Team Personnel, Roster, U15 AA, REP (Central York Girls Hockey Association)

PrintTeam Personnel
Coaching Staff
  • Ryan Essex
    Coach Photo
    Head Coach
    Phone: 416-206-2343 (cell)
    2021/22 will be Ryan’s 13th season as a coach within the Panther organization. 

    His coaching philosophy is centered on instilling confidence within each athlete to reach their best within an inspiring team environment.   On and off the ice, respect, speed, hard work and discipline form the foundation of Ryan’s teams and will again for the U18AA team in the 2021/22 season. 

    These attributes have garnered much success for his teams as players develop and learn the game by being given the opportunity to play in all game situations.  Hockey is a game of mistakes - learning from them takes time, patience and a determined level of “compete.” 

    Ryan believes in open and transparent communication with the players and their parents to ensure expectations of each other are known and aligned to ensure a positive experience for everyone.  Making a positive experience the #1 priority has led to improved player development, a strong team culture and a very high player retention rate. 

    Ryan has spent the last 24 plus years with the Miller Group as a Professional Engineer within Canada and the U.S. and holds an MBA. 

  • Alex Copley
    Coach Photo
    Growing up a Panther, Alex was able to progress right through our association until Midget AA, and then went on to play Junior in the PWHL.

    All of her hard work paid off and she realized her dream of playing university hockey and played for the York University Lions while earning her degree in Human Resource Management.

    Throughout high school and while earning her degree Alex worked as a lead goaltender instructor for McGuire Goaltending, and Top Performance Goaltending. Her experience as a player brings a great deal of knowledge and understanding to the table when working with our Panthers.

    Last year was Alex's first year serving as the Junior Panthers Goalie Coach, and as the CYGHA’s lead goalie instructor.  Alex likes to work on all facets of the game with her goaltenders, and will be emphasizing skill development, hard work and growth on and off the ice this year with the Intermediate AA team.

    She herself is a lifelong learner and has been recruited to work at several elite goaltending camps that are led by Hockey Canada U18 and Senior Team goaltending coaches. She closely follows the “Hockey Canada” goalie development program so that her goalies are prepared for Provincial and National team opportunities. 

  • Kevin Dutcher
    Coach Photo
    Kevin grew up and played minor hockey in Mississauga.  He attended the University of Waterloo and played Varsity Football.  He also played hockey in the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) for one year while attending University.

    Kevin started coaching boys minor hockey in 2006.  He also has seven years of coaching experience in the CYGHA as both a head coach and associate coach at both the AA and A levels.  He has coached teams which have earned a Silver Medal and placed 4th at the OWHA provincial championships.  

    Kevin’s focus will be on individual skill development and team tactics to set the players up to succeed in their positions and roles.

  • Peter Grant
    Coach Photo
    Peter has his D1 coaching certification and has been involved in coaching rep hockey for over 16 years.  

    During most of those 16 years Peter was coach of the highly successful 1999 birth-year Aurora Panthers team.  Between Novice and Midget the team won a Provincial Championship, made it to multiple Lower Lakes Championship Weekends, including winning a Silver medal, and medalled in more than 20 tournaments, including the prestigious Brampton Canadette’s tournament.  Many of the 1999 players went on to play Intermediate AA and university/college hockey.  

    Peter also coached the Aurora Tigers Bantam A team to the OMHA finals in 2015/16.  Peter’s coaching experience also includes a season as an assistant coach for Aurora Panthers Intermediate AA team in 2017/18. 

    Peter’s coaching philosophy revolves around a skills-based, fast, puck possession game where all players contribute and thereby, all develop. While rep hockey demands dedication and effort, it is important to realize it is still a game and therefore it must be enjoyable for the players.  

    Peter leverages his experience as a University Professor to bring an analytical and pedagogical method to both team strategies and individual hockey skills. 

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Printed from on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 9:32 AM