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Kyle Kowalski on the ice officiating at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Alberta on August 11, 2022.

A black and white balancing act

With a full-time job, being a full-time master’s student and officiating for the WHL on his plate, Kyle Kowalski is a busy man, but he wouldn’t want it any other way

Shannon Coulter
|
August 12, 2022

Working a full-time job while officiating can be a tricky balancing act. But what if you also add in being a full-time master’s student into the equation?

Edmonton, Alta., native Kyle Kowalski is a commercial banker by day and is in the middle of completing a master of business administration degree online on top of officiating with the Western Hockey League (WHL). How does he do it?

“I got to be honest, I don’t know how I balance it,” he says with a chuckle.

Although Kowalski didn’t get his start in officiating until he was about 24 years old, he had knowledge about the responsibilities of the position from a family connection.

“My father was an official [with] Hockey Alberta,” he says. “I would follow him along to the hockey games and I would go watch the game that he’d be reffing. But I was always of the mindset of playing. I never ever envisioned this occurring.”

After he was finished playing junior hockey in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League, Kowalski took an opportunity to start his officiating journey while attending Grant MacEwan University so he could stay connected to the sport he loves.

“I wanted to stay involved in the game and it was just a way for me to get back into hockey,” he says. “It’s the greatest game on earth. Let’s be honest, it’s the best… You give back and it’d give you so much more than what you could ever expect.”

In his early days in stripes, he got a lot of advice from a veteran in officiating: his father.

“He would come watch and he would say, ‘try this, do this. Maybe give this a try. Hey, this happened, maybe try this,’” the 36-year-old says. “He was a big influence early on to get me going.”

Kowalski initially started officiating out of the south-east zone in Edmonton, then worked his way into the WHL from there. Although he already was balancing a full-time job with officiating, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, he saw it as an opportunity to continue to develop personally and professionally by returning to school.

“Continuous improvement on the ice as an official is extremely important, however continuous improvement off the ice is extremely important as well,” he says. “Pursing that MBA has equipped me with a range of tools that assist me in becoming a better employee… but it also assists me in being a better person, both on the ice and off the ice.”

The support to pursue further education from both his employer, RBC, and the WHL have also aided in the process of balancing his commitments.

“It’s easy to kind of manage all three when you have that support,” he says.

So, what does managing a full-time job, full-time schooling and an officiating career look like? A typical weekend for Kowalski will start by working a full day for his job. Following the end of his workday, he will travel to the rink to officiate a game and squeeze some school work in between.

If he has to fly to a game on the weekend, his schoolwork comes with him.

“If I’m sitting in the airport, I’m doing schoolwork. If I’m sitting at the hotel, I’ll put out the schoolwork and then I’ll get ready, take some time before I got to go to my game.”

Kowalski will also bring his work phone with him on travel weekends to assist clients while he is on the road. Overall, he says prioritizing and time management are the keys to his success, as well as ensuring you’re having fun and enjoying yourself.

“As crazy as it sounds, I love how hectic this is,” he says. “I mean, sometimes I get worn out, but I love the challenge and that’s what I love about officiating is the challenge. It’s the camaraderie.”

Although there are times where people don’t understand how Kowalski manages his balancing act, he believes he wouldn’t be as successful if he only pursed one of his three responsibilities.

“It drives me when you have to time manage and prioritize,” he says. “It really dials you in and it makes you focus, like, ‘hey, I got to get this done today. I’m not going to procrastinate.’”

With 11 years of officiating under his belt, his experience helped him to earn his spot at the IIHF World Junior Championship for the second year in a row. Although the 2022 tournament in December was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kowalski is excited to be back in his hometown for a third time to officiate the rescheduled event in August.

“It’s an opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for and I’m very privileged,” he says. “I’m very lucky to be in this position.”

Kowalski may have never pictured his hockey journey turning from player to official, but he continues to work hard every day both on and off the ice.

“I never made it this far in my dreams. It’s incredible. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, no question about it.”

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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Clarke continues to climb the ranks

From small-town Drake to the Olympic Winter Games, Alex Clarke has broken barriers and inspired young officials on what has been a unique hockey journey

Jonathan Yue
|
April 08, 2024

If it wasn’t for a disgruntled cow, Alex Clarke might not have become one of the best and most respected officials in the world.

It was the spring of 2015 and Clarke (then going by her maiden name, Alex Blair) had just been drafted 53rd overall by the Calgary Inferno of the now-defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League when was she kicked by a cow on her family farm, resulting in a lingering knee injury.

"I wasn't able to properly train throughout the summer. So, the decision was kind of made for me not to go to [Inferno training] camp and try out that fall,” recalls Clarke, who played three seasons with the Weyburn Gold Wings of the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League (SFU18AAAHL) before playing NCAA Division III hockey at the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota.

But when the door on Clarke's playing career closed, another opened.

"I knew I wanted to stay involved in hockey," she recalls. "I had previously thought that maybe coaching was a good avenue for me, but at the time I was 22 years old and my personality just doesn't fit well with standing on a bench and being tied to a team schedule. So, I ended up pursuing officiating instead."

