Brent Kisio named Canada U18 head coach ahead of Ivan Hlinka tournament

Brent Kisio poses in this recent handout photo. After eight seasons as an assistant coach with his hometown Calgary Hitmen, Brent Kisio was ready for a new challenge. The 32-year-old Kisio has accepted an offer to become the Hurricanes' head coach, inheriting a team that had gone 20-44-8 last year. (Lethbridge Hurricanes/CP)

CALGARY — Brent Kisio has been elevated to head coach of Canada’s men’s under-18 team for the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup after Paul McFarland accepted an assistant coaching position with the Florida Panthers.

Kisio was originally brought on as an assistant coach under McFarland for the team selection camp and Ivan Hlinka tournament.

With Kisio taking the reins behind the bench, Hockey Canada has added Drew Bannister as an assistant coach for this summer’s U18 group.

Canada plays its first game at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka on Aug. 7 against Russia in Bratislava. The Canadians finished fifth at the prestigious under-18 tournament last year, ending a streak of eight straight gold medals.