CALGARY – The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will return to Alberta in 2019.
For the first time in the 33-year history of the event, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge – an international showcase of the best young hockey talent in the world – will be co-hosted in a pair of Prairie provinces. Medicine Hat and Swift Current will welcome the event from Nov. 2-9.
The 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge represents a partnership between Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association and the Canadian Hockey League, as well as the cities of Medicine Hat and Swift Current, and the Medicine Hat Tigers and Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League.
“Alberta has hosted a number of successful Hockey Canada events in recent history, and Hockey Alberta looks forward to ensuring the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is even more successful,” said Rob Litwinski, Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Alberta. “We are thrilled to welcome the top under-17 hockey players in the world to Alberta for the first time since 2005, and to work with the host committee in Medicine Hat on this prestigious event.”
“There was a great deal of effort from many individuals to bring this event to our community, so it’s a tremendous honour to co-host with our counterparts in Swift Current,” said Ted Clugston, Mayor of Medicine Hat. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the players, their families, and hockey fans to our city, and showcasing our community and its amenities on an international scale.”
The 7,100-seat Canalta Centre will host teams and fans when the tournament returns to Alberta for the third time; Lethbridge hosted in 2005, and Red Deer in 1997.
The official tournament schedule and ticket information will be announced at a later date.
The Springbank Rockies are the only Alberta team to qualify as a semi-finalist in the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup. Help win $100,000 for an Alberta charity. CLICK HERE or on the photo above to watch this incredible 60 second video. Each view equals one vote. Once you click and watch the FULL video, it registers your vote. The entire hockey community is encouraged to get involved... every age group, every team, every association to help win $100,000 for the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation and The Calgary Food Bank.
CALGARY - The Springbank Peewee AA Rockies agreed that the team should perform a “good deed” in the community that would bring value to the team and community and inspire others to participate or support the “good deed”.
The Rockies took their inspiration from their superhero Nathan O’Brien and The Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation support for the Calgary Food Bank. Nathan was a member of the Springbank Rockies Timbit Senators at the time of his tragic death in 2014. This season the AA team proudly wears the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation logo on their helmets and pre-game warm-up gear.
The team worked with the Foundation and the O’Brien family to keep Nathan’s spirit alive, make a significant impact in the community, inspire others, and represent Springbank Minor Hockey, the Foundation, and the Calgary Food Bank as proud ambassadors.
The team set a goal to make a significant contribution to the Calgary Food Bank in support of The Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation. The goal - to fill a 40-foot transport trailer with non-perishable food. In order to achieve this goal, Purolator graciously provided a 53-foot transport trailer - 13 feet more than planned. The 53-foot challenge was eagerly embraced. Here is what was accomplished in a week:
1,200 volunteer hours.
More than 5,000 bags distributed throughout the Springbank community and collected several days later.
Total amount of food collected: 53 feet = 16,752 lbs (approx. value $43,555)
Total cash donated: $4,920 (or approx. 9,500 lbs of food)
Total equivalent of approx. 16,200 meals to Calgarians.
The team recognized the significance of its undertaking and realized the opportunity (and need) to inspire the entirety of Springbank’s Peewee division to help fill the trailer. Proudly, EVERY Springbank Peewee team - House league through AA - participated in this year’s Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup competition.
The enthusiasm and commitment from the Peewee division was truly amazing, producing results that were equally spectacular. The 53-foot trailer was filled from front to back with almost 17,000 pounds of food and nearly $5,000 was collected - all within one week.
In addition, the Peewee AA team gained an appreciation of their Good Deed’s significance when they invested more than three hours at the Calgary Food Bank and witnessed firsthand the need in Calgary. The team and parents received a tour, sorted food into hampers, and learned that there are neighbours in the community who rely on the Calgary Food Bank for groceries - something that is generally taken for granted.