Since then, Clarke has skyrocketed through the officiating ranks. A native of Drake, Saskatchewan (population 197), she has worked in her home province in the SFU18AAAHL and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), nationally at the Esso Cup and internationally at the IIHF Women's World Championship.

In 2021 she became the first woman to officiate in the Western Hockey League (she also was the first woman to work a WHL game as a referee earlier this season) and on Dec. 5, 2021 she became the first woman to work a game in the American Hockey League.

“My love for the game is what inspires me to get out there,” Clarke says about being an official. “It's a place where I get to go and forget about everything else that’s going on. I get to have fun. I get to be with friends.

“Since I've had success, and I've been a little bit more recognized, it means a lot more to me to go out there and know that I'm somebody that people see as a trailblazer as the only female in certain leagues.”

The past few years in particular have been quiet the ride for Clarke, who reached the pinnacle of international hockey when she worked as a linesperson at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, and earlier this year she began calling games in the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). Most recently, she officiated the PWHL 3-on-3 Showcase during the NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto.

“It’s felt natural,” Clarke says of her progression as an official. “Aside from the 2021-22 season where I jumped around lot of leagues at the same time, its very similar to being a player. Being scouted [and] evaluated, and when I was ready to be put into the next level, I was ready and determined to be capable. I’ve had a lot of good experiences and never felt like I was over my head.”

Inspiring the next generation

While her pathway to becoming an official was a certainly unique, Clarke says she wouldn’t have chosen any other scenario.

“[When I was looking into getting into officiating,]Hockey Saskatchewan was really good,” Clarke recalls. “They welcomed me with open arms. After knowing my hockey background, they invited me to a referee camp and when I arrived, they were so welcoming and immediately felt like part of the family.”

As an official, Clarke hopes to show that there are many pathways to being involved in hockey and she hopes to have the opportunity to mentor more young officials.

“Anybody that’s looking to get into officiating, I would say go into it with open eyes and an open perspective,” Clarke says. “I went in for the love of the game and the desire to improve and take feedback, and it’s probably going to take you places that you probably didn’t expect.”

With the growth of women’s hockey over the last few years, Clarke has realized the importance of being a role model on the ice, even as an official. Clarke believes the added spotlight on women’s hockey thanks to the PWHL is making a huge difference.

“I have a four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and she’s really starting to be impressionable,” says Clarke, who also has a young son. “This season, I brought the family with me to the NHL All-Star Game, and to see her reaction and having her talk about Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse, she wants to be around hockey. She has so much more interest and investment in it because she’s seeing other women as great examples.

“I think it just resonates with a lot of people and little girls and boys are now able to see women and moms and full-grown adults out on the ice and in the arenas, you just get a sense of equality for everybody to achieve those goals.”



As more and more leagues, such as the AHL, include women officials, Clarke hopes to continue the push for women to take the next step. With her experience at NHL All-Star Weekend, Clarke believes we could be seeing women referees in NHL games soon.

“Getting a female into the NHL, it may be two years away, it may be 10 years away, but if I can help play a role in getting a female there, whether that’s me or somebody I can mentor and develop and inspire to take that next step, I think that’s helping progress female officials as a whole, I’m looking to have an impact on the next generation.”

Aside from that, Clarke’s long-term goal is to be at the 2026 Olympic Games in Milan, Italy. But for now, her eyes are set on the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Utica, New York.

“I want to earn a spot to be in the gold medal game,” Clarke says. “We as officials are competing out there and we want to earn that gold medal spot too. Ultimately, I want to have fun and better myself and the people around me.”

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Officials selected for 2024 U SPORTS championships

Hockey Canada names 26 officials for men’s and women’s national championships

Dan Hanoomansingh
|
March 12, 2024

Twenty-six officials – 13 referees and 13 linespersons – have been selected by Hockey Canada for the U SPORTS championship tournaments.

The tournaments will run concurrently from March 14-17, with the men’s University Cup taking place in Toronto and the Women’s Hockey Championship taking place in Saskatoon.

The 2024 championships will feature a veteran crew in stripes, with a wealth of experience at the domestic and international levels. The roster for the men’s tournament is headlined by referee Mark Pearce (North Vancouver, BC) who refereed the gold medal games at the 2022 U Cup and 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. The roster for the women’s championship led by Olympic officials Alexandra Clarke (Drake, SK), Stéphanie Gagnon (Princeville, QC) and Cianna Lieffers (Cudworth, SK).

“Hockey Canada would like to congratulate all the officials on their selection to the USPORTS championships,” said Dan Hanoomansingh, manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “Our university championships provide top-tier amateur competition, in a challenging, single-elimination tournament. These officials are at the top of the amateur game and continued to hone their craft throughout the season to be ready for this event.”

