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Dyck Named Head Coach Of Team Pacific

Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce Mike Dyck (Lethbridge, Alta) as the Head Coach and Mike Mueller (Grande Prairie, Alta) as an Assistant Coach of Team Pacific that will compete at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

“This is a very talented age group of players and I am excited to take on this challenge with the rest of the coaching staff and get the process started,” said Dyck.

Mike Dyck has spent over 13 years coaching in the Western Hockey League. He held the title of assistant coach with the Medicine Hat Tigers (1996-97), Lethbridge Hurricanes (1997-2002), and Vancouver Giants (2002-05) before becoming the Head Coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2005-2009). Dyck was also the head coach of Team Pacific in 2010. Currently he is the Director of Player Personnel for the Vancouver Giants.

Mike Mueller comes to Team Pacific from the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey league where he is an Associate Coach and Assistant General Manager. Mueller has over five years experience with Hockey Alberta coaching at U15 Skill Camps, Alberta Cup and U17 Provincial Camp.

This year, BC Hockey is responsible for providing an assistant coach, athletic therapist and an assistant director of operations to Team Pacific. Those positions will be announced at a later date.

Team Pacific staff is selected through an open application process. Education, Team Alberta program experience and involvement, prior coaching and playing experience, and coaching philosophy make up the selection criteria. 

The 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba from December 26, 2010 to January 4, 2012. The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1994 or later. The tournament is made up of 10 teams: five from Canada (Pacific, West, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic) and five international teams.

Team Pacific is comprised of players from Alberta and B.C. Player evaluations for Alberta will start in May when Hockey Alberta selects 80 players to attend its U17 Provincial Evaluation Camp in Leduc.

The Under-17 Program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players that compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.

Former Team Pacific players include: Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf, Mike Green, Devin Setoguchi and Jay Boumeester.


2011 Alberta Cup Rosters Announced

Hockey Alberta has announced the rosters that will compete at the 2011 Alberta Cup set for April 14-17 at Lethbridge, Alberta.

Eight zone teams from across the province – South, Calgary South, Calgary North, Central, Edmonton South, Edmonton North, Northeast and Northwest - will be competing at the 2011 Alberta cup. The rosters are made up of 20 athletes, 3 coaches, 1 trainer and 1 Director of Operations from each zone.

“This tournament is a tremendous opportunity for these young men to showcase their talents. The caliber at the zone tryout camps this year was very high. We feel we have a very strong group of 1996 born athletes,” said Justin Fesyk, coordinator, Team Alberta Male Programs.

The eight zone teams will play in a four day, tournament format competition while also taking part in an education seminar put on by the Western Hockey League. All tournament games will take place at the Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge

The Alberta Cup Program begins in March each year with over 1000 players trying out at their respective zone camps. Each of the 160 athletes playing in the Alberta Cup are competing for one of eighty invites to the U16 Male Provincial Camp in July. The U16 Male Provincial Camp is the final stage in the first year of the Team Alberta Program.

The Alberta Cup is the premier event in the province that helps identify the top male players in Alberta.  It is well attended by scouts as they prepare for the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft. In addition to player evaluations, the competition is also an opportunity for administrators, coaches, trainers and officials to be evaluated for future positions with the Team Alberta Program.

The Alberta Cup began back in 1986 as a program for midget hockey players. It was held again in 1987 and 1988 then it disappeared until 1993 when it re-emerged as a bantam level competition. The Alberta Cup aids in the preparation, evaluation and identification of potential players for Hockey Alberta’s Team Alberta Program.

Former Alberta Cup graduates include such players as Devin Setoguchi, Zach Boychuk,  Kyle Brodziak, Dany Heatley, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf, Scott Hartnell, Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk, Andrew Ferrence and Chris Phillips.


Blair Becker Named Head Coach Of Team AB

Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce Blair Becker (Edmonton, Alta) as the Head Coach, and Umberto Fiorillo (Edmonton, Alta) and Rick Swan (Sherwood Park, Alta) as Assistant Coaches, for Team Alberta U16 Male that will compete at the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in October in Saskatchewan.

“The opportunity to represent the province and work with this great coaching staff is something I am looking forward to,” said Becker. “We want to put together a group of players that have a team first mentality and strong work ethic to give us the best chance at success at the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.”

Becker was an assistant coach for Team Alberta U16 male in 2009 when the won gold at the inaugural Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Blackfalds, Alberta.

