PENTICTON, B.C. -- Okanagan Hockey Group (OHG) Vice-President Dixon Ward announced today that Tomas Pacina has been named the Head Coach of the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) Female Varsity team.
Pacina brings a wealth of experience as Head Coach, Assistant Coach and Skills Coach at both the female and male levels. He has been the Skills Coach for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Portland Winterhawks since 2009 and was a Skills Coach at the NHL level since 2001, working with the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We are extremely excited to have Tomas join OHA,” said Ward. “His experience, knowledge and reputation at all levels of coaching and skill development is a great addition to our staff.”
During the 2017-18 season, Pacina was named the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) Coach of the Year after leading the Calgary Inferno to a 17-7-4 record. He also spent seven seasons with the Calgary Oval X-Treme, leading them to a pair of National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) championships and three Western Women’s Hockey League (WWHL) championships.
“I am very inspired and happy to be joining such a world renown organization such is OHA,” said Pacina. “I am looking forward to working with the student athletes and be surrounded by great coaching and leadership. Preparation for the next season is already underway and I can’t wait to get going.”
Pacina also served as the Skills Coach for both the Canadian Men’s National Team and Canadian Women’s National Team from 1998-2002 and was a personal Skills Coach for NHL All-Star Jarome Iginla from 2008-2012.
Photos: Calgary Inferno, CWHL
In 2010 I was fortunate enough to play at the Okanagan Hockey Academy on the Midget Prep team. With coaches like Robert Dirk and Greg Holst it was an unbelievable year. I have to this day still never been on such a close-knit team. It was my first year of midget hockey and that meant a lot more travel. Playing in the CSSHL I got the opportunity to play in some pretty awesome spots. The league helped me learn to stay on top of school, which has helped me not only in college but also in junior. I was able to make an easy jump to junior and college academically with the help of Dave Nackoney, a guidance counselor at Penticton Secondary School who works with all the student athletes. To this day if I need anything he is always more than willing to help. It is the great staff that left such an impression on me, and made it possible for me to be where I am today.