Despite the doubt caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, planning for the 2020-2021 hockey campaign is underway, including for the Airdrie Cochrane Athletic Associaton (ACAA) who have just named their head coaches for next season.
Three of them are returning for another campaign with their respective teams with the fourth member making his first foray into the ACAA head coaching ranks.
Tyson Soloski – Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA:
Cochrane's Soloski is heading into his second year as head coach of the Xtreme. He was an assistant coach at the midget AA level before spending two years as the head coach of the Bantam AA Bow Valley Timberwolves. He then became head coach of the Midget AA Timberwolves, winning the North Division Championship. He has also participated with Hockey Alberta’s Peewee Prospects Cup as an assistant coach.
Soloski was scheduled to be an assistant coach with the Alberta Cup this summer, however, COVID-19 changed those plans. He'll be a part of the cup in 2021.
Terry Sydoryk – AC Avalanche U16 AAA:
This will be Sydoryk's third consecutive season as head coach of the AC Avalanche. Before the abrupt end to last season, the Avs were on their way to the league provincial tournament after winning the silver medal in the South Sutter Cup.
Sydoryk has been coaching for over 10 years; the last nine years at the Midget Minor AAA level. He's been head coach of the Avalanche for a total of six years, winning the Sutter Cup league title in 2013. He spent three years with the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association Bruins, earning a bronze medal in 2016. Sydoryk has also been both an assistant and head coach in four Alberta Cup tournaments.
His playing experience includes a WHL championship with the Victoria Cougars. He also participated in the 1980-81 Memorial Cup. Sydoryk won a CIS Championship with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, where he played for three years while also earning a degree in engineering.
Dustin Taylor – Airdrie CFR Chemicals Bisons U18 AAA
Taylor is going into his third season as head coach of the Bisons and his fourth season with the club. Before coming to the Bisons, he was an assistant coach and video coach for the University of Alberta Golden Bears for two seasons (winning the Canada West Championship in 2017). He also earned a Masters of Coaching Degree while at the University of Alberta.
David Chamberland - U16 AA:
The newcomer to the group is a former assistant coach with the Bisons who have the unique opportunity to put his stamp on a brand new team.
Chamberland is embracing the challenge of head coaching the U16 AAs in their inaugural season. His hockey experience includes administrative positions with Crowfoot Minor Hockey. He was also a director at large with the NWCAA and Calgary Minor Hockey for a short time.
His coaching experience includes:
- Crowfoot Minor Hockey Head Coach for nine years (winning five City Championships and four Minor Hockey Week Championships);
- NWCAA Assistant Coach for Bantam AA through Midget AA;
- Calgary Royals Head Coach for four years for Bantam AA, Bantam AAA, Midget AA, and Midget Minor AAA;
- Airdrie CFR Chemicals Bisons Assistant Coach
- Bow Valley Timberwolves Head Coach Bantam AA and Midget AA.
The Bisons, Avalanche, and Xtreme will all play in the new Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) in 2020-2021. They will no longer carry the midget, minor midget, and bantam designation but instead will be in the AEHL's U18 Division (Bisons), U16 Division (Avalanche), and U15 Division (Xtreme).
Renaming the divisions aligns with Hockey Canada's new age division names policy which was a key factor in the decision to restructure.