Letters to the Editor

Ex-Devils head coach hired by the Ice Hawks

Just three days after being let go as head coach of the North Delta Devils, John McDade is back in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.

The Delta Ice Hawks announced Wednesday McDade will be joining their coaching staff under new head coach Danny Fortuna.

“I work with Danny at Cyclone Taylor’s, and I know a lot of the kids on the team,” said McDade, who was dismissed by the Devils Saturday morning. “I met with them (Ice Hawks) Tuesday night, and I have the time. So why not?”

McDade compiled a 66-47-7 (won-lost-tied/overtime loss) record as head coach of the Devils, and was 20-20-2 this season.

The Ice Hawks had to rebuild their coaching staff after head coach Shane Kuss left the team late last month to take the same position with the Junior A Surrey Eagles of the B.C. Hockey League.

Ice Hawks assistant Roger Ross assumed the interim head coaching role in Delta, but soon left to become as assistant with the Eagles.

Fortuna was an assistant for Delta for much of this season before being named head coach Wednesday, to be joined on the bench by McDade.

“John, who is very aware of the Delta Ice Hawks on-ice systems and has coached several Ice Hawks players in previous seasons, will be a valuable asset to the Ice Hawks organization,” the Ice Hawks said in a press release. “His availability at this point in the season is considered extremely fortunate. “

McDade is unsure what his responsibilities will be, saying he will be discussing the situation with Fortuna this week before the Ice Hawks play the first of their final three regular season games Monday in Vancouver against the Grandview Steelers.

While he expected to be back in Junior B hockey in the near future, the timing came as a surprise.

“I didn’t think I would be out of it for long, but I also didn’t think I’d be back that fast,” said McDade, adding he also received a call of interest from the Abbotsford Pilots.

- The Devils dropped a pair of midweek games this week to fall a game under .500. They lost in Ladner 3-2 to the Ice Hawks Tuesday night, despite outshooting the home team 43-28.

Jeff Steele was in on the two Devils powerplay goals, scoring the first goal of the game with an unassisted effort and getting a helper on Adam Jessop’s tally in the last minute of play.

Josh Krenus got his second straight start in goal, stopping 25 of 28 shots.

Wednesday against the Grandview Steelers at the Burnaby Winter Club, North Delta fell 3-1 despite outshooting the home side 43-37. Starting goalie Paul Barclay was back in the Devils net, making 34 saves.

The Devils will host the Richmond Sockeyes tomorrow (Saturday) night at the Sungod Arena, before playing a return match in Richmond next Thursday. Their final game of the regular season is Saturday, Feb. 24 at Sungod against Grandview.

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