Name Member Role
Men's University Cup (Toronto, ON)
Nick Albinati BC Hockey Linesperson
Nick Arcan Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Birkhoff Birkhoff Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Josh DeYoung Hockey Nova Scotia Referee
Danny Emerson Ontario Hockey Federation Referee
Maxime Ferland Hockey Québec Linesperson
Jesse Gour Hockey Québec Referee
Troy Murray Hockey Saskatchewan Referee
Mark Pearce BC Hockey Referee
Luke Pye Ontario Hockey Federation Linesperson
Women's Hockey Championship (Saskatoon, SK)
Ali Beres OWHA Linesperson
Jennifer Berezowski OWHA Referee
Melissa Brunn BC Hockey Linesperson
Hayley Butz Hockey Alberta Referee
Alexandra Clarke Hockey Saskatchewan Linesperson
Marie-Éve Couture Hockey Québec Referee
Brandy Dewar OWHA Referee
Stéphanie Gagnon Hockey Québec Linesperson
Audrey-Anne Girard Hockey Québec Referee
Laura Gutauskas OWHA Linesperson
Amy Laroche BC Hockey Linesperson
Cianna Lieffers Hockey Saskatchewan Referee
Amy Martin Hockey Manitoba Referee
Shauna Neary Hockey Nova Scotia Referee
Sophie Thomson Hockey Nova Scotia Linesperson
Erin Zach OWHA Linesperson

The officiating coach for the men’s U Cup will Marc Maisonneuve (Gatineau, QC). The officiating coach for the Women’s U SPORTS Championship will be Vanessa Stratton (Windsor, ON).

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Life between the lines

A late starter in hockey, Ali Beres didn’t let that stand in her way of reaching her goals and setting herself up for a successful second act as one of Canada’s top young linespersons

Katie Brickman
|
March 08, 2024

Once Ali Beres sets her sights on a goal, she will most likely accomplish it.

Switching from ringette to hockey to transitioning to officiating after her U SPORTS hockey career and embracing other athletic pursuits, Beres’ determination keeps her chasing new goals.

“I’m lucky to have athletics be a huge part of my life growing up,” says the 27-year-old. “I feel very fortunate to be involved in sports and at the level that I am with the opportunities I’ve had.”

Growing up in Lions Bay, B.C., about 30 minutes from Vancouver, Beres and her sister Maegan played ringette as there were no girls’ hockey programs. When she was 13 years old, she switched to hockey, intending to play at the university level.

Transitioning from ringette to hockey required Beres to learn new skills, including stickhandling and shooting the puck.

“When I switched from playing ringette to hockey, there was a skill and knowledge gap,” she says.

A coach told her that she was behind her peers at that age and probably shouldn’t bother, but her drive led her to participate in skill development camps and shooting 200 pucks in the family garage so she would be able to play.

“I remember that conversation with this coach when I was 14 years old. That moment shaped me and who I am today,” says Beres. “It taught me that if you want something badly and you put in the effort and hard work and you have the determination, you can still achieve your goals. Most importantly, to never give up on something you love.”

That love and passion led her on a successful hockey path, including playing for B.C. at the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship and varsity hockey at Western University in London, Ontario, where she won a U SPORTS national title in 2015, a silver medal at nationals and two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships.

As Beres finished her university career, she thought about what would come next. She knew she wanted to stay involved in the game and leaned on an aspect of the game she used to participate in – officiating.

“I wasn’t ready to just hang up the skates and call it quits after my U SPORTS career. The rink has been a part of my life since I was three,” she says. “As soon as the final game ended, it was so emotional. I knew after that I was going to have to get a job and that I wasn’t going to be playing anymore. I remembered that I loved officiating growing up.”

Beres decided she wanted to put on a new jersey, play on a new team and see where officiating could take her. After graduating, she got re-certified in Ontario.

“I just kept skating lots of games with so many different people and games as possible and learn as much as I could,” she says. “I saw so many people ahead of me in the program and saw all their accomplishments and telling my mentors that those are the assignments that I’d love to take on.”

Since transitioning to officiating, Beres has had the opportunity to participate in the Hockey Canada Officials Program of Excellence (OPOE), which is a performance pathway for officials to reach their high-level goals.

Since then, she has been a linesperson at some significant events, including the 2014 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship (Division 1B) and the Professional Women’s Hockey League Battle on Bay Street game between Toronto and Montreal earlier this year.

“I’m grateful to have had so many opportunities through officiating,” says Beres. “What I love about officiating is that you’re still part of the game. It’s intense … there’s pressure on your shoulders and you’re still competing as an athlete. It is our job to make sure the game is played fair and safe.”

Beres wouldn’t be able to balance life as a solution engineer with a procurement company, officiating and competing in triathlons without the support system of her family, particularly Maegan.

“We are best friends and we’ve always been competitive,” she said. “We’ve always tried to push each other. Our parents instilled solid values in us. While we were competitive, we also supported each other, and knowing that each other’s successes doesn’t mean the other isn’t successful.”

Like Ali, Maegan had hockey aspirations that she was determined to achieve. She played NCAA hockey for Boston College and with the Toronto Six of the Premier Hockey Federation, and won a silver medal with Canada at the 2017 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.

“We’ve always been super close, and she turned into such a big role model for me and being the younger sister, you kind of idolize your big sister,” says Maegan. “When I had a lot of success in my hockey career, she was one of the closest people to me and I always leaned on her for advice and support.”

