Hockey roundup: Two Michigan coaches join women's national team; Cossa named third star

News staff and wire services

Westland's Josh Sciba and Shelley Looney of Brownstown Township were named as assistant coaches for USA Hockey's women's national team.

Sciba, the head coach of the Union College women’s hockey team for the past six seasons, helped lead the U.S. U18 team to a gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2020 world championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

A member of the National Team Development Program from 2001-2003, he played four years at the University of Denver before serving as an assistant coach with the women's teams at Colgate University and Niagara University.

Westland's Josh Sciba, right, is stopped by Alabama-Huntsville's Marc Narduzzi during Notre Dame's Midwest Regional game in 2007 in Grand Rapids.

Looney, a two-time Olympian who helped the U.S. win Olympic gold in 1998, has been the head women’s hockey coach at Lindenwood University since 2019-20.

She was head coach for the 2019 and 2017 U.S. women's national university team, leading the U.S. to a fourth-place finish in 2019 and a third-place showing in 2017. She also was an assistant coach for the silver medal-winning U.S. U18 team in 2010.

As a player, Looney represented the U.S. at the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and in eight world championships. She scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal game at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. 

Brownstown Township's Shelley Looney, left, is checked by Germany's Sabine Ruckauer at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in Kearns, Utah.

The two Michigan coaches will be joined by goaltending coach Alli Altmann (Eagen, Minn.) on the coaching staff of head coach John Wroblewski, the former coach of the Jack Hughes-led NTDP teams from 2019-2021. The women's world championships are Aug. 25-Sept. 4 in Herning and Frederikshavn, Denmark.

Cossa named third star

Jaxsen Wiebe completed a hat trick at 8:05 of 3-on-3 overtime to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the host Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday at the Memorial Cup at TD Station in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Detroit Red Wings draft pick Sebastian Cossa was named the third star, stopping 36-of-39 shots, including five shots in overtime for the Oil Kings (1-1), who will face the Hamilton Bulldogs (0-1) on Friday.

Hockey Canada’s funding frozen

Hockey Canada’s federal funding is being frozen in the wake of the national organization’s handling of an alleged sexual assault and out-of-court settlement.

Hockey Canada will only have funding restored once it discloses the recommendations it received from an independent law firm hired to investigate the alleged incident four years ago, Minster for Sport Pascale St-Onge said in a statement Wednesday.

Hockey Canada must also become signatories to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government agency with the power to independently investigate abuse complaints and sanction inappropriate behavior.

The move comes after Hockey Canada president Scott Smith and outgoing CEO Tom Renney were questioned by lawmakers this week during a hearing into the organization’s response to the alleged sexual assault involving eight players.

Hockey Canada quietly settled the lawsuit last month after a woman claimed she was assaulted by members of the country’s 2018 gold-medal winning world junior hockey team at an organization function.

The woman, now 24, sought $3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and the unnamed players. Details of the settlement have not been made public, but Smith said Monday that no government or insurance money was used.

A spokeswoman for Hockey Canada did not reply to an email request for comment Wednesday.

Twelve of the 19 players at the event spoke with the investigators from the law firm hired by the organization. Hockey Canada has said repeatedly the woman decided against speaking with police or its investigators. Smith and Renney reiterated Monday the woman also chose not to identify the players.

Smith said London police informed Hockey Canada its criminal investigation was closed as of February 2019. The independent investigation ended in September 2020, but Renney said the report is incomplete and shouldn’t be released.

The NHL, which also only recently learned of the allegations, is conducting its own investigation because some of the players in question are now in the league.

Hockey Canada received $14 million from the government in 2020 and 2021, including $3.4 million in COVID-19 subsidies, according to government records.

Federal money makes up 6% of Hockey Canada’s funding.