Volunteers Wanted

Every year we require volunteers to come forward to fill vacancies in the Management Committee.  The more people that come forward makes it easier for everyone and results in a season with many successes.

If you want to know what the duties are, look up the position in the Handbook ( http://avmha.com/wp/handbook/ ) or ask any Executive member.

Management Committee members should be in place before the season starts in order to prepare for the season start in early September.

Just as Team Coaches must be in place in order to start the season, Division Managers are required before the players hit the ice.

Don’t be afraid to take on things you are not familiar with.  We will have people to mentor you and help you through your initiation period.

The Management committee meets monthly  and this brings everyone together to discuss the issues and make the decisions for the association.  The input of all Management committee members and Division managers is crucial to operate smoothly.

If you can commit to attending the monthly meeting and giving a few hours for the success of your child’s hockey season, please contact Al McCulloch NOW!

Community Volunteer of the Year Finalist

Marilyn Gibson 2011Alberni Valley Minor Hockey’s Honorary Life Time Member, Marilyn Gibson, has been named as a finalist for Volunteer of the Year, in the Alberni Valley Community Excellence Awards that will be given out a banquet on April 25th,2014.

Sharlene Check wrote, ” in my nomination letter you go above and beyond dedicating your time for the people of Port Alberni either by selling 50/50, chaperoning, committees, the list goes on and on!  So Marilyn – Congratulations and Thank You for all you done with your volunteering that benefited this association, and my family!”

Marilyn has been active with Alberni Valley Minor Hockey for over 30 years when her sons were in minor hockey.  She continues to this day with attendance to the monthly management committee meetings, organizing the annual photo day, awarding scholarships to AVMHA players, attending to the repair of hockey jerseys only to name a few.

Marilyn has been recognized by Alberni Valley Minor Hockey for her long time volunteer work in the past and again congratulates her for this current honor.




Players on each team (Recreational & Competitive)in Atom, PeeWee Bantam and Midget, were awarded for Most Sportsmanlike, Most Improved and Most Dedicated Player. These awards were presented by the team coach(es).

 (Click on any of the photos below for a larger image.)

Coach of the Year – Bob Kimoto (absent)
This year’s Coach of the Year had many nominations not only this year but in past year’s. These nominations came from parent, players, officials and fellow coaches. This coach has been described as always being fair and treating all kids equally.

He became a member of AVMHA at age 11 when he played for 2 years on the PeeWee Recreational team before his family moved out of town. In 1998 with a child of his own he began coaching his son in the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association.

In 2002 the family moved to Tofino and his son wanted to continue to play hockey which then renewed his membership in AVMHA. This coach has dedicated his years coaching both his son and daughters teams within the AVMHA. He has logged many kilometers and many hours travelling from Tofino to make his commitment to his children and to this association. Congratulations to Bob Kimoto.

Volunteer of the Year – Nicki Bezanson

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - Nicki Bezanson (presented by AVMHA President, Meranda Vallee)

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – Nicki Bezanson (presented by AVMHA President, Meranda Vallee)

Our minor hockey association wouldn’t be what it is without all of our volunteers.  From coaches to scorekeeprs and elveryone else in between, each and every volunteer is appreciated.

This volunteer has always gone above and beyond for her team and division.  Every year she steps up and bvolunteers, always willing to help out where ever need be.  She made sure everything ran smoothly at our first ever Bryan Mason Memorial tournament which was a huge success.

She is a kind, dedicated, hard working team mom and any team is lucky to heave her.  Congratulations to Nicki Bezanson.


Top Referee of the Year – Jordan Lavertu

TOP REFEREE OF THE YEAR - Jordan Lavertu (presented by Referee In Chief, Chris Canuel)

TOP REFEREE OF THE YEAR – Jordan Lavertu (presented by Referee In Chief, Chris Canuel)

Jessica States Memorial Award – Zakeysha Corey

JESSICA STATES MEMORIAL AWARD - Kakeysha Corey (with 2013 recipient, Nicole Gagnon & AVMHA Volunteer, Roxanne Leyland)

JESSICA STATES MEMORIAL AWARD – Zakeysha Corey (with 2013 recipient, Nicole Gagnon & AVMHA Volunteer, Roxanne Leyland)

This award is named after Jessica States, who was an active female hockey player when she was sadly killed in 1996, at age 11. Today she would be turning 29.

I look at the 17 previous award recipients and proudly see these enthusiastic young ladies continued on to play recreational and competitive hockey.

No doubt this year’s recipient will do the same. She has shown talent and skill that keeps on improving. She gets along with her team mates and has a great attitude on and off the ice. She definitely shows sportsmanship and dedication to the game. Oh behalf of Alberni Valley Minor Hockey and the States Family, Congratulations to Zakeysha Corey.

2014 Graduating Players;

Each graduate received a personalized jersey that was sponsored by local business.

Each graduate received a personalized jersey that was sponsored by local business.

Above and Beyond – Kord Kozocari

For going ABOVE & BEYOND, Kord Kozocari, presented by AVMHA President, Meranda Vallee

For going ABOVE & BEYOND, Kord Kozocari, presented by AVMHA President, Meranda Vallee

Kord has been involved since his kids started in hockey. When there was anything that needed some help, he was there. He coached kids in Atom when we were very desperate for coaches. He was voted in as Director at Large at last years AGM and after a full season, he has done a great job.





$5000. Cash Raffle Winner – Dan Shiner

Winner of April 2014 $5000. Cash Raffle - Dan Shiner

Winner of April 2014 $5000. Cash Raffle – Dan Shiner

Letter from AVMHA President – Dec. 17, 2013


To all players, parents and volunteers:

Xmas Letter from President Dec 2013

(Click on image to enlarge)

Hockey President Retires

Al McCulloch Mar 16-2013

With his sons graduated from the program, longtime minor hockey president Al McCulloch is stepping down from his position with the local association.  

McCulloch had been president for three terms and a combined five years.

“I’m going to miss it,” he said. “I enjoyed the people I’ve worked with. I had a really good executive and I had a really good relationship with the boys and the girls who came through the program.”

McCulloch will still go back to the rink to watch hockey, as he remains a fan of the game.

“I’m going to miss seeing all of the accomplishments the kids would make and the successes they achieve,” he said. “Seeing kids get something good out of hockey is a wonderful thing.”

Taking over for McCulloch will be the former treasurer of the AVMHA, Miranda Vallee. 

Vice president will be Trent Martin, Carolyn Scott will be treasurer, Kellie Steel will be registrar, and Bruce Brunt and Kord Kozocari will be on the executive as directors at large.

McCulloch does not doubt that Vallee will be a suitable replacement for his now former position as president.  “She’ll be awesome,” McCulloch said of Vallee. “I’ve got nothing but the utmost respect for Miranda. She’s been a treasurer forever, and she’s always got everyone’s best interests at heart.”

In the past 14 years he has been involved with minor hockey, McCulloch has watched the numbers shrink in the hockey community just as the population of the Alberni Valley as a whole has.

However, players have been more successful, he said, and the building of the Multiplex more than a decade ago no doubt has something to do with that, as players now have another sheet of ice with which to work with.

For the association to continue its successes, McCulloch would like to see more local players volunteer as coaches.

For that to happen, the former players need incentive to stay in town.

“We’ve got to get jobs in the community for the young guys to come back and coach,” McCulloch said. “We’ve got young coaches right now who came back and coached, and they’re very successful at it, and the kids really respond to it well.”

McCulloch had a long list of people to thank, including sponsors and supporters of minor hockey in the Alberni Valley, including arena staff, jersey suppliers, city staff, coaches, parents and players.


