RED DEER -Hockey Alberta’s December Coach of the Month, sponsored by Players Bench Team Apparel, is Chris Friesen of the Trails West Novice 3 Red in Calgary.
Chris is currently coaching with the Trails West Novice 3 Red and GHC Senior Timbits 1 hockey teams. He has been coaching hockey for three years, with 2019-20 being his first time as a head coach.
"Both on and off the ice, Chris has excelled at his level of organization as a head coach," said the Team Manager who nominated Chris. "From his well thought out and developed practice plans - to his focus on the kids on the ice, always taking the time to engage in each member helping to develop their skills."
Away from the rink, Chris also helps coach his kids’ T-ball and soccer teams in the summer.
"I enjoy the challenge of getting a group to work together and seeing the improvement in individual and team skills over a season." said Chris. "My goal is to work hard to ensure that each player grows both on and off the ice throughout a season."
The Coach of the Month award is presented every month during the Minor Hockey season, based on nominations submitted to Hockey Alberta.
One minor hockey coach will be selected each month from October through March and will receive a coaching package from Players Bench Team Apparel valued at over $500, which includes a helmet, gloves, track suit, coach bag, puck bag, rink board, and coaching resources.
Both the Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada Long Term Player Development (LTPD) Models recommend allowing young athletes to participate in multiple sports rather than specializing at an early age. Participating in multiple sports allows young athletes to learn a variety of motor skills, hone them efficiently and increase their physical literacy. It teaches them diverse movement patterns, varied skill sets and cognitive understanding of game sense.
Encouraging your child to participate in a variety of athletic activities decreases the risk of burnout due to stress, decreased motivation and lack of enjoyment. A study by Ohio State University found that children who specialized early in a single sport led to higher rates of adult physical inactivity. Those who commit to one sport at a young age are often the first to quit, and suffer a lifetime of consequences. Athletes in the study who specialized were 70% to 93% more likely to be injured than children who played multiple sports.
For more information on multisport, and for other parent tips, head to hockeyalberta.ca.
RED DEER - Is your Minor Hockey Association looking to grow its membership?
Bauer, Hockey Canada, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the application process for the 2020-21 NHL/NHLPA First Shift program. The 2020-21 season will mark the seventh year of the program, which has seen more than 800 programs executed across Canada, resulting in more than 30,000 girls and boys across the country trying hockey for the first time.
MHAs are encouraged to review the application criteria and submit an online application if they wish to be selected as a host community for Fall 2020, Winter 2021 and new this upcoming season, Spring 2021. The objective for 2020-21 season is to host a minimum of 225 programs (coed, all girls and Para hockey), with a potential of more the 8,200 participants.
The NHL/NHLPA First Shift provides boys and girls ages 6-10 an opportunity to easily try hockey for $229, which includes a six-week on-ice trial, expertly fitted head-to-toe Bauer equipment, and in-depth parent education.
If you are unsure in which region you reside, or have any other questions, please contact Mike Kraichy at [email protected] prior to registration.
2020 Alberta Cup staff announced
Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the staff for each team competing in the 2020 Alberta Cup. A director of operations, coach mentor, head coach, two assistant coaches, and one trainer were selected for each of the six teams.
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 - NHL Central Scouting has released its midterm rankings for the 2020 NHL draft, with 22 Albertans on the list.
Six Albertans landed in the top 30 of the North American Skater rankings: Kaiden Guhle, Dylan Holloway, Jake Sanderson, Ozzy Wiesblatt, Ridly Greig and Jake Neighbours.
Garin Bjorklund, Jack McNaughton, Blake Lyda and Taylor Gautier are 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 - Five Minor Hockey Associations have received a $1,000 Every Kid Every Community grant for their Female Hockey Day celebration events.
High Prairie, Irma, Nampa, Slave Lake, and Vermilion will all be hosting their own unique events to bring the Female Hockey Day buzz around the province. From jamborees to skills competitions, these events will work to grow the female game and show #WhyWePlay.
Female Hockey Day weekend takes place in Lethbridge January 24-26. The day will feature on and off-ice development sessions for players, goalies, coaches, and officials. All ages and skill levels are welcome to join. To conclude a full day of Female Hockey Day activities, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns will host the Mount Royal Cougars in a U SPORTS Hockey game at the Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre.
The 2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, had a little different look than previous years in the Peewee Division. Hockey Alberta undertook a trial that saw the Peewee A-D championships transition to Peewee Tiers 1-4 based on the new standardized tiering model implemented for the 2018-19 season. There were 40 provincial champs crowned, ranging from Atom to Senior AAA, with events hosted at locations ranging from Grande Prairie to Fort Macleod to Cold Lake.
