News

Welcome To The New hockeyalberta.ca

Hockey Alberta is pleased to unveil our newly redesigned website.

The new hockeyalberta.ca is the culmination of more than six months of work. As you look around the new site, you will notice a new and refreshed look, streamlined and easily accessible menus, simple navigation, and access to the information you need. A key part of the project included updating and reorganizing content across the entirety of the website.

Some key features of the new hockeyalberta.ca include:

- A fully responsive site that automatically adjusts to the size of your screen, including mobile devices and tablets.

- A site search function that allows you to find pertinent results quickly.

- A new and improved Social Media feed. You can see what is going on involving Hockey Alberta on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube

- The ability to sort through tournament listings to easily find a tournament to attend.

- The ability to submit a question directly to Hockey Alberta, if you are seeking specific information.

- A new platform for teams and associations to submit Travel, Tournament and Exhibition game permit and sanction requests.

Stories in the newsfeed will be updated regularly to keep the content fresh and current. As well, located immediately below the top news stories are six promo boxes that provide you a link one mouse click to key sites and current programs – such as the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, Arctic Winter Games, and Alberta Winter Games.

“Building a new website for Hockey Alberta has been very challenging, but also very rewarding. Our website provides information, resources and services not just to our players, but to the entire hockey community,” said Brad Lyon, Hockey Alberta’s Senior Manager of Communications. “It was important throughout this project to keep in mind these multiple audiences that we serve. Are we providing the necessary information, making it easy to find by the people who need it, and is that information accessible on computers, tablets and mobile devices? We believe the answers to all these questions are a resounding YES. A very sincere thank you to our design partner, Pixel Army, who was integral in helping us achieve those goals. We look forward to continuing the growth of the site as we move forward.”

The new website was designed by Edmonton’s Pixel Army, whose design team created the vision for the new site, and worked with Hockey Alberta staff and volunteers to ensure functionality and appearance that meets the needs of the organization, and the entire hockey community across the province.

“When Pixel Army was chosen as a strategic partner to work alongside Hockey Alberta towards their new website, we could not have been more excited. As a custom website builder, we felt that this particular project has allowed us to be creative in our methods of delivering a clean, modern and responsive design while packing in a massive amount of functionality. With a personal history in sports - and specifically hockey - this project was fun and exciting from start to finish,” said Kevin Labbé, Pixel Army’s President. “The team at Hockey Alberta has been excellent in communicating their needs and goals for their new website. Our development group has been able to successfully deliver a high end product that is completely designed and built from scratch. Ultimately, the new Hockey Alberta website is one that Pixel Army is very proud of. We’d like to thank the individuals at Hockey Alberta who have challenged us to continue to push the envelope, and pursue excellence in our field.”

While the new public website is now live, work continues.

In mid-February, individual tournament sites for the 2016 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, will come online. Fans across Alberta and around the world will be able to follow their favourite team(s) either via live ticker updates on hockeyalberta.ca, or on individual tournament pages updated throughout each event.

And new content is being developed to enhance several areas of the website, including information for all players on all of the levels of hockey overseen by Hockey Alberta.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are a regular visitor to hockeyalberta.ca, and you had bookmarked specific pages or addresses on the old website, those links will no longer work. Please check out the new site, find your favourite page(s), and refresh your bookmark(s). If you have a specific question, please submit it by through the form available on the Contact Hockey Alberta page.

News

Hockey Alberta Provincial Playdown Draws Set

RED DEER - The road to the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, begins this weekend for hundreds of teams and thousands of players across the province as Zone Playdowns get underway.

The Zone Playdowns serve as the qualifying process for teams to earn the right to represent their zone at the Provincial Championships in March. In some Zones, teams are faced with the arduous task of having to play as many as four or five rounds of Playdown action by the end of February in the bid to earn their Zone crown. In cases where only one team declared an interest in competing at the Provincials, that team has earned a direct berth to the championships.

All Zone Playdowns are two-game, total-goal series. Playdown draw brackets, completion dates, and results can be viewed on the Hockey Alberta website. Results will be updated on a regular basis. Click here for Zone Playdown draws.

Provincial Championships begin as early as March 10, click here for a list of Provincial hosts and dates.

News

Coach of the Month - December

Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for December 2015 is Lynn Degenstein of Bow Island.

Degenstein has 12 years of coaching experience, and currently coaches both the Bantam Foremost/Bow Island Flyers (head coach), and the Peewee Bow Island Rebels (assistant coach), all while serving as the President of the Bow Island Minor Sports Association.

"I love to coach and teach the skills of hockey as well as skills like respect, teamwork, discipline," he said. "Every year my goal is to help my team become stronger hockey players as well as become future leaders in our community."

Degenstein received two nominations for the Coach of the Month award.

"He has a way of communicating with the kids and getting every bit out of them at games and at practice, all while making it fun for the players. When it comes to hockey, and teaching kids the love of the game, Lynn gives freely of his time and knowledge."

