Former Falcon Williams takes over Canada’s national junior team

Former Bowling Green State University hockey player and coach Dennis Williams has been named the head coach of Hockey Canada’s 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship team.

This will be his first season as coach for Canada’s World Juniors team. He was an assistant coach on the 2022 Canadian team that won the gold medal in thrilling fashion, taking a 3-2 overtime victory over Finland.

“It is fun to see another BG Falcon Hockey alum doing great things in the hockey world,” said current head coach Ty Eigner. “Coaching Team Canada is a tremendous accomplishment for Dennis. We wish him luck.”

Williams played for Bowling Green from 1997-01, totaling 20 points and 198 penalty minutes in 117 games played. As a junior and senior, he helped the Falcons to berths in the CCHA semifinals.

He was a three-time CCHA Special Mention All-Academic selection and shared the 2001 Howard Brown Coaches Award with senior classmates Louis Mass, Ryan Murphy, Doug Schueller, Shawn Timm, and Curtis Valentine.

As a freshman, he scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 1 Michigan State, dealing the eventual CCHA championships one of only two home losses that season, with this one coming in front of a sellout crowd of 6,257 at Munn Arena.

“I think his college career prepared him for the coach he is now. He had to find his role on the team and learn how to handle the adversity and the ups and downs,” said current BGSU assistant coach Buddy Powers, who was the head coach at BGSU during Williams’ playing career.

“This helped him as a player and will continue to help him as a coach, especially with this junior team.”

The 2023 IIHF World Juniors began on Monday, Dec. 26, with Canada set to play Czechia in its first game of the Group A Preliminary Round.

They return to action on Wednesday with a matchup against Group A team Germany. Group play continues Thursday, when Canada plays Austria, then concludes on Saturday, with Canada facing off against Sweden. All four contests will be played in the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The relegation round and quarterfinals are scheduled for Jan. 2, with games played in the Scotiabank Centre or at the Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The semifinals and relegation round continue Jan. 4, with all games played in Halifax. The bronze medal and gold medal games are scheduled for Jan. 5, also played in the Scotiabank Centre. Canada faced Switzerland in pre-tournament action, taking a decisive 6-0 victory on Dec. 19.