Program of Excellence (Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario)

PrintProgram of Excellence

The Program of Excellence has many levels at various age categories. The POE allows Hockey Canada to identify and train Canada`s most gifted young hockey players, to encourage and motivate them to play for their country and to provide them with the opportunities to measure and refine their skills against top caliber international competition.

Hockey Canada`s Program of Excellence identifies players in specific age categories and provides them with an opportunity to take part in international competitions, preparing them for the World Junior Hockey Championship, the World Hockey Championship and the Olympic Games. In Men`s hockey, the POE regroups the Under-17 teams, the National Under-18 teams, the National Junior team and the National Men`s teams.

The Program of Excellence is operated at the local level in Ontario through the various OHF Member Partners and/or specific Ontario Branch. ALLIANCE Hockey has involvement in two levels of the Program of Excellence; the Under 15 Program and the Under 16 Program.

For the first time in its 29-year history, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge had a major overhaul in 2015; the tournament went from from five Canadian teams to three, and from 10 teams overall to eight.

As of 2014, Canada is now represented by three national teams – Black, Red and White – which are made up of a combination of the best 66 under-17 players from across the country.

As in past years, five international entries compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge; Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States round out the eight-team field.

The five Canadian team, five international team format has been in place since the inaugural under-17 tournament, in 1986. Only once has that format changed; in 1990, the tournament included six Canadian teams – the five listed above, plus Quebec Espoirs – and four international entries.

To help identify players for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Hockey Canada hosts a national under-17 camp in July, welcoming the best 100 players to Calgary.

“It’s really about the work of the branches,” said Scott Salmond, senior director of national teams and hockey operations for Hockey Canada. “They’ve done amazing work, particularly growing the provincial under-16 programs, and it’s that work that has allowed us to make these changes. Players are more ready than ever to be a part of the national program.”


2018 OHL Gold Cu
p - U16 
The 2018 OHL Gold Cup will feature the top 2002-born players in Ontario competing in a 8-team tournament with representation from each of the following organizations: ALLIANCE Hockey, GTHL(2 teams), HNO, HEO, NOHA and OMHA(2 teams).  The tournament is being held to not only showcase Ontario’s top U16 talent, but is an evaluation opportunity for Hockey Canada to select potential players for Canada's 3 teams that will compete in the World Under-17 Challenge.  The OHL Gold Cup is a key component of the revamped Hockey Canada Program of Excellence.  With eight teams and 160 players, the future of Canadian hockey is on display during the 20 games of the OHL Gold Cup.

ALLIANCE Hockey and the Ontario Hockey Federation are hosting the 2018 OHL Gold Cup in Kitchener, Ontario from May 2-6, 2018. 

Visit the OHL Gold Cup webpage for further information.


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Team ALLIANCE U16 will compete in the 8-team OHL Gold Cup that will be held in Kitchener, Ontario May 2-6, 2018.  Team ALLIANCE is open to Minor Midget AAA players currently registered for the 2017-2018 season with ALLIANCE Hockey and born in 2002. 

2018 U16 Team ALLIANCE Staff
Director of Operations: Gary McFarlane (Hamilton)   
Head Coach: Shawn Dietrich (Waterloo)
Assistant Coach: Derek Munroe (Kingsville)
Assistant Coach: Jason Polera (Sarnia)
Trainer: Eric Corda (Sarnia)   
Trainer: Mark Elgersma (London)  
Goaltender Coach: Tim Whitson (LaSalle)

A variety of events hosted throughout the season, along with the regular season games will assist in identifying potential Team ALLIANCE players who will compete at the 2018 OHL Gold Cup including:

More about the 2018 U16 Team ALLIANCE Staff:

Director of Operations: Gary McFarlane (Hamilton) 
McFarlane is High Performance 1 certified and is entering his fifth OHL Gold Cup Event as Team ALLIANCE Director of Operations.   McFarlane is a current NCCP Facilitator, HP1 Group Leader, Field Evaluator and Initiation Program Lead Facilitator.    

Head Coach: Shawn Dietrich (Waterloo)  
Dietrich is High Performance 1 certified and is currently the Head Coach of the Waterloo Wolves Minor Midget AAA team.  Dietrich will be entering his third OHL Gold Cup event with Team ALLIANCE.   

Assistant Coach: Derek Munroe (Kingsville)
Munroe is High Performance 1 certified and is currently the Head Coach of the Chatham-Kent Cyclones Minor Midget AAA team.  Munroe will be participating in his first OHL Gold Cup with Team ALLIANCE.

Assistant Coach: Jason Polera (Sarnia)
Polera is High Performance 1 certified and is currently the Head Coach of the Lambton Jr. Sting Bantam AAA team.  Polera will be participating in his first OHL Gold Cup with Team ALLIANCE.

Trainer: Eric Corda (Sarnia)  
Corda is a Level 3 Trainer and Registered Massage Therapist.  Corda is currently the OHL Sarnia Sting Team Massage Therapist.  Corda has specialized training/certification in a variety of injury management procedures, including sports medicine acupuncture.  Corda will be entering his sixth OHL Gold Cup Event as a Trainer with Team ALLIANCE.

Assistant Trainer: Mark Elgersma (London) 
Elgersma is a Level 3 Trainer and a veteran member of Team ALLIANCE U16 Staff who is entering his fourth consecutive year with the team.  Elgersma has a lengthy history of involvement with the U15, U16 and U17 Programs of Excellence and in the OHL.  Elgersma's experience with the London Police Service and his years of service in hockey make him an asset to the team.  Mark was also recently recognized as the 2017 ALLIANCE Hockey Trainer of the Year.   

Goaltender Coach: Tim Whitson (LaSalle)
Whitson is a Development 1 coach and is currently Goaltender Coach for the Windsor Jr. Spitfires Minor Bantam, Bantam and Minor Midget AAA teams.  Whitson will be participating in his first OHL Gold Cup with Team ALLIANCE.

 For more information, contact Jill White; Manager Membership Services & Development Programs
*Process is subject to change as per Hockey Canada direction.

OHF/OHL U15 Camps

The OHF/OHL Under-15 Program of Excellence Camps are development experiences designed to educate and inform players and parents.  The goals of the program include: to introduce players, families and staff to high performance hockey, the Program of Excellence and the Ontario Hockey League; to create a unique and special life and hockey experience for all players and staff involved; and to develop players and staff both on and off the ice.

Players participate in intense, high performance on and off ice sessions and seminars.  On-ice sessions include two practices and three games. Off-ice sessions include seminars with keynote speakers on topics such as sports psychology, nutrition, and fitness.

Applications for the OHF/OHL Under-15 Program of Excellence are made available from the OHF. 

For more information, please visit the U15 OHF site.

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Printed from on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 3:12 AM