Published 11 Apr 2013 ALBERNI VALLEY TIMES
SCOTT MCKENZIE Smckenzie@avtimes.net

AVMHA Thanks Tag Day Supporters

AVMHA  thanks the following businesses for their support of our November Tag Day.

We also would like to thank the many contributors/supporters of local minor hockey.

A big thank you to the AVMHA players and volunteers that participated in the fundraising event.


Election of Executive Committee:

  • Vice President – Trent Martin – acclaimed
  • Director at Large A – 2 yr term – Bruce Brunt – acclaimed
  • Director at Large B – 1 yr remaining in term – Rob Gaudreault – acclaimed
  • Secretary – Tricia Marriott -acclaimed

Thank you to the following who are retiring from their positions:

  • Marilee Alexander – Secretary
  • Rob Cole – Coach Coordinator
  • Alison Sundstrum – Gaming Coordinator
  • Steve Harvey – Risk Manager

A motion was put to the floor to ask the membership for their support and donate $1000. to the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society.  It was discussed and later passed.  Presentation of the cheque will be done at the next PAJHS Event.

A common theme to the executive reports and new business discussed was… MORE HELP WANTED!

The draw for a free registration was won by Nicki Bezanson


Volunteers Needed

AVMHA is still looking for people to fill some key positions.  These positions are appointed by the AVMHA Executive and they need your help by coming forward with your willingness to take on the job.

It is important to fill these positions well in advance of the season so that they can prepare and be ready for the season start.

  • Initiation Program Coordinator
  • Recreational Team Coordinator

Other positions needing volunteers are:

  • Division Managers
  • Coaches
  • Rep Team Coaches (application deadline July 15th)

For details regarding these positions, please refer to the AVMHA Handbook.


Please contact Al McCulloch ASAP, aligm99@hotmail.com or ph 250-723-5499

Demerais is VIAHA Coach of the Year

Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association

Suite E-2301 McCullough Rd. Nanaimo BC V9S 4M9

Phone: 250-751-8811     Fax: 250-751-8812


May 2, 2011

To:  Brent Demerais

c/o Alberni Valley MHA


Dear Brent,

Re:       Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association Coach of the Year (2011) Award Recipient

Congratulations!  VIAHA has selected you as the recipient of our Coach of the Year Award for 2010-2011.

Your name was put forth by your association and supported by the VIAHA Officers, in acknowledgement of your commitment, enthusiasm, work ethic, successes and professionalism you have exhibited as a minor hockey coach.

Your dedication to give back to the game of hockey by sharing your time, knowledge and contributing to the personal betterment of hockey as well as life skills for the players of Alberni Valley MHA without having a child of your own in the program is laudatory.

We are pleased to extend an invitation to the VIAHA Annual General Meeting held in Nanaimo on May 29th, 2011 as our guest to formally accept your award.  Kindly reply back to Marg Herba, Executive Director at mherba@viaha.org.  We hope you can make it.

VIAHA Annual General Meeting

11:00am at Beban Park Social Centre Lounge

2300 Bowen Road, Nanaimo, BC

Once again, our congratulations on a very deserving nomination and we look forward to meeting you on May 29th.


Yours truly,

Mark Kenny



2010-11 Coaches – Thank You!

2008-2009 On Ice Officials

I have decided to continue doing the last of my interviews winding down with the ‘Official’ side of AVMHA. Referees are a large part of any Minor Hockey Association in Canada, and whether you ‘love ‘em or hate ‘em’ (this is Minor Hockey; not the Juniors or the NHL) they are in fact part of the game. They have a job to do, just like the players on the ice and the coaches behind the bench. Usually, in any given game, there are 2 linesmen and 1 official. With 3 sets of eyes, believe it or not, the officials don’t see all of the game and sometimes their calls might seem ‘unbelievable’; however, we audience members sometimes see a different game than the referees.

In recent years, Hockey Canada has placed television, magazine and poster ads confirming the fact that without these Officials, we wouldn’t have a game. The abuse that some of these men and women endure are the likely fact that we loose so many referees across Canada every year; a very true fact that we, the audience member, needs to keep in mind before sitting in our cool seats in any Hockey Arena. Minor Hockey Officials do get paid for reffing games but not enough to live off of by any means (only the few NHL Officials thrive on this privilege). The AVMHA Officials I have talked to over the years, are or were, hockey players themselves and truly enjoy being on ice officials; otherwise they wouldn’t be there.

Stacey McCulloch, AVMHA Public Relations



This is Jory Cole’s 2nd year officiating for AVMHA. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Cole began playing hockey 7 years ago in 2nd year Novice. He played through Atom, Pee-Wee and is now in his 2nd year Bantam Recreation, where he is also an ‘affiliate player’ for the Bantam Rep B team.

It was the beginning of last season, at the age of 13, when Cole decided to try out as an official; while still playing hockey. He took the necessary 6 hour clinic and passed the Level 1 exam; entry level for any official. Cole wanted to become a Referee, because, “I wanted to learn about the rules and see the game a bit different, and I get paid for it too”. Because he is a level 1 Official, Cole cannot ref his own age category (Bantam) only ref games under his age category and line in Pee-Wee Rep, which he says, “I get pretty cold just skating up and down the red and blue”.

He also states that, “I am fairly confident with making calls. I am also confident with talking to the score clock, time keepers, and the coaches on the bench and because my Dad coaches 3 teams, I usually end up talking to him”. He also likes the fact that he also plays hockey, so he can see the game at another angle.

Jory Cole continues playing and officiating for AVMHA, and looks forward to take his Level II when he turns 16.



This is Ryan Foster’s 11th year as an Official. Foster was born in Port Alberni, B.C and lived in the Alberni Valley until the age of 7, when the family moved to Powell River. He started playing minor hockey in Novice. While in Powell River, Foster played hockey and found out that a friend’s older brother was a referee and this sparked an interest for Foster. He figured he would like “to make a little pocket change”, so he took his Level I training.

The first season officiating became clear as a great choice for Foster, as he was the runner up at PRMHA as Official ‘Rookie of the Year”. Once Foster turned 16, he was able to upgrade and take his Level II. In the 2002/2003 season, Foster was in his 3rd year of officiating when he won the PRMHA ‘Junior Official of the Year’. He won an all expense paid trip for 2 to the BC Officials Camp held in Osoyoos, B.C, where he spent a week of training and getting to know other officials from all over the province. All the while honing his skills as a referee, he continued playing hockey until his last year in Midget Recreation.

In 2005, the Foster family again moved back to the Alberni Valley, where Foster continued to Ref. He says, “I do it the same reason why kids play hockey. All of my friends ref and I really enjoy it. Chris Canuel, Jason Ferguson, Darren Bondue and I, before we begin a game, we all do the ‘huddle’ too, give our fists a tap and say ‘have a great game’. We are a team on the ice too and communication is the key. First, you have to have a connection with the linesmen and other referees. We need to make sure we make eye contact and verbalize hand and verbal communication; second, you have to have communication with the players, especially when they’re in the corner with the puck, you gotta keep giving them time to move the puck and when its loose, verbalize to the players that its loose, just to keep the game flowing; third, you really need to have communication with the coaches.

We are all representing AVMHA, so we all need to work together (coaches and officials)”. In Fosters officiating career, he has seen a fair amount of fights, injuries, sent coaches and players packing, and very recently an on ice ‘brawl’ that was very quickly extinguished. Foster says that, “Hockey is a great game. For the younger officials, they really are the future of our Association. It really doesn’t help them when you have parents or coaches yelling or screaming at them if they think the young ref has made a bad call. At a Minor level, parents aren’t there to influence the game, they are there to watch. We won’t have refs left if people don’t start respecting them. It takes years to develop as an Official. They are doing the best with the experience and knowledge they have, so bare with it”.