Being athletically fit is important to stay at high-level hockey pace, but it also helps Ali stay mentally fresh and healthy and able to balance her professional career as well. Outside of officiating, Ali competes in triathlons, a sport she quickly fell in love with.

“The players are giving 100 per cent, so we need to be able to match that and give it our all too. I was a little bored of the gym, so I wanted to push my athletic comfort zone, so I signed up for an Ironman 70.3 (also known as a half-Ironman) and I got really addicted,” Ali says.

As Ali continues to set goals for herself – including officiating at the Olympics, her sister knows her drive is what will get her there.

“Once she has a glimpse of that goal, I just know she will do everything in her power to get there and accomplish it,” says Maegan. “I am very proud of her and what she’s accomplished and seeing her transition from her playing career in hockey into officiating. I’m excited to see where this journey takes her.”

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Officials chosen for high performance camps

91 officials selected to attend Officiating Program of Excellence for 2023-24 season

Dan Hanoomansingh
|
January 29, 2024

Nearly 100 officials from coast to coast to coast have been selected to attend Hockey Canada Officiating Program of Excellence (OPOE) camps.

Sixty-one officials were chosen for regional identification camps, with a further 30 attending the prestigious National High Performance Selection Camp. Additionally, the Women’s Officiating Program of Excellence will continue for its second year.

“We are excited to provide this opportunity for our top officials to compete at the national level,” says Dan Hanoomansingh, manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “Our regional camps provide officials with an introduction to the national level and prepare them to compete for national assignments at the U18 level.

“We are thrilled to continue the Women’s Officiating Program of Excellence for a second year and are grateful for the support of the Hockey Canada Foundation, as a presenting partner, without whom this would not be possible.”

The OPOE is the pathway through which Canadian officials are selected for top national and international assignments. The objectives are to provide a clear developmental pathway for aspiring elite officials, provide developmentally appropriate coaching for elite officials, prepare officials for national and international competitions, and assist Hockey Canada in making evidence-based decisions for national and international events. Officials enter the OPOE through regional identification camps, based on nominations from their Member programs.

The 30 officials who will attend the National High Performance Selection Camp will participate in an intensive four-day experience intended to help them develop the tools needed to succeed at an elite level. They were part of a months-long evaluation process, including input from their respective Member programs and leagues, prior to a final selection by Hockey Canada.

“An invitation for the National High Performance Selection Camp represents years of hard work and dedication to the craft of officiating,” says Hanoomansingh. “These officials have worked tirelessly to hone their skills and are now ready to join our top group of officials and compete with the best in the world.”

Upon successful completion of the camp, the officials will join the national high-performance program and compete for Junior A and senior national championships, as well as international assignments.

National High Performance Selection Camp (Calgary, AB – Feb. 1-4)

Name

Member

Role

Josh Albinati

BC Hockey

Referee

Gillian Allan

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Tara Benard-Rae

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Ali Beres

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Brian Birkhoff

Ontario Hockey Federation

Linesperson

Mathieu Boudreau

Hockey Québec

Referee

Hayley Butz

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Cynthia Côté

Hockey Manitoba

Referee

Elizabeth Dornstauder

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Maxime Ferland

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Audrey-Anne Girard

Hockey Québec

Referee

Nick Grenier

Hockey Manitoba

Linesperson

Alex Homer

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Darby Hucaluk

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Chad Ingalls

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Ryan Jenken

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Yannick Jobin-Manseau

Hockey Québec

Referee

Brendan Kane

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

William Kelly

Hockey Québec

Referee

Anthony Lapointe

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Amy Laroche

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Jarrod Lucoe

BC Hockey

Referee

Bob Millette

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Harrison O'Pray

Hockey New Brunswick

Referee

Luke Pye

Ontario Hockey Federation

Linesperson

Wyatt Rapsky

Hockey Manitoba

Referee

Jack Robinson

Hockey PEI

Referee

Ty Skene

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Mason Stewart

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Brennan Walker

BC Hockey

Linesperson

The staff for the National High Performance Camp include Hanoomansingh, Dr. David Hancock, Megan Howes, Steve Lidstone, Pat Malloy, Kevin Muench, Todd Robinson and Vanessa Stratton.


Women’s Atlantic Regional Camp (Halifax, NS – Sept. 14-17)

Name

Member

Role

Brianna Bolivar

Hockey Nova Scotia

Referee

Bailey Carr

Hockey PEI

Linesperson

Lauren Clark

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Rachel Hopkins

Hockey NL

Referee

Shannon Ivey

Hockey NL

Referee

Jenna Leighton

Hockey Nova Scotia

Referee

Blaire MacKinnon

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Alexis Ouellet

Hockey PEI

Referee

Leah Rideout

Hockey NL

Linesperson

Mykaela Sherry

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Jennifer Stewart

Hockey PEI

Referee

Megan Sullivan

Hockey New Brunswick

Linesperson

The officiating coaches are Gabrielle Ariano-Lortie, Meghan MacTavish and Shauna Neary.


