COLORADO SPRINGS – USA Hockey has announced that Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career in the ECHL, will serve as head coach of the United States Men’s National Team at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship being held April 30-May 15 in Innsbruck and Vienna, Austria.
Laviolette was head coach of the team that captured the bronze medal at the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Championship, a finish that secured the United States a spot in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turino, Italy. The bronze medal was the first medal for Team USA at the IIHF World Championship since 1996 when it also captured the bronze. The medal in 1996 was the first medal for Team USA since it won a bronze medal back in 1962.
In 2003, Laviolette guided the U.S. Men’s National Select Team to the championship at the Deutschland Cup in Hannover, Germany. Team USA was 3-0-0 and won its first title in the tournament in just its second year of participation. Laviolette, who is head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL, was also an assistant coach for Team USA’s entry into the World Cup of Hockey in 2004.
Laviolette led Wheeling to a second place finish in the Northeast Division with a 37-24-9 record in 1997-98. The Nailers advanced to the Northern Conference Finals of the Kelly Cup Playoffs before losing to eventual ECHL Champion Hampton Roads. Laviolette became the second ECHL coach to become a head coach in the NHL, coaching the New York Islanders from 2001-03. The Islanders were 77-68-19 (6 overtime losses) under Laviolette and qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2002 and 2003 after missing the postseason for seven consecutive seasons. Prior to joining the Islanders, Laviolette was an assistant coach with Boston of the NHL in 2000-01 and was head coach of Providence of the American Hockey League from 1998-2000.