MONTREAL, Que. – Hockey Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence management group, announced Wednesday that Benoit Groulx (Hull, Que./ Gatineau, QMJHL) will be the head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26, 2014 to Jan. 5, 2015 in Montreal and Toronto.
Hockey Canada also announced that Dave Lowry (Ottawa, Ont./ Victoria, WHL) and Scott Walker (Cambridge, Ont./ Guelph, OHL) will serve as assistant coaches.
The coaches for Canada’s national junior team were selected by the National Junior Team Policy Committee and Hockey Canada Program of Excellence management group member Bruce Hamilton. The Policy Committee is comprised of Hockey Canada COO Scott Smith, CHL President and OHL commissioner David Branch, QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau, WHL commissioner Ron Robison, Hockey Canada officers Michael Brind’Amour and Joe Drago. Hockey Canada senior director of national teams/team operations Scott Salmond served as the staff resource during the selection process.
Benoit Groulx, 46, was an assistant coach under Brent Sutter with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, where Canada finished fourth. The native of Hull, Que., is in his second stint as head coach of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques, having taken the team to three Memorial Cups (2003, 2004 and 2008). Groulx also served as an assistant coach under Sutter during the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, and was named as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, before stepping down to accept a coaching position with the AHL’s Rochester Americans.
Dave Lowry, 49, will be making his first appearance behind the bench with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Lowry has been the head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals for two seasons, after serving as head coach of the Calgary Hitmen from 2007-09. The native of Ottawa, Ont., was named WHL Coach of the Year in 2013-14. As a player, he appeared in 1,084 NHL games over 19 seasons. Lowry was named head coach with Canada’s National Summer Under-18 Team in 2009, but had to withdraw after he was named as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
Scott Walker, 40, has been involved with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence in a coaching capacity on two previous occasions, most recently winning a gold medal at the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, where he served as an assistant coach. The native of Cambridge, Ont., has been the head coach of the OHL’s Guelph Storm for four seasons, leading the team to an OHL championship this season. Walker won a bronze medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, and represented Canada on three occasions as a player at the IIHF World Championship, winning a silver medal in 2005. Professionally, Walker appeared in 829 NHL games with Vancouver, Nashville, Carolina and Washington.
Hockey Canada also announced that the Program of Excellence management group is confirmed for the 2014-15 season, comprised, as it was in 2013-14, of Bruce Hamilton (Kelowna, WHL), Sean Burke (Phoenix, NHL), Joël Bouchard (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL), and Mark Hunter (London, OHL). This group works directly with Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.) and the national junior team policy committee in setting direction for the program.
Canada’s National Junior Team SportChek World Junior summer development camp
Canada’s National Junior Team will hold a development camp from Aug. 3-9, 2014, with the team based in Montreal. Players at camp will play games against national under-20 teams from the Czech Republic and Russia. Games will be played in Brossard, Sherbrooke and at Concordia University. Practices for Canada’s development camp will open to the public free of charge, but games will be ticketed, with ticket information to be released on June 23rd at www.HockeyCanada.ca/2015juniors .
Further details on Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp, including the practice and game schedule as well as a camp roster, will be announced over the coming weeks.
2015 IIHF World Junior Championship ticket packages
Tickets for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship are on sale now at www.hockeycanada.ca/2015juniors.
The Montreal package is for 13 games, which includes one Team Canada pre-competition game, four Team Canada preliminary round games, six other round robin games, and two quarter-finals. Montreal packages are selling fast, so fans looking to see the World Juniors and Team Canada should act now.
The Toronto package is for 19 games, including one Team Canada pre-competition game, 10 preliminary round games, two quarter-finals, two relegation round games, two semifinals, the bronze medal game and gold medal game. Inventory is very limited in Toronto.
The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will mark the 11th time Canada has hosted the tournament. Past Canadian host cities include Calgary and Edmonton, Alta. (2012); Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. (2010); Ottawa, Ont. (2009); Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna, B.C. (2006); Halifax and Sydney, N.S. (2003); Winnipeg, Man. (1999); Red Deer, Alta. (1995); Saskatoon, Sask. (1991); Hamilton, Ont. (1986); and Montreal (1978).
The IIHF World Junior Championship will also be hosted in Canada in 2019 and 2021 as a part of an agreement between Hockey Canada and the International Ice Hockey Federation that was approved at the IIHF congress in 2009.
Hockey Canada, along with the International Ice Hockey Federation, Canadian Hockey League, Montreal Canadiens, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Hockey Quebec and the Ontario Hockey Federation, is proud to present the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Hosting the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship is made possible due to support from a number of partners, including the Government of Canada, Province of Quebec, Province of Ontario, City of Montreal, Tourism Toronto and Tourism Montreal.
For more information on Canada’s National Junior Team and the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/2015juniors, or follow on social media at www.facebook.com/worldjuniors, www.twitter.com/hc_wjc and www.twitter.com/hc_men