Hockey Alberta Provincials history tracks back to 1970 when 28 champions were crowned in seven divisions; Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Juvenile, Midget, Bantam, and Peewee. The model would stay the same for the most part, as divisions and categories were tweaked over the years.
Some information is missing from over the years, especially during the 1970s, before computers that could save everything forever became a thing. Throughout the years though, we’ve managed to keep some of the history intact.
Here are some notable historical facts:
- In 1976, Provincial champions are all awarded based on categories for the first time. Before this, Peewee champions were still being awarded based on their Zone.
- In 1980, the Calgary Majestics became the first female team to win a Provincial Championship, becoming the winners in the Intermediate Female division.
- In 1984, the Calgary Bethany Chapel were crowned Provincial Champions of the Church League Division, which was only awarded for two years, in 1984 and 1985.
- In 1985, the hamlet of Falun won a Provincial Championship in a No-Hit division. Unrelated, but Falun is home to an NHL-rink, sort of. The outdoor rink is made from the old boards and glass from the Saddledome in Calgary.
- In 1986, the Intermediate division was removed, giving way to Senior hockey as we now know it. Eight Senior Provincials were crowned that year.
- 1986 was also the first year Atom Provincials began. It was only a one year trial, but in 1988, Atom Provincials were once again awarded, something that has continued to this day.
- 1989, the Edmonton Broncos became Female Midget Provincial Champions, marking the first time a female team in the minor stream won.
- 1996 was the last year in which Hockey Alberta differentiated Rural and City Provincial Champions. That year, Edson was named Rural Champions and Calgary North Central was named City Champions in Bantam A.
After that, things would more or less stay the same. In 2008, the current Provincial Categorization by Division Model was approved for trial by Hockey Alberta’s Minor Council and Board of Directors and was adopted as Regulation in the Spring of 2011.The philosophy of Minor Hockey Provincials in Alberta is that it is a competition for associations with like-sized Divisions competing their programs against one another.