Order of Merit
A maximum of two (2) awards presented in each category, annually, to recognize exceptional leadership and distinguished service to amateur hockey in Alberta for ten (10) years or more. Awards may be presented in the categories of Administration, Coaching/ Development, and Officiating. Whether as a Team Official, Official, or Administrator (team executive member, minor hockey association executive member, Hockey Alberta volunteer, league executive member), recipients will have dedicated significant effort, time, and leadership to growing and/or developing amateur hockey, not only in their own community, but across the Province.
Administration: Chris Hurley (Edmonton)
Chris Hurley has overseen the operations of the Noralta Junior C hockey league out of Edmonton for 19 years.
Working with his wife Wendy and another couple, Chris has served as president and registrar for the league. The goal is to provide graduating Midgets with a place to play junior hockey when Junior A or B is not an option. The league consistently has operated with 12 teams, and had 13 this year.
Coaching/Development – Bobby Fox (Medicine Hat)
Bobby Fox has been involved in coaching and development for approximately 15 years at various levels across the province.
Most recently, Bobby was the head coach with the Team Alberta U16 male squad at the Canada Winter Games. Team Alberta captured the bronze medal, concluding the tournament with a convincing victory over Manitoba.
Bobby’s involvement with Hockey Alberta has also included working at the Alberta Cup in 2014, 2015 and 2019 Alberta Cups. He was the head coach of Team Alberta in 2015, winning the gold medal at the Western Canada Challenge Cup. And he also worked with Hockey Canada in the U17 program as an assistant coach.
At the junior level, Bobby has worked with the Medicine Hat Tigers for the past three seasons, as assistant coach and then director of player of personnel. He was also associate coach and assistant general manager with the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL.
Bobby also spent more than a decade on the bench with several minor hockey associations at the Bantam AAAA and Midget levels, including leading Calgary’s Southeast Minor Midget AAA Rangers to the Sutter Cup, the south Championship of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League.
Coaching/Development – Ally Bendfeld (Innisfail)
Ally Bendfeld’s 29-year hockey career has included many milestones, including being a player in the first ever female hockey tournament at the Alberta Winter Games in 1994.
In university, as a member of the Augustana University College Vikings, Ally played in the inaugural season of the ACAC women’s hockey league and received all star honours for her play that year.
Next, Ally transferred to the University of Alberta to pursue her bachelor of education. While there, she played for the University of Alberta Pandas. In her 3 years with the team, the Pandas experienced 3 undefeated seasons and captured 3 national championships.
As a coach, she has been an assistant coach with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Female Midget AAA and head coach of the Red Deer Sutter Fund Female Bantam AAA Team. She has also volunteered with Hockey Alberta for the last 15 years. Ally has coached teams in the Alberta Challenge Cup, Alberta Winter Games, was a coach mentor at the 2016 Alberta Winter Games, and an assistant coach with Team Alberta at the 2014 U18 national championships where Team Alberta won a bronze medal.
Most recently, Ally was the video coach for the gold medal winning Team Alberta U18 female squad at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. The team defeated BC in the semi-finals and then Quebec in the final event of the games.
2018 Recipients: Brenda Dyck (Edmonton), Debbie Northcott (Caroline)