Mike Vandekamp is moving on after two years as head coach and GM of the Cowichan Valley Capitals. (File photo by Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Vandekamp moving on from Cowichan Capitals

Head coach returns to AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm

After two seasons behind the bench for the Cowichan Valley Capitals, head coach and general manager Mike Vandekamp is relocating.

Vandekamp will be filling the same roles for the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League after signing a three-year contract that was announced on Monday.

In his first season with the Caps, Vandekamp coached the team to a 17-35-5-1 record in the regular season, followed by a memorable upset of the Penticton Vees in the first round of the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

This past season, Vandekamp’s team went 35-16-5-2 to finish second in the Island Division, one point back of the Nanaimo Clippers, then dumped the Powell River Kings in the first round of playoffs. The Caps were set to face the Clippers in the second round when the remainder of the postseason was cancelled because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Vandekamp previously coached the Storm from 2007 to 2011, putting together a record of 157-72-19 and winning the AJHL title in 2009.

“Helping bring an AJHL championship to the Storm fans and organization is one of the highlights of my coaching career,” Vandekamp said in a release issued by the Grande Prairie club. “We had a talented group that was committed and proud to represent the Storm and the community of Grande Prairie. We found success in that formula. I look forward to being a part of revitalizing that culture of confidence. I’m excited to get back up north and getting to work.”

After leaving Grande Prairie in 2011, Vandekamp spent seven years as coach of the Nanaimo Clippers before he was hired by the Caps prior to the 2018-19 season.

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