When he’s not driving the Zamboni for Parks and Recreation, Foster continues Officiating in AVMHA and will until he no longer is physically able or it stops being ‘fun’. He plans on taking his Level III in the very near future.



Chris Canuel began his referee career almost 19 years ago. Born and raised in Merritt, B.C, Canuel started playing hockey at the age of 5. He played through all minor hockey competitive divisions until his last 2 years in Midget when he played in the junior programs.

It was during his grade twelve school year that Canuel moved and played Junior B for Grand Forks and Revelstoke for half of the season. He decided to go back to Merritt and finish his last year of school playing as an affiliate player for the ‘Merritt Centennials’. He ended that season playing the last 5 games for the ‘Centennials’ and was asked to try out for the Nanaimo Clippers Junior A team the following season. Canuel packed his bags and headed to Vancouver Island. He was released from the Nanaimo Clipper’s shortly after his arrival but was approached by Port Alberni ‘Bandit’ Junior B assistant coach Ted Steward, and offered Canuel the chance to play for the team the ‘96/’97 season. It was at that time that his coach Lorne Smith and Ted Steward moved Canuel from a forward to defenseman. Canuel enjoyed the change, and after his 2nd year playing for the ‘Bandits’, Canuel and fellow teammate Steve Tramer left the ‘Bandits’ for a chance to play in Quesnel for the ‘Millionaires’ Junior A team for a short time. Canuel came back for a 3rd and final season with the ‘Bandits’ ending in 1999, but moved on to two years of University in Kamloops in search of a teaching career. While playing minor hockey, Junior A and B hockey, Canuel continued officiating.

He started officiating at the age of 12 in Merritt, and in 1992 at the age of 15 Canuel was invited to the ‘Best of B.C’ camp for officials held in Osoyoos, B.C. He met and became friends with Ian Zibin at the camp (son of Fred Zibin, past Referee in Chief for AVMHA). That same year Canuel attended the camp, he lined his first Junior A game. Canuel said that, “I will never forget that game for all the wrong reasons. It was Merritt Centennials at home versus the Nanaimo Clippers and a player suffered a serious neck injury from a check into the boards. It was a really long break in the game to get him off the ice safely. It truly was a horrible memory for my first Junior A game”. In fact, it was a 14 year break before Canuel lined another junior game. He spent those years continuing to officiate in the minor hockey divisions.

It wasn’t until he was playing for the ‘Bandits’ that he ended up reffing under Francois Warren, who Canuel dedicates his successes from as an RIC. He states that, “Francois left behind a great bunch of referees and a great guideline for a system a RIC should follow and it has made it an easy transition from referee to Referee in Chief”.

The opportunity came in 2005 for Canuel to step up and become AVMHA’s Ref in Chief himself; a position that he has held for the last 3 seasons saying, “I really love the game and being on the ice. It’s really the teaching job I always wanted. Being able to share my experiences as a referee and a player and use that to teach the younger referees the skills that I have been taught to be a good official”.

A lot of really good officials come out of the Alberni Valley; Rob Schick, Carl Poole, Ian Zibin and now Cody Chretien and Steve Bratt are making a name for themselves in the juniors. Just recently, Cale Lee and TJ Hamre have been reffing above the minor program in Junior B and Major Midget games. Canuel says, “The more junior games these guys ref, the better. It keeps their game at a high level, having to react quicker to the bigger, faster games. They will do well, especially with the playing experience they have, because they can look at the game from both points of view”.

Canuel also adds that female officials are in high demand, and if any females are interested in reffing, now is the time to do it, “Female hockey has gotten so big across Canada in the last 5 years, and there are a lot of female teams and no female referees. Hockey Canada and BC Hockey are really trying to recruit referees who want to focus on officiating the female game”.

While Chris Canuel continues to enjoy being the Referee in Chief for AVMHA, he also officiates for AVMHA and the junior programs on Vancouver Island. Canuel will resume his teaching career, going back to school in January 2009. If you are interested in becoming an Official for next season, visit the AVMHA website at www.avmha.com or contact Chris Canuel at chris_canuel@shaw.ca


Name & Level
Dale Amos I Ben Beens I
Darren Bondue II Jordan Booth I
Steve Bratt III Rob Campbell II
Chris Canuel III Cody Chretien IV
Jory Cole I Troy Croteau II
Andrew Cusson I Devin Cusson I
Alex Duquette I Austin Evans I
Jason Ferguson II Ryan Foster II
Blake Frechette I Connor Gagnon I
Devon Girard I Darcy Haggard I
Brad Hamelin I TJ Hamre II
Devon Heard I Russ Hiltz I
Cale Lee II Colby Lim I
Jordan Love I Jesse Manchanda I
Jon Marcellus I Keegan Moore II
Johanna Neufeld I Spencer Pierce I
Bryan Read I Wesley Schutt I
Don Steinhauer III Ryan Taylor I
Tyrell Terryberry I Francois Warren III
Ryan White I


2008-2009 Recreational Coaches


SCOTT CLYDESDALE This is Scott Clydesdale’s 5th season coaching for AVMHA. Born in Powell River, B.C, and raised in Port Alberni, Clydesdale didn’t start playing hockey until just 6 years ago. He started out with the Parks and Recreation ‘Rookie Program’ with Ron Doetzel. It was around the same time that his wife and daughter started playing hockey and the family hasn’t looked back.

Clydesdale began coaching in 2004 in the Mites division. He credits another AVMHA coach, Mark Addy, with whom he ‘learnt so much’ from. Clydesdale took his necessary coaching clinics and still enjoys learning from other coaches. After coaching 1 year Mites, 2 years Novice and now into his 2nd year in Atom, he is sharing the head coach position with Rob Cole because of both coaches’ time commitments.

He says that, “This years’ team is really still developing. They are learning every time they hit the ice and are getting better with every game! It’s incredible that almost half of the team is female (5 female & 13 male) I think the entire Atom Recreation division has an abundance of girls and this is great (later on) for the AVMHA Female Program.” Clydesdale really enjoys coaching and states that,” I have learned with the kids and I am still learning”.


This is Rob Cole’s 6th season coaching for AVMHA; and it’s never only coaching 1 team at a time. Cole was born and raised in the Alberni Valley and never played hockey in the Minors; in fact, he just started playing hockey 5 years ago. Cole started playing in the Men’s Rookie League as a defensemen and laughs as he says that, “I am still learning my position with the kids”.

He began coaching 6 years ago because he didn’t want to just ‘hang out in the stands watching practices’. His first year in AVMHA, he coached in Novice division with Dwayne Hipkiss (who has since moved to Calgary, Alberta), and then in recent years with coaches Kale Haugen, Bob Kimoto and Tom Jarvis. He enjoys coaching with different staff every season, because “You learn so much every year.

I have seen various types of coaching techniques and styles; I am not sure what type I am yet. As a coach you have to make sure that the kids are having fun. At this age they are trying out new skills, but for this age the skating and positioning is definitely very important.

Over the years I have gotten to know the kids, not only as players but also as individuals. This years’ team is playing better every time they hit the ice. They are moving around better and are really getting to know their positions well. I am glad they are having fun out there”.

Rob Cole is coaching Mites, Novice, Atom & Bantam divisions this 2008/2009 season.

from top left, Rob Ivezich, Bob Kimoto, Al Jack & MAGIC MOMENTS ‘SHARKS’


This is Kimoto’s 10th season coaching hockey on Vancouver Island. Born in Tofino, B.C, Kimoto was raised on Vancouver Island. At the age of 7 (growing up in Ucluelet, B.C, he started playing floor hockey in the West Coast Floor Hockey League between Tofino and Ucluelet (because there wasn’t an ice arena on the west coast).

