Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Steve Spott (Waterloo, Ont.), head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.Spott will be joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches Mario Duhamel (St-Bruno, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL), Don Nachbaur (Prince George, B.C./Spokane, WHL) and André Tourigny (Nicolet, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL).

Don Nachbaur, 53, will make his first appearance with Canada’s National Junior Team. He has twice won gold as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, at the 1999 Four Nations Cup and 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. Nachbaur has been head coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs since the start of the 2010-11 season, and has also been a head coach in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1994-2000) and Tri-City Americans (2003-09), winning the WHL Coach of the Year award in 1994-95 and 2007-08. He was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms from 2000-02 and head coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2009-10.

GDI Prairies would like to wish all the best to Don and the Hockey Canada staff as they prepare for the U20 World Championship in Russia.

This year, the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge will replace Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp. The four-game series will be played Aug. 9-10 in Yaroslavl, Russia, and Aug. 13-14 in Halifax, N.S. More information on the series, including rosters and practice schedules, will be announced at a later date.

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