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Cariboo Cougars
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U18 AAA

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Cariboo Cougars

Trevor Sprague, General Manager

7th season

Trevor Sprague will oversee both the Integrated and Female U18 AAA teams in Northern B.C. Sprague has been involved in hockey in the north for over 30 years and has spent the last 15 years working with teams in the BCEHL. He is entering his seventh season as the general manager of the Cariboo Cougars and third as the general manager of the Northern Capitals. Sprague coached in Prince George for over 20 years before moving to the management side of the game.   

During his coaching and management career Sprague has won two provincial titles with the Cariboo Cougars’ U18 AAA team. Sprague is also a key driver behind the annual BC Hockey Winter Classic event that is held in Northern B.C. each winter.

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Cariboo Cougars

Tyler Brough, Head Coach

8th season

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Tyler Brough began his coaching career in the 2013-14 season. He is entering his eighth season with the Cariboo Cougars program His career coaching highlight is his first championship as head coach, in the 2017-18 season with the U18 AAA Cariboo Cougars.

During his playing days Brough won a National Junior A Championship with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) where he scored the game-winning goal. His stick and gloves from that game were taken to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

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Fraser Valley Thunderbirds

Darrin Ponak, Co-General Manager

11th season

Darrin Ponak is entering his 11th season as the general manager of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, joining the program in 2012. The Abbotsford native previously held the role of Pee Wee director with Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association for four seasons from 2008-2012.

Ponak obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education/Geography from Trinity Western University while also playing for their men’s hockey team. He later obtained both his Bachelor of Education and Diploma in Special Education from the University of British Columbia and his Master’s in Administration from San Diego State University. He currently works as a teacher in the Lower Mainland.

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Fraser Valley Thunderbirds

Troy Stordy, Co-General Manager

1st season

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Troy Stordy is entering his first season in the BCEHL. He will split the general manager duties with Darrin Ponak. Stordy has worked as the Vice President of Mission Minor Hockey Association since 2010. He has also served as the development director and a coach in the association since he joined MMHA in 2010.

Stordy, who currently lives in Mission, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Simon Fraser University. Away from the rink Stordy currently works as a Correctional Program Officer.

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Fraser Valley Thunderbirds

Wes McLeod, Head Coach

7th season

Wes McLeod is now in his seventh season coaching in the BCEHL. Before he joined the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds he worked with the Valley West Giants program in the BCEHL. McLeod also spent time coaching grassroots hockey, and progressed his way to the Junior A level. McLeod says his favourite part about coaching is inspiring players to dream bigger than they ever have before, and creating an environment where those dreams can become reality.

He was born in Mission, B.C. and attended post-secondary education at the University of the Fraser Valley, where he majored in Kinesiology.

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Greater Vancouver Canadians

Al Wozney, General Manager

10th season

Alain Wozney will oversee both the Greater Vancouver Canadians and the Fraser Valley Rush teams this season. Wozney is entering his 10th season working in the BCEHL and his 9th with the Fraser Valley Rush program, serving as the program’s general manager since the 2014-15 season. He will also take on the role of general manager with the Greater Vancouver Canadians program for his second season. He last oversaw the Canadians in this role during the 2013-14 season. Wozney has over 40 years of experience working and playing in the minor hockey system in B.C.  

Wozney played his minor hockey with Burnaby Winter Club before progressing to Junior A and playing with the Burnaby Bluehawks. He then attended the Memorial University of Newfoundland, studying Psychology and Humanities. He is now self-employed and works in hockey management.

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Greater Vancouver Canadians

Kyle Spencer, Head Coach

11th season

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Kyle Spencer made the switch to the coaching side of the game when he joined the St. Albert Merchants of the Capital Junior Hockey League (CapJHL) in Alberta. After moving to BC, Spencer has coached at various levels of the game across various age groups.

Spencer has been involved in hockey for 35 years. During his playing days, he spent five seasons playing in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). After moving on from junior hockey he went on to win a National Championship with the Northern Alberta Institiute of Technology (N.A.I.T) OOKS in the 1991-92 season. He then finished his career at Red Deer College.

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North Island Silvertips

Lance Vaillancourt, General Manager

1st season

Lance Vaillancourt is entering his first season as general manager of the North Island Silvertips program. Previously, Vaillancourt was the Associate Coach & Hockey Operations Manager for the South Zone Knights U18 Tier 1 team. He has also performed various coaching roles with Penticton Minor Hockey at all levels within the association. Vaillancourt brings over 35 years of experience within minor hockey to the Silvertips.  

In addition to his work within minor hockey in B.C., Vaillancourt was also a linesman within BC Hockey and worked as a linesman in the BCHL. Away from the rink he works as a civil servant with the Federal Government.