At the age of 11, the family moved to Port Alberni and Kimoto began playing ice hockey at AVMHA. He played 2 years Pee-Wee recreation in the Valley and then his family moved to Duncan, B.C. where he played his first year Bantam in the competitive program. The Kimoto family then moved to Nanaimo, B.C where he played his 1st year in Midget; unfortunately Kimoto broke his arm and that ended his season. This was only for a short while, as he started playing in the Men’s Recreation League in Nanaimo while attending Malaspina College (now known as VIU).

It was in Nanaimo in 1998 when Kimoto began coaching. His son just started playing hockey, so he decided to lend a hand on the ice. In 2002 his family moved to Tofino, and his son still wanted to play hockey, so as a family, the Kimoto’s decided to “commit to another season of hockey and driving”. There were 4 boys wanting to play ice hockey that year, so Kimoto thought he would get involved and commute and coach. The first season he was Head Coach for the Novice Co-op Kings. That year Kimoto comments, “With lots of time for hockey talk on the drive, we all learned a lot and had a great season”.

In 2003/2004 he took on the role of assistant coach for Dwayne Hipkiss for the Atom Avalanche. Kimoto took a year break from coaching as his son made the Atom Rep team 2004/2005 season (along with another player from Tofino). That year they commuted to Port Alberni at least 4 days a week, and logged many kilometers as well. Kimoto’s son decided to play in the recreation league the following 2005/2006 season, as this was less travel and time commitment. Kimoto again went behind the bench with Dwayne Hipkiss that year for the Pee-Wee Panthers.

The 2006/2007 season Hipkiss moved to Calgary, Alberta, so Kimoto took over as head coach of the Pee-Wee Panthers. He also was assistant coach to Scott Clydesdale in Novice division, as Kimoto’s daughter began playing her 1st year in hockey. This was another big year for driving. The Avalanche won the Pee-Wee Tournament at Oceanside that season and proved to be Kimoto’s “most rewarding experiences I’ve had coaching”.

The 2007/2008 season, Kimoto assisted Tom Jarvis in his son’s 1st year Bantam playing in the Mid Island league and assisted Shawn Elder and Scott Clydesdale in his daughters 2nd year Novice.

This season, Kimoto’s son decided not to play hockey this year, but his daughter still wanted to play, so now he is back coaching the Atom Sharks and making the long, dedicated commute to the Alberni Valley. As Kimoto says, “It will be another great year just like all of the others have been. I really like coaching and its good family time driving back and forth. I do a lot of ‘pep talking’ but I really want my kids to learn the value of commitment. This year the commute is a little longer as we play games every other weekend in Parksville.

This years Atom team is great. The players and parents are committed and it’s great for developmental as we get to see other teams outside the Valley. These kids are very attentive and really want to learn. They all want to succeed at hockey and with constant skill development they are getting there”.


This is Ivezich’s first season coaching hockey in AVMHA. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Ivezich played hockey from Atom all the way through to Midget in the recreation league. He went on playing in the commercial leagues after the minors.

Ivezich went on hiatus for many years and just picked up his stick last year after a 12 year break. He now plays in the AV Men’s League for “Boston Pizza”. Ivezich started coaching not only because his daughter is on the team, but there was also shortfall of coaches. He loves coaching and says, “If a Pee-Wee team was stuck for a coach, I would definitely go out for them. It’s great being on the bench”. Ivezich is amazed at the amount of females in Atom this season and adds jokingly that “they could almost make up a complete team!” He is really excited for this years’ team and adds, “These players continue to amaze me, they get to their positions and they play well. I am also very impressed with how attentive they are and they listen. These kids want to be here”.

Atom – Sharks Atom – Stars
Sponsor – Magic Moments Sponsor – Haggard Trucking
Bob Kimoto – Head Coach Scott Clydesdale – Head Coach
Rob Ivezich – Assistant Coach Rob Cole – Head Coach
Al Jack – Assistant Coach Darren McLeod – Asst. Coach
Aaron Vissia – Assistant Coach Roger Bossoit – Asst. Coach
Sharlene Check – Team Mgr. Tana Cole – Team Mgr.
Anna Jack – Team Mgr.





This is Mike Locke’s 5th year coaching for AVMHA. Locke was born and raised in the Alberni Valley and started playing hockey at the age of 8. His first season was in Atom Recreation and he continued playing in the recreation division until Pee-Wee, where he moved into the competitive program.

Locke played 4 seasons in the competitive program and he remembers his coaches Mike Mowat and Ivano Antonazzi with a smile. He continued playing hockey after the minors in the Alberni Valley Men’s League and is currently playing for ‘Bowerman’.

Locke started coaching when his son started playing hockey 5 years ago. He began coaching with mentors Mike Doucette and Dan Sexton in Mites. Locke states that, “I started helping out with Mites because I love being around kids and hockey. I like being on the bench, in fact any bench!

I also coach ball and I am also involved with the ‘Water Sports Association’ with wake boarding. This is my first year coaching Pee-Wee and our division is in the Mid-Island League, so it’s fun travelling with the team to Oceanside and Nanaimo.

Our team started out shaky and was a test in the beginning, but things are smoothing out now and the team is starting to bond and they seem to really enjoy being on the ice”.

Mike Locke currently has 2 sons playing hockey for AVMHA.

PeeWee – Rangers PeeWee – Avalanche
Sponsor – Port Alberni Firefighters Sponsor – Dieverts’s Roofing
Mike Locke, Head Coach Mark Addy, Head Coach
Ray Ursel, Asst. Coach Gary Casavant, Asst. Coach
Eileen Ursel, Asst. Coach Greg Dolling, Asst. Coach
Rick Geddes, Asst. Coach Brenda Oscienny, Asst. Coach
Stacy Haider-Gaetz, Team Mgr. Lisa Heavoner, Team Mgr.






Cesare Marcellus has been an AVMHA coach for the last 6 years.  Cesare was born and raised in the Alberni Valley and started playing hockey as a goaltender at the age of 8 at ‘the old barn’.

Bryan Cayer and Rob Bachmeir were his first coaches that year in Atom sponsored by ‘Cal Shoes’.  He started out his first year in recreation, ending it playing in the competitive program.  His coaches at the end of that season were Steve Acland, Richard Startup and Don Barclay.  Back in 1981, Cesare says “When we played in the competitive program, you had to play for a team in the house program, now known today as ‘recreation’ so we were playing for 2 teams all season.”

His second season in Atom, his ‘house’ coach was Dale Fitzgerald and his competitive coach was Mike Mowat.  (Mowat is now BC Hockey’s District Coach Coordinator for Vancouver Island.) He continued to play in the competitive program and it was in Bantam that the team went to 2 consecutive Provincials (1985/1986 season in Sydney, BC and 1986/1987 season in Burns Lake, BC).  Marcellus’ first year Midget took him and his teammates over the hump to Parksville as Port Alberni didn’t have a Midget rep team at the time.  After one season Cesare was back in Port Alberni to play his final season of Midget, as AVMHA brought back the competitive program and they went on to win the second BC Provincial title in AVMHA history.  The BC Provincial Championship banners hang in the Weyerhauser Arena today.

In 1990 Cesare moved to Parksville to play Junior B for the Island Hall Generals (now known as the Oceanside Generals).  He spent 3 seasons in Parksville until 1993 when he packed his gear and took a leave for 12 years.

