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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province was ready to move forward with Phase 2A and B in the coming weeks. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
COVID restrictions for retail, sports and performers further eased

Occupancy in stores and malls boosted to 25 per cent from 15 per cent

Advocate file image
Red Deer COVID cases continue to decline

249 cases in Red Deer, down from 565 peak on Feb. 22

book
Organizers behind the Stettler history book are hosting a fundraiser with the help of Teresa’s Catering

‘Let Teresa’s Catering Cook Easter Dinner’ will help to raise funds for the project

car
Alberta RCMP reminds motorists to buckle up this March

In 2020, 3,184 motorists were pulled over for seatbelt-related offences in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A SAGA member (left) poses as Jessi Hanks (right) with Castle Restaurant puts up a safe space sticker to display on the restaurant’s front door. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
SAGA Wetaskiwin works with local businesses to display they are a safe space

The safe space stickers show that its a safe and inclusive space.

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during their appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta Appeal Court orders 3rd trial for parents in toddler’s meningitis death

Stephans were accused of not seeking medical attention sooner for Ezekiel, who had meningitis when he died

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Kiara Robillard is seen in an undated handout photo. When the pandemic began, Robillard had to rush back home to Alberta from California, where she had been living for five years, after she was struck by a truck that broke her spine in two places. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiara Robillard, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Most Read