The Manitoba Junior Hockey League has announced its coaching staff for the team that will travel overseas to Sochi, Russia for the 2020 Junior World Cup – an event put on by Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League this summer from August 21 to 28.
Paul Dyck of the Steinbach Pistons has been named head coach, while Kelvin Cech of Winkler and Gord Burnett of Winnipeg round out Dyck’s assistants on the bench. Kate Wiens of Swan Valley and Jeffrey Eidse of Steinbach will serve in athletic therapy and equipment managerial roles for Team MJHL.
Dyck, 48, is a two-time MJHL Coach of the Year award winner, and has also won two league championships with the Pistons. Dyck won gold with Team Canada West in the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. Cech, 37, is in his first year with the Winkler Flyers, and has helped the team to a third-place finish. This past season’s MJHL Coach of the Year has also been selected to coach at the MJHL-SJHL Showcase. Burnett, 39, is also in his first year as an MJHL coach, jumping into the league after multiple seasons in BC and Saskatchewan.
Alberta served as the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s lone representative in 2019, ultimately losing in the final to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on August 23, 2019. Last year, the eight-team draw saw competition from USA, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria.
The players representing Team MJHL will be selected by April, while a pre-event training camp will be held from August 10 to 14, prior to the team departing for Russia on the 14th. Team MJHL will participate in pre-tournament play for the first number of days upon arrival in Russia, before the round robin officially begins on August 21. Team MJHL is tentatively expected to arrive back in Manitoba on August 29.
“The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is thrilled to be participating in the upcoming Sirius Junior Club World Cup in August 2020 in Sochi, Russia,” said outgoing MJHL President Kim Davis in a press release. “This event is a highly competitive international Junior hockey tournament and the MJHL is proud to represent the CJHL and Hockey Canada. The chance to travel to Russia for an event of this nature is unique and the MJHL office will be doing all it can to provide the staff with the necessary tools and support required to win a medal out of the eight competing teams/countries.”