It was in 2002 when Cesare took to the ice coaching for AVMHA.  It was a given as his son decided to play and Cesare wanted to help out as coach.  He has since coached 1 year Atom, 2 years Pee-Wee, 2 years Bantam and is now on his second year in Midget recreation.  Cesare has seen talent in his players over the years and many of his players moving on to the competitive program.  As an ever popular coach with the players, largely due to his patience and humor, Cesare says “I coach because I enjoy hockey and it’s great to be around it.  I have played for some really great teams and coaches over the years.  Ivano Antoniazzi was my last AVMHA coach.  He was a great coach, a great friend and a great mentor.  He was very good at helping us be a team.  It wasn’t always about the X’s and the O’s with him.  Everyone in that room works for one another.  We might win because someone on the team had a great game; but we all lose together.  Antoniazzi had some real good philosophies and I try to use that when I’m behind the bench.”

This year, Cesare is coaching one team in Midget and one team in Bantam.  His wife, Jody has been a huge support but she also carries her own volunteerism.  Jody is AVMHA Division manager of both Bantam and Midget, 3rd Vice Pres. on the AVMHA executive and is also Mid Island League Midget Commissioner this year.

Cesare says “The teams that I coach are very well balanced and there’s a great group of kids on each.  We really need parental support to pull off the season.  As they work the clock, sit in the penalty boxes and run the 50/50 draws, they are a tremendous help as we coaches need to be behind the bench.  Coaching both divisions can be highly stressful.  It’s the parents and grandparents that run the scene.”

“As both divisions have home and away games, we also travel to Nanaimo and Oceanside on a weekly basis (Mid Island League), so sometimes the Bantam and Midget games conflict.  If it wasn’t for the other Bantam/Midget coaches that I coach with, I would be stuck.  This year, we have a great group of dedicated, experienced coaches.  These guys all get along well, so if one coach can’t make a practice or game, another one steps in.  This year, Garrett Brooks, stepped up and decided to coach on what would’ve been his last year playing Midget.  He unfortunately has an injury and can’t play.  I think it’s great that this grade 12 student is giving something back to AVMHA.  We (coaches) are in it for the players.”

Bantam – Wild Bantam – Coyotes
Sponsor – Alberni Co-op Sponsor – Tremblay Orthodontics
Bruce Bunt (Head Coach) Cesare Marcellus (Head Coach)
Dave Hiltz Kim Beres
Aaron Forrester Rob Cole
Kevin Murray Brent Davidson
Midget – Canucks Midget – Hurricanes
Sponsor – Canadian Tire Sponsor – Buy Low Foods
Art Hubert (Head Coach) Cesare Marcellus (Head Coach)
Kevin Berard Cliff Evans
Corey Haggerty Garrett Brooks





This is Heather Senger’s 2nd year coaching for AVMHA. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she grew up in Victoria, B.C. and was training as a figure skater at the age of 6.

After 6 years of figure skating, Senger decided to try ice hockey at the age of 12. She played 2 years Bantam for Juan de Fuca and very much enjoyed the game, saying, ‘Hockey is where I always should have been’.

After many years of hiatus from hockey, Senger moved to the Alberni Valley 13 years ago and joined the Female League 6 years ago, where she currently plays centre & defense for the ‘Bombers’. She sees last seasons Female Bantam team as a ‘struggling year’ and decided to take all of the necessary coaching clinics (along with assistant coach and fellow hockey player Leeanne Savard) to prepare for coaching this season.

Senger states that, “In Female, it is very important to have supervision in the dressing rooms, guidance and especially structure. It’s great that we can be there for our team to get them ‘in the zone’ before a game”.

Senger and the other respected coaches really see a great improvement of their team so far this season. The “Communication is there and the girls are focused on what their here to do”. Senger’s past figure skating experience has come in very useful as she teaches the players the ‘technical part of the game’. She says, “The players are mainly in their 3rd year of hockey and of course there isn’t any body checking in female hockey, but it can get fairly physical.

The players look good out there, as they have all learnt their positions. I am hoping by December that the team is motivated and continues advancing their game. We are in the Vancouver Island Female Bantam League and travel to Oceanside, Nanaimo, Sooke and Juan de Fuca. It’s an exciting year! I like filling my time with coaching and I feel like I am making a difference with these kids!”

Female Bantam – Canucks
Sponsor – JAL Designs
Heather Senger, Head Coach
Mike Irg, Asst. Coach
Leeanne Savard, Asst. Coach
Brad Goldbeck, Asst. Coach
Rhonda Doughty, Team Mgr.





This is Roger Haggerty’s 16th year coaching for AVMHA. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Haggerty enthusiastically started playing hockey at the age of 5. He continued playing hockey through all of the recreation divisions for 13 years at the ‘old barn’.

Haggerty continued playing hockey after the minor hockey level. He eventually played in the Alberni Valley Men’s League for 5 years. He began his coaching career for AVMHA the ’88-’89 season for a Pee-Wee recreation team, along side head coach Lee Omilusk. He says that, “I remember that year well, because we coached Carl Poole and Steve Tramer and Daryl Baird; what a great season that was!”

Haggerty continued coaching several divisions, male and female, and in one season he ended up coaching 3 teams simultaneously. He says, “I have always liked hockey and coaching. I like the fact that I am giving back to these kids and the game. I am very proud that my son Cory (who graduated just last year) is coaching for the first time this season in Midget Recreation for the ‘Canadian Tire Canucks’; he’s giving back too”.

When Haggerty started coaching, he found it to be very challenging, but from learning from different coaches that were more experienced and taking various clinics, he has become a better coach.

The last few years Haggerty has been coaching the Female Divisions. Last season’s Female Midget team won their division title and the Vancouver Island Championship; he has hopes to emulate that this season. His team is in the Vancouver Island Female Midget Recreation League and will be travelling to Oceanside, Victoria, Sooke and Peninsula.  Haggerty sees this years’ team as a “fun and fair team with progressive steady improvement”.

Female Midget – Maple Leafs
Sponsor – Jowsey’s
Roger Haggerty, Head Coach
Kevin Berard, Asst. Coach
Aaron Vissia, Asst. Coach
Shelley Arnfield, Team Mgr.

2008-2009 Competitive Team Coaches

ALBERNI VALLEY MIDGET REP ‘FUSION’– Sponsored by Alberni Valley Breakers Marine.

DIANE MOORE is a very familiar face at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. Not only has she been a hockey player for the Senior Women’s AV Panthers and quite recently playing for the Breakers Hockey team (female recreation league), she has been coaching within AVMHA for over 7 years now.

Moore is very much an advocate of Female Minor Hockey in our community; and her passion has reached to other communities throughout Vancouver Island as well. She began coaching in 2001 primarily because there weren’t many female coaches around. She ran an introductory program for first time female hockey players ranging in ages 8 -12 years that same year. Many female players are still in our hockey system (and elsewhere) due to this program.

The 2005 & 2007 season saw Moore assistant coach for the Mid-Island Female Bantam  ‘Extreme’‘A’ team out of Nanaimo; both years’ the team qualified and played the Provincials. During the 2006/2007 season, Moore was assistant coach for the Alberni Valley Female Midget ‘Fusion’ ‘A’, while at the same time putting her efforts into the title of Female Minor Hockey Coordinator for AVMHA; a position that she still holds today.

