Powell River Kings’ head coach Kent Lewis will be behind the bench for Team Canada West with Dean Brockman, of Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos, and Andrew Milne, of Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Camrose Kodiaks, as assistant coaches.
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Wednesday, August 10, the full Canada East and Canada West coaching staff for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, scheduled for November 7 to 13 in Langley, BC.
Mark Ferner was originally introduced as Canada West head coach during the 2011 RBC Cup, but stepped down after accepting a job as head coach of Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Everett Silvertips. For Lewis, the call from Hockey Canada to ask if he was interested was a welcome one.
“Last year, I didn’t apply but I gave it some thought late in the season that if the opportunity came up, I’d certainly love to do it,” said Lewis, 44. “When Mark left to the WHL, I knew the opportunity was there and when I got the call from Hockey Canada, I was tickled.”
It won’t be the first time Lewis has coached a Canadian squad in an international event. He guided a senior men’s team to the Allan Cup in 2000 and as a result got to take the team the following year to Japan to play in the Nagano Cup.
“Like any coach, you get wrapped up in an international event,” said Lewis. “It’s a thrill to coach and a great challenge. There’s lots of pressure and expectations to live up to and that’s what makes it fun.”
Team Canada West will hold an initial camp starting September 11 in Camrose, Alberta with players recommended by Western Junior A clubs. There will be another camp in November just before the World Junior A Challenge that will include players who emerge in the season’s early months.