 26 saves from Love Härenstam to blank Latvia 4-0 in Vierumäki. Jack Berglund and Melvin Fernström rounded out the scoring for Sweden, while Alexander Zetterberg added two assists.

Last Meeting

The international rivals last clashed in the semifinals at U18 Men’s Worlds a year ago, with the Swedes posting a 7-2 victory en route to a silver medal. Macklin Celebrini and Angus MacDonell scored first-period goals for the Canadians, but a four-goal second for the Swedes was the difference.

What to Watch

Porter Martone is no stranger to the Maple Leaf; the Canadian captain has played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, IIHF U18 World Championship (as an underager) and Hlinka Gretzky Cup over the past 17 months, winning silver, bronze and gold, respectively, while putting up 12 goals and 23 points across 19 games. The Mississauga Steelheads forward registered 71 points (33-38—71) in his second OHL season, and is a name to watch for the 2025 NHL Draft (he’s not eligible this year thanks to his Oct. 25 birthday).

Sahlin Wallenius was the second-ranked Swede on the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft, coming seventh among international skaters. He averaged almost a point a game from the blue line with the Växjö Lakers U20 team this season (11-31—42 in 43 GP). Lunis Eriksson also cracked the top 10 from Central Scouting, coming in at No. 10. He spent the majority of the season playing pro with Djurgardens IF, posting 11 points (3-8—11) in 29 HockeyAllsvenskan games.

A Look Back

The head-to-head history between the Canadians and Swedes at the IIHF U18 World Championship is almost right down the middle, with Canada holding a narrow 11-10 advantage.

The most recent wins came at the 2021 worlds in Texas; Shane Wright had a hat trick and Brandt Clarke added two goals and two assists in a 12-1 preliminary-round win, while Connor Bedard scored three and Wright added a goal and three helpers in an 8-1 semifinal triumph.

All-time record: Canada leads 11-10 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 83
Sweden goals: 67

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Five players added to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Canada adds five players to U18 worlds roster

April 22, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the addition of five players to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

Goaltender Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga, ON/Mississauga, OHL), forwards Ollie Josephson (Victoria, BC/Red Deer, WHL) and Maxim Massé (Rimouski, QC/Chicoutimi, QMJHL), and defencemen Frank Marrelli (Markham, ON/Ottawa, OHL) and Henry Mews (Ottawa, ON/Ottawa, OHL) have joined the team.

Josephson, Marrelli, Massé and Mews were members of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that won a gold medal at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Ivankovic won gold with Team Canada White at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Canada will play its final pre-tournament game against Norway on Tuesday. Canada’s quest for a gold medal begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will also face Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will air select games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Susan Sloan wearing a shirt that says Volunteer in front of a balloon arch.

The gratitude for volunteering

After making the choice to begin volunteering to make friends in a new town, Susan Sloan can’t imagine what her life would be like without giving back to her community

Shannon Coulter
|
April 18, 2024

Susan Sloan can’t imagine her life without volunteering. In fact, she feels her life would be the complete opposite of what it is now if she hadn’t started donating her time.

Throughout her life, Sloan has had a variety of different jobs, from working in a bakery to an IT specialist and a fitness instructor at the YMCA. After moving to Orleans, Ontario—a community in the east end of Ottawa—in the early 2000s, Sloan took a one-year contact with Volunteer Canada that would change the course of her life.

“I thought since I’m working as their membership manager, I probably should know a little bit more about this volunteering thing,” she says. “But I had already decided that volunteering was the route that I wanted to take, really just to start making friends because I literally had none.”

Her first volunteer position was with Canadian Heritage to help with their Winter Lights Across Canada event. From there, she learned about Winterlude in Ottawa and decided to volunteer for it as well. By then she was on a roll, so she signed up to help with the Canada Day festivities.

“Those were my signature events—every year, with the exception of COVID, you would find me at all three of those events come hell or high water,” she says. “That was my core, and they are still my core to this day: 22 years later, I’m still volunteering with Canadian Heritage.”

Susan Sloan lies down in front to pose with a group of volunteers at a Canadian Heritage event in Ottawa

Interspersed between her three core events, Sloan got involved in “little adventures” to explore new volunteer experiences in areas she was interested in.

“I loved sports, so I would pretty much put myself into any event that needed volunteers,” she explains. “In Ottawa, it’s like a laundry list of opportunities; you could be busy every weekend starting on Thursday.”

She began with a volleyball tournament, then taught Zumba at Relay for Life. Soon her volunteer experiences began snowballing into more new opportunities in sports.

“Sports has always been my happy place,” she says. “Being in a small community and in Ottawa, once you are known and you’re affiliated with certain events, you start to get asked to work other events and help out.

“I’ve had some amazing opportunities that I would never have had anything to do with had I not been a volunteer.”

When Canada’s National Women’s Team came to Ottawa in 2021 for the Rivalry Series, Sloan volunteered to help with the Olympic jersey reveal and managed guests coming into the game.

“It was really delightful working with Hockey Canada,” she says. “I really appreciated and respected the respect that we received, and the gratefulness for just doing something that was so minor.”

