Alberta return Golden for Clouston

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

Tuesday night was a homecoming of sorts for Ottawa Senators head coach Cory Clouston.

A former player with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, Clouston was back in town taking on the Edmonton Oilers for the first time since being handed the coaching reins with the Senators.

"Right now, I have some friends and family here that came down for the morning skate," Clouston said.

"But after that, we're focused and ready for the game. And once you're out there, you don't think of anything other than trying to get the win."

Clouston, 40, started his coaching career in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Grande Prairie Storm.

He moved on to the WHL, spending seven years behind the bench with the Kootenay Ice -- five as head coach -- winning the Memorial Cup in 2002 and getting named CHL coach of the year in 2005. Prior to the 2007 season, the Viking native was hired by the Senators to coach their AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He was then promoted to Ottawa just over the midway point of last season to replace Craig Hartsburg.

This year, the Senators have been playing well with Clouston behind the bench. After missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons last year, the Senators are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Sens are in Calgary Thursday to face the Flames.

"I actually had to get more tickets down in Calgary than I did here," Clouston said.

"I have more friends up here and more family down in Calgary."


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