CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has named Brett Gibson (Gananoque, Ont./Queen’s University, OUA) head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 18-28 in Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, Sweden.
Gibson, who was last behind the bench internationally for Team Canada White at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, will be joined by assistant coaches Serge Aubin (Val-d’Or, Que.) and Dave Struch (Flin Flon, Man./Regina, WHL).
“The IIHF U18 World Championship presents Hockey Canada with a unique challenge every year, with players being added through the tournament. We are confident that Brett, Serge and Dave will be able to navigate through these challenges and bring the team together to be successful on and off the ice,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams. “We feel these coaches will be able to bring out the best in our players, and lead Canada through a successful tournament.”
Gibson just completed his 13th season as head coach of Queen’s University (OUA), leading the Gaels to their first Queen’s Cup title since 1981 and second U Cup appearance in the last three years. Gibson was an assistant coach with Team Canada White at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge before serving as head coach a year later. He was also head coach of Canada’s men’s hockey team at the 2017 Winter Universiade, winning a bronze medal, and was named OUA coach of year twice (2007-08, 2013-14), earning the CIS Coach of the Year award in 2013-14. Gibson played four seasons in the OHL from 1996-2000, with the Erie Otters, North Bay Centennials and London Knights.
Aubin was most recently head coach of the ZSC Lions (NLA), following stints behind the bench with the Vienna Capitals (EBEL) and Hamburg Freezers (DEL). He was also an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Team at the 2014 Deutschland Cup. Aubin, who played 374 NHL games from 1999-2006, was a four-time member of Canada’s National Men’s Team at the Spengler Cup (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), captaining Team Canada to the championship in 2008. He spent three seasons in the QMJHL, playing with the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Granby Bisons from 1992-95.
Struch just finished his first season as head coach of the Regina Pats (WHL) after four years as an assistant. He was head coach of Team Canada Black at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge after serving as an assistant the previous year. Prior to joining the Pats, Struch spent seven seasons with the Saskatoon Blades (WHL), including as head coach in 2013-14. After playing four seasons with the Blades from 1988-92, his 13-year professional career included four NHL games with Calgary in 1993-94.
In addition to the coaching staff, the team will be supported by head scout Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), who will work with the coaches to select the roster and manage the changes that will come leading up to the tournament, as well as Program of Excellence management group member Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont./Moose Jaw, WHL).
Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team staff also includes:
- Goaltending consultant Adam Brown (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL)
- Video coordinator Sumeet Wareh (Calgary, Alta./University of Calgary, CW)
- Equipment manager Chris Cook (Ottawa, Ont./Kingston, OHL)
- Athletic therapist Kyle Sutton (New Glasgow, N.S./Shawinigan, QMJHL)
- Athletic therapist Andy Brown (Owen Sound, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL)
- Team physician Dr. Barry Wiens (Red Deer, Alta./Red Deer, WHL)
- Mental performance consultant Bryce Tully (Halifax, N.S.)
- Education consultant Dave Tennant (Kitchener, Ont./Kitchener, OHL)
- Coordinator of national teams Benoit Roy (Sudbury, Ont.)
Canada opens the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship Finland on April 18, and will also face Switzerland (April 19), Belarus (April 21) and the Czech Republic (April 23) in preliminary-round action. TSN/RDS, the official broadcast partner of Hockey Canada, are broadcasting 16 games, including all of Team Canada’s match-ups at the IIHF U18 World Championship.
Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold (2003, 2008, 2013), one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).
For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit Hockeycanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.