Winkler, MB - The 2009 CJHL Prospects Challenge Committee is pleased to announce the coaching staffs for both Team West and Team East. The challenge will feature the top 40 draft eligible Junior "A" hockey players in Canada as they play a two game total goal series at the Winkler Arena.
Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8th at 1pm
Game 2 will take place on Wednesday, December 9th at 7:30pm
Team West Coaches:
Head Coach Mark Thiessen is currently the Head Coach and General Manager of the Winkler Flyers (MJHL). Thiessen holds an Advanced Coaching Certification with Hockey Canada and has been the Head Coach in Winkler since 2006. Previously he was the Assistant Coach in Winkler from 2000-2005. Thiessen played his junior hockey in Winkler in the 1980's and went on to play at Augustana and NAIT, winning Canadian Championships. Following college he played professionally in Germany with Moers. He then returned to Canada to play 15 years of senior and intermediate hockey.
Assistant Coach Bob Agnew is currently in his first season as Assistant Coach with the Winkler Flyers (MJHL). Agnew holds an Intermediate Level Certification with Hockey Canada. Previously, Agnew was an assistant with the Pembina Valley Hawks AAA Midget. He also has 13 years experience at the Minor Hockey and High School Hockey levels. Agnew played his minor hockey in Morden and played at the college level at A.C.C. in Brandon before returning to Morden to play senior hockey with the Morden Redskins.
Team East Coaches:
Head Coach Ernie Sutherland is currently the Associate Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel with the Winkler Flyers (MJHL). Sutherland holds an Advanced II Level Certification with Hockey Canada. Sutherland is a veteran in the field and began as an Assistant Coach with the Flyers in 1982-83 before taking over the Head Coach job from '83-'86. He was also the Assistant Coach for Team Western during the Under 17 Russian Tour in 1987. He was the Head Coach of Team Western at the World Under 17 Championships in 1988. Sutherlands coaching credentials also include being the Head Coach at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida as well as being a guest instructor in Sweden Hold from 1998-2005. Sutherland has also been an advanced scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars of the NHL.
Assistant Coach Rich Gosselin is currently the Head Coach of the Steinbach Pistons (MJHL). Gosselin played his junior hockey with Flin Flon Bombers (WHL). He was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in 1976. He began his professional playing career in Switzerland in 1976 where he played for Chaudefondis, Biel, and Friborg until 1989. Gosselin then began his Swiss coaching career ('89-'93). He also has coaching experience in Italy, and Japan ('00-'08).
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)