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Centre Ice - The Hockey Alberta Podcast

Centre Ice is the brand-new Hockey Alberta podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province, with new episodes on the first and third Thursday of the month. Subscribe now on your favourite podcast app!

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The Centre Ice Podcast is back for the 2021-22 hockey season, and Episode Fourteen is all about celebrating National Coaches Week (Sept 18-26).

Hockey Alberta’s Senior Manager of Hockey Development, Justin Fesyk, discusses Hockey Alberta’s Coach Development Plan, and the numerous learning opportunities available to coaches at any level across the province.

We’ll then hear a coaching panel with Hockey Alberta’s High Performance Coach Mentor Barry Medori, Mount Royal Cougars Men’s Hockey Assistant Coach and current Team Alberta U16 Assistant Coach Alex Mandolidis, and two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2019 Canada Winter Games gold medal-winning Team Alberta U18 Head Coach Carla MacLeod.

Episode Links: Hockey Alberta Coaching Resources > | Coaching Requirements > | Coach Initiatives > | Coach Clinics > | World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend > | Team Alberta Program >


June is not only Pride Month, but also National Indigenous History Month, and Hockey Alberta has been celebrating both throughout the month.

Episode Thirteen of the Centre Ice Podcast features Glenn Witman, the Co-Founder of the You Can Play Project, and 2003 Canada Winter Games gold medalist and 2007 Memorial Cup Champion Wacey Rabbit, a proud member of the Kainai Nation.

Episode Links: You Can Play Project > | Save the Date: 2021 Indigenous Hockey Summit > | 2021 Future Leaders Program > | 2021-22 First Shift Program Registration > | Team AB U16 Male Summer Camp > | Team AB U18 Female Summer Camp > | Team AB U16 Female Development Camp >

Episode TWELVE:

Episode Twelve of the Centre Ice Podcast features a pair of players who coincidentally both played in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, one for Team Canada, and one for Japan.

With the Professional Women’s Hockey Player’s Association’s Secret Dream Gap Tour making a stop in Calgary, and being covered on Sportsnet, we chat with two-time Olympic gold medalist Cassie Campbell-Pascal, who is part of the broadcast team for the event.

And, with May being Asian Heritage Month, we also sit down with former Medicine Hat Tiger standout Steven Tsujiura to talk about his roots, his time playing hockey in Alberta, and where the game has taken him.

Episode Links: PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour > | Ashley Shrode, Allyson Bendfeld win BFL Female Coach of the Year Awards > | George McCorry wins Hockey Canada Officiating Award > | Volunteer with Hockey Alberta > | Asian Heritage Month: Steven Tsujiura >

Episode Eleven:

Episode Eleven of the Centre Ice Podcast focuses on one of the most under-appreciated positions in the game: the official, featuring interviews with two of Alberta’s biggest success stories in Level Five Official Lacey Senuk, and NHL Referee Kyle Rehman..

Episode Links: Coach of the Month: Brad McCoy > | Coach of the Month:Tracey Desmarais > | Coach of the Month: Derek McEwan > | Coach of the Month:Lee Zalasky > | Volunteer Appreciation Week > | Breakfast with Beckett >

Episode TEN:

Episode Ten of the Centre Ice Podcast features a pair of Albertan broadcasting legends in longtime Hockey Night in Canada Host Ron MacLean, and Medicine Hat Tigers play-by-play announcer Bob Ridley.

Episode Links: Hockey’s Path Forward > Two Albertans invited to National Women’s Team selection camp > | Five Albertans Named to National Men’s Under-18 Team > | 2021 AHHF Gala Postponed > | 2021 Future Coaches Program >

Episode NINE:

Episode Nine of the Centre Ice Podcast features a pair of Alberta’s coaching success stories, with former National Women’s Team Coach and four-time Olympic gold medalist Mel Davidson, and Colorado Avalanche Assistant Coach Ray Bennett, who’s been coaching in the NHL for over 20 years.

Both coaches share their stories of rising through the ranks from small-town Alberta to coaching at the highest level, and their words of advice and wisdom for coaches across the province.

Episode Links: Hockey’s Path Forward > | Team Alberta Events Postponed > | Alberta’s Lacey Senuk to Officiate at 2021 Women’s World Championship >

Episode eight:

Episode Eight of the Centre Ice Podcast takes a closer look at the inequality and discrimination faced by many in the game, but also focuses on the steps being taken to make hockey a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

This episode features Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba and his father, long-time Hockey Alberta Official Charle Dumba speaking about the discrimination their family has faced, and the work being done to eradicate racism in hockey, including Matt’s involvement in the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Sanjeev Bhagrath, a Sikh Official from Edmonton, shares his own experiences of racism and inequality, and Pittsburgh Penguins President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke speaks on the You Can Play initiative, and the work being done to eradicate homophobia from hockey.

