Letowski to lead OHL in CIBC Canada Russia Series
Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, today announced the coaching staffs for the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series to be played November 6-16.
The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team and is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
Leading the CHL’s regional teams in November will be members of Canada’s National Junior Team coaching staff including head coach Dominique Ducharme who will work behind the bench for Team QMJHL, and Team Canada assistants Tim Hunter and Trevor Letowski who will serve as Team WHL and Team OHL head coaches respectively.
Letowski, in his first full season as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, joined Canada’s National Junior Team staff following the departure of Kris Knoblauch to the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Letowski began his tenure with the Spitfires as an associate coach in 2015-16 and helped the club capture the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup title. He previously served as an assistant coach for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and won Under-18 bronze as an assistant in 2014. In this event, Letowski worked behind the bench in 2015 assisting Team OHL to a 2-0 record against Team Russia.
Team OHL will face the Russians November 9 in Owen Sound and November 13 in Sudbury. Attack head coach Todd Gill will serve as an assistant coach for Letowski in Owen Sound, with Wolves head coach Cory Stillman assisting for the contest in Sudbury. Both Gill and Stillman are in their first full seasons with their respective clubs.
Ducharme, now in his second season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, is returning to Canada’s National Junior Team staff for the third consecutive year having acted as assistant coach in 2015-16 and head coach in 2016-17 helping Canada earn a silver medal. During that time period he also served as Team QMJHL head coach in the CIBC Canada Russia Series carrying a 3-1 record against Team Russia. Ducharme’s Hockey Canada coaching resume also includes Summer Under-18 gold at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament just months after leading the Halifax Mooseheads to a Mastercard Memorial Cup title. Team QMJHL will take on Team Russia November 14 in Charlottetown and November 16 in Moncton where Ducharme will be assisted behind the bench by Islanders head coach Jim Hulton and Wildcats head coach Darren Rumble.
Hunter, now in his fourth season with the Moose Jaw Warriors, is also returning to Canada’s National Junior Team staff having served as an assistant and earning silver in 2016-17. Hunter led Team WHL in the CIBC Canada Russia Series a year ago winning once and falling in overtime against Team Russia. Working with Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, Hunter also won bronze as head coach of the Under-18 team at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship. Team WHL will host Team Russia November 6 in Moose Jaw and November 7 in Swift Current where Hunter will be assisted behind the bench by Regina Pats head coach John Paddock and Broncos head coach Manny Viveiros.
Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 58-19-1-6. The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with four of the last seven series decided in the final game, and with Russia earning three series wins since 2010 compared to the CHL’s four series triumphs over the same period including last season by a 13-5 margin in points.
The 2017 CIBC Canada Russia series is supported by CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tires, autoTRADER.ca, and Sherwin-Williams. All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 6 at Moose Jaw, SK
Game 2 – Tuesday November 7 at Swift Current, SK
Game 3 – Thursday November 9 at Owen Sound, ON – Tickets
Game 4 – Monday November 13 at Sudbury, ON – Tickets
Game 5 – Tuesday November 14 at Charlottetown, PE
Game 6 – Thursday November 16 at Moncton, NB
For event information including how to purchase tickets please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.