Allain Picked to Lead 2011 World Junior Team
CHN Staff Report
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Yale coach Keith Allain has been named head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team, a post he held twice before, in 2001 and 2002. The team will be trying to defend its gold medal during the 2011 World Junior Championship, Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2011, in Buffalo.
"It is a great honor to be chosen to coach this team," Allain said. "Every time you get to represent your country, it's a terrific experience. The chance to do so in front of our home fans will make this occasion even more special."
The U.S. captured its second gold medal last year in Saskatchewan, with current Nebraska-Omaha coach Dean Blais leading the team.
Allain is 9-3-2 as head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (.714) of any U.S. head coach to have served on multiple teams. He was also an assistant coach on the 2008 U.S. National Junior Team. Allain has also served USA Hockey as an assistant coach on two U.S. Olympic Teams (1992, 2006) and two U.S. National Teams (2005, 2006). He also served as an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning 1996 U.S. World Cup of Hockey squad and was the goalie coach for the 2004 U.S. World Cup of Hockey Team.
"Keith has a wealth of experience, including at the international level, and we're really pleased that he's agreed to lead our team in Buffalo," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team. "He knows how to get the most out of players and has proven that at every level of hockey."
New Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki, who was an assistant last season, will serve as an assistant again, along with former NHL defenseman Phil Housley and former Merrimack goaltender Joe Exter.
Along with helping the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team to a gold medal, Osiecki's USA Hockey coaching experience includes two stints with the U.S. National Under-18 Team, serving as a head coach at the 1999 IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship in Slovakia and an assistant coach the following year in the Czech Republic. He also led the U.S. Junior Select Team to a gold medal as a head coach at the 1998 Freedom Challenge in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Housley, a mainstay as a player for U.S. teams, will be making his second appearance as a coach for the U.S. National Junior Team. He was a seven-time member of the U.S. Men’s National Team (1982, 1986, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2001 and 2003) and earned a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, he was a member of the 1982 U.S. National Junior Team.
A winner of USA Hockey's Bob Johnson Award in 2000 for excellence in international competition, Housley was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 following his 21-year career in the National Hockey League. A first-round draft pick (sixth overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, he spent the first eight years (1982-90) of his career there and, in 2007, was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. Housley will begin his seventh season as head coach of the Stillwater (Minn.) High School boys ice hockey team later this year.
Exter worked with Osiecki on the coaching staff of last year's gold medal-winning U.S. National Junior Team in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. He also recently completed his third season as USA Hockey's first-ever full-time goaltending coach with the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Former Yale coach Tim Taylor was named Director of Player Personnel for the team, the same role he held last year. Taylor was the Olympic team head coach in 1994, and spent 28 years as head coach at Yale.