For Immediate Release
August 6, 2021

Saanichton, B.C. - BC Hockey is proud to announce the Female U18 and Male U16 hockey staffs for the 2021 Program of Excellence (POE) season.

Kris Hogg and Jamie Jackson will be the head coaches for the Female U18 team and the Male U16 team, respectively. For Hogg it is his first time as the head coach of the Female POE program. Jackson is returning to the top position after he led the U16 squad to a Bronze Medal at the 2019 WHL Cup.  

"We are excited to announce this year's Program of Excellence hockey operations staff," Commissioner, Program of Excellence Fred Zweep said, "The coaches and support staff were carefully selected as high-end professionals who will provide strong leadership for our athletes. Our focus is on player and program development with the goal to find team success at the National Women's U18 Championship and the WHL Cup."

Provincial camps for both squads will take place, by invitation only, at the Pitt Meadows Arena from August 19-21. The 2021 National Women’s Under-18 Championship is slated for October 31 – November 6th in Dawson Creek, B.C., and for the U16 Male team the WHL Cup is tentatively scheduled to occur in October.

Meet the staff:

Female U18

Kris Hogg
Head Coach

Hometown: Sicamous, B.C.

Current Team: Rink Hockey Academy – Kelowna Female Prep

Background: This will mark Coach Hogg’s second year with BC Hockey’s Program of Excellence (POE) Female U18 team, and his first as the squad’s head coach. He held the position of assistant coach for the 2019 team that finished in 5th place at the 2019 National Women’s U18 Championship.

This September, Hogg will begin his sixth season at Rink Hockey Academy – Kelowna (formerly Pursuit of Excellence Academy) of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). This year will mark his fifth season as the Head Coach and Female Director of Female Prep for Rink. During his tenure, his squad has captured two CSSHL championships (2018 and 2019) and has finished on top of the regular season standings three times (2017-18, 2018-19 and tied for the lead during the 2019-20 season). He began his coaching career with Pursuit of Excellence’s Midget Varsity team during the 2015-16 season. 

Hogg had a successful playing career that saw him ultimately be drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2004 National Hockey League Entry Draft (121st overall). He played five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Kamloops Blazers and the Lethbridge Hurricanes. During his time in the WHL he competed in 339 regular season games notching 194 points (106g-88a) while compiling 495 penalty minutes. After junior, Hogg attended Lakehead University where he played for the Thunderwolves for four seasons while he earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Human Resources/Industrial Relations. He then spent four seasons playing professionally in the ECHL, Central Hockey League as well as leagues throughout Europe before retiring.

Amy de Bree
Assistant Coach

Hometown: Shawnigan Lake, B.C.

Current Team: Greater Vancouver Comets Female U18 AAA

Background: Coach de Bree returns to BC Hockey’s Program of Excellence for her 10th campaign and her second as an assistant coach (2019) with the U18 team. de Bree has also been a part of the POE program as a U18 Camp Instructor (2012, 2014, 2017), a head coach for the U18 Provincial Camp (2013-2018) and a U16 head coach for Female Zone 5 (2011-12). She also was the Team BC Female Head Coach at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in 2017 where her team earned a Bronze Medal.

Coach de Bree will begin her first full season as the Head Coach of the Greater Vancouver Comets (Female U18 AAA) this fall. From 2019-21 she served as the Assistant Coach – Video for the University of British Columbia (UBC) Women’s Ice Hockey Team. She has also spent 12 years coaching at various levels throughout the Vancouver Thunderbirds Minor Hockey Association (MHA), Vancouver Female MHA, Fraser Valley BC FMAAA and Vancouver MHA.

During her playing days, de Bree played five seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds Varsity Women’s Hockey Team. During that time, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in European History and English Literature, and then added a Bachelor of Education Degree. She has also earned a Master of Education in Coaching Studies. de Bree spent the 2008-09 season playing professionally in the Western Women’ Hockey League as a member of the BC Breakers.

Venla Hovi
Assistant Coach

Hometown: Tampere, Finland
Current Residence: Penticton, B.C.

Current Team: OHA Penticton Female U17 Prep

Background: Coach Hovi is entering her first season with BC Hockey’s POE Female U18 team as an assistant coach.

Hovi will begin her second season at OHA Penticton this fall as the Head Coach of the U17 Female Prep Team. Prior to OHA, she spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Manitoba. Hovi also was a coach for the Jets Hockey Development in 2019-20. Additionally in 2019, she coached the Women’s Finland Select U18 team at the World Select Invitational Tournament.
Hovi had an incredibly successful playing career as she spent 13 years on National teams for Finland. She participated in three Winter Olympic Games (2010, 2014 and 2018) earning two Bronze Medals in 2010 and 2018. The forward contributed four goals and three assists over her 17 Winter Olympic games. Hovi also competed in eight World Championships winning a Silver Medal in 2019 and collecting three Bronze Medals (2008, 2009 and 2017). For her career she played in 44 games at the World Championships accumulating 10 points (4g+6a). The forward played professionally for eight seasons between Finland, Denmark and Calgary. While with the Calgary Inferno her team captured the Clarkson Cup as Canadian Women’s Hockey League champions. Hovi also spent two years playing university hockey in North America with the University of Manitoba (CIS) during the 2016-17 season and with Niagara University (NCAA) in 2007-08. While with the University of Manitoba she helped her team whin the U SPORTS National Championship. 

Eddy Guay
Video & Goalie Coach
Hometown: Surrey, B.C.

Current Position: Elite Goalies

Background: This year will mark Coach Guay’s fourth time (2016, 2017 and 2019) as Team BC’s U18 Female Video Coach, and it will be his first time in the split role of video and goalie coach. He won back-to-back Bronze Medals at the National Women’s U18 Championship with the 2016 and 2017 squads.