April of this year, she was given an offer she couldn’t refuse; to manage the U16 Female Island zone. Although she was off the bench, she relished in the responsibilities and duties to these young hockey players. Moore finds coaching to be ‘truly enjoyable and satisfying and it’s nice to see the program growing and girls being able to improve their skills and play at a competitive level. I have always had a passion for hockey and being able to spend my time teaching the players the game has been a dream come true!” Moore was named assistant coach for the U16 Female Island Zone Team at press time

LOUISE WALLER is one of the newest members in coaching for AVMHA. Born and raised in Kanata, Ontario, Waller started playing hockey in the Kanata Girls Hockey Association. She started at the recreation level and before long she was playing at the ‘B’ level prior to moving to Edmonton where she continued to play hockey. As an adult, Waller played on the Sooke Thunderbirds Women’s ‘AA’ from 1993-2001. An impressive 8 year commitment, the team qualified and played at 5 Provincials and 3 Western Shields, ultimately winning the Western Shield final with a shut out game. Most recently, Waller played on the Omega Senior Women’s Farm team and again, appeared in 2 Provincials. In 2002, she decided to move into coaching, received her level 1 and coached a Nanaimo Islanders Women’s recreational team and she hasn’t looked back. Waller’s hockey experience and longevity to the game is a huge asset to the Midget Fusion this year.

MELENIE CAMPBELL has been involved with AVMHA in various capacities over the last 11 years. Not only has she coached for 8 of those years, she was also team manager for 2 competitive teams and division manager for Mites, Atom and Pee-Wee (male). Campbell also coached for the Campbell River Skating Club and the Mount Arrowsmith Skating Club for the Junior Skating Program. Six years ago, she decided to combine figure skating with her love of hockey and laced up to play defensemen (currently with the Canadian Tire Shooters) and has never looked back! Her 16 years experience as a competitive figure skater and trained power skater (primarily out of Vancouver and Campbell River) makes her skill and knowledge a major resource for this year’s team.

As manager and skating coach for the ‘Fusion ‘this season she comments, “I chose to coach as I feel it is very important to support our youth and give back to the community that once helped me out. I also believe that your actions speak louder than words, and hope that my children will remember what their parents did for them as they grew up, and will take that into their adulthood, and give back the same way I have. I have never taken on a head coach role, as I feel my strengths have always come from the support system to those I work with and to help with the skating aspect of the game”.


BRENT DEMERAIS – This is Demerais’ 4th consecutive year coaching for AVMHA. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, he first hit the ice at the tender age of 1 year. A few years later he was playing hockey within AVMHA as a centre, eventually moving up to play in the competitive program. Demerais moved on playing Junior B Timbermen and from there, drafted up to Junior A and played with the Merritt Centennials ‘83/’84 season. To date, he holds an impressive 25 year team scoring record (2nd that season only to Brett Hull) of 66 goals, 58 assists, 124 points and 189 penalty minutes! Demerais went on to WIHL playing for the Cranbrook Royals and after his last year in ’88 decided to try his hand at coaching. He spent 5 years coaching in Cranbrook, 1 year in Victoria and then made his way back home to the Alberni Valley. Last years’ season coaching the Bantam Timbermen took on another success with his team winning the Vancouver Island Championship banner, which hasn’t been done in the Alberni Valley since 1988! Demerais looks forward to coaching this year’s Midget team, as he loves being around hockey and the hard working players. He grins as he says about this years’ team, “they’re fast and we have great goaltending”.

DAVE MCCONNELL – This is McConnell’s 10th consecutive year coaching for AVMHA. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, McConnell played hockey within AVMHA starting in the Pee-Wee division when he moved into the competitive program playing right wing through to Midget. He moved on playing defense for the Port Alberni Commercial League; the Beaufort Hotel & Arlington Hotel respectively. McConnell also took time out to coach his “other passion” Men’s League Baseball for 10 years. This is McConnell’s 2nd straight year coaching with Brent Demerais, hoping to have successes like last year’s Bantam Reps. Although it’s a new year and new division, Demerais enjoys coaching with McConnell and laments, “we’re on the same page about the team and philosophies where old school meets new school to mix it up a little’. McConnell enjoys the game of hockey and really enjoys being around the players. His personal goal for this years’ team is to play in the top tier, then drop back to our regular tier 2 to qualify for the Provincials.

BRYCE ABBOTT As the newest member of the coaching staff of Demerais & McConnell, Bryce Abbott has jumped on board for his 1st official year of coaching. Bryce was also born and raised in the Alberni Valley and started playing within AVMHA at a young age. He first started playing in the competitive program as a 1st year Pee-Wee and finished playing for AVMHA in Midget. Most recently, Abbott helped out Rob Gaudreault’s Atom Rep team 2 seasons ago. This sparked an interest in coaching for Abbott. He knew Rick Schvievink who introduced him to Demerais. Demerais then encouraged him to come on board and coach with him and McConnell. Abbott is excited to be coaching this season and says about this years’ Midget Rep team that, “The goaltending and defense are solid”. (picture L to R, Tom Jarvis, Jim Kraneveldt & Johnny Versteeg (manager)

ALBERNI VALLEY MIDGET B BULLDOGS – Sponsored by Versteeg Concrete, Canada Safeway & Kozlowski Construction

JIM KRANEVELDT has coached for AVMHA off and on the last 22 years. He was born and raised in the Alberni Valley and began playing hockey in Atom and played in the competitive program finishing in Midget. As a solid centre man, he went on to play for the Junior B Timbermen at the “old community arena’. In 1992, he went on to play in Powell River for the Intermediate League. Kraneveldt’s interest in coaching hockey began when he was 19 years old. In his first year of coaching, he took on 2 Midget recreation teams alone. His coaching within AVMHA has evolved over the years coaching recreation & competitive.   Kraneveldt’s most notable success was coaching a spring hockey team in 2005 (the Vancouver Island Bulldogs) with Rick Chernomaz that took them to a tournament in Whistler, B.C taking home silver. Kraneveldt has also coached the spring hockey team “Island Venom” out of Nanaimo. He looks forward to this year, with the introduction of AVMHA’s Midget Rep B team with Tom Jarvis and team manager Johnny Versteeg. He says that “Midget B will be a steep learning curve with players that have never played rep before. We have the speed and energy and will see us stronger as the season goes on. We will be competing for a division title at the end of the year”. Kraneveldt also gives a pat on the back to all coaches in AVMHA, stating “By the time these kids get to Midget, the coaches (AVMHA) have all shared in coaching these players and the kids have had tremendous support from each coach in one way or another”. What does he say about himself as a coach? “Hockey is a game I have always seen myself in some capacity”.

TOM JARVIS has coached for AVMHA for the last 10 years and loves being on the bench. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Jarvis played within AVMHA right through the competitive program. He played 2 years for the Junior B Timbermen starting season in ’78. Jarvis still recalls the games at the community arena wearing the ‘blue & white jersey’. As a hard-nosed winger, Jarvis turned down the 1st year of Junior A Cowichan Valley camp invitational, the same camp invite where team mate Steve Selva went on to play. Jarvis ended up in the Intermediate Sr. Men’s League and played his first year with the PA Labatt’s (that season the Labatt’s folded) and then four seasons with the PA Islanders. He changed his position to defense and was very ‘solid on the blue and still hard-nosed’. Jarvis then went on to play in the Commercial & Industrial League, playing for King Edward Hotel, Racquet Club and the Greenwood Pub. His last years playing hockey was for Toms Brothers in the Friday Night League. That was 8 years ago. Jarvis is very excited to be coaching again this year and especially in Midget B with Jim Kraneveldt and assisted by manager Johnny Versteeg.   (picture L to R, Rick Schievink, Kevin Somerville & Rick Geddes)

ALBERNI VALLEY BANTAM A BULLDOGS – Sponsored by Huu-ay-aht Forestry Ltd.

