By Devin Jones
Hockey Canada has named Lisa Haley, head coach of the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team, as the head coach for the Canadian Women’s National under-18 team for the 2015-2016 season.
Haley is returning for her fifth season behind the bench for the Rams, and last year captured gold as an assistant coach for the women’s Olympic team in Sochi. Curated by Hockey Canada’s general manager of women’s national teams Melody Davidson, this year’s coaching staff not only brings experience, but a combined 11 gold and silver medals for various Hockey Canada teams.
“I’ve stayed in contact with Melody [Davidson] for some time now, and I’ve hoped to have another chance to coach,” said Haley. “A chance to represent Canada on any stage is a real honor.”
Throughout the 2015-2016 season Haley will have to balance the coaching responsibilities of both her Rams women’s team and the under-18’s national team. Although there’s still time before either schedule begins, Haley says she’s been in close contact with her assistant coach Ken Dufton, who will lead the Rams during the three games she will miss in early January.
“We’ve been in constant contact, and Ken’s very aware of the schedule that I have and the schedule that the girls (Rams) have,” said Haley. “We want my absence to be a seamless transition and I think Ken and Francois (Lavoie) are going to do a great job.”
Haley also understands the relationship that scouting has with her coaching the under-18s. While she says her scouting staff usually sticks to southern Ontario due to Ryerson’s location, she does feel they have a responsibility to scout “on a national level and from coast-to-coast to for the most stand out talent.”
Rounding out the immediate coaching staff are assistant coaches Greg Fargo and Britni Smith as well as goalie coach Perry Wilson. Selection camp will take place from August 6-16, followed by a three game warm up series against the United States’ Women’s under 18-Select team starting August 20.
The 2016 IIHF U18 Ice Hockey Championships will take place from Jan. 8-15, 2016 in St. Catharines Ont.
“They’re a little bit younger than the Rams, but still very talented,” said Haley. “ So it’s great to have the opportunity to work with them and see them in their day to day lives.