Later this year, the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship will be hosted in Ottawa. Through her connections gained from volunteering and her reputation in the community, Sloan was presented with a new opportunity: to become the volunteer co-chair for World Juniors. And coming from a family that loves hockey and watches the tournament every year, she agreed.

“The fact that I was asked to do [World Juniors] … they chose me. That was a choice and to be that choice is probably one of the most rewarding things in the world. And none of this would have happened had it not been for volunteering.”

Susan Sloan poses beside a Hockey Canada welcome sign

When the puck drops in December, Sloan is most excited for the tourists and guests to experience what Ottawa has to offer.

“It’s so amazing because as volunteers, you’re in the chaos of everything,” she says. “I love the diversity it brings to the city. It brings a certain energy that the only way you’re going to know what it’s like is if you’re there. It’s amazing to be a part of something.

“People are coming in from all over the world, and you get a chance to mingle with them. You get a chance to show up for your city.”

With her experience in so many volunteer positions, Sloan has a thorough understanding of the value every volunteer brings to the table.

“The synergy that’s created when you are with like-minded people is magical. You have volunteers who, without them, no event would happen,” she says. “IIHF wouldn’t run without their volunteers. Canada Day would not run without its volunteers.”

As her experience allowed her to help others begin their volunteer journeys, Sloan has seen people blossom in ways they never thought was possible. And for Sloan, there are no words to describe the gratitude she has for making the decision to begin volunteering 22 years ago.

“Everything that I am, everything that I will be, is because of volunteering,” she says. “There are not many things in our lives that we put this much effort into that the rewards are amplified upon receipt. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without volunteering.”

Interested in volunteering when the world comes back to Ottawa this winter? Registration for the TELUS World Juniors Volunteer Program is now open!

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National Men’s Under-18 Team roster named for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Canada to play two pre-tournament games; opens U18 Worlds against Sweden on April 25

NR.022.24
|
April 16, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the 19 players selected to wear the Maple Leaf with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

The roster was selected by head scout Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB) and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations. The evaluation process included input from goaltending consultant Justin Pogge (Penticton, BC) and analytics consultant Gianfranco Giuliano (Toronto, ON), in addition to the entire scouting staff.

It includes two goaltenders, six defencemen and 11 forwards, featuring 10 players (Beaudoin, Elick, George, Greentree, Leenders, Martone, McQueen, Ritchie, Spence, Wetsch) who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer, and one (Martone), who helped Canada win bronze at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship.

“We are excited to bring this calibre of young athletes together to begin working with our coaching staff,” said Roy. “Having players who already know how to compete in a short-term tournament will also bring valuable experience and leadership to our team in our quest for a gold medal.”

Hockey Canada announced the coaching staff for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship last Thursday, with head coach Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS) joined by assistant coaches Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL), Bruce Richardson (Montreal, QC) and Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL).

Prior to the start of the tournament, Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games against Finland on April 20 and Norway on April 23. The quest for a gold medal begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will also face Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will air select games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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National Men’s Under-18 team coaching staff named for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Gardiner MacDougall named head coach; Travis Crickard, Bruce Richardson & Ryan Smith to serve as assistants

NR.020.24
|
April 11, 2024

CALGARY, AlbertaHockey Canada has named the coaching staff that will guide Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland .

The winningest coach in Canadian university regular season men’s hockey history, Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS) will serve as head coach. He will be joined by assistant coaches Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL), Bruce Richardson (Montreal, QC) and Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL), along with goaltending coach Dan De Palma (Kamloops, BC/Kamloops, WHL).


The coaching staff was selected by Scott Salmond (Creston, BC) , senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON),senior manager of hockey operations.

“Gardiner has not only solidified himself as one of the greatest coaches in university hockey history, his record and reputation speaks for itself,” said Salmond. “His nine U SPORTS championships and 2022 Memorial Cup win with Saint John are proof of his ability to win in short-term competition, which will serve us well at the world championship.”

MacDougall led the University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team to a perfect season in 2023-24, going 43-0 in exhibition, regular season and postseason play as the Reds defended their University Cup title. The perfect season included win No. 600 for MacDougall, who was also named U SPORTS coach of the year for the third time (2009-10, 2014-15, 2023-24). He has spent 24 seasons behind the Reds’ bench, leading the team to nine national championships (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2023, 2024). Under his leadership, the Reds have also won 11 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) titles and made 16 national championship appearances. In 2023, he was named head coach for the FISU University Games, leading Team Canada to a gold medal, one season after briefly taking the reins as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and leading the host team to a Memorial Cup championship.

Crickard recently completed his first season as head coach of the Sea Dogs following one season as an assistant. He was named an assistant coach for Canada’s men’s hockey team at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth, won a gold medal as video coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship and was a video coach (2016) and assistant coach (2017) with Canada Black at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal in 2016.

