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2024  u18 m macdougall coach

National Men’s Under-18 team coaching staff named for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Gardiner MacDougall named head coach; Travis Crickard, Bruce Richardson & Ryan Smith to serve as assistants

NR.020.24
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April 11, 2024
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CALGARY, AlbertaHockey Canada has named the coaching staff that will guide Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland .

The winningest coach in Canadian university regular season men’s hockey history, Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS) will serve as head coach. He will be joined by assistant coaches Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL), Bruce Richardson (Montreal, QC) and Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL), along with goaltending coach Dan De Palma (Kamloops, BC/Kamloops, WHL).


The coaching staff was selected by Scott Salmond (Creston, BC) , senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON),senior manager of hockey operations.

“Gardiner has not only solidified himself as one of the greatest coaches in university hockey history, his record and reputation speaks for itself,” said Salmond. “His nine U SPORTS championships and 2022 Memorial Cup win with Saint John are proof of his ability to win in short-term competition, which will serve us well at the world championship.”

MacDougall led the University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team to a perfect season in 2023-24, going 43-0 in exhibition, regular season and postseason play as the Reds defended their University Cup title. The perfect season included win No. 600 for MacDougall, who was also named U SPORTS coach of the year for the third time (2009-10, 2014-15, 2023-24). He has spent 24 seasons behind the Reds’ bench, leading the team to nine national championships (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2023, 2024). Under his leadership, the Reds have also won 11 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) titles and made 16 national championship appearances. In 2023, he was named head coach for the FISU University Games, leading Team Canada to a gold medal, one season after briefly taking the reins as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and leading the host team to a Memorial Cup championship.

Crickard recently completed his first season as head coach of the Sea Dogs following one season as an assistant. He was named an assistant coach for Canada’s men’s hockey team at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth, won a gold medal as video coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship and was a video coach (2016) and assistant coach (2017) with Canada Black at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal in 2016.

Richardson was appointed the head coach of the LHJAAAQ’s Valleyfield Braves in January of 2024, following a five-year stint as the head coach of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (2018-23). He was also head coach of the Châteauguay Grenadiers (2011-14, 2016-18) of the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec, reaching the gold medal game at the 2014 TELUS Cup, and had a two-year stint as head coach of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres (2014-16). Internationally, Richardson was an assistant coach with Canada’s men’s hockey team for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth. He also won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, was the head coach of Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and served as an assistant with Canada Black at the November 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Smith recently finished his second season (2022-24) as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after two seasons (2020-22) as an associate coach. He previously won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant with Canada West at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenges.

De Palma has served as goaltending coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers for 14 seasons (2010-2024). Before joining the Blazers, he spent three seasons as goaltending coach with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars. On the international stage, De Palma was the goaltending consultant for Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal.

Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL) has also been added to the team staff as Program of Excellence management group representative. Brown has spent nine seasons as general manager of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after four (2011-15) as director of hockey operations with the team. He helped lead Erie to an OHL championship in 2017 and contributed to a Canadian Hockey League (CHL) record of four-consecutive 50-win season (2011-15). Brown was named to the POE management group in March 2023, overseeing Canada White’s gold medal at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Hockey Canada also announced the support staff that will work with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team:

  • Head Scout Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB)
  • Video coach Andrew Boucher (Timmins, ON)
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley (St. John’s, NL)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE) and Jimmy McKnight (Bradford, ON/Edmonton, WHL)
  • Team physician Dr. Michael Conrad (Vancouver, BC/Victoria, WHL)
  • Education consultant Nic Renyard (Victoria, BC)
  • Senior coordinator of hockey operations Jacob Grison (Lion’s Head, ON)

Canada’s quest for a gold medal at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will play Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners will broadcast select tournament games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

Since 2002, Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

emadziya@hockeycanada.ca 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

jknight@hockeycanada.ca

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