Montreal, QC – Hockey Canada announced the coaching staff for Canada’s National Junior Team at a news conference today ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship which is slated to begin this December on home ice in Montreal and Toronto. Moose Jaw Warriors Head Coach Tim Hunter has been named an assistant coach.
Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville, QMJHL) was named the team’s head coach, while Misha Donskov (Hockey Canada) and WHL coaching graduate Kris Knoblauch (Erie, OHL) were both named assistant coaches alongside Hunter.
Hunter is entering his third season as head coach of the Warriors, last season he led the team to a regular season record of 36-27-7-2 and a berth in the second round of the 2016 WHL Playoffs, marking the team’s first trip to the second round since 2012. In two years with the Warriors he has an overall record of record of 68-62-11-3.
Hunter won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Under-18 Team at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship, and is fresh off his second season as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. Prior to joining the Warriors, Hunter coached more than 1,000 games over 14 seasons in the NHL as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, and San Jose Sharks. As a player he appeared in 815 NHL games over 16 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, the Sharks, and he won the Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989.
The announcement was made by Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, and Joël Bouchard and Tim Speltz (Spokane, WHL) of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence management group. Bouchard and Speltz worked with Hockey Canada’s hockey operations staff, as well as the Canadian Hockey League, to make the coaching selections.
Hockey Canada releases new ticket packages for 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship
Monday’s news conference was kicked off with a look at the preparations underway for Canada to host the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship on home ice this December. Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, noted the nation-wide impact on the growth of the game that stemmed from hosting the event in 2015.
“Canadians expect us to deliver gold on the ice, and there’s no question that’s what we seek to deliver each and every time we put together a Team Canada roster,” said Renney. “When we have the opportunity to host a World Junior Championship, Hockey Canada’s measures of success expand to delivering a gold-medal experience for fans attending the event, and just as importantly, to delivering on an event legacy that positively impacts the growth of the game at all levels from coast-to-coast-to-coast.”
Renney noted that when Montreal and Toronto last hosted the World Juniors in 2015, the event’s legacy fed directly into allowing more than 30,000 players to be introduced to the game through the Initiation Program or a learn-to-play program; over 5,000 coaches were recruited, trained, and certified; and more than 2,500 players had access to skill-development programs.
“We build our events so that we can reinvest the proceeds into the growth of the game at all levels,” said Renney. “Whether it’s a national championship or a IIHF championship, we work closely with the host committees to create lasting legacies that positively impact hockey at the local level, and nationwide.”
Montreal and Toronto will welcome the world once again in six short months, and Hockey Canada has released full-event ticket packages, as well as mini-packs for both cities that allow hockey fans to tailor their experience and cheer on the up-and-coming hockey talent from hockey powerhouse countries around the world.
Beginning Tuesday, June 7, two new ticket packages at all price points from the Platinum to the Purple sections are available for games at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Starting at $54 per game, the packages feature at least two Canada preliminary-round games, and give fans a chance to see all five teams in Group B – Canada, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, and the United States.
Montreal launched a series of mini-packs in May, including a “medal pack” featuring two quarterfinal games, two semifinals, and the bronze- and gold-medal games.
Tickets are available at both venues, including for marquee games such as the gold-medal game in Montreal and the New Year’s Eve Canada-U.S. match-up in Toronto.
For more information on Canada’s National Junior Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, and Twitter.