Bonnyville Jr A Pontiacs Coach Rick Swan has accepted the position of assistant coach of Team Canada West for the World Jr A Challenge. Coach Swan had won the AJHL’s prestigious Coach of the Year award this past season after taking the Pontiacs on their best regular season run to date. Under Swan’s coaching, two Pontiac player had won AJHL awards in for their achievements in the 2015-16 season; Brinson Pasichnuk Defenseman of the Year & Bobby McMann Most Valuable Player.
Rick Swan, 55, will make his first appearance with Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge. Rick has been the head coach and general manager for the Bonnyville Pontiacs for four years. He was named the AJHL Coach of the Year in 2016. Rick was also a guest coach with the 2015 World Junior A Challenge selection camp. Prior to that, Rick was involved with the Alberta Program of Excellence for several years included being named assistant coach for Team Alberta Under 16 in 2011.
The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), in partnership with Hockey Canada, announced today that Barry Wolff, head coach and general manager of the British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express, will be the head coach of Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge, scheduled to take place Dec. 11-17 in Bonnyville, AB.
Wolff will be joined by assistant coaches Marc Berry (head coach and general manager, Dauphin Kings, Manitoba Junior Hockey League), Mike Reagan (head coach and general manager, Flin Flon Bombers, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) and Rick Swan (head coach and general manager, Bonnyville Pontiacs, Alberta Junior Hockey League).
“It is a great honor to be selected as the Head Coach of Team Canada West and I look forward to working with the elite level players and a great staff, said Barry Wolff. I am excited for this opportunity to represent Canada again at the World Junior A Challenge.”
Barry Wolff, 50, is making his third appearance with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge, having been an assistant coach in 2010 and 2015. This will be his first time as the head coach. Wolff has been head coach and general manager of Coquitlam Express for the past three seasons, leading the team to the BCHL championship in 2014. He also won the BCHL championship with the Surrey Eagles in 2005. Wolff was a guest coach evaluator for Canada West in preparation for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge.
Marc Berry, 41, will make his second appearance with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge after serving as an video coach in 2014. Entering his first year has head coach and GM of the Dauphin Kings and sixth year with the organization, Berry was the head coach of Team West at the 2010-11 CJHL Prospects Game and was a guest coach evaluator for last year’s gold medal winning Team West.
Mike Reagan, 37, will be an assistant coach with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge for the second time having been part of the 2015 gold medal coaching staff. He has been the head coach and general manager of the Bombers for the past nine years. During that time, Reagan has a coaching won / loss record of 277 wins and 192 losses. Reagan has been part of the selection process for players coming out of Saskatchewan for the World Junior A Challenge for the past three seasons and was a guest coach at selection camp in 2014.
Canada West has appeared in seven of the ten gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge, winning gold in 2006 (Yorkton/Humboldt, Sask.), 2007 (Trail/Nelson, B.C.), 2012 (Langley, B.C.) and 2015 (Whitby & Cobourg, ON). It also won silver in 2008 (Camrose, Alta.), 2009 (Summerside, P.E.I.), and 2012 (Yarmouth, N.S.), and won bronze in 2013 (Yarmouth, N.S.). It finished fourth in 2010 (Penticton, B.C.).