Hockey Canada has announced the coaching staffs for both Team Canada West and Team Canada East for the 2019 World Junior A Challenge. Alberni Valley Bulldogs coach Joe Martin has been named head coach of Canada West, while Cowichan Valley Capitals bench boss Mike Vandekamp has been named an assistant.
Martin has been a part of Canada West’s coaching staff for the past three years, winning gold in 2017, but this will be his debut as head coach. Vandekamp, who has been coaching junior hockey for over 20 years, will get his first crack behind the bench in this tournament. Humboldt Broncos coach Scott Barney will round out the staff for Canada West.
Ottawa Jr. Senators coach Martin Dagenais will lead the Team Canada East bench, while Corey Beer (Timmins Rock, NOJHL) and Greg Leland (Campbelltown Tigers, MHL) will be his assistants.
“The coaches selected to lead Team Canada East and Team Canada West bring a combination of Junior A and international experience as players and coaches, and represent the level of talent in the coaching ranks in junior hockey in Canada,” said Brent Ladds, Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) president. “It’s exciting to see our coaches moving into new roles with the two Canadian teams at the World Junior A Challenge, and to welcome coaches who are new to international competition. We believe this year’s coaching staffs for both teams will benefit the players selected to participate, and bring their international experience back to their club teams.”
The CJHL also announced that Alberni Valley’s goaltending coach Jamie McCaig, who served in the same role for Canada West the last two tournaments, will transition into the role of director of operations.
This year’s World Junior A Challenge will be held in Dawson Creek, B.C. and will run from Dec. 7 to 15.
The Czech Republic, Russia and the United States will also be competing in the tournament along with Canada West and Canada East