The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), in partnership with Hockey Canada, announced today that Jason Clarke, head coach and general manager of the Central Canada Hockey League’s Carleton Place Canadians, will be the head coach of Team Canada East at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge, scheduled for Dec. 11-17 in Bonnyville, Alta.
Clarke will be joined by assistant coaches Marc Lafleur (head coach, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League) Jeff Flanagan (head coach, Milton Ice Hawks, Ontario Junior Hockey League), and Martin Dagenais (head coach, Ottawa Jr. A Senators, Central Canada Hockey League).
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to represent my country for the second straight year,” said Clarke. “My first experience in international competition last year was an eye opener, and I know that experience will provide myself and the staff with the tools necessary to win a medal this year.”
Jason Clarke , 42, will make his second appearance with Team Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge. In seven years with Carleton Place, Clarke has led the Canadians to three consecutive CCHL titles, three Fred Page Cup wins as East Region champions, and three trips to the RBC Cup, including back-to-back appearances in the championship game in 2014 and 2015. He was named a Central Canada Cup head coach, as well as a World Junior A Challenge evaluation coach in 2014-15. To date, Clarke has more than 300 wins as a head coach in the regular season and playoffs. He was named the CCHL Coach of the Year in 2013-14 and 2014-15, and was also a finalist for CJHL Coach of Year in 2014-15.
Marc Lafleur , 41, will make his fourth consecutive appearance with Team Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge, having served as an assistant coach in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Named NOJHL Coach of the Year in his first season in Kirkland Lake in 2012-13, he led the Gold Miners to the NOJHL championship and a berth in the Dudley Hewitt Cup two years ago. Lafleur has worked as an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and in the NCAA with Bemidji State University. As a player, he spent two seasons with the USHL’s Thunder Bay Flyers, reaching the 1995 Centennial Cup.
Jeff Flanagan , 39, will serve on the Team Canada East staff for the first time. Flanagan is entering his first season with Milton Ice Hawks, having previously served as head coach of the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs, and HC Gardena in the Italian Second Division. He also has experience as an associate coach in the B.C. Hockey League and Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Martin Dagenais , 35, will be an assistant coach with Team Canada East for the first time. Dagenais has been coaching in the CCHL for eight years with Ottawa and the Hawkesbury Hawks, leading the Senators to Game 7 of the CCHL final last season. Dagenais was named CCHL General Manager of the Year in 2014-15, as well as to the CCHL Second All-Star Team. He was a head coach at the Central Canada Cup in 2015, and was guest coach in 2014.
Team Canada East has appeared in four of the 10 gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge, winning silver in 2006 (Yorkton/Humboldt, Sask.), 2007 (Trail/Nelson, B.C.), 2010 (Penticton, B.C.), and 2011 (Langley, B.C.), and bronze in 2008 (Camrose, Alta.). It finished fourth in 2009 (Summerside, P.E.I.), 2012 (Yarmouth, N.S.), 2014 (Kindersley, Sask.) and 2015 (Whitby/Cobourg, Ont.) and was sixth in 2013 (Yarmouth, N.S.).