EVERETT – Everett Silvertips Assistant Coach Mitch Love has been tapped by Hockey Canada to serve as an assistant coach at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, earning his first opportunity to coach at an international event. The tournament takes place Oct. 30 – Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, British Columbia.
Love will assist head coach Jamie Kompon (Portland Winterhawks, WHL) alongside fellow assistant Gilles Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) on the staff for Team Canada White, one of three Canadian entries in the tournament. Love is currently in Calgary, Alberta as a guest coach with Hockey Canada’s National Teams’ Summer Showcase, which includes Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp.
“This is a great honor and opportunity for me as a young coach, and I’d like to thank Hockey Canada for having faith in me to be a part of the Program of Excellence,” said Love. “I’m a Canadian boy who grew up watching the National Teams but was never good enough to represent Canada as a player, so it’s very special to be able to coach these high-level young players. I look forward to working with and learning from Jamie Kompon, Gilles Bouchard and all the other great coaches with years of experience who are involved with Hockey Canada.”
Love, 31, enters his fifth season on the Silvertips’ coaching staff in 2015-16 and third alongside Head Coach Kevin Constantine. Working primarily with the defensemen, he has helped make Everett one of the WHL’s top defensive clubs over the past two seasons. Everett was the WHL’s fifth-best defensive team in 2013-14 before rising to second in the league in goals-against last year.
The Quesnel, BC product played five years as a WHL defenseman, splitting three seasons between Moose Jaw and Swift Current before spending his final two junior campaigns in Everett. He helped the inaugural ‘Tips advance to the WHL Championship series and captained the team as an overager before signing a free-agent NHL contract with the Colorado Avalanche. He compiled 30 points and more than 900 career penalty minutes over the course of six professional seasons spent mostly in the American Hockey League.
The 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world born in 1999 or later. The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team. Since the first under-17 tournament (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,200 NHL draft picks have competed in the event.
The Holiday Inn Preseason Classic tournament returns to XFINITY Arena during Labor Day weekend, Sep. 4-6, with nine games over three days. The ‘Tips start the regular season in Prince George on Sep. 25 before the 13th season of Silvertips hockey debuts in Everett with opening weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11.
To keep up with all the latest Silvertips news and information throughout the offseason, visit www.everettsilvertips.com, “like” the Everett Silvertips Hockey Club on Facebook or follow @WHLSilvertips on Twitter. For questions, call the team office at 425-252-5100.