Trio of WHL coaches named to Hockey Canada programs


A trio of Western Hockey League coaches will serve their nation this summer as Hockey Canada named coaching staffs for its Under-18 and Under-17 squads Thursday afternoon.

A total of 12 coaches were selected to lead Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team as well as its three Under-17 teams.

Brent Kisio, head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, will serve as an assistant coach for the U-18 squad during its summer selection camp and the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

Dave Struch, assistant coach and assistant general manager of the Regina Pats, will call the shots as head coach of the U-17 Team Canada Black. Luke Pierce, head coach of the Kootenay ICE, will serve as an assistant coach for U-17 Team Canada Red.

“We are thrilled with the caliber of coaches that have been selected to lead our National men’s Summer Under-18 Team and Under-17 teams,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada. “These coaches have experience across many different levels of the game that will help develop young talent across our country, and we’re looking for4ward to their leadership as we move into the 2017-18 season.”

Kisio joins coach Paul McFarland (Kingston Frontenacs, OHL) and assistant coach Daniel Jacob (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) on the U-18 staff. Struch will be helped along by assistant coaches Spencer Carbery (Saginaw Spirit, OHL) and Louis Robitaille (Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL) on Canada Black’s U-17 coaching crew. Pierce will serve alongside head coach Gilles Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, QMJHL) and assistant coach B.J. Adams (Erie Otters, OHL) for Canada Red’s U-17 entry.

The final U-17 squad – Canada White – will be directed by head coach Ryan Oulahen (Flint Firebirds, OHL), Brett Gibson (Queens University, USPORT) and Eric Landry (Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL).

Kisio, a 34-year-old product of Calgary, has served as the Hurricanes’ head coach for the past two seasons following eight campaigns as an assistant coach with the Calgary Hitmen. He previously coached Team Canada White at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Struch, a 46-year-old product of Flin Flon, Man., has served as an assistant coach for the Pats for the past three seasons following seven seasons with the Saskatoon Blades. As an assistant coach, he helped Team Canada Black earn a silver medal at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Pierce, a 33-year-old product of Merritt, B.C., has served as the head coach of the ICE for the past two seasons. He served as an assistant coach for Team Canada West at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge.

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