WINNIPEG – The Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence (POE) is set to begin the series of selection processes for the 2012 Under-16 (Male) and Under-18 (Female) Team Manitoba rosters. The POE has three main stages of the selection process which spans over an eight month period annually from the time players are invited to the POE Spring Tournament until the announcement of the final team roster.
The POE Spring Tournament, for both Under-16 & Under-18 program, will take place March 30 to April 1 at Dakota Community Centre in Winnipeg. During this time nearly 250 of the province’s elite athletes will converge to showcase their skills in front of the POE evaluation staff & coaches. After the POE Spring Tournaments each program will invite 40 players to the TOP-40 Camp held May 10-13 in Portage la Prairie, followed by a final selection camp in August with only about 25 invites per program. The final Team Manitoba rosters will be named in late September or early October.
The U-16 POE is lead on the ice by Dan Eliasson (Winnipeg) as head coach. Eliasson has been head coach of the Winnipeg Thrashers (Midget AAA) over the last several seasons, winning the TELUS Cup National Championship in 2011. Assisting Eliasson on the bench is Brad Purdie (Winnipeg) who is an assistant coach with the University of Manitoba Bisons (Men) this season and Doug Sinclair (Winnipeg) returning for a second consecutive year with Team Manitoba. Sinclair was an assistant coach with the Eastman Selects (Midget) this season and is a senior scout with the Everett Silvertips (WHL). Rounding out the coaching staff as video coach is Jason Bauer (Winnipeg) of the Winnipeg Monarchs (Bantam 1 AAA).
After developing through the Team Manitoba program by twice being an assistant coach and current head coach of the Winnipeg Avros (Midget AAA) Ashley van Aggelen (Winnipeg) will take a turn as head coach this season. Assisting van Aggelen will be Lisa Peters (Steinbach) of the University of Manitoba Bisons (Women) and with his second appointment with U-18 Team Manitoba, Neil Chow of the Winnipeg Hawks (Bantam 2 AAA). Andrea Keating (Winnipeg) of the Winnipeg Ice (Midget AAA) will round out the staff as the team’s video coach.
The U-16 POE Spring Tournament will feature 8 teams, meanwhile the U-18 tournament will see 5 teams in competition this weekend. The U-16 POE Spring Tournament also serves as the last major scouting event for the Western Hockey League in preparations for their Bantam Draft in May. Later in the season U-16 Team Manitoba will compete at the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in Calgary, November 1-4 followed by U-18 Team Manitoba competing at the National U-18 Women’s Championships in Dawson Creek, BC November 7-11.
For more details, including POE Spring Tournament rosters, please visit www.hockeymanitoba.ca/poe.php. Hockey Manitoba is pleased to recognize Canad Inns, CCM Hockey, and Reebok Hockey as Official Partners of the Program of Excellence. Hockey Manitoba also recognizes the Western Hockey League as presenting partner of the U-16 POE Spring Tournament and Booster Juice as an event partner of the POE Spring Tournaments.