RED DEER - Hockey Alberta would like to congratulate the seven officials selected to represent the province on the Road to Red Deer at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Referees Mason Stewart (Calgary) and Austin Weisgerber (Medicine Hat), and linesman Derek Bandstra (Calgary) will be part of the officiating crew during the male hockey competition in the first week of the Canada Games.
For the female hockey competition in week two, referees Cassandra Gregory (Edmonton) and Jessica Trombley (Sherwood Park), and linesmen Megan French (Coaldale) and Kelsey Hagan (Calgary) will all take to the ice to officiate.
Earning the opportunity to work at a national event such as the Canada Winter Games is a significant accomplishment in an official’s career, and recognizes dedication, perseverance and commitment towards officiating.
The 2019 Canada Winter Games run February 14 - March 3 in Red Deer.
RED DEER - Registration is now open for an array of Hockey Alberta camps across the province for a variety of ages and skill levels.
Throughout 2019, Hockey Alberta offers Alberta Built camps in the following skill development areas: Small Area Games, Power Edge Pro (PEP), Super Skills, Dynamic Shooting, Developing Defencemen and Goalie Skills.
Register Now >
Each camp features Hockey Canada-trained instructors, including Hockey Alberta staff, and WHL/Team Alberta graduates.
All Alberta Built camps focus on skills and tactics identified by hockey experts trained by Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta, in correspondence with the Long Term Player Development Model.
For more information, please contact Jesse Hale, Manager, Hockey Development, at [email protected]
RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its midterm rankings for the 2019 NHL draft, with 16 Albertans on the list.
Five Albertans landed in the top 20 of the North American Skater rankings: Kirby Dach, Bowen Byram, Peyton Krebs, Brett Leason and Matthew Robertson.
Taylor Gauthier and Matthew Davis were both listed among the top North American goaltenders.
The full list of Albertans appearing in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings can be found below:
Last Amateur Club
Home Ice Feature stories will focus on interesting stories about the individuals and groups who make a difference within the hockey community in Alberta. If you have a suggestion for a Home Ice Feature story, email [email protected].
RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to present the fourth installment of the Western Hockey League’s officiating partnership video series.
The partnership will see the production of a series of videos that will be shared with all officials in Alberta and the other Western Branches.
This is an exciting opportunity for all officials to learn from some of the best officials in the country. The link to the third video is included below, and you will receive an email from Hockey Alberta each time that a new video is available for viewing. The videos will be uploaded to Hockey Alberta’s YouTube channel, so you can always access them on your computer, tablet or mobile device.
If you are unsure in which region you reside, or have any other questions, please contact Taryn Baumgardt at [email protected] prior to registration.
2019 Alberta Challenge staff announced
Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the staff for each team competing in the 2019 Alberta Challenge. A director of operations, coach mentor, head coach, and two assistant coaches were selected for each of the six teams.
The Alberta Challenge is a core Hockey Alberta Female Development program, providing players, coaches, therapists, equipment managers, administrators and referees an equal opportunity to discover the great qualities of competitive hockey.
The Alberta Challenge is held alternating years when the Alberta Winter Games are not held. The Alberta Challenge process begins in March, with players trying out at their respective regional camps. The province is divided into North and South regions, with three teams selected from each region. The six teams compete in the Alberta Challenge tournament in May.
Is your Minor Hockey Association looking to grow its membership?
The Canadian Tire First Shift is seeking hosts for its sixth season.
The initiative, which partners with Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada, has seen over 620 programs delivered across the country with more than 23,000 kids trying hockey since 2014. The mission is to inspire new families to join our community and enrol their kids in our sport by making hockey accessible, affordable, and most importantly, fun!
Canadian Tire First Shift is a six-week program that focuses on having fun and learning basic skills. Full head-to-toe Bauer equipment is included with registration, which is only $199.
The application process for Minor Hockey Associations wishing to host the Canadian Tire First Shift in 2019-20 is now open by going to www.firstshift.ca/for-hosts/
Interested Minor Hockey Associations can find more information in the attached document or at www.firstshift.ca.
