Head Coach of the Dryden GM Ice Dogs, Kurt Walsten, is being recognized by his peers. Walsten’s been named the Coach of the Year for the SIJHL’s 2022-2023 season.
Walsten’s led the league’s longest-tenured franchise to a 2nd place finish in the seven-team league this year, finishing with a record of 37-15-1.
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs are currently in the second round of the SIJHL playoffs against the Thunder Bay North Stars, tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven set.
Coach Walsten, originally from Kenora, joined the Ice Dogs in the 2014-2015 season, after being an Assistant Coach with the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
During his tenure with the team, Walsten led the Dogs to back-to-back Bill Salonen Cup Championships in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, before making a third straight appearance in the finals against Wellington in 2018-2019.
The Dogs followed up their loss in the finals to the Dukes with a fourth-place finish in 2019-2020, before losing the 2020-2021 season to COVID-19. In 2021-2022, the Dogs finished third overall.
Congratulations to Coach Walsten!
The Superior International Junior Hockey League has been announcing its year-end awards online each day as the playoffs continue.
Other awards for the Ice Dogs include Landen Stromme winning the SIJHL Forward of the Year, Brady Frattinger taking home the Defensive Forward of the Year honours and Max Roby being named the league’s Most Improved Player.