The last six months have been a whirlwind for Kevin Dineen. In October he was coaching the NHLs Florida Panthers. But after being fired in November, he was named the Canadian womens team coach and guided the squad to a stirring fourth straight Olympic title in Sochi, Russia. Dineen is now with a third team, preparing the Canadian under-18 mens squad to defend its world title in Finland. "Its been (a whirlwind) but you know what, its a hockey life," Dineen said. "You have tough times with the lows, you get fired and its an emotional deal. "As I told the women before the gold medal game, I knew the day I was hired I had to be on my toes and it was kind of like someone lit a match under my fanny. I just really enjoyed that whole process. You never know how those things are going to end. "Just like this one, you dont know. Weve got to have some luck and have some things work in our favour but its not always about the ending. Its about the ride youre on, it really is." The 50-year-old Quebec City native will have plenty of international experience at his disposal when Canada begins its title defence Thursday against Sweden in Imatra, Finland. Thirteen players on the roster participated in last years under-17 World Hockey Challenge in Quebec while eight skated in this years under-17 event in Cape Breton, N.S. And nine players helped Canada win gold at the Ivan Hlinka tournament last summer. However, Dineens biggest challenge is quickly moulding his players into a tightly knit team. "Yes there are challenges like having to gel and find some chemistry in a timely manner," he said. "A lot of the European teams have been together for a while and the Americans are centralized all year so those teams have an advantage. "But thats what makes it fun putting this team together. These boys are really excited to represent Canada and that works in our favour. Theyre sharp kids." And big, with 14 players being six feet or taller. But its still a team, Dineen says, that can excel on the larger international ice surface. "Even though I talk about our size, that does not in any way take away from our skill," Dineen said. "I think were a team that has some skill and I believe we can compete with any team. "That makes it enjoyable to have those guys who can play the game anyway we need to play to have success." Dineen is familiar with international hockey. He played for Canada six times, claiming world championship silver medals in 85 and 89 and winning the 87 Canada Cup. The 19-year NHL veteran also wore the Maple Leaf at the 84 Winter Games. In December, he joined a national womens program stinging from coach Dan Churchs sudden resignation and having lost four straight pre-Olympic tuneups to the archrival United States. In Russia, Canada beat the Americans twice, including a thrilling 3-2 overtime decision in the gold medal game after trailing 2-0 late in regulation. "If you were going to ride a roller-coaster and go the top, I couldnt have done better than that," Dineen said. "I had a pretty good buzz for about three weeks after Sochi, just enjoying it and the enjoyment people got out of that tournament. "Thats a special moment for Canada and you can compound that a lot for me and the players as well." Since Sochi, Dineen has been overwhelmed by people anxious to share their Olympic experience. That includes former NHL goalie Fred Brathwaite, now an assistant coach on the under-18 squad. "He was telling me he was on Highway 401 driving to a game and couldnt watch but found it on the radio," Dineen said. "After we scored in overtime, there was like 50 people around him all honking their horns. "A fireman from Hamilton told me how they were so mad they had to leave on a call during the game and when they returned there was skiing on TV. They thought theyd missed it but it was just the holdover until overtime. The next thing you know, the whole firehouse was watching and went bonkers. "When you hear those stories -- and Ive heard literally hundreds and will never tire of anybodys story -- its pretty special. Im not afraid to share those experiences with these boys." Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Point, a late cut from last years team, said Dineen has quickly made an impression on his young players. "Hes an awesome guy," said the 18-year-old Calgary native. " Hes got real good systems and hes really good with the players. "Everyone respects him a ton and its real easy to learn from him." Kingston Frontenacs defenceman Roland McKeown, a returnee from last years squad, said Dineens message is a simple one. "Hes preaching the Canadian way," McKeown said. "At the Olympics you saw how dominant the mens and womens teams were and that was doing it the Canadian way with hard work, that two-way game and everyone buying into a role. "Thats what were going to do." The six-foot-one 195-pound McKeown, an 18-year-old native of Listowel, Ont., hopes last years experience helps him become a key contributor this time. "Last year proved every guy has to take a role and buy in to win a championship," he said. "I gained a lot of experience from the guys who were here last year and want to use that to take a leadership role with this team." Dineen has taken an unplanned detour to land behind the under-18 teams bench, but hes a better coach because of it. "I coached six years in the American Hockey League and always took pride in being able to work with either veterans or young players but these guys are all young," Dineen said. "That really makes it enjoyable because theyre a good bunch. "To me, thats one of the advantages, just coming here and working with these players. Youre getting better every day and thats a good thing for me." Wholesale Salomon Shoes . 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Cheap Salomon Shoes Outlet . - The Pittsburgh Pirates plan on keeping promising left fielder Starling Marte playing alongside National League MVP Andrew McCutchen for years to come.WOODSTOCK, Ont. - Canadian Augusta James, American Liz Breed, Mexicos Gabriela Lopez and Australias Su-Hyun Oh all fired 4-under 67s to share top spot on the leaderboard on Tuesday after the opening round of the Canadian womens amateur championship. James, from Bath, Ont., closed with a back-nine 3-under 32 to share the clubhouse lead alongside Breed who posted the low round of the morning flight. "Im excited to have shot a number like this and basically I always try to tell myself at every tournament try to shoot one better each day," said James. "Thats my goal for the rest of the week and hopefully I come out on top." Playing a few groups behind James, Lopez and Ohs pairing finished tied for the lead after rolling in par putts on the par-3 ninth hole. Lopez, last years third place finisher, held the outright lead for the majority of her closing nine before a late bogey on her 17th hole, the par-4 eighth. "Its always fun to come to a tournament where youve played well and you know that youre expectations are high and you have the chance to win," said Lopez, the No. 111 ranked amateur in the world.dddddddddddd. "It feels very good being tied for the lead and I just need to keep believing in myself and trusting my golf shots and my swing." Megan Osland of Kelowna, B.C., also posted a strong opening round after a bogey-free 3-under 68. Osland sits alone at fifth, while defending champion Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont. posted a 1-under 70 to share seventh place. The 16-year-old Henderson rebounded from a 2-over front-nine with a 3-under 32 closing nine that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 4th hole. In the Inter-Provincial Team Competition that is conducted over the first 36 holes of the championship, Ontarios James, Henderson and Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., sit seven strokes ahead of Alberta at 5-under par. In the mid-amateur division (25+), Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C., will look to pick up her fourth consecutive title after opening with a 2-over 73. Proteau currently leads by five strokes over Torontos Marion Reid, who holds a three-stroke lead in the Mid-Master (40+) division after a 7-over 78. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '