International Ice Hockey Federation

Canada names junior coach

Canada names junior coach

Dave Lowry tasked with title repeat in Helsinki

Published 24.03.2015 11:56 GMT+2 | Author Chris Jurewicz
Canada names junior coach
Dave Lowry talks with the Team Canada players during a camp in St Catharines prior to the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Photo: Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images
Two pieces of Canada’s gold medal puzzle are back for one more run. Dave Lowry has been named head coach of the national junior team.

At the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki the team will attempt to repeat its title under Lowry’s guidance.

Lowry, who has been head coach of the Canadian Hockey League’s major junior Victoria Royals for three seasons, was an assistant coach in 2015 when Canada broke a five-year world junior drought to claim gold in Toronto.

Lowry’s three assistant coaches will be Martin Raymond, who was an assistant coach for Canada at the 2015 event, Dominique Ducharme and D.J. Smith.

“It’s the highest opportunity to coach in junior hockey,” Lowry said following a press conference on Monday in Calgary. “To be a part of it last year and to have gone through the process of building a team and watching a team come together and watching a team win and have success... I knew that this would be a great opportunity.”

Lowry coached under Benoit Groulx at the 2015 World Juniors in Montreal and Toronto. Canada went 4-0 in preliminary games, before beating Denmark 8-0 in a quarter-final, Slovakia 5-1in a semi-final and Russia 5-4 in a thrilling gold medal game. That win snapped Canada’s five-year drought at the tournament but, before that, Canadian junior teams won five straight World Junior titles.

Lowry has been Victoria’s head coach since 2012/13 and was named the Western Hockey League’s coach of the year in 2013/14. Prior to that, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Before joining the Flames, Lowry spent four seasons coaching with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.

Lowry’s professional playing career saw him appear in 1,084 NHL games over 19 seasons with Vancouver, St. Louis, Florida, San Jose and Calgary.

Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, said Lowry was a natural choice to lead Canada’s world junior team.

“First of all, experience,” said Salmond. “Having gone through the World Junior Championships and playing a key role last year and winning at home, understanding the pressure that is involved in that tournament, how to manage those players (were key). To me, experience is the Number 1 thing.

“And Dave brings a lot of that as a coach but also as a player. The way he played and what I think he can instill in our group is really important.”

The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship opens on 26 December in Helsinki. Canada will be part of Group A, along with Sweden, the United States, Denmark, and Switzerland. Group B comprises Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Belarus.

Hockey Canada will hold a summer evaluation camp with Canada’s World Junior hopefuls. Canada is expected to play games against Russia and Czech Republic during the camp.

Lowry says not much will change from the recipe that led to success at the 2015 tournament.

“We’re going to continue to build on the momentum that we generated,” said Lowry. “The mindset and mandate moving forward will be that we’re once again going to take the best players and we’re going to make the players buy into playing the game a certain way, and that will be our way.”

NOTES: Hockey Canada also announced its coaching staff for the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that will compete at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in Slovakia/Czech Republic. Kelly McCrimmon, head coach of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, will be head coach, with Sheldon Keefe and Darren Rumble serving as assistants.


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