If you are unsure in which region you reside, or have any other questions, please contact Dustin Moore at [email protected] prior to registration.
2019 Peewee Prospects Cup staff announced
Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the staff for each team competing in the 2019 Peewee Prospects Cup. A director of operations, coach mentor, head coach, and two assistant coaches were selected for each of the eight teams.
The Peewee Prospects Cup is the beginning of the Hockey Alberta Development program and will be held in off years of the Alberta Winter Games.
The Peewee Prospects Cup provides second-year peewee athletes, coaches, trainers and administrators an opportunity to discover the qualities of competitive hockey in a well-organized regional camp and select team competition. Athletes eligible for the Hockey Alberta Peewee Prospects Cup are male athletes who were born in 2006, and must be registered with a Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta program.
RED DEER - Registration is now open for 2004-born male athletes to participate in one of three Regional selection camps for the 2019 Alberta Cup.
The Alberta Cup is being held in Red Deer, at the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, April 24-28. The 2019 event has a new structure, with six teams competing in a tournament format.
Registration is limited at each position at each camp.
Only Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta Registered Athletes are eligible to register.
The 2019 Alberta Cup has a new regional format of three ‘tryout’ / selection camps with each camp leading to the selection of two teams. The six teams of players will then move on to compete at the Alberta Cup tournament. This updated model establishes a better environment for providing ‘best-on-best’ competition for 14-year old players. More Information >
All regional camps will take place March 29-31 at the following locations (dates and locations subject to change):
Calgary Regional Camp - East Calgary Twin Arenas Blackfalds Regional Camp - Blackfalds Multiplex Spruce Grove Regional Camp - Spruce Grove Agrena
Alberta Cup Regional Directory >
If you are unsure in which Region you reside, or have any other questions, please contact Dustin Moore at [email protected] prior to registration.
2019 Alberta Cup staff announced
Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the staff for each team competing in the 2019 Alberta Cup. A director of operations, coach mentor, head coach, two assistant coaches, and one trainer were selected for each of the six teams.
2019 Team Staff >
The Alberta Cup aids in the identification and selection of potential players for Hockey Alberta’s Team Alberta program, with hundreds of players annually trying out for 120 spots (20 positions on each of the six regional teams).
In addition to player development, the Alberta Cup also features opportunities for administrators, referees, coaches, therapists and equipment managers to be identified for potential positions at higher level events, such as the World U17 Hockey Challenge and Canada Winter Games.
RED DEER - With 2018 now in the rear-view mirror, Hockey Alberta looks back on the year that was with some of our favourite moments (in no particular order).
Alberta Hockey Day / Female Hockey Day
Photo credit: Dave Brunner
A pair of popular participation events served as book-ends for 2018 to highlight hockey development in the province: Alberta Hockey Day and Female Hockey Day.
Alberta Hockey Day was celebrated on January 20 in six different communities across Alberta: Brooks, High Level, Paradise Valley, Red Deer, Strathmore and Westlock. Alberta Hockey Day had a special focus on age-appropriate programming at the Initiation and Novice levels.
The inaugural Female Hockey Day ran December 15 at the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer, with on and off-ice activities in all areas of the game, including coaching, officiating, and parenting. The day was capped off the the very first Canadian Women’s Hockey League game in Red Deer, as the Calgary Inferno took on the Toronto Furies in a regular season game, which saw more than 600 fans an attendance.
The 2018 Alberta Winter Games in Fort McMurray saw a clean sweep in hockey as Zone 2 won gold in both the Male and Female categories. Full Story >
Team Central skated away from Spruce Grove as the 2018 Alberta Cup champions with a 2-0 win over Edmonton Yellow. Full Story >
Team Alberta North earned a pair of podium finishes at the 2019 Arctic Winter Games in Fort Smith and Hay River, NWT. The Bantam Male squad narrowly missed out on gold, with the host Northwest Territories scoring the decisive goal with less than 10 seconds to go in regulation. Meanwhile, the Junior Female team defeated the Yukon in a shootout to claim bronze. Full Story >
The March to a Title
Photo credit: Rob Ganzeveld/FX Photo
Back-to-back winners and multiple championships highlighted the 2018 Hockey Alberta Provincials, presented by ATB Financial.