Men’s West Regional Camp (Calgary, AB – Sept. 26-29)

Name

Member

Role

Ethan Crawford

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Kaden Fiacco

Hockey Saskatchewan

Linesperson

Michel Fournier

Hockey Manitoba

Linesperson

Cameron Fynney

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Josh Grimm

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Cameron Halter

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Brandon Koop

BC Hockey

Referee

Matthew Lattimer

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Carson McDonald

Hockey Manitoba

Referee

Carter McKnight

Ontario Hockey Federation

Linesperson

Shane Steenhoek

Ontario Hockey Federation

Referee

Jesse Wood-Schatz

Hockey Alberta

Referee

The officiating coaches are Hanoomansingh, CJ Senkow and Colin Watt.


Men’s East Regional Camp (Sherbrooke, QC – Oct. 26-29)

Name

Member

Role

Alex Allain

Hockey New Brunswick

Linesperson

Maxime Carré

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Simon Cholette

Hockey Québec

Referee

Antoine Dénommé

Hockey Québec

Referee

Justin Deveau

Hockey Nova Scotia

Referee

Nicolas Gaudet

Hockey New Brunswick

Referee

William Kelly

Hockey Québec

Referee

Joey Kramar

Hockey Eastern Ontario

Linesperson

Julien Lapointe

Hockey Québec

Referee

Olivier Lapointe

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Cole Sellers

Hockey Nova Scotia

Linesperson

Kalib Snow

Hockey PEI

Referee

The officiating coaches are François Fortin, Marc Maisonneuve, Peter Moraitis and Kirk Wood.


Women’s Central Regional Camp (Montréal, QC – Nov. 11-13)

Name

Member

Role

Laurie-Anne Éthier

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Catherine Fournier

Hockey Québec

Referee

Bailey Kennedy

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Daphnée Lemay

Hockey Québec

Referee

Raphaëlle Locas

Hockey Québec

Referee

Michelle Ngan

Hockey Québec

Linesperson

Francesca Pedulla

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Abiguèle Perreault

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Referee

Hailey Perreault

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Shadei Saadé

Hockey Québec

Referee

Marlowe Schott

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

Evelyn Wilson

Ontario Women's Hockey Association

Linesperson

The officiating coaches are Ariano-Lortie, Stéphanie Campbell and Theresa Llorente.


Women’s West Regional Camp (Regina, SK – Dec. 7-10)

Name

Member

Role

Karissa Alford

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Emma Benoit

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Cassidy Brand

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Hailey Cromie

Hockey Manitoba

Linesperson

Julianne Desjardins

BC Hockey

Referee

Lindsey Ducharme

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Dana Edamura

BC Hockey

Referee

Jessica Hammer

Hockey Alberta

Linesperson

Emily Hill

Hockey Alberta

Referee

Annika Kohlman

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

Taylor Pearson

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Kassandra Speicher-Cook

BC Hockey

Linesperson

Katie Watson

Hockey Saskatchewan

Referee

The officiating coaches are Stratton and Ashley Desjardins.

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Canada vs. Czechia

World Juniors Preview: Canada vs. Czechia

Tuesday, January 2 | 8:30 a.m. ET | Gothenburg, Sweden | Quarterfinal

January 01, 2024

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. CZECHIA (JAN. 2)

Canada’s National Junior Team looks to start 2024 off on the right note when it takes on Czechia in a quarterfinal matchup Tuesday at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Last Game 

Canada doubled up Germany 6-3 to close out the preliminary round on Sunday, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to break open a close game. Macklin Celebrini scored twice, and Owen Beck, Easton Cowan, Jordan Dumais and Brayden Yager chipped in with a goal apiece to help Canada clinch second place in Group A and end 2023 on a high note.

Czechia took down Switzerland 4-2 in its preliminary-round finale Sunday, wrapping up third place in Group B. Juri Kulich, Matyas Melovsky and Ondrej Becher had two points apiece, while Michael Hrabal stopped 17 of 19 shots in the win.

 
Last Meeting 

Canada took home the gold medal at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, downing Czechia 3-2 in overtime in an absolute thriller in Halifax. After the Canadians took a two-goal lead into the third period, Czechia scored twice in 54 seconds to tie the game and force an extra frame. Dylan Guenther was the hero for Canada, finishing a give-and-go with Joshua Roy for the golden goal 6:22 into the overtime.

What to Watch 

Macklin Celebrini. He’s been the talk of the town, and rightfully so. The 17-year-old continues to show his offensive prowess and why he’s so important to Canada. In all three preliminary-round wins for the Canadians, Celebrini found the scoresheet. He finished the preliminary round tied with American Gavin Brindley for second in tournament scoring with eight points, just one behind Slovakia’s Servac Petrovsky. Furthermore, the Vancouver native has seen his ice time increase and has moved up to the top line — in Canada’s win over Germany, Celebrini had 19:27 of ice time, the most for him so far this tournament, and ended the game with two goals and eight shots.

