Haake back in Lithuania
by Martin Merk|24 JUL 2019
Bernd Haake (right, with Darius Kasparaitis and Dainius Zubrus) returns to Lithuania in a new role: He will become the first head coach in history of the Lithuanian women’s national team.
photo: Sarunas Mazeika
After gradually building up its women’s hockey program, Lithuania will for the first time have a women’s national team for the upcoming season. It now got its head coach who is no stranger to the country as Bernd Haake will take on the challenge.

The 73-year-old German coach comes back to Lithuania one year after he had led the men’s national team to Division IB gold on home ice in Kaunas. Haake was coaching the men’s national team for six seasons.

Haake was the main candidate for the job, and after given the offer from Lithuanian legend and Hockey Lithuania President Dainius Zubrus, he made an easy choice to take the job.
I got the call from Zubrus and agreed right away. It’s going to be fun!
Bernd Haake
Lithuanian women’s national team head coach
“I once coached women’s hockey in Spain in 1977! In Lithuania we have a very enthusiastic players and they are good skaters. They still need to work on trying to get better physically and I will have to teach them a game structure,” Haake said.

The newly established 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division III will be held in December in Sofia. The Lithuanian women will face host country Bulgaria as well as Romania, Belgium, South Africa and Hong Kong.

Boulanger to lead men’s U20 and U18 teams

Also Doug Boulanger will return behind the bench of the Lithuanian national team program. After having coached the U18 national team last year, he will be the head coach for both the U20 and U18 national team in the upcoming season.

“After I got to know the people that work in Lithuanian hockey, I agreed on the offer as soon as I received it. I look forward to continue my work with the coaching staff, the Lithuanian hockey association and their board, to keep help improving Lithuanian hockey. I am pleased with the work that they do to raise the level of hockey in Lithuania, so it was an easy decision,” Boulanger said.

In January the 31-year-old Canadian coach will be leading the Lithuanian U20 national team in the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A on home ice in Vilnius. The U18 team will compete at the same level a few month later in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

Despite having to face a tough competition, Boulanger talked about high expectations: “We will have the same goal for every tournament – to go out and do everything we need to bring home gold.”
Doug Boulanger was already coaching the U18 national team last spring.
photo: Evaldas Semiotas