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Prince George Cougars ‘Chico’ joins Hockey Canada’s Under-17 staff

Equipment Manager of 11 years gets fifth call to aid country’s rising hockey players
Prince George Cougars staff also participated in the team's alumni charity golf tournament (via Kyle Balzer)

Bueno, Chico!

Ramandeep Dhanjal, also known as ‘Chico,’ the beloved equipment manager of the Prince George Cougars, has been added to Hockey Canada’s staff in prepping the best players for the 2019 World Under-17 Challenge in November.

The husband and father of two will be assisting Team Canada Black while at the tournament in Medicine Hart, Alberta and Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

This will be the fifth time ‘Chico’ will help Hockey Canada during a major international event.

He previously worked with Canada’s national women’s Under-18 and Under-22 teams, as well as Team Western Hockey League (WHL) twice during the 2016 CIBC Canada-Russia series, which included one game at the CN Centre in Prince George. 

‘Chico’ has spent 11 years with the Cougars as their equipment manager and athletic trainer dating back to the 2008-09 season.

He is in Calgary this week with three Prince George Cougar prospects, Craig Armstrong, Tyler Brennan, and Hudson Thornton, and 109 other young rising hockey talent, for the national Under-17 development camp.

Meanwhile, the Cougars have also taken on a new athletic therapist to their hockey operations staff for the 2019-20 season.

Mike Matthies, who is originally from Prince George, is back in the northern capital after spending two seasons with the Victoria Royals and the last four years with Hockey Canada.

“I’m very lucky to come into such a great organization and work for a team I grew up watching and cheering for,” said Matthies in a release. “My experiences with the Royals and Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence has helped me prepare for this new challenge.” 

Matthies recently completed his Bachelor’s degree in Athletic and Exercise Therapy degree from Camosun College in Victoria.

He also brings an international resume to the team, having served with Canada’s Under-18 women’s team that won gold at the 2019 World Championship in Japan.