Jiri Kulich, Matyas Melovsky and Eduard Sale have powered the Czechs to the quarterfinals — Kulich (4-3—7) and Melovsky (0-7—7) finished the prelims with seven points apiece, while Sale (3-2—5) finished with five. While this may not be the same Czech team that Canada faced in the gold medal game a year ago, there are nearly a dozen returnees. The Czechs also have 11 players, currently playing in the CHL, including Adam Zidlicky (Mississauga, OHL), who is the son of former NHLer Marek Zidlicky. On a side note: Kulich is playing in his third World Juniors and set the Czech record for career goals (13) in the post-Czechoslovakia era on Sunday.

A Look Back 

Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Canada and Czechia (formerly the Czech Republic) have faced each other 24 times at the World Juniors, with the Canadians claiming victory in 21 of those meetings.

This will be the third time the teams have met in the quarterfinals; Julien Gauthier scored twice in the third period as Canada pulled away for a 5-3 win in 2017, and Devon Levi posted a 29-save shutout in a 3-0 win inside the Edmonton bubble in 2021.

All-time record: Canada leads 21-2-2 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 118
Czechia goals: 45

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From disappointment to dream

Released from Canada’s National Junior Team one year ago, Jordan Dumais used the experience to dominate the QMJHL and wear the Maple Leaf in Sweden

Nicholas Pescod
|
December 31, 2023

Jordan Dumais remembers how he felt when learned he wouldn’t be suiting up for Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. 

“It was hard. I was very disappointed,” recalls Dumais. 

A star forward with the Halifax Mooseheads, Dumais, then 18, was among the 28 players invited to the National Junior Team selection camp in Moncton, with the opportunity to play in front of familiar fans in Halifax.

Coming into camp, Dumais was the leading scorer in the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with 54 points in 25 games, and second only to Connor Bedard for most points in the entire Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

“I knew I was a younger guy. I knew my odds of making it were tough, but I thought I played pretty well at the camp,” says Dumais, who had a goal and an assist in one of the camp games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars.

Still, it wasn’t enough and Dumais was among five forwards sent home at the camp’s conclusion. 

“I went to the camp and did what I had to do, and it didn’t go my way,” says Dumais.

Fast-forward a year and things have very much gone the Montreal native’s way. He was once again invited to selection camp and instead of being sent home, he finds himself wearing the Maple Leaf in Sweden as a member of Canada’s National Junior Team.

“I came in this year with a bit of experience and played my game and it went my way this year,” says Dumais. “As a kid, it’s your dream. Honestly, just wearing the Canada logo every game is unbelievable.” 

Fueling a fire 

Dumais was tearing it up in the QMJHL well before he was released from Team Canada, but he took it to a whole new level when he returned to the Mooseheads after camp, and ended up having a historic season.

He put up points in his first eight games back, and was held off the scoresheet only six times in 40 games. His run included seven points (4-3—7) against Moncton on Feb. 19, and had six (2-4—6) on March 22 against Charlottetown.

In just 40 games after coming back from camp, Dumais recorded 86 points — he had 31 in the month of March alone — and finished the season with 140 points (54-86—140), breaking the Mooseheads’ single-season scoring record of 137. 

He took home a couple of big postseason honours, winning the Jean Beliveau Trophy as QMJHL leading scorer and the Michel Brière Trophy as QMJHL MVP. He was also named to the first all-star team in both the QMJHL and CHL.

Mooseheads and Team Canada teammate Jake Furlong says there was a change in Dumais after he came back from camp. 

“Especially after Christmas, I think he just had a little more motivation and little more grind. He wanted to prove people wrong, but also the people that believe in him right,” says Furlong, who has been teammates with Dumais in Halifax for four seasons. “He stayed the same off the ice and didn’t really change his demeanor, but on the ice, he really worked his butt off, and I think that showed in the second half.” 

Furlong also believes the fact the World Juniors took place in Halifax only added more fuel to the fire. 

“I think that probably played a factor into it. I mean, being from there and being with the Mooseheads and seeing the fans we get every night, World Juniors was a whole different level, and I am sure he wanted to make Mooseheads fans proud,” he says. 

Dumais admits not making Team Canada only motivated him to take his game to another level.

“Obviously, I wasn’t happy about not making it last year, but I did use it as motivation to get back this year.” 

Silencing critics

At just 5-foot-9, Dumais, a third-round pick (96th overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2022 NHL Draft, has had to deal with those who have questioned his size and whether he could even play at a high level throughout his entire hockey career.

“I think I have been [doubted] my whole life. So, at this point, I do play my game and have always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I don’t think too much about it, but it is always there.” 

During the offseason, Dumais spent a considerable amount of time working on improving various areas of his game, whether it was becoming a better skater or spending time in the gym.

“I am always trying to work on my game where I can. I am aware of my flaws. I am smaller than the other guys, but I don’t really think too much about it. During the summer, I am always working on those things and trying to improve and get better.” 

Mooseheads head coach Jim Midgley says it was clear from the beginning of the year that Dumais wanted to make Canada’s National Junior Team, adding that the 19-year-old is an extremely competitive and driven individual who wants to win and be the best all the time. 

“Every drill we do in practice, he wants to be the best. He wants to win, he wants to be the fastest, he wants to be the best. He has a high battle level, but that is what I think makes Jordan special. He’s not the biggest guy, but for a smaller guy he has a lot of fight in him.”

