Lethbridge Hurricanes Head Coach Brent Kisio has returned to the city with some gold around his neck, and lessons he hopes will help propel the Hurricanes down the stretch drive in the Western Hockey League season.
Canada won gold in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Halifax, in a nail-biting 3-2 win over Czechia on Jan. 5. Kisio, who served as an assistant to current Everett Silvertips bench boss Dennis Williams, says he’s still coming to terms with having a hand in winning it all, but just how much goes into helping train some of the best young hockey players in the world.
“It’s an honour to coach for your country, and there is a lot of weight there to make sure you do things right, are prepared, and have the players on the right spots and ready to go, but it’s an absolute honour and privilege to coach for Canada,” Kisio says. “To win gold and to bring it home to your country is really special.”
Kisio says one of the stand out experiences from the tournament was simply watching and learning from those on the team. He says those lessons could help in his role with the Canes’, especially when it comes to high pressure situations like playoffs run.
“You go through a lot of different experiences, you see the best players, how they prepare, how hard they practice, and even from a coaching staff perspective just the preparation, just the work that goes into it.”
“The emotions form the games, going through those overtimes and the pressure situations you’re in, I don’t think it’ll get much more than a gold medal game [in] overtime for Canada. There is a lot of learning experiences, but, as fun as that was, I’m really excited to be back and be part of this group.”
The tournament marked Kisio’s second opportunity to coach Canada at the IIHF event, with the first coming in 2019, when Canada lost in the quarter finals.