The Junior U20 Team Canada Program will be sending 22 players along with staff members to Nitra, Slovakia to capture the gold.
The Junior Team Canada staff was very busy in 2017 scouting various events. Thorough scouting of High School Tournaments, Provincial Junior Championships and CanAm Junior Championship led to the selections of the team. For the returning players, the players with international experience will be a good foundation in preparing for this high level tournament. The players were selected, not just on high calibre skills, but for their personalities and community backgrounds as well.
High Performance Director, Steve Dockerty, who is involved in the restructuring of the international program stated, “our squad will definitely be competing for the gold again. Even though our members were a part of the teams that won gold in 2016 in all three divisions, The NBHAC has been working hard to improve the program. We want players that will be part of the Team Canada family for years to come. The High Performance Program has been established to create continuity consisting of strong individuals across the country with involvement in the various national teams at the adult levels.
Dockerty continued about the coaching staff, we have such a strong group of coaches and all have international experience as coaches and players and all have strong technical backgrounds who will lead these young players.
In addition to these coaches, the program strives to set a standard to bring back and integrate alumni as mentors who will be an extension of the coaching staff.
Commenting on the goal of the 2018 teams Dockerty adds, “we have a Mission Statement - To prepare and assemble a team of junior ball hockey players from Canada to compete for gold at the WJC. To field a team that sets extraordinary standards for competitiveness, sportsmanship and team continuity. To create a ‘life experience’ for members of JTC and officials.” Dockerty added, “that truly is our goal, to compete for gold, but also to set exceptional standards for the players and team officials.
Ball Hockey is an amazing sport and these young men are truly fortunate to have the opportunity to compete with the best in the world and absorb the culture of Eastern European cities.” Dockerty concluded with “The ultimate goal is to ensure each player has a life experience that he can take with him for years to come.”
Dockerty continued, ‘we are pleased with the scouting, selection and acceptance of the players chosen for the team.’
Dockerty has been a part of junior ball hockey for over fifteen years and attended the 2004 and 2006 as a fan and then started working in 2008 with the junior Team Canada Program in 2008, 2010 and 2012 as well as 2016. “It is not only what will take place on the floor for these young individuals, as most will be visiting Slovakia for the first time in their lives, it will be the culture they will encounter,” said Dockerty. “As these young people grow up and have families it won’t be the medals that they come home with that will be mostly remembered, it will be the experience of visiting this part of the world, and we as management, coaches, mentors and support staff want to make sure it truly is a trip of a lifetime for them” added Steve.
“Having spoken to all members of the coaching staffs throughout this process, I am confident that the work that they have put in will translate into a highly satisfying trip along with a good showing on the floor.” said Dockerty. “In the last three international competitions the staff thought out all the little things and planned accordingly because once you start traveling with this amount of players plus staff in a short period of time through major European cities, it all has to run smoothly from start to finish in order for these players to produce on the floor.”
People that tend to be missed in these types of announcements are the local coaches, associations and family members that have helped the players get to this level, along with these individuals all those that scouted for Junior Team Canada at regional and national events should take pride in this team, as they too played a big part in the team composition.
General Manager, Mauro Cugini was very pleased with the composition of the team having been involved with the U-20 program since 2008, ‘this is the strongest and most athletic team that we have ever assembled’. He continued, “wherever the National Ball Hockey Association of Canada competes, it is understood throughout the sport that it is the best collection of Junior players in the country.’
“On behalf of the National Ball Hockey Association of Canada, I would like to congratulate the players and staff named today, along with their provincial associations, leagues, club teams, families, coaches and officials who have helped them along the way,” said Dockerty. With that said, it is with great pride that we present you the 2018 Junior U-20 Team Canada players:
The U20 Team
Goalies: Ruan Badenhorst and Bradley Dobson
Defenseman: Curtis Anderson, Teddy Cristou, Carter Forget, Jaisen Gill, Mackenzie McHugh, Brandon LeMesurier, John Sawka and Calan Trumpour
Forwards: Stephen Bell, William Calverley, Philipe Chin, Breaden Dorion, Andrew Foley, Evan Foley, Tyson Gilmour, Aaron Mavrou, Jason Pineo, Aidan Robitaille, Andrew Snowden and Eric Taylor
Staff: Mauro Cugini (Head Coach), Niko Tedesco (Assistant Coach), Dylan Churchwell (Assistant Coach/Mentor), Amanda Spence (Registered Massage Therapist), Matthew Clark (Equipment) and Andrea Jones (Doctor)
Your Passion…Your Dedication…Play Like A Champion…Play Like Team Canada…Commit To The Culture of Excellence