That hard work and burning desire to be the best has paid off for Dumais, who came to selection camp with 47 points (16-31—47) in just 21 games with the Mooseheads. He sits five points behind QMJHL scoring leader Mathieu Cataford, despite having played 13 games less than Cataford and having not played for the Mooseheads since Dec. 8.

For the next week, the focus remains on Team Canada and the World Juniors, alongside Mooseheads teammates Furlong and Mathis Rousseau. It’s something Dumais says he’ll treasure for the rest of his life.

“It’s a great group of guys here. We have really good atmosphere in the room, you know, at the hotel, wherever we are, so that's been a lot of fun,” he says. “It’s a dream come true.”

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World Juniors Preview: Canada vs. Germany

Friday, December 31 | 1:30 p.m. ET | Gothenburg, Sweden | Preliminary Round

Nicholas Pescod
|
December 30, 2023

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. GERMANY (DEC. 31)

Canada’s National Junior Team looks to rebound when it takes on Germany in its final preliminary-round game on New Year’s Eve at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Last Game 

Canada suffered its first loss of the tournament Friday when it fell 2-0 to Sweden in front of a capacity crowd that included more than 3,500 Canadian fans. Mathis Rousseau finished with 22 saves, including a couple of highlight-reel stops, and Macklin Celebrini had four shots on goal, but it wasn’t enough.

GER-LAT

Last Meeting 

You don’t have to look too far back in the pages of history. The last time these two played was just over a year ago in prelim play at the 2023 World Juniors in Halifax. Connor Bedard tied a Canadian record with seven points (3-4—7) and Dylan Guenther also recorded a hat trick in an 11-2 Canadian win.

What to Watch 

How about Mathis Rousseau? The 19-year-old undrafted Halifax Mooseheads netminder has put on a clinic. His massive save late in the first period against the Finns on Boxing Day ultimately led to a Canadian goal minutes. Against Sweden, Rousseau made a terrific skate-blade save that got the approval of The King himself, Henrik Lundqvist. He is currently second among goaltenders in goals-against average (1.33) and save percentage (.944).

The Germans don’t have an overly deep lineup, but they do have 19-year-old NHL prospect Julian Lutz (Arizona, 2022, 43rd overall), who has 23 points (10-13—23) in 19 games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. They also have two players who skate in the QMJHL — 18-year-olds Julius Stumpf (Moncton Wildcats) and Norwin Panocha (Chicoutimi Saguenéens). Stumpf has 28 points in 30 games with the Wildcats, while Panocha (Buffalo, 2023,205th overall) has 11 points with Chicoutimi.

A Look Back 

When it comes to head-to-head history, Canada has won all 16 meetings since Germany’s reunification in 1991. If you go one step further and throw in games against West Germany from 1977-89, Canada boasts an impressive record of 26 wins from 27 meetings. Canada’s only blip was a 7-6 loss in the consolation round in 1981. The good news from that defeat? It indirectly contributed to the establishment of the Program of Excellence the following year.

All-time record: Canada leads 16-0-0
Canada goals: 101
Germany goals: 23

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World Juniors Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Friday, December 29 | 1:30 p.m. ET | Gothenburg, Sweden | Preliminary Round

Nicholas Pescod
|
December 29, 2023

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWEDEN (DEC. 29)

Canada’s National Junior Team looks to continue its winning ways when it faces off against host Sweden in a showdown of unbeaten teams atop Group A at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Last Game 

Canada blanked Latvia 10-0 on Tuesday to make it two wins in two days. Macklin Celebrini led the way with a goal and four assists, posting the 32nd five-point game in Canadian World Juniors history. Conor Geekie and Carson Rehkopf added two goals apiece and Mathis Rousseau made 22 saves to record the shutout.

For the Swedes, Otto Stenberg recorded a hat trick in a 5-0 victory over Germany on Thursday as the hosts improved to 2-0 in preliminary-round play and kept pace with Canada atop Group A. Mattias Havelid added a goal and an assist, and Melker Thelin needed to make just 15 saves for the shutout.

Last Meeting 

Canada came away with a 5-1 preliminary-round win over Sweden on New Year’s Eve in Halifax at the 2023 World Juniors. Brennan Othmann scored twice, Connor Bedard had four assists and Thomas Milic made 22 saves as Canada opened up a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes to wrap up second place in Group A.

What to Watch 

Macklin Celebrini. Who else? The 17-year-old Vancouver native was the star of the show in the win over Latvia, scoring a goal and adding four assists to take over the tournament scoring lead through two days (2-4—6). Celebrini has been simply dominant in the Maple Leaf; in his last eight games representing his country, dating back to the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship in the spring, he has posted 21 points (8-13—21).

Sweden’s lineup is deep, featuring 18 NHL prospects, including nine taken in the first round of the last two drafts — Filip Bystedt (San Jose, 27th, 2022), David Edstrom (Vegas, 32nd, 2023), Jonathan Lekkerimäki (Vancouver, 15th, 2022), Theo Lindstein (St. Louis, 29th, 2023), Liam Öhgren (2022, 19th, Minnesota), Noah Östlund (2022, 16th, Buffalo), Axel Sandin Pellikka (Detroit, 17th, 2023), Stenberg (St. Louis, 25th, 2023) and Tom Willander (Vancouver, 11th, 2023).