"He does not demand their respect, he has earned it over the years from coaching these kids. The kids and parents trust his decisions and he commands a lot of respect from the those involved with the two teams and the two minor hockey organizations."


For more details on Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month, click here.

News

Female Roster Announced For 2016 Arctic Winter Games

RED DEER – The road to Greenland begins now for 17 of Alberta’s top female athletes living north of the 55th Parallel, as Hockey Alberta has announced the Team Alberta North roster for the 2016 Arctic Winter Games.

The Junior Female squad, along with a Bantam Male team, will compete in the Arctic Winter Games March 6-11, 2016. The Games are being hosted in Nuuk, Greenland, but hockey will be played in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Click here to view the Female Team Alberta North Roster.

The female team selection camp ran January 8-10 in Slave Lake. Male selection camp ran December 11-13 in High Prairie, click here to view the Male Team Alberta North Roster.

"Selection camp this past weekend in Slave Lake went very well," said Blake Cosgrove, Regional Centre Northwest Consultant for Hockey Alberta. "We were quite impressed with the level of talent we saw on the ice, and are excited about the squad that will represent Team Alberta North at the games."

The Arctic Winter Games are the world’s largest northern multi-sport and cultural event. The Arctic Winter Games are a celebration of athletic competition, culture, friendship and cooperation between northern contingents. Athletic competition features sports that enjoy worldwide popularity alongside traditional Arctic Sports and dene Games. A significant cultural component featuring visual arts, dance, ceremonies and galas with participants from across the circumpolar region is a pillar of the Games.

Each hockey team is comprised of 17 players and two coaches. Teams participate in a round-robin tournament to determine seeding for medal-round pairings. One gold ulu is awarded in each age/sex class. Teams that regularly participate in ice hockey include Alaska, Yukon, Alberta North, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Communities eligible to participate in the Arctic Winter Games are located North of the 55th Parallel. Click here to view a list of eligible communities.

Click here for more information on the 2016 Arctic Winter Games.

News

Team Alberta celebrates its Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup Title. Photo: LA Media


Hockey Alberta’s Top Moments of 2015

RED DEER – With 2015 in the rear view, we look back on the year that was with our favourite moments, in chronological order:

February - Alberta Takes On The Nation

The 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC proved to be a very successful venture for Team Alberta, as the U16 Males and U18 Females both made a trip to the podium.

In week one of the games, Team Alberta Female landed the bronze medal, taking down Team Saskatchewan 5-3. Read the full story here.

The following week, the male squad earned its fourth silver medal at the Canada Winter Games after a hard-fought 3-1 loss to Team Ontario after an undefeated run to the final. Read the full story here.

March/April - The March To A Title

The Midget AA Minor Trails West Wolves claim their provincial title.

The 2015 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships saw 37 different battles for provincial supremacy from Atom To Senior. In 2015, Provincials were hosted as far north as Sexsmith, and as far south as Lethbridge. The annual "March to a Title" is a high point for minor hockey across Alberta, and the 2015 edition provided lasting memories for all that took part. Click here for a list of the 2015 Provincial champions.

April/May - Peewee Prospects Shine In Olds

A major highlight of 2015 for Hockey Alberta was the very first ATB Peewee Prospects Cup, which will be held every second year, alternating with the Alberta Winter Games. A part of the Team Alberta Program, the Prospects Cup brought some of the best 2002-born male athletes to Olds May 7-10, with Edmonton Green taking the inaugural title. Read the full story here.

A week prior, a not-so-new tournament, the ATB Alberta Cup, ran in Canmore. A long-running tradition, the Alberta Cup saw some of the top 2000-born males in Alberta go head-to-head. Calgary South defeated Team South 4-3 to claim the 2015 title. Read the full story here.

That same weekend, Medicine Hat played host to the 2015 ATB Alberta Challenge. In a battle of 2001-02 born female athletes, the North Predators edged the South Lightning 2-1 in the championship game. Read the full story here.

Click here for a photo gallery from the Peewee Prospects Cup, Alberta Cup, and Alberta Challenge (Facebook).

June - A Meeting Of The (Hockey) Minds

The 2015 AGM ’Hot Stove’ panel, Left to right: Ray Bennett, Brendan Morrison, Kyle Rehman,

Paul Carson, Fran Gow and Brian Burke.

Hockey Alberta’s 2015 Annual General Meeting and Hockey Conference was one of the best yet, with an all-star panel of some of the best hockey minds in the game today: Brian Burke (Calgary Flames), Paul Carson (Hockey Canada), Brendan Morrison (former NHL player), Ray Bennett (St. Louis Blues), Kyle Rehman (NHL Official) and Fran Gow (Hockey Alberta/AJHL).

Panelists discussed and took audience questions surrounding some of the most pressing issues facing our game today. Topics included: practice to game ratio, spring hockey, initiation level hockey, and body checking.

Brian Burke served as the AGM’s Keynote Speaker, click here to see the highlights of his speech.

