Coach Mike Babcock will have a familiar face at his side when his Spokane Chiefs junior hockey team makes a run at next year’s Memorial Cup.
The Chiefs, who will host the 1998 Memorial Cup at the Arena, announced Wednesday that Michael Pelino has been hired as Babcock’s assistant for the upcoming season.
Pelino, who has coached hockey at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, for the past 10 years, was an assistant to Babcock last January on Canada’s National Junior Team that won the World Junior Championships in Geneva, Switzerland.
He also coached Canada’s National under-18 team to a Pacific Cup gold medal in 1996.
“I am ecstatic with our decision to hire Mike Pelino,” Babcock said in a statement from the Chiefs. “He is a great coach and gives us everything we need in an assistant coach for the Memorial Cup season.”
As the host team, Spokane will have one of four berths in the Memorial Cup finals, which will also feature champions from the Ontario, Quebec and Western leagues.
Pelino replaces Brett Cox, who was dismissed at the end of last season. At the time, Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz said the team failed to renew Cox’s contract because it felt it had “a special opportunity to get arguably the most qualified assistant out there, under the standards of a Western Hockey League budget.”
Speltz said Pelino is “the qualified and experienced coach we were hoping to sign at the beginning of this process.”
Pelino played for the University of Toronto Blues.
He helped them win the Ontario Provincial Championship in 1982 and the Canadian National Championship in 1984.
The Templin’s Resort Tennis Center eighth annual tournament will be Saturday and Sunday at Templin’s in Post Falls.
Players with 4.0 ratings or lower are welcome. To register, contact Werner Preusker at (208) 772-5067.
Pat Hays’ two-run double helped the Royals to an 8-4 win over the North Stars in the first game of a Spokane AAA doubleheader at Jackson Field.
Sean Thacker of the Royals (5-6) went 2 for 5, with a double and run batted in. Kurt Paras pitched a complete-game seven-hitter.
Joe Chimienti homered and singled in three at-bats for the North Stars (4-17).
AAU girls basketball
The U11 Spokane Stars dropped two games at the national tournament in Minneapolis.
Spokane’s Julie Hinkemeyer had 10 points and 16 rebounds during a 55-25 loss to Washington, D.C. Emily Westerberg of the Stars had nine rebounds in a 32-18 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
, DataTimes MEMO: Changed in the Spokane edition
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