BUFFALO, United States – USA Hockey has named the coaching staff of its U20 national team for the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, December 26, 2010 – January 5, 2011.
Keith Allain will be the head coach of USA’s U20 team. Allain was the head coach of Team USA at the 2001 and 2002 World U20 Championships. He also served as an assistant coach for the men’s national team in the 1992 and 2006 Olympics, in the 2005 and 2006 World Championships, and was on the coaching staff of the 1996 and 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
The 51-year-old has been the head coach for Yale University since 2006, where he was a goalkeeper in the ‘70s.
During that time, he led the Bulldogs to three Ivy League titles, two ECAC regular-season championships and two NCAA tournament appearances. Under Allain, the Bulldogs have won 20 or more games in each of the last two seasons, the first time in Yale history.
Before coaching at Yale, Allain was an assistant coach of the Washington Capitals and a goaltending coach for the St. Louis Blues.
“It is a great honor to be chosen to coach this team,” said Allain. “Every time you get to represent your country, it’s a terrific experience. The chance to do so in front of our home fans will make this occasion even more special.”
Allain owns a 9-3-2 overall record as a head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (71.4%) of any U.S. head coach to serve on multiple teams.
“Keith has a wealth of experience, including at the international level, and we’re really pleased that he has agreed to lead our team in Buffalo,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the team. “He knows how to get the most out of players and has proven that at every level of hockey.”
USA Hockey named Mark Osiecki (Ohio State University), Phil Housley (Stillwater High School) and Joe Exter (National Team Development Program) as assistant coaches. Tim Taylor will serve as the team’s director of player personnel.
Osiecki and Exter are assistant coaches for the second straight year, while Housley returns to the staff of a U20 team after serving as an assistant in 2008.
It’s the first time the event will be hosted in the state of New York and the fifth time it will take place in the United States. Team USA is the reigning champion after defeating Canada in Saskatoon last winter.
The following teams will participate in the 2011 World Juniors:
Group A: USA, Switzerland, Finland, Slovakia, Germany.
Group B: Canada, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Norway.
It is planned that all Group A games, the Group B games of Canada and the Final Round will be played at the main venue, the Buffalo Sabres’ HSBC Arena.
The second venue, where most games of Group B and the Relegation Round will be played, is Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University in Lewiston, New York.
The final game schedule will be published at a later date.
“It’s going to be great for this area, great for the organization and great for the fans. It’s something that down the road we’ll look back on and be thankful we had the event in our city,” said Michael Gilbert, Director of Public Relations for the Buffalo Sabres.
“When we were awarded the tournament a year ago, there was an excitement level. Now that I’ve gone to Saskatoon and I’ve seen the depths of the event and the quality of hockey, I’m even more excited for it.”
The organizers have already sold thousands of full session ticket packages and recommend buying packages as there’s the possibility that no individual game tickets will be available.
Click here for more information on ticket packages.