Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Mike Williamson has been named coach of Canada's entry at the 2011 World Under-18 Championship. The tournament, which will be held in in Dresden and Crimmitschau, Germany, runs April 14-24.
Williamson, who has been coach of the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen the past two seasons, spent 13 seasons in the Portland Winterhawks' organization, including seven-plus years as coach. He won a Memorial Cup as an assistant coach for the club in 1998.
"Any opportunity to work with Hockey Canada is a special one, and as a staff we look forward to getting to Germany and getting to work," Williamson said. "We're excited to get the team on the ice and begin working towards a third World Under-18 gold medal for Canada."
Williamson will be assisted by Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, the coach and director of hockey operations for the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts, and Mark Lamb, coach and general manager of the WHL's Swift Current Broncos. Serving as goalie consultant will be Ron Tugnutt, assistant and goalie coach of the OHL's Peterborough Petes.
Canada has won gold twice at the World Under-18s, in 2003 and 2008. Canada finished seventh at the 2010 tournament in Belarus.
Canada will open the tournament against the Czech Republic on April 15 in Dresden. It also will face Finland, Sweden and Norway in the preliminary round.