Click here to see the discussions of body checking in hockey.

Click here to see the discussions of year-long hockey.

Click here to see the discussions of officiating in hockey.

July - New Vision, New Mission

Another highlight of the 2015 Annual General Meeting was the unveiling of Hockey Alberta’s new vision and mission statement:

Our Vision: Hockey For Life

Our Missions: To create positive opportunities and experiences FOR ALL PLAYERS through innovative leadership and exceptional service.

Our Stakeholders: Administrators, Alberta Sport Connection, Club Teams, Coaches, Corporate Partners, Hockey Canada, Leagues, Local Minor Hockey Associations, Managers, Officials, Parents, and Trainers.

Click here to view the video about Hockey Alberta’s new vision and mission statement.

August - Resizing The Game For Our Youngest Players

Hockey Alberta is proud to have unveiled the new guidelines for the Initiation Program in 2015, geared towards keeping the game fun for new hockey players under the age of six. The new Initiation format, which sees games played on a reduced playing surface, was showcased at the "Shrink the Rink" event in Lloydminster in October.

Click here for the new Initiation program guidelines.

Click here to watch the Initiation guideline video.

October - In It For The Long Haul

The Olds Atom Grizzlys pose for a team photo after a 1-0 win over the Okotoks Atom Oilers.

As part of the IIHF and Hockey Canada’s World Girl’s Hockey Weekend celebrations, Okotoks and Lethbridge hosted the Alberta leg of "The Long Game" on October 10. In its third straight year, The Long Game involved over 2000 female hockey players across the country, starting in Newfoundland and working its way to B.C. The day wrapped up with a fun exhibition game between the Calgary Inferno and a team of Okotoks First Responders.

Click here for a photo gallery from World Girl’s Hockey Weekend in Okotoks (Facebook).

October/November -The Gold Standard

Team Alberta celebrates its 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup title.

The top WHL prospects from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba met at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary, with Team Alberta successfully defending its 2013 title. Alberta went a perfect 4-0, winning for the fourth time in the tournament’s five year history. Read the full story here.

November - Alberta’s "Fab Five" Rise To The Challenge

Left to right: Jarrod Gourley, Ian Mitchell, James Hamblin, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Ian Scott.

Less than a year after winning a silver medal with Team Alberta at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, Ian Scott (G), Jarrod Gourley (D), Ian Mitchell (D), Jaret Anderson-Dolan (F) and James Hamblin (F) helped lead Team Canada White to a gold medal at the World U17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek, BC.

Team Canada White beat Russia 6-2 in the gold medal game, with Anderson-Dolan notching a goal and an assist, while Mitchell added a pair of helpers. Scott made 21 saves for the win, finishing the tournament with a 3-1 record.

Seven players total from the 2015 Silver Medal winning Team Alberta were selected to take part in the World U17 Hockey Challenge. James Hamblin, Ian Mitchell and Jaret Anderson-Dolan also served as the captain and assistant captains of Canada White, respectively.

News

Lacing Up


Lacing Up Teaches Novices Important Off-Ice Skills

RED DEER – Novice-aged hockey players in Alberta will benefit from an exciting new partnership between Hockey Alberta and the Respect Group.

Lacing Up is a fun, interactive, online, game-based program that helps Novice-aged players learn the fundamentals of being a successful, respectful young hockey player. Lacing Up focuses on the skills players need to know off the ice to stay healthy, play fair, support their teammates, respect officials, and contribute positively to their team.

Lacing Up focuses on the important off-ice skills that kids need to grow into respectful young athletes and allows coaches to focus on the fundamental hockey skills and drills that makes great players on the ice,” said Wayne McNeil, co-founder of Respect Group.

Lacing Up is an hour-long program that features stories, adventures, games, and quizzes “hosted” by five young animated characters and their coach. Topics include:

- Long Term Player Development: growth and development, nutrition, hydration, and sleep.

- Playing fair: the Hockey Canada Fair Play Pledge, respect for teammates, officials, and opponents, and recognizing that everyone makes mistakes.

- Bullying: types of bullying, and what to do if you are the target of bullying, or if you see it happening to someone else.

- Respect: for the game, each other, and ourselves.

The program is built around five modules accessed through a graphical table of contents. Content for the modules was created in consultation with Hockey Canada personnel, coaches, teachers, players and psychologists.

Novice-aged players in Alberta, and their parents, will be the first in Canada to have the opportunity to experience this free, optional program.

“For Hockey Alberta, the new Lacing Up program supports our new Vision statement, Hockey for Life. When our young players have a positive experience to start their careers, they are more likely to continue playing as they get older. We believe Lacing Up provides that positive opportunity for Novice-aged players across the province,” said Mike Klass, Senior Manager Business Operations for Hockey Alberta.

Lacing Up can be accessed through the Hockey Alberta website (www.hockeyalberta.ca) by going to the Players tab, and clicking on Lacing Up.