Hockey Canada, in conjunction with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, has confirmed that Kirkland Lake Gold Miners head coach and general manager Marc Lafleur has been named to the coaching staff of Canada East for the 2013 World Jr. A Challenge, Nov. 5-11 in Yarmouth, N.S.
The 37-year-old Lafleur will serve as video coach on the four-man staff, which will be headed up by Ian MacInnis, head coach and general manager of the Central Canada Hockey League’s Cornwall Colts.
Rounding out the group will be Billy McGuigan, (Summerside Western Capitals, CCHL) and Mario Chicchillo. (Toronto Jr. Canadiens, OJHL), who will act as assistants.
“I’m excited about this opportunity and will give everything I have to Team Canada East,” stated Lafleur.
“I believe my selection to the Team Canada East staff is a true reflection of the major strides the NOJHL has made the last few years in being recognized as a major competitor in Canadian Junior A Hockey,” added the Kirkland Lake bench boss.
“NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca and his colleagues, as well as the coaching and administration staffs of each team, are responsible for this.”
Lafleur was chosen the 2012-13 recipient of the Mirl ‘Red’ McCarthy Memorial Trophy, emblematic of the NOJHL’s coach of the year.
In his first campaign at the helm behind the Gold Miners bench, he led Kirkland Lake to a more than respectable 25-18-2-3 record along with a fourth place finish in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season standings. His disciplined club also boasted a league-low 612 penalty minutes.
Lafleur was also earlier named a NOJHL first team all-star for his effort in guiding his club in their first full season in the league as the Gold Miners.
“This is a well-deserved opportunity for Marc and a strong reflection of the tremendous job he did in Kirkland Lake this season with the Gold Miners,” offered NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca.
“It also shows that the efforts and accomplishments put forth by all our league coaches are not only being recognized within the NOJHL, but also at the national level,” added Mazzuca.
The following are the bios of the Canada East coaching staff members, as supplied by Hockey Canada:
Ian MacInnis, 51, will make his first appearance with Canada East at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. He has been owner, head coach and general manager of the Colts for the past six seasons. MacInnis guided the Colts to a league title in 2013 and a berth in the Fred Page Cup. He was also at the helm of the Colts in 2008 when they hosted the RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship.
Mario Cicchillo, 55, will be an assistant coach for the first time with Canada East. Cicchillo just completed his first season as head coach of the Jr. Canadiens, leading the team to a 16-point improvement in the OJHL standings. Prior to coaching the Jr. Canadiens, Cicchillo coached in the OHL for six seasons with the Ice Dogs franchise, including two seasons as head coach in Niagara and four as an assistant coach when the team was in Mississauga.
Billy McGuigan, 37, will be an assistant coach for the first time with Canada East. McGuigan was head coach of Team East at last year’s CJHL Prospects Games. McGuigan has been head coach of the Western Capitals for the past two seasons, winning the MHL championship in 2013, and will be behind the bench at this year’s RBC Cup, which begins Saturday in Summerside. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Sledge Team. McGuigan, who played four seasons of professional hockey in the CoHL, CHL and WCHL, has also been an MHL head coach with the Charlottetown Abbies and Miramichi Timberwolves.
Marc Lafleur, 37, will make his first appearance with Canada East at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. Named NOJHL coach of the year this season, his first with the Gold Miners, Lafleur has also worked as an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and in the NCAA with Bemidji State University. As a player, Lafleur spent two seasons with the USHL’s Thunder Bay Flyers, reaching the 1995 Centennial Cup, and won an NCAA Division II championship with Bemidji State in 1997.
Hockey Canada will announce details for Canada East camps in the near future.