Women's hockey: Rye coach to lead U18 squad

Farther down the story about Melody Davidson returning as coach of the Canadian women's hockey team is that Ryerson's Stephanie White will pilot the under-18 team this season.

Curiously enough, the entire coaching staff is from the newbies to women's hockey. Former national team stalwarts Danielle Goyette (Calgary) and Caroline Ouellette (U de Montreal) will be assistant coaches. Ideally, though, the coaches having Hockey Canada duties will impress prospective players and their parents, helping the new teams get up to speed quickly.

Ryerson still has two years to go before it begins full-fledged OUA play in 2010-11. White, with 20 years coaching on her CV, including a gold medal with the Mississauga Chiefs at the Esso Nationals, seems eminently qualified to start a team from scratch.

The big buzzword (judging by the press release, anyways) when Toronto native Ivan Joseph was hired as Ryerson's director of athletics was "renewal." Being a commuter school and a relatively young university works against the varsity teams earning OUA banners and CIS berths on a regular basis, but that could change under Joseph's direction. He did oversee an upgrade in facilities and a NAIA title in soccer in his previous job at Graceland (Iowa) University.

(As for the senior nationaal tema, Davidson replaces McGill Martlets bench boss, Peter Smith, whose team lost in the final at the Worlds in the spring. In the gold-or-bust reality of the national team, that was to be expected. Some would say, that not unlike his counterpart in soccer, Even Pellerud, Smith coached an overly defensive style of play that hamstrung his team almost as much as some of their opponents.)
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