The Oceanside Generals Junior Hockey Club has named a new head coach, and that name is a familiar one to those close to the game in these parts.
Signing on as head coach and general manager of hockey operations for the 2012/13 season is Brent Demerais from Port Alberni.
According to the Generals’ press release, Demerais, who was born and raised in Port, comes to the Generals having spent the last seven seasons coaching for the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association. During his tenure there his teams made it to the provincial championships three times in the past four years and won a bronze medal and most sportsmanlike team. His team’s have been Vancouver Island champions three times; Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s (VIAHA) division champions twice and garnered gold at the Kamloops International Midget Rep Tournament two years in a row.
Brent considers himself ‘an old school hockey coach with a little bit of new’, driving his players to work hard on and off the ice, and was named AVMHA Rep Coach of the Year for 2008/09 and 2010/11, and was also awarded the same distinction in 2010/11 from the VIAHA.
“With more than 13 years of experience as a head coach, Demerais’ accomplishments include numerous championships and awards.
In his seven years in Port Alberni, he played a great role moving 28 Alberni players to MML, JR A, Jr. B, NAHL, and the WHL,” said Generals president Sylvain Giroux.
As a player, Brent, a forward that could fill the net, played one season for the old Junior B Port Alberni Timbermen and quickly moved up to the Jr. A Merritt Centennials. From there he went on to play semipro with the WIHL Cranbrook Royals.
Worth noting is that Demerais’ 28-year old team scoring record for the Centennials still stands (he was second in the league for goals scored that year behind Brett Hull) at 66 goals and 58 assists for 124 points and 189 penalty minutes. One heck of an accomplishment to be sure, his total represented 27 per cent of the total goals the team scored that season.
“That was long time ago,” Brent chuckled easily when The News caught up with him.
“The Generals are very excited to have Brent join the team,” said Generals’ president, Sylvain Giroux, adding the new bench boss “comes highly recommended and will provide leadership to the organization.”
“His tireless work effort will ensure that all the players will have a chance to be ready to play at the next level.”
“It’s rejuvenated me — I’m really looking forward to it,” Demerais said of his new posting, adding “the (Generals’) executive an I are on the same page, which means I can continue coaching the same way I’ve always coached.”
As for assistant coaches, Brent was on his way to interview a potential candidate at the time we called.
IN OTHER NEWS former Gens’ head coach and GM Dave Johnston has been hired by the Cowichan Valley Capitals Jr. A Hockey Club as assistant coach/assistant GM.