Niverville Nighthawks bench boss Kelvin Cech has been named to the coaching staff for Team Canada West which will be in a tournament come December in Nova Scotia. 

"It was really exciting", Cech says about getting the call that he was selected to be on the bench, "I went through an interview process, it was pretty grueling and I didn't really know, there were no indications one way or another, so to get that call, it was awesome."

Representing the Nighthawks and the town of Niverville means a lot to Cech. "I'll be going there wearing the blue, red, and gold colors before I put the maple leaf on. I've got a lot of messages from my players here now and players I've had in the past, it reflects strongly on Niverville, the community and hopefully, I can do well for the people."

Because the tournament is being held during the MJHL season, there will be some games Cech will have to miss. "That's the unfortunate part, I'll miss six games but two of them are against the Blues so Mando (Alex Mandolonis, Blues head coach also named to the Team West staff) and I are going to hole up in a hotel room and watch the games or maybe if they're going on while we're on the bench, I can trip him or he'll try and push me (laughs). It's just part of it, it's a sacrifice the Nighthawks are making and the Blues, too. Fortunately, I have an excellent staff here, we're going to be really organized, we'll bring some people in to help out in different areas and who knows, maybe if the team goes on a good run here, they won't want me back (laughs, again).

When it comes to selecting the team, Cech shares how it will be a collaboration between all involved. "It's a really in-depth process, there's a long list, a huge pool of players to choose from. (Head Coach of Team Canada West Scott) Barney has been very clear that he wants everyone's input. The point is to build the best possible team and hopefully, it includes a few Manitoba hockey players. But, once you get there, you're wearing the maple leaf, so you're all on the same side. Doesn't matter if you're from Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba. There's a lot of good players in Manitoba the staff will look at and whatever the team decides will make the best possible team, it's what we're going to do."

The 2023 World Junior A Hockey Challenge represents a partnership between Hockey Canada, the CJHL, NHL Central Scouting, and Hockey Nova Scotia. The international showcase features two Canadian teams along with Slovakia, Sweden, and the United States. It will be held in Truro, Nova Scotia this December.


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