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Mallette and Guard named to Hockey Canada’s Men’s Under-18 coaching staff

Hockey Canada will lean on five Canadian Hockey League (CHL) coaches to guide Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

The list of coaches for the Under-18 Team includes Rockets head coach Kris Mallette and former Rockets goaltender Kelly Guard.

On the under-18 side, Stéphane Julien (Shawinigan, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) will take the reins as head coach, joined by assistant coaches Alan Letang (Renfrew, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) and Kris Mallette (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL), as well as goaltending coach Kelly Guard (Prince Albert, Sask./Prince Albert, WHL) and video coach Raphaël-Pier Richer (Gatineau, Que./Gatineau, QMJHL).

“We are excited to announce the coaching and support staff that will lead our National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team through selection camp and at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” said Tyler Dietrich (West Vancouver, B.C.), senior manager of hockey operations with Hockey Canada. “We know this group will use its CHL experience to help build and a lead a team that will represent Canada with pride and give us the best chance to win gold on home ice in Red Deer in August.”

Mallette has served as head coach of the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL) for two seasons (2020-22) after serving six seasons (2014-20) as an assistant. He was named an assistant coach of Team Canada Black for the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, which was cancelled due to COVID-19, and was the head coach of Team Canada Red at the 2021 Capital City Challenge.

Guard, who joined the Raiders as their goaltender coach prior to the 2012-2013 season, spent two seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. He won the WHL Championship in 2003 and Memorial Cup in 2004. During the 2004 Memorial Cup, the Prince Albert product set a Canadian Hockey League record for lowest goals-against average, surrendering 0.75 goals per game en route to being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team will gather in Calgary for selection camp from July 20-23 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park ahead of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, presented by RAM. The Hlinka Gretzky Cup will make its return to Canada, with Red Deer, Alta., hosting the top under-18 players in the world at the Peavey Mart Centrium, July 31-Aug. 6.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team and Canada’s national under-17 program, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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