The Vernon Vipers’ head coaching job wasn’t the only vacancy left when Mark Ferner went to work with the Everett Silvertips.
In departing for the Western Hockey League, Ferner also relinquished his role as head coach of Canada West at the upcoming Junior A Hockey Challenge, Nov. 7-13 in Langley. Taking his place is Powell River Kings’ head coach Kent Lewis.
For Lewis, the call from Hockey Canada was a welcome one.
“Last year, I didn’t apply but I gave it some thought late in the season that if the opportunity came up, I’d certainly love to do it,” said Lewis, 44.
“When Mark left to the WHL, I knew the opportunity was there and when I got the call from Hockey Canada, I was tickled.”
It won’t be the first time Lewis has coached a Canadian squad in an international event. He guided a senior men’s team to the Allan Cup in 2000.
“Like any coach, you get wrapped up in an international event. It’s a thrill to coach and a great challenge. There’s lots of pressure and expectations to live up to and that’s what makes it fun,” said Lewis.
Meanwhile, Enderby’s Nick Amies was acquired by the Penticton Vees from the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for future considerations.
The 19-year-old blueliner, a former Viper, was limited to just 19 games in Cowichan last season due to concussion problems, earning three assists and four penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder had 14 points in 57 games in the 2009-10 campaign, split between the Vipers and Capitals.