Episode Links: Hockey’s Path Forward > | Hockey Diversity Alliance > | Hockey Alberta Officials > | Coach of the Month Nominations > | Host the First Shift in Your Community > | The Coaches Site Global Skills Showcase > | Foundation Accepted into Birdies for Kids Program > | You Can Play Project >

Episode Seven:

Episode Seven of the Centre Ice Podcast is centred around Black History Month, and celebrating the Albertans who pushed through adversity to achieve success, featuring interviews with Team Alberta alumna Cassandra Vilgrain, and legendary goaltender Grant Fuhr.

Episode Links: Hockey’s Path Forward > | The Story of John Utendale > | Female Hockey Day Sessions > | AEHL Rinkside >

Episode SIX:

Episode Six of the Center Ice Podcast focuses on the importance of keeping hockey - and sport in general - accessible to everyone.

Canadian Long Drive Champion Lisa ’Longball’ Vlooswyk, the newest member of the Hockey Alberta Foundation Board of Directors, joins us to discuss the Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community program and why she chose to join the board, while Executive Director of Heros Hockey, Kevin Hodgson, shares the incredible programming Heros Hockey offers for vulnerable youth across the country.

Episode Links: Every Kid Every Community > | Female Hockey Day > | Hockey for Life Story Submissions > | Maschmeyer, Mikkelson to attend BFL National Women’s Team Training Camp > | Six Albertans to Attend Canada’s National Para Hockey Team Training Camp > | Heros Hockey >

Episode Five:

Episode Five of the Center Ice Podcast focuses on how athletes (and everyone) can stay fit and healthy at home while sports remain on pause.

Doug Crashley of Crash Conditioning in Calgary and Dr. Dhiren Naidu, Team Physician for the Edmonton Oilers joined the show to discuss proper fitness and nutrition, respectively.

Episode Links: Hockey at Home > | Hockey Gives Back > | World Juniors 50/50 > | HAF pairs up with Major League Socks > | Perfect Pair[ing] Contest > | Parent Engagement Videos >

Episode Four:

Episode Four of the Center Ice podcast focuses on how teams who are affected by the Government of Alberta’s Public Health Order can navigate the pause on hockey.

Hockey Alberta CEO Rob Litwinski joins the podcast once again, and discusses the current state of hockey in Alberta, while High Performance Coach Mentor Barry Medori shares what coaches can do to keep their teams engaged.

Episode Links: Return to Hockey Plan > | Public Health Order FAQ > | Vira, Zinger elected to Hockey Alberta Board > | Terry Engen joins Hockey Canada Board of Directors > | Every Kid Every Community awards $34,000 in grants > | HAF pairs up with Major League Socks > | Perfect Pair[ing] Contest > | Coach of the Month - Randy Rosen > | Three Albertan Officials selected for 2021 WJC > | Hockey for Life: Kyle Kowalski > | Hockey Canada U16 Portal > | Barry Medori: How to Keep Your Players Engaged >

Episode Three:

Episode Three of the Centre Ice Podcast explores the meaning of ’Hockey for Life’, with a focus grassroots hockey in Alberta, the Alberta Elite Hockey League and Alberta Female Hockey League, and the opportunities and experiences hockey can offer.

Hockey Alberta’s Coordinator of Female Hockey, Taryn Baumgardt and Coordinator of Male Hockey, Dustin Moore discuss their experiences growing up playing hockey in Alberta, and how it led to them working in the sport. We also re-visit an interview with Kodie Curran, who signed his first NHL deal with the Anaheim Ducks back in June.

Episode Links: League Alumni Spotlight: Taryn Baumgardt > | League Alumni Spotlight: Dustin Moore > | Return to Hockey Participation Flow Chart Update > | | Coach Clinics > | AEHL Schedule > | AFHL Schedule > | Hockey Canada Champion: Chantel Timmons > | An unrelenting love of the game key in Curran’s journey to the NHL >

Episode TWO:

Episode Two of the Centre Ice Podcast looks back on the Albertans selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, featuring interviews with first-round draft picks Jake Neighbours, Ozzy Wiesblatt and Kaiden Guhle.

Episode Links: 17 Albertans Selected at 2020 NHL Draft > | Alberta’s Guhle gearing up for 2020 NHL Draft > | Return To Hockey Plan Oct 2 Update > | Coach Clinics > | AEHL Schedule > | AFHL Schedule > | WHL announces opening date for 2020-21 Regular Season > | Centre Ice Episode One >


Episode ONe:

The inaugural episode of Centre Ice features Hockey Alberta CEO Rob Litwinski, and the impact of COVID-19 on hockey in Alberta. Rob discusses the postponement/cancellation of hockey on March 12, what’s transpired since then, and takes a deeper dive into the Return to Hockey Plan, and what it means for the future of hockey.

Episode Links: Return To Hockey Plan > | Hockey is Back > | New for 2020 > | Coach Clinics > | Barry Medori Tribute >