A Look Back 

There is a long and deep history between Canada and Sweden that stretches all the way back to the inaugural World Juniors in 1977. In36 all-time meetings, Canada has been largely victorious, winning 25 games, which includes four for the gold medal – 1996, 2008, 2009 and 2018.

This will be just the fifth time the Canadians and Swedes have faced off in Sweden and the first since 2006 – Canada won that game 2-0 thanks to goals from Luc Bourdon and Brad Marchand. Canada holds a record of 3-1 when playing the Swedes on their ice.

All-time record: Canada leads 25-10-1 (2-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 160
Sweden goals: 112

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Canada’s Owen Allard at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Never give up

Owen Allard wasn’t expected to make Canada’s National Junior Team, but hard work and dedication have brought him to Gothenburg for a chance to wear the Maple Leaf

Jonathan Yue
|
December 26, 2023

A look at Owen Allard’s hockey career so far reveals a résumé one might not expect to see from a member of Canada’s National Junior Team.

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward was a seventh-round pick in the 2020 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection and has been passed over in consecutive NHL drafts. But that hasn’t stopped the Renfrew, Ontario, native from putting in the work and earning a spot on the Canadian roster at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“I laid it all on the line,” Allard says. “I thought I had a strong performance at [selection]camp, I did my thing and I had no regrets. I dreamed of playing at the World Juniors as a kid, so it’s a really special moment for myself, and my family and friends.”

Allard joins an select group of skaters (forwards and defencemen) to make Canada’s National Junior Team after going undrafted in back-to-back drafts, joining the likes of longtime NHLers Bob Bassen (1985) and Mike Keane (1987), Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Mark Recchi (1988) and the most recent player to add his name to the list, Brett Leason (2019).

(Leason ended up being the 56th overall pick by Washington in his third draft and is a constant presence in the Anaheim Ducks lineup this season.)

“It has been a crazy path,” Allard says. “I was a late-round draft pick in the OHL and really wasn't supposed to make the Soo Greyhounds as a 17-year-old. But, I went in there, did my thing and made the team. I think it is the same thing here. I wasn't really supposed to be invited, I mean I am undrafted in the NHL and I only played 14 games last season.”

That’s right… Allard forced his way into the Team Canada conversation despite playing only 14 games after suffering a torn labrum ahead of the 2022-23 season that required shoulder surgery. The recovery time meant Allard didn’t make his season debut until Feb. 23 and once again put his resilience, mentally and physically, to the test.

“I definitely put in the work to be here and to have an opportunity to be on this team,” Allard says. “[Before the injury], I thought I was going to have a big year, especially being passed over in the draft, but that goal collapsed after the injury and a lot of doubt went through my mind. I stayed positive and stuck with it, did the rehab and worked extremely hard to get back onto the ice. Everything happens for a reason, so everything happened last season so I can be here right now.”

Improving himself

While he may be representing his country for the first time, this won’t be Allard’s first experience on international ice. During the 2020-21 season that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Allard crossed the pond to France, where his brother Sutton was getting into a few games in the Ligue Magnus, the country’s top league. Allard skated with the U17 and U20 teams with the Caen Drakkars recording 15 points in eight games.

“It was super beneficial for my development during those lockdown years,” Allard recalls. “I was still getting better, getting the reps, and being able to play on the bigger ice unlocked some new skills that I took back to make the Soo Greyhounds as an unexpected player at the following camp.”

As for advice from his journey so far? To never give up, something Allard lives by. At every stage of his career, he knew he could have hung up the skates and pursued something else, but he made sure to keep going.

“I’ve defied all odds and stuck with it,” Allard says. “It could have been really easy for me to quit hockey or even just not played, but I say just never give up and trust your abilities. You can always get better, just put the work in.”

Kyle Nishizaki has been Allard’s skills coach for the last 10 years in Ottawa, and knows first hand how much work he has put in during that time. Nishizaki says he is excited to see Allard get the opportunity to show what kind of person and player he is on the world stage.

“His energy is infectious,” Nishizaki says. “You see him on the ice and the work ethic that’s driven him and allowed him to make this team, but it’s the energy, his love for hockey, his teammates. He pushes everyone around him to be better.

As Allard hits the ice with Canada’s National Junior Team, his hard work so far has paid off, but there’s much more work to be done. The goal in Sweden is to make sure he makes the most of this experience and see what’s next for him in his hockey journey.

“It’s been rewarding,” Allard says. “For all the hard work I’ve put in, the sacrifice my family has made for me, it feels really good, and I think [Hockey Canada] saw something in my game that they needed in this tournament. Only a select few get to wear the Maple Leaf, so its a crazy feeling and I am going to do everything I can to help this team win."

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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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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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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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WPHC: Thank you for a Para Worlds to remember
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NMT: Nash tapping into experience as GM
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WPHC: Highlights – CAN 2, USA 1 (Gold Medal)
Schedule
HC Logo
Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10