KEVIN SOMERVILLE has been coaching minor hockey in various communities throughout Vancouver Island for the last 13 years. Born and raised in Duncan, B.C, Somerville played in the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association from the age of 7 until he graduated from High School. After graduation Somerville found himself helping out different hockey schools several consecutive summers in a row. He then spent four years at the University of British Columbia playing for the UBC Faculty Super League all the while earning a degree in Forestry. It was then back to the Island for Somerville, where he really started to tap into his coaching skills. He says that,” The game of hockey was something I always had a passion for from a very young age. Coaching is a way for me to stay involved with the game and a way in which I can remain directly involved with my own children and their friends in a mentoring role”. This is Somerville’s first year to be the head coach of the AV Bantam Rep A Bulldogs. He affirms that, “The team this year has potential to do very well. We are strong in net with both goalies returning players from last year’s team. We have only two other players returning from last years team; however, we are looking for all four kids to play key leadership roles on this year’s team. The rest of our players are a mix of second year Bantam Recreation and first year kids who played Pee-Wee Rep last year. We do not have a lot of depth in size, but look for us to be fast. Expect this team to play a much more defensive style game than previous years. If we can get the players executing this game style I expect that we will be competitive with many of the top teams in Tier 1 and 2. So far going into the placement round is what I’d like to see”.

RICK GEDDES has been coaching minor hockey for AVMHA the last 13 years. Born and raised in the Valley, Geddes began playing hockey at a very young age. He started in the recreation division but moved very quickly into the competitive program as a solid goaltender. Geddes ended up playing in Oceanside (his last year Midget) as the Alberni Valley didn’t have a division in category. Finishing his minor hockey career playing in the competitive program, Geddes then moved onto play Junior A with the Cowichan Valley Whalers and then Junior B with the Peninsula Eagles. It was during his first season in Junior (January 1988) when Geddes came home to the Alberni Valley and played net with on of the local Senior Men’s teams, when he suffered a serious injury. This neck injury almost claimed his life, as he spent almost a year in recovery. That same year Clint Malarchuk (of NHL’s Buffalo Sabres) suffered the same injury, and it was because of these incidents that Hockey Canada implemented the mandatory use of neck guards in minor hockey. After the two years in Junior were over, Geddes decided to break and hang up his gear for awhile. With hockey always on his mind, he decided to step into the role of coach. Opportunity arose when he was asked to be assistant coach of the AV Pee-Wee Reps in 1995 along side Don Lloyd and Gerald Trees. Geddes kept looking forward every season to coach the next team. The 2007/2008 season, Geddes took the AV Atom Rep Timbermen to the Vancouver Island Championships; and won. A very proud moment for the team, although couldn’t go on as there aren’t Provincials in Atom (as it’s considered to be developmental). That same season, Geddes won AVMHA Coach of the Year award. He is still very proud of all past accomplishments, and is keeping optimistic about this year’s team, “This is a fun bunch of really good kids. The parents are very supportive as well and that’s important. Many of these players I have coached back since Atom, so I know them quite well. The ultimate for this year is to definitely do well in the play offs and ultimately make the Provincials”.

RICK SCHIEVINK really does not need an introduction to the Alberni Valley. Not only is he known as a well respected instructor, manager and evaluator, Schievink is also a highly regarded coach. Alberni Valley born and raised, Schievink started playing hockey early in AVMHA and continued playing through the Rep program (one of the original Timbermen). He moved up to Junior ‘A’ playing in Kelowna and Junior ‘B’ in Victoria. Once back in the Valley, Schievink then played for the Timbermen Senior Men’s team and also played for a short time in Europe with the National Nederland Nijmegan team (Holland 1st Division). He started coaching over 15 years ago in Minor, High Performance, Junior ‘A’ and Recreational Hockey players. His impressive resume is very extensive. He has been a ‘Canpower Skating Instructor for Mt. Arrowsmith Skating Club (3 yrs), Evaluator for U16 High Performance (since 2001), Alberni Valley Bulldogs BCHL Associate Coach (4 years), ADSS Hockey Canada Skills Academy Head Instructor (since 2004) as well as U17 High Performance evaluator, manager and coach. Schievink also managed to find time for volunteering as an AVMHA coach for the last 14 years. He says, “I started to coach because I was the only dad who could skate and I loved to spend time with my son and his friends. I realized that I could skate, pass and shoot but did not have a clue what I was doing to accomplish those skills, had lead to my ‘blind’ passion for coaching. I needed to learn more about the knowledge required to teach those skills to young athletes. I took every course and grabbed every hockey coaching experience I could get my hands on”. Schievink is very excited to be part of the coaching staff for the Bantam Bulldogs this season. He says that, “My contribution to the Bantam team comes from a desire to give back to the community and the sport. I see myself more in a mentorship role with Kevin and Rick and I am doing my best to share my Jr A and program of Excellence (High Performance) knowledge with them with the hope that they too can pass along their experiences and improve the level of coaching in our association. Better coaching = better athletes”. (picture, Tony Roodbol)

ALBERNI VALLEY BANTAM B BULLDOGS – Sponsored by Breaker Electric, Hometown Automotive LTD & Tseshaht Market

TONY ROODBOL This is Roodbol’s 6th season coaching for AVMHA. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Roodbol’s first love of sport is rugby. He has played this sport most of his life and ended up playing for the local ‘Black Sheep Rugby Club’. His coaching career began when he was approached by Dave Beecroft to help out in Novice in 2002. Although his back ground in coaching was primarily in lacrosse and ball, he figured that he would give hockey a try. Never having physically played a game himself, Roodbol has natural ability in directing, supporting and encouraging his players. He uses very calm approach on the bench, but at the same time he also uses high quality discipline. He admits he needs ‘the experts on the ice’, so this year he has the pleasure of sharing the bench with first year coaches Cody McClary and Jimmy Pelk. As the ‘feeder’ rep team to the Bantam A’s, he also has the advantage of on ice support from the Bantam A’s coaches Somerville, Geddes and Schievink. This is tremendous asset will help the team with on ice conditioning. He says that,”This year’s goaltenders are solid and the entire team is full of enormous energy and the willingness to learn. Many of these 2nd year Bantams are in the ADSS Hockey Academy, and I am looking forward to see how they progress over the season. I am very relieved to have other coaches lend a hand this season, as we need strong coaches to develop these players over the next few months. I can see this team work hard and challenge themselves in every game from exhibition right through to playoffs.”

MIKE MOWAT is in his 31st year of coaching; mainly for Alberni Minor Hockey. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Mowat started playing hockey at the age of 13; his first year Pee-Wee. He continued playing through the competitive program to his final year in Midget. He then went onto play for 1 year with the Junior B ‘Timbermen’. Mowat remembers his coach Russ Fairweather, who definitely made an impact on him. Mowat started his own coaching career in 1981, while in his final junior year. He took 2 years off coaching to play 2 years senior hockey in the PNWHL (Pacific Northwest Hockey League) in Terrace, BC. After playing junior hockey, Mowat says, “The writing was on the wall, so I decided to coach”. Once Mowat came back to the Alberni Valley, he spent his first 18 years coaching here. The early years brought him many successes with the teams he coached; six teams of which he calls “very special, because everyone, the parents, the players, we all clicked. These were some very good years”. These 6 teams have won their division titles and a few won the Provincials. The banners grace the Weyerhauser Arena ceiling to this day. Mowat then went on to Victoria, B.C for 7 years to coach Midget, Junior A & Junior B (Juan de Fuca Whalers, Victoria Warriors). He has also coached in Abashiri, Japan for 1 season and coached the ‘Best Ever Program’ on Vancouver Island. Currently Mowat is coaching the Bantam B’s and “really sees a lot of potential with this team. They are all very good skaters with a lot of talent”. Mike Mowat is currently working for BC Hockey as District Coach Coordinator and District Mentor Coordinator and is responsible for the training and education of the coaches on Vancouver Island Assistant Coach: Kevin Schutt Team Manager: Melissa Martin (picture L to R, Dave Beecroft & Rob Gaudreault; missing, Korey Sundstrom)

ALBERNI VALLEY PEE-WEE A BULLDOGS – Sponsored by Smitty’s Family Restaurant & The Best Western Barclay Hotel

DAVE BEECROFT has been coaching minor hockey on Vancouver Island for over 20 years. As a recent resident of the Alberni Valley, he has been coaching (and as an executive member off and on) within AVMHA since 2002. Born in Victoria, B.C, his family moved when he was 11 to Terrace, B.C where he played in the Pee-Wee division. At the age of 14, his family moved for a short time to Maple Ridge, B.C and then finally settled in Sooke, B.C; all the while playing minor hockey. He played through to Juvenile, then onto Junior B Juan de Fuca Gulls for 1 year and then played in the men’s hockey league. Beecroft started coaching in grade 11 and hasn’t looked back. He enjoys coaching immensely and really enjoys being on the bench with the players.

