Hockey Alberta announced on Friday the coaching staff for Team Alberta U16 Male that will compete at the 2012 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. Date and location to be confirmed.
“We have a very talented coaching staff and we’re all looking forward to this opportunity,” said Team Alberta Head Coach, Bryce Thoma. “We’re excited to begin the process of selecting a team that we feel will be successful at the tournament in November.”
Bryce Thoma (Red Deer), Head Coach – Thoma comes to Team Alberta after spending four years behind the bench as an assistant coach for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He has been involved with Team Alberta in the past, particularly in the U17 program, as a selection camp coach. Thoma has played university hockey in the CIS for the University of Saskatchewan as well as three years of professional hockey in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). In 2001, Thoma won a Memorial Cup as a player for the Red Deer Rebels.
Jay Pylypuik (Calgary), Assistant Coach – Pylypuik is currently the head coach for the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL). Jay has coached at a variety of levels including serving as an assistant coach for the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) from 2008-2010. Pylypuik has been involved with the Team Alberta program for several years serving as a coach and a coach mentor at the Alberta Cup winning the event in 2011 with Team Calgary South. Pylypuik was also the video coach in 2011 for Team Alberta U16 Male that won gold at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.
Kyle Tapp (Lloydminster), Assistant Coach – Tapp is currently an assistant coach for the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and was also an assistant coach for the Olds Grizzlies during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Tapp has competed as a head coach in the Alberta Cup for the past two years, most recently winning the event in 2012 with Team Northeast.
Stefan Bieber (Calgary), Video Coach – Bieber is currently an assistant coach with the Calgary Northstars of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL). Bieber has been involved with the Team Alberta Program since 2007 where he has held positions of coach and coach mentor at the Alberta cup as well as a camp coach in the U17 program.
J.F. Martel (Calgary), Goaltending Coach – Martel is Hockey Alberta’s lead goalie instructor where he trains and develops both goalie coaches and goaltenders. He is also the Vice President of Operations for World Pro Goaltending.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is a partnership between the four Western Provincial Hockey Branches - Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association – and the Western Hockey League (WHL). The event takes place in the off years of the Canada Winter Games which is every four years.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is the final event in the first year of the Team Alberta Male program. Selected players then advance to the second year of the program (U17) where they compete for a roster spot on Team Pacific.
Team Alberta U16 Male has captured gold at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in both 2009 and 2011.
Former Team Alberta players include 2011 WHL Rookie of the Year, Matt Dumba, and NHL’ers Jordan Eberle, Jay Bouwmeester, Devan Dubnyk, Devin Setoguchi and Tyler Myers.