Quesnel’s Ryan Marsh has been named to Hockey Canada’s coaching staff for the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge team.
Currently an associate coach with the Saskatoon Blades, Marsh is one of nine coaches selected by Hockey Canada to make up the coaching staff for their three rosters at the tournament.
This will be his second time coaching for Hockey Canada, with his first coming as an assistant coach with Team Canada Red at the 2016 World U-17 Challenge.
“I had a really good experience with the program and I explained that I’d love to do it again, so I think that helped [me get the job],” says Marsh.
“Also, I’ve been through it and it’s a bit of a grind,” he adds. “There’s a lot of work to be done in a small period of time.”
Fellow Blades coach/Quesnel native, Mitch Love was also named to the national team coaching staff. Marsh says the decision makers might have taken their success with the Saskatoon team into consideration when making the decision to bring them on board.
Marsh says he is looking forward to the upcoming challenge.
“It’s exciting to get to work with the best players in Canada with the 2003-born age group and some really elite coaches as well,” he says.
The coach’s ties to Quesnel are still strong.
“Quesnel will always be home to me,” he says, “It was a great place to grow up. I had a really good supportive family, both immediate and extended, and still have lots of family there including my dad.
“It was a place that allowed me to play all sports and really enjoy competition which fueled me over the years to play at a high level and now to coach at a high level.”
He recalls playing youth hockey in Quesnel and becoming enamored by success.
“We were fortunate to have some good teams when I was young,” he says. “When I was playing minor hockey, especially in Bantam we had some good teams that went to provincials and it was a really good group of players that came together.”
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be taking place in Medicine Hat, Alta., and Swift Current, Sask., this November.
Marsh says there’s certainly some pros-and-cons to the location.
“Sometimes you’d love to see a different part of the world, but this year it’s close and there are positives to that. The travel will be light and it’ll just be a short drive down depending on where our team gets placed.”