After making history as the first team to repeat as Esso Cup champions in 2018, the St. Albert Slash of the Alberta Female Hockey League re-wrote history again in 2019, defeating the host Sudbury Lady Wolves to capture a third straight national title.
Alberta saw a number of its players and officials earn accolades and recognition in 2019:
For the fifth straight year, an Albertan was the top selection at the Western Hockey League Bantam draft, as the Winnipeg Ice took Matthew Savoie with the first overall pick. Full Story >
A total of 12 Albertans were selected at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, including Kirby Dach, who went third overall to the Chicago Blackhawks, making him the highest-drafted Albertan since Jay Bouwmeester went third overall to the Florida Panthers in 2002. Full Story >
A number of on-ice officials achieved opportunities at high-profile national and international events. More Stories >
Albertans Get The Call To The Hall
Photo credit: Andy Devlin/Oilers Entertainment Group
Five outstanding individuals and back-to-back Memorial Cup champions were enshrined as the 2019 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF): Theoren Fleury, Kevin Lowe, Shirley Cameron, Bob Ridley, Duncan MacDougall, and the 1986-87 and 1987-88 Medicine Hat Tigers.
Hockey Alberta has a new Chair and Vice Chair at the helm of its Board of Directors after the organization’s 112th Annual General Meeting in Red Deer. Len Samletzki was acclaimed as the new Chair, taking over from Terry Engen. Allan Mowbray was acclaimed as the Vice Chair, taking over from Fran Zinger.
The Hockey Alberta Foundation also saw a new Chair and Vice Chair of its Board of Directors in 2019. Dennis Zukiwsky (Red Deer) was acclaimed as the new Chair, taking over from John Windwick. Jeff Robson (Calgary) was acclaimed as the Vice Chair, taking over from Dennis Zukiwsky. Zukiwsky previously served as the Board’s Vice Chair, while Robson was previously a Director on the Board.
Hockey Alberta presented their annual Hockey Alberta Awards in conjunction with the Alberta Cup in April, recognizing outstanding individuals and teams for their hard work and accomplishments in making a positive difference for our participants in the game of hockey during the 2018-19 season.
More than $45,000 was dispersed to organizations across the province, through Player Assistance Grants or Program Grants. Funding was provided directly by the Hockey Alberta Foundation to several charitable groups, including: Sport Central, Comrie’s Sports Bank, KidSport, HEROS Hockey and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
National, International Championship Tournaments in Brooks and Medicine Hat
Alberta saw a pair of high-profile events in 2019, with the National Junior A Championship taking place in Brooks in May, and the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat in November (split with Swift Current).
The host Brooks Bandits took home the 2019 National Junior A Championship title.
Hockey Alberta strives to ensure every coach in the province has the opportunity to receive all the proper information and training needed to provide our players with the highest level of coaching at all levels. In 2019 alone, more than 4,600 hockey coaches in Alberta attended National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) and other professional coach development clinics offered this season through Hockey Alberta.
Alberta’s Sledge Hockey season started out with a bang in Red Deer in September, with a two-day Sledge Hockey Player Development Camp for players of all ages and skill levels, led by Canada’s Women’s National Para-Ice Hockey team Head Coach, Tara Chisholm. A Sledge Hockey Coach 2 - Coach Level clinic ran in conjunction with the camp, emphasizing basic skills and the importance of having players develop confidence, self-esteem, and a love for the game.
CALGARY - Seven outstanding individuals, along with the 1975 Canada Winter Games and Alberta Provincial Junior B champions, comprise the 2020 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame.
The announcement of the Class of 2020 was made on Thursday by Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
The 2020 inductees will be recognized at the AHHF Awards Gala on Sunday, July 19, at the Coast Hotel in Canmore:
Bill Bucyk – respected linesman, referee and leader who skated in the World Hockey Association and internationally, and helped train some of the longest-serving officials in the NHL
Bob Clark – the first-ever Minister of Youth in Alberta, and the face of Junior A hockey in Alberta with the Olds Grizzlys and the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Cassie Campbell-Pascall – unparalled career including captain of the Canadian National Women’s hockey team, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and six-time world champion, along with trailblazing work as a broadcaster nationally and internationally.
Jamie Macoun – two-time Stanley Cup during a 17-year career with Calgary, Toronto and Detroit, and two-time World Championships silver medalist
John Davidson – outstanding NHL goaltender, award-winning broadcaster, and respected front office executive who currently is president of the New York Rangers
Ken Hitchcock – Stanley Cup champion NHL head coach, and three-time Olympic gold medalist with Team Canada over a more than 40-year coaching career.
Dr. Randy Gregg – five-time Stanley Cup champion with the Edmonton Oilers and two-time CIAU champion.
1974-75 Lethbridge Native Sons – 1975 Canada Winter Games and Alberta Junior B provincial champions