Team Alberta staff are selected through an open application process. Education, Team Alberta program experience and involvement, prior coaching and playing experience, and coaching philosophy make up the selection criteria. 

The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup occurs in the off years of the Canada Winter Games.


Williamson Named Canada’s U18 Head Coach

Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Wednesday that Mike Williamson (Leduc, Alta.), head coach of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, will be the head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, April 14-24 in Dresden and Crimmitschau, Germany.

It was also announced that Dale Hawerchuk (Toronto, Ont.), head coach and director of hockey operations with the OHL’s Barrie Colts, and Mark Lamb (Cadillac, Sask.), head coach and general manager of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, have been named assistant coaches. Ron Tugnutt (Scarborough, Ont.), assistant coach/goalie coach with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, will serve as goaltending consultant.

The 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship will mark the first appearance for Williamson, Hawerchuk and Lamb behind the Team Canada bench. Tugnutt has served as a goaltending consultant with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence since the beginning of the 2009-10 season.

“We are excited today to name Mike, Dale, Mark and Ron to our staff for the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship,” said Brad Pascall, vice-president of hockey operations/national teams. “All four bring varying experiences from their coaching and playing days, and we’re looking forward to watching them help develop Canada’s top young players in Germany.”

“Any opportunity to work with Hockey Canada is a special one, and as a staff we look forward to getting to Germany and getting to work,” said Williamson. “We’re excited to get the team on the ice and begin working towards a third world under-18 gold medal for Canada.”

Mike Williamson, 38, has been the head coach of the Hitmen for the past two seasons, winning a WHL championship in 2009-10, his first season with the club. Prior to joining the Hitmen, Williamson spent 13 seasons in the Portland Winterhawks’ organization; seven-and-a-half seasons as head coach, two-and-a-half as an assistant coach and three seasons as a player. Williamson won a Memorial Cup with Portland as an assistant coach in 1998.

Dale Hawerchuk, 47, will join a Team Canada coaching staff for the first time, but represented Canada six times as a player. Hawerchuk won Canada Cups in 1987 and 1991, a silver medal at the 1989 IIHF World Championship, bronze medals at the 1982 and 1986 IIHF World Championships and finished seventh at the 1981 World Junior Championship. Hawerchuk, a 2001 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, just completed his first season with the Colts after spending the previous three years as owner, president, director of hockey operations and head coach with the OJHL’s Orangeville Crushers. During a 16-year NHL career with Winnipeg, Buffalo, St. Louis and Philadelphia, Hawerchuk recorded 1,409 points (518 goals, 891 assists) in 1,188 games.

Mark Lamb, 47, has been the head coach and general manager of the Swift Current Broncos for the past two seasons. Prior to joining the Broncos, Lamb was an assistant coach in the NHL for eight seasons with Edmonton (2001-02) and Dallas (2002-09). Lamb enjoyed an 11-year NHL career with Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Montreal, recording 146 points (46 goals, 100 assists), and won the Stanley Cup in 1990 with the Oilers.

Ron Tugnutt, 43, is the lone member of the coaching staff with experience as a coach with Team Canada. Tugnutt served as goalie consultant for Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, winning two silver medals, and was goalie consultant with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 world championship, finishing fourth. Tugnutt spent 17 seasons in the NHL and represented Canada as a player twice, at the 1993 and 1999 IIHF World Championships.

Canada’s coaching staff, along with Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout of the men’s Program of Excellence, will help select Canada’s roster for the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship from players whose Canadian Hockey League teams either missed the playoffs or lost in the first round.

Canada is a two-time gold medallist at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship, winning in 2003 and 2008. It finished seventh at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus.

The 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship opens for Canada on April 15 in Dresden when it takes on the Czech Republic. The Canadians will also face Finland, Sweden and Norway in the preliminary round.

TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against Sweden on Tuesday, April 19, as well as both semifinals on Saturday, April 23 and both medal games on Sunday, April 24. Check your local listings for game times in your area


Remembering Murray Copot

Hockey Alberta Life Member and former Hockey Alberta President, Murray T. Copot, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 14 at the age of 87. 

"Murray was a remarkable volunteer who made many significant contributions to hockey in Alberta,” said Hockey Alberta President, Annie Orton. “He has left his footprint on Alberta’s hockey community by leaving a legacy of unconditional commitment and passion for the game.”

