Canadian men’s hockey coaching staff announced

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Michel Belanger

OTTAWA (CIS & AUS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport and Atlantic University Sport announced Monday the coaching staff that will lead the Canadian men’s hockey team at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Maribor, Slovenia.

2013 Winter Universiade website: http://www.maribor2013.eu/en/

Gardiner MacDougall, head coach of the reigning CIS champion UNB Varsity Reds, will serve as Team Canada bench boss at the 26th Winter World University Games. He will be assisted by St. Francis Xavier’s Brad Peddle and UPEI’s Forbes MacPherson.

The trio was selected by a committee chaired by AUS men’s hockey convenor John Ryan.

“We are thrilled to have these three AUS head coaches lead the 2013 men’s hockey team on behalf of the conference and CIS,” said Ryan, the Director of Athletics at Cape Breton University. “Gardiner, Brad and Forbes bring a great deal of passion, experience and knowledge of the game of hockey and they will no doubt represent us very well on the international stage. I am confident these three individuals will work very diligently over the coming months to put the very best team possible to represent CIS in Slovenia.”

At the biennial multi-sport event, which will run from January 30 to February 9, Canada will be represented in men’s hockey by a team comprised entirely of players from the AUS conference.

Since 1997, selections from each of three CIS leagues have sported the Maple Leaf jersey on a rotating basis. Atlantic University Sport all-stars have fared exceptionally well in two previous appearances at the competition, capturing gold in 2007 in Turin, Italy, and silver in 2001 in Zakopane, Poland.

Canada goes into the 2013 tourney as reigning bronze medalist as a squad of Ontario University Athletics standouts defeated Kazakhstan 3-1 in the third-place game in 2011 in Erzurum, Turkey.

MacDougall, a native of Bedeque, P.E.I., will be making his second trip to the Universiade, after serving as an assistant to Saint Mary’s Trevor Steinburg on the gold medal-winning team in 2007. Named the UNB head coach in 2000, MacDougall has since guided the Varsity Reds to three University Cup triumphs (2011, 2009, 2007) and a pair of CIS silver medals (2008, 2004), while claiming three AUS and one CIS coach-of-the-year awards.

“It is both a honour and privilege to again represent Team Canada at the World University Games,” said MacDougall, whose V-Reds will host the CIS men’s hockey championship in Fredericton in March. “This event is one of the very, very special opportunities for CIS hockey and will provide lifetime moments for all of our participants. Our coaching staff is excited about the challenge of selecting the best team possible to represent our country and our conference at the highest possible level.”

Peddle and MacPherson will both experience the Universiade for the first time.

Peddle, who hails from St. John’s, Nfld., has spent the past seven years as head coach with StFX. The program has recorded some impressive playoff runs under his guidance, including two appearances at the CIS championship (2011, 2007). His X-Men have also made it to the AUS championship series in each of the past two seasons, losing to the eventual national champions on both occasions. Peddle played with StFX from 1995 to 1999, earning all-Canadian status and meriting the Dr. Randy Gregg Award as the top student-athlete in CIS men’s hockey.

MacPherson, a native of Stratford, P.E.I., has led the UPEI program since 2009 and has played or coached for a number of years at both the university and professional levels. He skated for UNB from 1991 to 1993 and then with the Panthers from 1994 to 1996, before moving on to professional stops in the CoHL, IHL, ECHL, WPHL and AHL. From 2000 to 2007, he was an assistant coach and player with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (WPHL & CHL), and from 2007 to 2008 was assistant coach and assistant director of hockey operations for the Texas Brahmas (CHL).

Canada has tallied an impressive 12 medals in 13 all-time appearances at the Universiade men’s hockey tournament, including three gold, three silver and six bronze.

In addition to the title won by the all-AUS team in 2007 in Italy, Canada was crowned in 1991 in Sapporo, Japan, while represented by the senior national squad, and in 1981 in Jaca, Spain, when the University of Alberta Golden Bears wore the Maple Leaf uniform.

Russia is the reigning two-time Universiade champion.

Among the next steps for the 2013 Canadian team will be the selection of a general manager and support staff, followed by the identification of the student-athletes who will wear the red and white in Slovenia.

TEAM CANADA COACHING STAFF

Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall, University of New Brunswick

Assistant Coach: Brad Peddle, St. Francis Xavier University

Assistant Coach: Forbes MacPherson, University of Prince Edward Island

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