July 14th, 2024

Anholt to represent Team Canada for first time


By Lethbridge Herald on October 11, 2023.

Herald File photo Lethbridge Hurricanes assistant coach Matt Anholt is seen here coaching against the Brandon Wheat Kings in this October 2023 file photo. Anholt thinks the team will look for more forwards in the Prospects Draft on Thursday.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge Hurricanes’ assistant coach Matt Anholt is getting set to represent his country on the international stage next month.

Anholt was named assistant coach for Hockey Canada’s Team Red at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I.

“Well actually I knew about three months ago,” said Anholt.

“So it’s been a long time before the announcement. But, yeah, there was a lengthy interview process this summer with different forms and I was able to pass all of them. So, yeah, we’re really excited.”

Anholt spoke about what this opportunity means at this stage of his coaching career.

“Well I think for the most part, it’s relationship building, which provides a lot of growth for coaching,” said Anholt.

“We’ve had a lot of coaches here that have went through Hockey Canada’s process either with U20s, or U18 or U17, and they always had nothing but good things to say about the  guys they worked for, and worked with and they were able to learn from. So, I think that’s what I’m looking most forward to.”

Fellow Hurricanes assistant coach Ryan Aasman and players Tristen Doyle and Miguel Marques represented the club at last year’s event.

“Well, it’s definitely a sprint,” said Anholt.

“There’s lots of games in not a lot of days.  So, I think that’s a big thing for what I’ve heard from those three guys, as well as other people that I know that have been a part of the organization, the U17, for the last few years is that it’s a lot of games and not a lot of days. You got to manage your fatigue levels with the players accordingly and you got to make sure you’re ready for the next game every single day.”

Anholt knows he will be running the penalty kill and was uncertain as to whether he’ll be on the forwards or defence as of yet.

Anholt anticipates Hurricanes’ player Will Sharpe will be in the mix, while prospects Kash Andresen and Koen Cleaver will be inon the list of hopefuls to make one of the Canadian teams.

He is hopeful this the first of many opportunities with Hockey Canada.

“It’s always a big honour to represent your country,” said Anholt.

“I was never able to do it as a player and this is my first time as a coach. So, it’s always a very humbling experience. So, hopefully we can continue to do so every year and hopefully this one goes good first and foremost.”

Anholt will join head coach Carl Mallette of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres and fellow assistant Norm Milley of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s on Team Red’s bench.

Team White will have Jean Dean of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds as head coach and he will be joined by Eric Bouchard of the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes and the Saskatoon Blades’ Brennan Sonne.

The tournament is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence and is used for player identification for higher levels in the program such as U18 and world juniors.

The U17 World Hockey Challenge will be from Nov. 2-11  and will consist of six teams that will also include Czechia, Finland, Sweden and the United States.

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