Copot, a World War II veteran, had been a staple in Alberta’s hockey community for over 50 years. Like many parents, he became involved with minor hockey when his son Terry began playing in the Calgary community of Briar Hill. After Copot made a late-night phone call to convince his local alderman that the city should get staff to scrape the ice during the second and third periods of minor hockey games, he received a phone call from the president of Calgary Minor Hockey.

“He said, ‘If you can do things like that, we need you to be a part of Calgary Minor Hockey’, so that’s how I got involved,” said Copot in an interview several years ago.

At first, Copot became a director of Calgary’s Tiny Mites program.

“This was enjoyable because you got to be involved with the kids,” Copot once said, who later went on to become president of Calgary Minor Hockey in 1975-76 and ’76-77. “They all tried so hard and they still do. I still have a soft spot in my heart for them.”

Copot served as President of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association (Now Hockey Alberta) from 1986-1988. He was named a Hockey Alberta Life Member is 1992 before getting inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

 In 1991, the old Thorncliff Arena on Centre Street in north Calgary was renamed to the Murray Copot Arena. Hockey Calgary also hosts the annual Murray Copot Tournament for either Tiny Mites or Atom-aged players each year.

“I just hope it carries on for a long time and that I’m able to help get some prizes for the kids,” said the ever-dedicated volunteer, who spent lots of his time traveling around the countryside with his wife Mary to watch their grandchildren’s numerous athletic pursuits. “They take after their grandmother.”

During his years as a volunteer, Copot had the chance to travel around Alberta, Canada and even overseas through opportunities with Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada.

“Through hockey, I’ve met an awful lot of nice people throughout Alberta, Canada and the world,” summed up Copot in an interview in 2007. “Whatever you get involved in, you’ve got to have a passion for it.”

Copot is survived by his wife Mary, his children; Terry, Carol, Debbie, Ruth and Joanne, and his grandchildren; Colin, Ryan, Kyle, Mike, Chris, Greg, Julie, Sarah and Chad.

A memorial service will be held for Murray T. Copot on Friday, March 18 at 11:00AM at Foothills Alliance Church, 333 Edgepark Blvd. NW Calgary, AB T3A 4K4.

Summary of Achievements 

1938-1940: Played Junior “B” hockey for Teulon, Manitoba

1941-1946: Served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the 2nd World War.  Survived being torpedoed aboard the Ship, H.M.C.S. Albania.

1950: Continuous Minor Hockey involvement from 1950 to present.

1955-1958: Sports Director, Briar Hill Community in Calgary.

1958-1980: Coached community hockey in all levels.

1969-1970: Successful in coaching Triwood Juvenile “BB” team to the City of Calgary and Alberta Provincial Championships.

1963-1973: Tiny Mite Division League Director of the Minor Hockey Association of Calgary.

1967-1978: Board of Director, Minor Hockey Association of Calgary.

1975-1977: President, Minor Hockey Association of Calgary.

1978-1980: Coached and founded in Henry Viney League in Calgary which is a league for players 18-22 years old.

1978-1992: Served on Board of Directors of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association (AAHA).

1978-1986: Vice President, AAHA.

1979: Mr. Copot is the founding father of the Mac’s Midget Tournament.

1980: Was presented with the Award of Merit by the President of Calgary Minor Hockey Association, Grant Richards, for his years of volunteer involvement in community of hockey.

1981: Received Athletic Leadership Award for Hockey from the Calgary Booster Club for his outstanding leadership and organizational skills in the development of hockey.

1985: Received the CAHA Minor Hockey Week Plaque for his dedication to hockey and because he was one of the founders of Minor Hockey Week in Calgary which has its 25th                   anniversary January 30, 2004.

1986-1988: President, AAHA.

1988-1992: Past President, AAHA.

1988: Volunteered for the advertising for the AAHA Hockey News.

1988: As President of Hockey Alberta, Murray Copot was the Chair and hosted the 1988 Canadian Amateur Hockey Association Annual General Meeting.

1991: Thorhild Hockey Arena renamed – Murray T. Copot Arena.

1992: Presented plaque in appreciation for continued support and dedication to the Central Zone Referees Committee of Alberta.

1992: Life Member of AAHA.

1993: Awarded the Sportsman of the Year from the Calgary Booster Club for his leadership, dedication, and the developing of hockey in the city of Calgary.

1993: Inducted into the AAHA Hockey Hall of Fame.

1994-1996: Vice President, Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).