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Canada brings back Ducharme as World Juniors coach

Sweden v Canada: Semifinal - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 04: Head coach Dominique Ducharme of Team Canada gives out instructions to his players during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinal game against Team Sweden at the Bell Centre on January 4, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Team Canada defeated Team Sweden 5-2 and move to the gold medal round. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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After capturing silver at this year’s World Juniors, Dominique Ducharme is back for a shot at gold.

On Wednesday, Hockey Canada announced that Ducharme would return as head coach for the 2018 World Juniors, along with assistants Tim Hunter and Kris Knoblauch. The trio was instrumental in helping Canada medal this year after a disappointing sixth-place finish in 2016.

“This is a very unique opportunity to return an entire coaching staff that came within a shot of winning gold last year,” Hockey Canada’s Scott Salmond said, in a release. “The Program of Excellence Policy Committee unanimously agreed that it was in the best interest of the program to keep this coaching staff together and that their experience will provide us the best opportunity of winning gold in 2018.”

Two months ago, Ducharme’s charges came agonizingly close to winning it all, losing in a shootout to the Troy Terry-led U.S. squad in Montreal.

The 2018 tournament will be held in Buffalo. USA Hockey has yet to announce if head coach Bob Motzko will return to defend his title.

Of note, Canada and the U.S. will play an outdoor game at this year’s tournament.