CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Junior Hockey League, in partnership with Hockey Canada, announced today that Trent Cassan, head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Yorkton Terriers, will be the head coach of Canada West at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, scheduled for Dec. 14-20 in Kindersley, Sask.
Cassan will be joined by assistant coaches Tim Fragle (head coach and general manager, Sherwood Park Crusaders, Alberta Junior Hockey League), Luke Pierce (head coach and general manager, Merritt Centennials, British Columbia Hockey League) and Jason Williamson (head coach and general manager, Vernon Vipers, British Columbia Hockey League).
“I am honoured and excited to be able to work with many of the top CJHL players from all over Western Canada,” said Cassan. “The World Junior A Challenge is a first-class event with premier players from all over the world. My experience at the 2013 event in Yarmouth, N.S., was a positive one, and I look forward to working with the staff and representing Canada West in Kindersley in December.”
Trent Cassan, 31, will make his second appearance with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge, having won a bronze medal as an assistant coach in 2013. Cassan has been head coach and general manager in Yorkton for the past five seasons, leading the team to the SJHL championship and RBC Cup national championship last season. A Terriers alumnus (2002-04), Cassan was named SJHL Coach of the Year in 2012-13.
Tim Fragle, 34, will be an assistant coach with Canada West for the first time at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. Entering his fifth year as head coach and general manager in Sherwood Park, Fragle has 16 years of coaching and instructional experience. He finished his CJHL playing career with the Crusaders, serving as captain in 2000-01.
Luke Pierce, 31, will make his first appearance with Canada West at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. The head coach of Team West at the 2013 CJHL Prospects Games, Pierce has been the head coach and general manager of the Centennials for the past five seasons, guiding Merritt to the playoffs every year, and winning BCHL Interior Division Coach of the Year honours in 2012-13.
Jason Williamson, 33, will be an assistant coach with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge for the first time. He has been the head coach and general manager in Vernon for the past four years, and was an assistant coach for three years prior to that. Williamson has made four trips to the RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship, winning the national title with the Vipers in 2009 and 2010, and finishing as runner-up in 2011. He played three seasons in Vernon (1999-2002), making two trips to the BCHL final.
Canada West has appeared in six of the eight gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge, winning gold in 2006 (Yorkton/Humboldt, Sask.), 2007 (Trail/Nelson, B.C.), and 2012 (Langley, B.C.). It also won silver in 2008 (Camrose, Alta.), 2009 (Summerside, P.E.I.), and 2012 (Yarmouth, N.S.), and won bronze in 2013 (Yarmouth, N.S.). It finished fourth in 2010 (Penticton, B.C.).
For more information on the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac, or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/wjrac and www.twitter.com/hc_wjac.