Guay has been named as the Video Coach for the Canadian Women’s National Development Team for the 2021 Summer Camp. From 2017 through 2019 he held the same role with the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). He also held the position of IIHF Officiating Video Coach for two IIHF World Junior Championships (2018, 2019) and for the 2018 IIHF World Championship. In 2016, he worked with the Finnish Women’s National Team at the IIHF Women’s World Championship. He began his career as a video coach during the 2015-16 season when he joined the UBC Hockey Programs. That season he was a part of the Canada West Conference Gold Medal winning UBC Women’s Varsity Team. Guay and the team then earned a Silver Medal at the CIS National Championships. Prior to that he held the role of assistant coach for the Belgian Women’s Nation Team at the 2013 IIHF Division 2B Women’s World Championship.

Guay graduated with a Sports Management Bachelor degree, with a minor in Hockey Coaching, from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Vierumäki, Finland and interned with Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation (Antwerp) in the hockey development department.

Lydia Maxwell
Athletic Therapist

Hometown: Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Current Team: Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite Super REX

Background: Maxwell is returning to BC Hockey’s U18 Female POE program for the second time this year. She also served as the team’s athletic therapist in 2019.

Previously, Maxwell was the athletic therapist for the Delta Hockey Academy of the CSSHL from 2016-2021. She also worked for the Port Moody Panthers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) during the 2018-19 season, and at the Edge School for Athletes of the CSSHL during the 2015-16 season.

Maxwell completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Kinesiology and Psychology with a concentration in active rehabilitation at Simon Fraser University in 2015. She then continued her education in Calgary as a post graduate student at Mount Royal University where she completed an advanced certificate in Athletic Therapy. In 2016, she passed her National Board Certification exam with the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association to become a Certified Athletic Therapist. She is currently completing a Master of Science in Sport and Performance Psychology with plans to certify as a Mental Performance Consultant with the Canadian Sport Psychology Association.

Les Cleverly
Equipment Manager

Hometown: Hope, B.C.

Current Team: Grand Forks Border Bruins (KJIHL)

Background: Cleverly has been a mainstay within BC Hockey’s POE over the last several years and has been the Lead Trainer for the past four seasons for the U18 Female Team and the U16 Male Team. He was a member of BC’s U18 Female Program who captured a Silver Medal at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, AB. He has previously served as the Lead Trainer for U15 program.

Prior to joining Grand Forks in his role as Trainer and Communications Officer, he spent two seasons as the Trainer for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. He also spent time with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets as their Associate Trainer, and with Kootenay Avalanche of the BC Major Midget League.

Cleverly has been a Paramedic for the past 29 years and currently oversee and manage the Clinical Air Operations program for BC Emergency Health Services, which provides Critical Care Air Ambulance for patients throughout BC.

Male U16

Jamie Jackson
Head Coach

Hometown: Langley, B.C.

Current Team: Vancouver North East Chiefs U18 AAA

Background: Coach Jackson returns to lead the Male U16 Program of Excellence (POE) for the second time. He first held the reins as the team’s head coach during the 2019 POE season when he led Team BC to a Bronze Medal at the 2019 WHL Cup. Jackson has been a part of the POE program since 2014.

Jackson will be behind the bench for the Vancouver North East Chiefs U18 AAA squad this season for his second season as the team’s head coach. Before making the move to U18 AAA, he had been the head coach of the Elite 15 team at St. Georges Academy of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) during the 2019-20 season. He had been an assistant coach with the Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) from 2017-2019. This was preceded by being the head coach for the NE Chiefs of the then British Columbia Major Midget League (BCMML) from 2014-18. During the 2014-15 season the Chiefs won the BCMML Championship. From 2012-14 he was the bench boss for the Port Moody Panthers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL). His coaching career began in 2006 at the minor hockey level.

Jeff Urekar
Assistant Coach

Hometown: Port Moody, B.C.

Current Team: Trail Smoke Eaters Junior A

Background: Coach Urekar will be making his second appearance as a member of Team BC’s Male U16 coaching staff as he joins the 2021 edition as an assistant coach. During the 2019 POE U16 season, he served as the team’s Assistant/Video Coach as he helped the squad win a Bronze Medal at the WHL Cup.

Urekar currently serves as the Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. A role he has held for the last two seasons. Previous to that he was a member of the coaching staff for the Vancouver North East Chiefs of the BC U18 AAA League (previously, the BCMML). Urekar was a part of the 2014-15 edition of the Chiefs who won the BCMML Championship.
Ayrton Nikkel
Assistant Coach

Hometown: Peachland, B.C.

Current Team: West Kelowna Warriors Junior A

Background: Coach Nikkel is entering his third season as an assistant coach for the West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL. He has also worked with AK Hockey for eight years as a Skills Coach.

Nikkel had a successful career as a player as he spent parts of five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos and the Everett Silvertips. Over his WHL career, the former defenceman played in 240 games tallying 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points while accumulating 389 minutes in penalties. He split his 20-year-old season between the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the professional Allen Americans of the ECHL. He also suited up for Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge during the 2011-12 season. Nikkel was a member of Team BC during the 2010-11 and took home the Gold Medal at the Canada Winter Games.
Les Cleverly
Trainer/Equipment Manager
Biography is above under Female U18

BC Hockey is a non-profit organization and member of Hockey Canada, providing stewardship of amateur hockey at all levels in British Columbia and Yukon. For more information about BC Hockey, please visit BCHockey.net, or follow our social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
6671 Oldfield Rd.
Saanichton, BC V8M 2A1