The Wainwright Bisons (Junior B), Lethbridge Hurricanes (Minor Midget AAA), St. Albert Slash (Midget Female AAA), Calgary Fire White (Bantam Female Elite), Irvine Bulldogs (Peewee D), and Drayton Valley Meter All Stars (Atom A) all repeated as Provincial champions.
It was quite the year for Lethbridge Minor Hockey in the Midget category as well. In addition to Minor Midget AAA, the Lethbridge Hurricanes also took home a provincial title in Midget AAA and Midget A.
After becoming the first team from Alberta to win the Esso Cup in 2017, the St. Albert Slash of the Alberta Female Hockey League made history again in 2018, becoming the first-ever team to repeat as Esso Cup champions.
After claiming the Midget AAA provincial title for the second straight year, the Slash defeated the Saskatoon Stars 2-1 to win gold once again. Full Story >
The Humboldt Broncos
April 6, 2018 is a date most will never forget. But, in the wake of the unthinkable Humboldt Broncos tragedy, a country came together as one.
In addition to a Canadian record-setting $15 million GoFundMe campaign, an outpouring of support came in from across Canada, and beyond. #HumboldtStrong became an immediate movement on social media, as did #JerseysForHumboldt and #PutYourSticksOut, which encouraged Canadians to leave a hockey stick at their front door to honour to victims of the crash.
On opening night of the 2018 Alberta Cup, Team Northwest and Team Edmonton Yellow paid tribute to those affected by the tragedy, including four Broncos who previously played in the Alberta Cup.
Alberta players, officials take the next step
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Every year, Alberta sees many of its players and officials take the next step in their career, and earn a number of accolades and recognition. 2018 was no different.
For the fourth straight year, an Albertan was the top selection at the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft as the Edmonton Oil Kings took Dylan Guenther with the first overall pick. A total of 11 Albertans were taken in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft, including fellow Alberta Cup All-Stars Kai Uchacz and Keagan Slaney, who were selected 10th and 20th overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds and Edmonton Oil Kings, respectively. Full Story >
At the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas, seven players from Alberta heard their names called by NHL teams. Lloydminster’s Ty Smith, a former number one pick in the WHL Bantam Draft, was the highest Albertan selected, going number 17 overall to the New Jersey Devils. Jacob Bernard-Docker also went in the first round, taken 26th overall by the Ottawa Senators. Full Story >
Meanwhile, in October, four of Alberta’s officials, Taylor Burzminski, Cody Huseby, Fraser Lawrence, and Lacy Senuk, were selected to represent the province on the national and international stage this season in Hockey Canada and IIHF events. Full Story >
Centre Ice Summit - Focus on Development
In conjunction with the Centre ICE Summit and the Hlinka/Gretzky Cup, Hockey Alberta offered several events to promote player, coach and officials development in August.
For players, in addition to the two-day Summer ICE Jamboree tournament for novice-aged players, Hockey Edmonton hosted a special session for parents to discuss the benefits of half-ice hockey.
The weekend also featured the Alberta Built Coach Seminar, a rare opportunity for more than 100 Alberta coaches to hear presentations from Todd McLellan and Glen Gulutzan (Edmonton Oilers); Dr. Paul Dennis (University of Toronto); Dr. John Dunn (University of Alberta); Dr. Stephen Norris (iMobius Ingenuity Inc); and Richard Monette (Active for Life).
For officials, the weekend included an on-ice session led by Dave Smith, the NHL Officials Director of Fitness and a classroom session with presentations from Hockey Alberta and the Western Hockey League.
Albertans Get The Call To The Hall
Photo credit: LA Media
Four outstanding individuals, and two Canada Winter Games gold medal-winning teams comprised the 2018 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF) in July.