His highlight as a coach so far, was the 2005/2006 season, where the AVMHA Atom Rep team won the North Island Championship. At that time, there wasn’t the Vancouver Island championship as it is now. Beecroft won AVMHA Coach of the Year that season. He also enjoyed being nominated (by local hockey player Alex Duquette) and won the Vancouver Island Unsung Hero Award courtesy of A Channel out of Victoria, B.C. This was Beecroft’s 2nd year coaching Duquette, as well as coaching 2 other teams at the same time. This isn’t unusual for Beecroft, who coaches multiple teams yearly; although this year is different as he has slowed down considerably to coach this years’ Pee-Wee Reps along side Rob Gaudreault and Korey Sundstrom. He says, ”This will be a tough year as we only have 2 returning players, so technically this is a 1st year team. This will be a tough grind functioning as a team, but we will set small goals through to Christmas and then through to the play-offs’.

ROB GAUDREAULT– This is Gaudreault’s 13th year coaching in the Alberni Valley. Born and raised here, Gaudreault played (mainly in the competitive program) minor hockey for 9 years. He moved on to play Junior A for 3 years (tier 2) for the Merritt Centennials, Salmon Arm Totems (now known as the Silver Tips) and the Juan de Fuca Whalers (now known as the Grizzlies). As a rugged right winger he went onto play NCHL and for the PA Old Puckers travelling up and down the Island during the winter months. Gaudreault’s first coaching experience came in 1995 when he had the opportunity to coach the Bandits with Mike Mowatt. He has coached Rep and Recreation within AVMHA since 2000 from Mites all the way up till now in Pee-Wee. Gaudreault says of the team this year that, “They are a small, fast defensive team. The start of the season will be a challenge, however, in the end we’ll be alright. We will be very, very competitive this year”. Some of the goals this year is to do well at tournaments and make the Provincials. He’d like to see the team “start off small and finish big this year”.   


DAN SEXTON has been coaching in AVMHA off and on for 11 years. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, Sexton started playing Minor Hockey in Atom Recreation at the age of 9. He quickly moved up playing competitive the following season in Atom Rep and continued until his first year Midget. In 1982 he moved to Victoria, B.C to play for the ‘Victoria Racquet Club’ for one exciting and extremely busy year. The beginning of the season, Sexton was selected to the ‘Island Selects’ and played in the ‘Mac’s Midget Super Series’. Mid-way through the season, he was selected to the ‘Junior Olympic Program’ (now called the World U17). The end of that season, the ‘Victoria Racquet Club’ played in the AAA Midget Provincials and Sexton was then picked up by Junior A ‘Victoria Cougars’. He played for the Cougars for 4 seasons, beginning in 1983 and ending in 1988. Sexton finished the first 3 seasons for the Victoria Cougars winning the ‘Western Hockey League’s’ ‘Best Defensive Forward Award’. Sexton split his last year in the WHL, playing for the ‘Regina Pats’ and the ‘Portland Winter Hawks’. He then found himself at a tryout with the Los Angeles Kings in 1987. After a long break from Junior Hockey, Sexton found himself back in the Alberni Valley and started coaching in 1997. His first team, the AVMHA Pee-Wee Reps, Sexton coached players such as Josh Bonnar, Devon Timberlake, Kelly Reynolds, Tyler Ruel and his younger brother Ryan Sexton. This team ended up winning the Vancouver Island Championship and placed 2nd at the Provincials. After many years as a player, coach and power skate instructor, Sexton decided that he needed to “Improve the development of coaches within our community and ensure first time players develop basic hockey skills”. He started coaching ‘AVMHA Initiation Program’ 5 years ago; with the help from ‘Hockey Canada’s Initiation Program’ guidelines .This program proved to be very successful with the players and coaches and continues today under the instruction of Mike Doucette. (Sexton had been AVMHA’s ‘Initiation Coordinator’ for the last 2 years). This is his first year coaching the Atom Reps and is very excited to be working with his assistants who “Are all very knowledgeable and reliable and always bring something to the table”. As for the new Atom Rep team this year, Sexton is very confident that this team will be great this season. There are only 2 returning players from last season, so this is a brand new team. Sexton is “Always looking at improvement and development”.

STEVE SELVA has been coaching in AVMHA on and off for the past 20 years. Alberni Valley born and raised, Selva started playing hockey at a very young age. He played primarily in the competitive program in AVMHA until his last year of Midget where in the 1978/1979 season, Selva moved to Victoria, B.C and played for the ‘Victoria Racquet Club’. A very strong defensemen, he was then drafted and played ‘Junior A’ for one season for the ‘Cowichan Valley Capitols’. In 1982, Selva moved to the U.S playing for ‘Northern Arizona University’ until 1986, where he obtained his degree. Moving back to the Alberni Valley, Selva found himself as Assistant Coach (with Coach Ivano Antoniazzi) for the AVMHA Midget Reps 1989/1990 season. That season they won the BC Championship. After a long break, he came back to coaching 7 years ago. Selva says, “I enjoy being on the ice with the kids and just want to give back my time into AVMHA”. Selva brings with him years of professional playing experience and general knowledge and love for the game of hockey. He was Assistant Coach (with Rick Geddes) of last years’ very successful Atom Rep team. Going into his second season with the Atom Reps, Selva thinks it’s a little too early to tell how this years’ team is shaping up. He says, “This team has a good bunch of kids and it would be great to duplicate the success that we had last year!”

GREG SMYTH – Born and raised in BC (primarily in Victoria) Smyth was both a minor hockey player and competitive figure skater, but the majority of on-ice hours were spent in figure skating. The years figure skating were extremely beneficial when he returned to hockey as an adult, and is one area where he feels that he can contribute to the development of young hockey players. While only his second year coaching with AVMHA, Smyth brings 29 years of coaching a variety of sports including volleyball, soccer, rugby and skating. He says that, “I love coaching. I was raised in a family of coaches”. Smyth brings so much with him on the ice to this Atom Rep team. His years of figure skating expertise have him teaching these young ‘developmental’ players the technical skating aspect to the game.  Whether working on individual skills, breakouts or team systems, Smyth emphasizes for these players to have fun. Smyth says that, “We want this years’ team to be a hardworking, committed and dedicated group of kids”.

SHAWN ELDER was born and raised in the Alberni Valley and just started coaching in AVMHA 5 years ago. Elder grew up playing soccer the fall and winter and baseball in the spring. It wasn’t until 2002 that Elder put on a pair of skates and started playing hockey. He hasn’t looked back. The following year, his son started playing hockey too, so Elder became one of the ‘Dad’s helping out on the ice’. He was hooked on coaching, and that led him into taking coaching clinics and his development 1. Elder is very excited to be part of the Atom Rep coaching staff and says, “This team is very hard working with a lot of heart. They listen well and the few games they have played, they’ve done well. They catch on fast”.