CALGARY, Alta. – Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont./Hockey Canada), who coached Canada’s Women’s Under-18 Team to world championship gold in 2014, has been named as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team for the 2015-16 season, Hockey Canada announced Friday.
Schuler, who served as assistant coach for Canada’s National Women’s Team during the 2014-15 season, is backed by Howie Draper (Edmonton/Alberta, CWUAA) and Dwayne Gylywoychuk (Winnipeg/Hockey Manitoba), who join her behind the bench as assistant coaches alongside goaltending coach Brad Kirkwood (Calgary/Calgary, CWUAA).
The coaching staff was selected by Melody Davidson, Hockey Canada’s general manager of national women’s team programs, in consultation with Tom Renney, Hockey Canada’s chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer.
“These four coaches bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and international experience to Canada’s National Women’s Team program,” said Davidson. “We’re looking forward to our coaches working with our senior athletes as we prepare for the Four Nations Cup and IIHF Women’s World Championships.”
Schuler served as an assistant coach for Canada’s National Women’s Team during the 2014-15 season. She was the head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team that won gold at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and claimed gold in 2013 as an assistant coach. As a player, Schuler won three gold medals with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the IIHF Women’s World Championship (1997, 1992, 1990) and silver at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
Gylywoychuk won gold at the 2014 Nations Cup as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Development Team, and served as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2014 Four Nations Cup, winning gold. As an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, he won gold at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Under-18 Championship.
Draper is currently the head coach for the University of Alberta women’s hockey team and will make his first appearance behind the bench for Canada’s National Women’s Team. Draper has won seven CIS gold medals with the Pandas and also captured gold at the 2013 Winter Universiade as head coach of Team Canada. As head coach of Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games he won gold in 2011 and bronze in 2015.
Kirkwood served as the goalie coach for Canada’s National Women’s Development Team during the 2014-15 season, winning gold at the 2015 Nations Cup. Kirkwood is currently the goaltending coach for the Calgary Dinos men’s and women’s hockey teams.
Hockey Canada also announced the support staff that will work with Canada’s National Women’s Team, including:
- video coach James Emery (Calgary/Hockey Canada)
- therapists Amy Bauerle (Calgary/CSI Calgary) and Karla Van Beveren (London, Ont./Hockey Canada)
- Dr. Jen Hacking (Winnipeg/Kingston, OHL)
- massage therapist Lucia Orsini (Oakville, Ont./Hockey Canada)
- strength and conditioning coach Steve Lidstone (St-Hilaire, Que./McMaster, OUA)
- mental skills coach Judy Goss (Toronto/CSI Ontario)
- equipment managers Robin McDonald (Didsbury, Alta./Hockey Canada) and Sam Asaro (Toronto/Toronto, OUA)
On Friday, Davidson also announced the coaching and support staff for the National Women’s Team Fall Festival in Calgary, Sept. 13-20, 2015. The Fall Festival serves as an important evaluation opportunity prior to selecting the team that will represent Canada at the Four Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden from Nov. 3-7. The world’s best in women’s hockey return to Canada at the end of the season when Kamloops, B.C., hosts the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, March 28-April 4, 2016.