Giants relieve Ward after 9-and-16 start

Vancouver hockey team parts ways with former Heat coach Troy Ward.

Former Abbotsford Heat bench boss Troy Ward was relieved of his duties with the Vancouver Giants Wednesday after just 25 games in charge.

The Giants sat last in the Western Conference with nine wins and 16 losses at the time of Ward’s firing.

“Obviously with where we are in the standings, it just wasn’t working with Troy,” said Giants general manager Scott Bonner in a news release. “This is the unfortunate part of sports, but we thought change was needed. We wish Troy all the best in the future.”

Assistant coach Matt Erhart was named the club’s interim head coach.

The Giants played Wednesday night, hours after Ward was fired, and lost 6-1 to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Ward coached the Heat for three years before his contract expired last spring and the American Hockey League team left town. He was promptly hired by the Giants.

The job was Ward’s first foray into Canadian major junior hockey, although he came with experience at the junior level south of the border, having served as general manager and head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League in 1993.