Richardson was appointed the head coach of the LHJAAAQ’s Valleyfield Braves in January of 2024, following a five-year stint as the head coach of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (2018-23). He was also head coach of the Châteauguay Grenadiers (2011-14, 2016-18) of the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec, reaching the gold medal game at the 2014 TELUS Cup, and had a two-year stint as head coach of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres (2014-16). Internationally, Richardson was an assistant coach with Canada’s men’s hockey team for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth. He also won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, was the head coach of Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and served as an assistant with Canada Black at the November 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Smith recently finished his second season (2022-24) as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after two seasons (2020-22) as an associate coach. He previously won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant with Canada West at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenges.

De Palma has served as goaltending coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers for 14 seasons (2010-2024). Before joining the Blazers, he spent three seasons as goaltending coach with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars. On the international stage, De Palma was the goaltending consultant for Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal.

Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL) has also been added to the team staff as Program of Excellence management group representative. Brown has spent nine seasons as general manager of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after four (2011-15) as director of hockey operations with the team. He helped lead Erie to an OHL championship in 2017 and contributed to a Canadian Hockey League (CHL) record of four-consecutive 50-win season (2011-15). Brown was named to the POE management group in March 2023, overseeing Canada White’s gold medal at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Hockey Canada also announced the support staff that will work with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team:

  • Head Scout Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB)
  • Video coach Andrew Boucher (Timmins, ON)
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley (St. John’s, NL)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE) and Jimmy McKnight (Bradford, ON/Edmonton, WHL)
  • Team physician Dr. Michael Conrad (Vancouver, BC/Victoria, WHL)
  • Education consultant Nic Renyard (Victoria, BC)
  • Senior coordinator of hockey operations Jacob Grison (Lion’s Head, ON)

Canada’s quest for a gold medal at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will play Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners will broadcast select tournament games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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What is the Hlinka Gretzky Cup?

Take a trip down memory lane and learn more about the 2024 edition of the annual summer U18 tournament before it returns to Edmonton

Jonathan Yue
|
March 25, 2024

The world’s top under-18 players are set to hit the ice and represent their country at the 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Aug. 5-10 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

An annual invitation-only tournament that is the only best-on-best competition at the U18 level, the Hlinka Gretzky Cup serves as the first opportunity for fans and scouts to see that year’s NHL Draft prospects, almost a full year before the draft takes place. This year, it’s the Class of 2025 that has its chance to showcase its skill on the international stage.

At the 2023 NHL Draft, 30% of the players who heard their names called (67 of 224) played at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, including 19 who helped Canada defend its gold medal at the 2022 tournament in Red Deer, Alberta.

The alumni list in Nashville – led by No. 2 pick Leo Carlsson (Anaheim), who helped Sweden to bronze in 2021 – included 20 first-round selections and representation from nine countries in all.

In the past, the tournament has included a who’s-who of Canadian hockey – names like Kariya (1991), Iginla (1994), Thornton (1996), Crosby (2003), Price (2004), Stamkos (2007), MacKinnon (2012), Ekblad (2013) and Lafrenière (2018), to name only a few.

Internationally, alumni include the likes of Alexander Ovechkin (RUS, 2002), Gabriel Landeskog (SWE, 2009), Tomas Plekanec (CZE, 1999), Andre Burakovsky (SWE, 2011-12), Teuvo Teravainen (FIN, 2011), Kirill Kaprizov (RUS, 2014), Mikko Rantanen (FIN, 2013), Johnny Gaudreau (USA, 2010) and a host of others.

The event has been held under a number of different names since the first summer under-18 tournament in 1991 – the Phoenix Cup – in Yokohama and Sapporo, Japan.

It was played for three years in Japan, went to Mexico City in 1994, back to Japan in 1995 and to Nelson and Castlegar, B.C., in 1996 before settling into the Czech Republic and Slovakia beginning in 1997. It alternated between the countries from 1997-2001 before the neighbours co-hosted from 2002-17.

The tournament was known as the Junior World Cup before it was renamed in honour of Ivan Hlinka following the tragic passing of the Czech hockey legend in a car accident in 2004. Hlinka won three IIHF World Championship gold medals as a player before leading the country to Olympic gold as head coach in 1998, among his many accomplishments and accolades.

When the tournament returned to Canada in 2018 (in Edmonton and Red Deer), it was rechristened the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, honouring Hlinka and The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.

Entering this year’s tournament as the reigning champions, Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team has long been the dominant force in summer U18 hockey, laying claim to 24 of the 32 gold medals awarded since 1991, including runs of seven (1996-2002) and eight (2008-15) consecutive golds.

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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HCF: Dreams Come True in Membertou
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MWC: Highlights – SWE 4, CAN 2 (Bronze Medal)
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MWC: Highlights – SUI 3, CAN 2 SO (Semifinal)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 6, SVK 3 (Quarterfinal)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, CZE 3 OT (Preliminary)
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MWC: Remembering the wild ride in Riga
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Centennial: Highlights – Collingwood 1, Melfort 0 (Championship)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 3, SUI 2 (Preliminary)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 5, FIN 3 (Preliminary)
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NMT: Evason brings passion and pride to Prague
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, NOR 1 (Preliminary)
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Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) vs. Collingwood Blues (OJHL)| Centennial Cup
Schedule
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10