Grant Fuhr, Wally Kozak, Ron MacLean, Mike Vernon, and 1991 Team Alberta U18 Female and 1999 Team Alberta U16 Male were enshrined in Alberta’s hockey history at the AHHF Awards Gala in Canmore. Full Story >
Lessons From Behind The Glass / Hockey Alberta Awards
Hockey Alberta’s 2018 Annual General Meeting was held November 23-24 in Red Deer. Allyson Tufts, author of the book ’Lessons from Behind the Glass’, delivered the Keynote Address to kick off the weekend. Her address focused on the ways hockey is changing - both the game itself, and the kids who play it. Full Story >
The 2018 AGM also saw a new format for the Hockey Alberta Awards, which included the inaugural recipients named in several new categories including Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, and Team of the Year, . Full Story >
The Road to Red Deer Continues
Photo credit: Rob Wallator
2018 saw many steps taken on the Road to Red Deer, as the Team Alberta U16 Male and U18 Female squads prepared for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
On the male side, the process began with the 2018 Alberta Cup in Spruce Grove, where 80 players were identified and chosen to attend Summer Camp in Camrose in July. From there, a shortlist roster was established, with the final roster announced in December. The Canada Games team got together for three days in December for Christmas Camp, which was highlighted by a pair of exhibition games against the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs and the St. Albert Raiders.
For the Female team, 88 athletes were invited to take part in the Team Alberta U18 Spring Camp in Spruce Grove in May. Forty-six of those athletes attended Summer Camp in Camrose in July, with a shortlist roster of 28 players established for September’s Fall Camp in Edmonton. The final roster was announced in December, with the team converging in Red Deer for Christmas Camp, playing exhibition games against the Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels and the Leduc AAA Oil Kings.
Hockey Alberta’s New Home
Photo credit: Red Deer College
Hockey Alberta completed the transition to our new home in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer College. The new offices are located on the second floor of the facility, with boardroom windows overlooking the ice surface.
Hockey Alberta was proud to host the first official events on the new ice surface - a Super Skills Camp and Female Development Camp. Hockey Alberta has hosted several coaching and officiating clinics, player development camps, and Female Hockey Day, and will be hosting the 2019 Alberta Cup at the new facility.
Every Kid Every Community - The Gateway to Hockey Opportunities Around the Province
As part of the continuing evolution of development for our youngest players, Hockey Alberta unveiled the new Intro to Hockey model for Initiation and Novice divisions.
The Intro to Hockey model operates as part of the Hockey Canada mandate that all Novice-aged players receive age-appropriate programming on half-ice surfaces effective for the 2019-20 season.
The Intro to Hockey model evolved to its final format through on-ice demonstration events, and a variety of meetings and sessions with minor hockey associations. The model includes specific details on Seasonal Structure, Grouping of Players, Practice Environment, and Game Format requirements for Initiation and Novice hockey, starting in 2019-20
Photo credit: Tracy Hope/Hired Gun Photography
A new Alberta One Standardized Tiering Model was developed and has been in operation for the 2018-19 season.
Hockey Calgary, Hockey Edmonton, Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL), Northern Alberta Interlock, All Peace Hockey League, and North Eastern Alberta Hockey League worked within Hockey Alberta’s Minor Leagues Committee to develop a tiering model that accounts for the size of a minor hockey association, the size of a league, and geographic factors. The model features six tiers within the divisions of Atom, Peewee, Bantam, and Midget.
As well, Hockey Alberta is undertaking a trial Provincial Championship Model. The trial will see the Peewee A-D Provincial Championships transition to Peewee Tiers 1-4. The Peewee Tiers 1-4 Provincial Championship Tournaments will take place March 28-31 with eight teams - six champions from the participating Alberta One leagues/ organizations, one host team and one wild card team.
A key aspect of supporting our athletes is providing resources and support for parents across the province. Parents are encouraged to check the Hockey Alberta website regularly, under the Parents Tab, for links to articles and videos to you support your athlete.