Brian Dalshaug, former Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey Coach. (Photo Submitted)

Brian Dalshaug, former Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey Coach. (Photo Submitted)

Sylvan Lake hockey community mourns the loss of former coach

Brian Dalshaug is remembered as the “father of competitive hockey in Sylvan Lake.”

Sylvan Lake’s hockey community is mourning the death of a prolific coach, who vaulted the town to its status as a hockey town.

Brian Dalshaug had a powerful impact on many in the community and the kids he coached on his hockey teams.

Dalshaug coached in Sylvan Lake and in Red Deer during the ‘80s and early ‘90s, and many of those he coached had successful hockey careers and became community leaders in Sylvan Lake and across North America.

Dalshaug died suddenly on Jan. 5 in his home in Kaslo, B.C. at the age of 72.

Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp founder and president Graham Parsons calls him the “father of competitive hockey in Sylvan Lake.”

“He put us on the map provincially,” Parsons said. “Before he came we were playing teams like Eckville, Bentley and Spruceview. With him we started playing teams like Camrose and Innisfail.”

At the time Sylvan Lake was a small community with less than 5,000 people. Under the coaching of Dalshaug, known as Coach D to many, Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey went on to play in major tournaments and even win provincial titles.

Pat Garritty was one of the many kids he taught during his tenure in Sylvan Lake. He says he remembers being the underdog in many situations, and came out on top.

In the early ‘80s, Coach D took his team to a tournament in Penticton, B.C. where the team was a “fish out of water.” Dalshaug and the Lakers went on to make a splash and won the tournament.

“We would go to these games and tournaments with 12 to 14 kids and we would win it,” remembers Garritty.

It was just that he coached, it was how he coached and the lessons he taught his players.

Garritty says he and the other players on his team learned accountability, team work, leadership and discipline under Coach D’s watch.

“There are things I do today that I do because of him and what I learned and watched him do,” said Garritty.

Parsons says Coach D’s teachings were ahead of his time.

“You run into someone who is truly special, a real one-in-a-lifetime kind of person, so rarely, but he was really one of those guys,” said Parsons.

Parsons continued, remembering Coach D was a health inspector with no kids of his own, he just loved the game of hockey.

Some of his players have gone on to play professionally, and coach across North America, and each has made huge impacts on their communities.

“There is this spiderweb of influence that all starts with this guy,” said Parsons.

Garritty and Parsons said they kept in contact with Coach D even after he moved from the area to Lethbridge and then to Kaslo.

Most recently they had spoken with him during the World Junior’s tournament, which Canada lost the gold medal.

“His death was so unexpected… I am really going to miss him,” said Garritty.

The local hockey community is planning to honour the memory of the ‘father of competitive hockey’ with a memorial game later this summer.

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Sabrina Wilde in front of a recently purchased monster truck. Submitted.
Thorsby business women a finalist for 2021 Alberta Women’s Entrepreneurship Award

Sabrina Wilde with Lone Wolf Mechanical is a finalist for the entrepreneurial award.

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Most Read