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North Island Silvertips

Brad Knight, Head Coach

2nd season

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After working with the North Island Silvertips program during the 2019-20 season, Brad Knight returns for the 2022-23 season to take charge of the Silvertips’ U18 AAA team. Knight has gained over 30 years of experience working in minor hockey, including coaching positions within Kelowna Minor Hockey Association and Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association. He also spent five years as the President of Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association. 

Originally from Manitoba, Knight played his minor hockey in Nanaimo before spending his four years of junior hockey with the British Columbia Hockey League’s Nanaimo Clippers and the Kelowna Spartans. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. Away from the rink, Knight is a realtor.  

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Okanagan Rockets

Steve Smith, General Manager

1st season

Steve Smith is embarking on his first season as a general manager in the BCEHL. Smith also serves as the Executive Director of Kelowna Minor Hockey Association, a role he has held since 2017. Prior to this he was the Division Director for Kelowna Minor Hockey Association from 2010-17, and a coach in the association from 2008-17 as well.  

The Kelowna native has compiled over 17 years of experience working in minor hockey in Kelowna.

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Okanagan Rockets

Eric Blais, Head Coach

5th season

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Entering his fifth season as a head coach within the Okanagan Rockets’ program, Eric Blais provides an extensive track record of coaching experience. He has spent time coaching minor hockey in the Okanagan, taking charge of teams within Kelowna Minor Hockey Association and the Central Zone Program. 

The Oliver, B.C., native split his minor hockey playing career with Penticton MHA and Kelowna MHA. Blais played his junior hockey with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Kelowna Packers. Away from the rink, Blais is an Illustrator/Artist.  

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Thompson Blazers

Jan Antons, General Manager

4th season

Jan Antons is embarking on his sixth year working within the BCEHL and fourth year as the Thompson Blazers’ General Manager. Antons has 15 years of experience working in hockey. During that time, he also served as the equipment manager of Team Canada’s Para Hockey team at the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.    

Antons earned his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary’s Haskanye School of Business

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Thompson Blazers

Neil Pilon, Head Coach

3rd season

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Neil Pilon is entering his third campaign in the BCEHL and his first as head coach of the U18 AAA Thompson Blazers. Pilon spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Thompson Blazers program, in the 2021-22 season with the U17 AAA team, and in the 2018-19 season with the U16 AAA team. He has also spent 11 years coaching minor hockey with Kamloops Minor Hockey Association.  

After playing his minor hockey with Ashcroft Minor Hockey Association (now within Thompson Cariboo Minor Hockey Association), the local product played five seasons in the Western Hockey League and collegiately at Acadia University. He was selected in the seventh-round of the 1985 National Hockey League Draft by the New York Rangers. 

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Valley West Giants

Jamie Fiset, General Manager & Head Coach

5th season

Jamie Fiset is entering his fifth year in the BCEHL as general manager with the Valley West Giants and brings an additional eight years of experience working in minor hockey previously. He has been involved with BC Hockey’s Program of Excellence including as the head coach of Team BC at the 2016 WHL Cup.  

Fiset was a board member with Langley Minor Hockey Association from 2010-14. Away from the rink Fiset is a teacher, he completed his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia before earning his Master of Arts at Royal Roads University. 

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Vancouver North East Chiefs

Greg Harding, General Manager

6th season

Greg Harding is entering his sixth season with the Vancouver NE Chiefs program and his fourth as the general manager of the program. The Surrey, B.C. native has been involved in minor hockey for 20 years, previously assuming roles with the Richmond Sockeyes of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) and Langley Minor Hockey Association.  

Harding played his minor hockey at Burnaby Winter Club and Langley Minor Hockey Association before going on to play for the Delta Ice Hawks, Queens Park Pirates and Richmond Sockeyes of the PJHL. Harding also works full-time with BC Hydro.
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Vancouver North East Chiefs

Ken Guthrie, Head Coach

5th season

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Ken Guthrie is in his fifth season coaching with the Vancouver NE Chiefs but his first as head coach of the Chiefs' U18 AAA side. He grew up in Burnaby, BC and began coaching with Burnaby Minor Hockey Association. Guthrie started with the U18 AAA Chiefs as a Video Coach and took charge of the U17 AAA team for the last three seasons.

Guthrie enjoys the competitive environment and working with players to help them achieve their goals while building connections and helping them become better players and people.

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Vancouver North West Hawks

Matt Samson, General Manager & Head Coach

1st season

Matt Samson joins the Vancouver NW Hawks with over 10 years of coaching and management experience in minor and junior hockey. He most recently worked as the head coach and general manager of the North Vancouver Wolf Pack of the PJHL from 2018-22. During that time span he also worked as the head coach of the Squamish A1 U13 team.  

The Squamish, B.C. native works in hockey coaching and development full-time. He played for the Buffalo State College men’s hockey team where he also obtained a Bachelor Degree in Communications.