Making a difference beyond UNB

(Shannon Cornelius/AQ)

After being the head coach of the University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team for almost 20 years, Gardiner MacDougall will get the chance to be part of the coaching staff for the USPORTS Men’s Hockey All-Star Series.

“It’s a great opportunity and you can make a difference with different people,” MacDougall said.

MacDougall found out he was selected as part of the coaching staff in July. He will be the assistant coach alongside with Mark Howell from the University of Calgary, who will serve as the head coach of the team.

The team will head to Victoria, B.C. on Dec. 10 and play on Dec. 12, 13 and 14 before catching a red-eye flight back to Fredericton.

“It will be an action-packed week,” said MacDougall.

He is hoping to learn from his fellow coaches and bring new skills back with him to help improve his coaching.

“There are a lot of parts of the game that haven’t changed in the last 20 years, but there’s certain parts that have changed,” said MacDougall.

“At UNB we try to have a real good foundation of the traditional parts of the game that we want to be really good at, but any new parts of the game, you want to add that to your repertoire.”

The tournament will serve as part of the selection process for the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship team.

“It’s the best players from university sport [who] play on the World Juniors team,” said MacDougall.

“You’ve got the top NHL candidates with the World Junior team that will be in the NHL in three to four years.”