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Western Canada Sledge Hockey Tournament

Hockey Alberta is excited to present the seventh annual Western Canada Sledge Hockey Tournament, February 25-27, 2011 at the Leduc Recreation Centre.

This year’s tournament will be hosted by the Paralympic Sports Association ( and will feature athletes of all ages. Teams will be traveling from across the country to compete in junior, intermediate and senior age categories.

“We are excited to have the Paralympic Sports Association host the Western Canada Sledge Hockey Tournament. As a previous host of the tournament, they have a foundation and history with the event and we hope this year’s attendance will continue to grow and more people will come out and enjoy the fun filled weekend of hockey,” said Derek Langvand, coordinator of programs and administration, Hockey Alberta.

Sledge hockey joined the Hockey Alberta family of programs in the spring of 2004. Funding is provided by Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, and Sport Canada.  Sledge hockey is an innovative team sport that incorporates the same rules and strategies as regular ice hockey.  Players sit on specially designed sleds with skate blades under the seat and use two sticks to pass, stick handle, shoot the puck, and also propel and maneuver their sleds.

“It’s because of the continued support by our partners like the Alberta Sport, Recreation Parks and Wildlife Foundation that make events like this possible. Their commitment to youth and sport will help us make the 2011 Western Canada Sledge Hockey Tournament an unforgettable experience for not only the athletes, but the parents, coaches, volunteers and fans,” said Hockey Alberta’s President, Annie Orton.

Sledge Hockey is the Paralympic version of ice hockey and has become one of the biggest attractions for spectators at the Winter Paralympic Games since its debut in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played by many clubs throughout North America.


Alberta Beats Ontario 3-2 To Win Gold

Team Alberta U18 Female defeated Team Ontario 3-2 Saturday night to capture the Gold Medal in female hockey at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia

After a scoreless first period, Alberta came out of the gates flying in the second. Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, Alta) opened the scoring at the 6:08 mark. Less than a minute later Brittney Fouracres (Airdrie, Alta) found the back of the net giving Alberta a 2-0 go-ahead. Panchuk would add another marker late in the frame putting Alberta up 3-0 heading into the third. Ontario would not roll over.  Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont) put Ontario on the board early in the third and Emily Fulton (Stratford, Ont) tallied late in the period pulling Ontario within one, but it was too little too late. Alberta would hang on for the final three minutes battling off Ontario’s last minute strike to hold on to the victory. 

This is Team Alberta Female’s first Gold Medal at the Canada Winter Games since 1991 when they won with a team led by Hayley Wickenheiser.

Team Alberta’s Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, Alta) led the tournament in scoring with 18 points (9 Goals, 9 assists) while Team Alberta goaltenders Emerence Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta) and Courtney Vinet (Camrose, Alta) only allowed a total of five goals against in seven games played throughout the tournament.

Team Alberta finished the round robin 4-0. They defeated P.E.I. 12-0 in the placement round and Saskatchewan 6-2 in the semi finals.

The Canada Winter Games is the final stage of the Team Alberta Female Program and leads into Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.

Former Team Alberta players that have competed at the Canada Winter Games include Hayley Wickenheiser (1991), Meaghan Mikkelson (2003) and Carla MacLeod (1999).

Below is Team Alberta U18 Female’s round robin schedule for the Canada Winter Games:


Team Alberta 6 - Saskatchewan 2

Team Alberta would score early and often in the 1st frame and would take a 5-0 lead into the intermission. Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB), Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB), Heather Kashman (Edmonton, AB), Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) and Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB) all found the net for the home team. Team Saskatchewan would make a brief comeback by closing the gap to 3 goals in the second but Team Alberta would put the game on ice when Amy Helfrich (Cochrane, AB) scored the team’s 6th goal of the game. Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, AB) won her 3rd consecutive game in the net for Team Alberta.

Team Alberta 12 – Team PEI 0

Team Alberta had leads of 2-0 and 9-0 after the first two periods, on route to a 12-0 victory. Karlee Odland (Vauxhall, AB) led the way with 3 goals, Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) and Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB) chipped in with 2 a piece while Amy Helfrich (Cochrane, AB), Sam Sutherland (Cochrane, AB), Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB), Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, AB) and Jessica Kampjes (Bon Accord, AB) all had singles in the win. Panchuk and Helfrich also had 3 assists a piece. Courtney Vinet (Camrose, AB) stood tall once again for Team Alberta recording her 2nd shutout of the tournament. Team Alberta will move on to face Team Saskatchewan in the semifinals, Friday at 7:30 pm (AST).

Team Alberta 4 – Team Ontario 1

The games first goal wouldn’t come until the thirteen minute mark of the 2nd as Taryn Baumgardt (Innisfail, AB) point shot found the back of the net. Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB) would increase the lead to 2-0 and a minute later Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) would add to that lead giving Alberta a 3 goal advantage. Team Alberta would score their 4th power play maker of the period as Karlee Odland (Vauxhall, AB) would score with one second remaining in the 2nd. Ontario would score the only goal of the 3rd period which saw them pull the goalie for the final ten minutes of the game. Courtney Vinet (Camrose, AB) stood tall between the pipes for Team Alberta stopping 32 shot for the victory. Team Alberta finished the round robin in 1st place in their pool with a record of 4-0 and now awaits their opponent for Thursday’s quarter-final.

Team Alberta 3 – Team Saskatchewan 0

Team Alberta would open the scoring in the 2nd period on a goal by Heather Kashman (Edmonton, AB) which was followed up nine minutes when Taylor Sakundiak (Calgary, AB) converted her 1st of the tournament. Team Alberta would ice it in the final frame as captain Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) scored her 3rd of the tournament. Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, AB) recorded her second consecutive shutout turning away 22 shots, while Team Alberta threw 28 shots on the opposition.

Team Alberta 10 – Team Newfoundland 0

This game got off to a slow start for Team Alberta as they weren’t able generate any offense in the 1st period with it ending 0-0. Team Alberta would come alive in the second as Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB) would light the lamp 3 times for a natural hat trick, while  Jessica Kampjes (Bon Accord, AB) also found the back of the net giving Team Alberta a 4-0 advantage heading into the final frame. The 3rd period saw flood gates open with Team Alberta scoring 6 times. Heather Kashman (Edmonton, AB), Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB), Karlee Odland (Vauxhall, AB), Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB), Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) and Panchuk would find the twine. Panchuk would finish the game with 6 points, while linemates Kampjes and Kueber would end up with 5 and 3 points respectively. Courtney Vinet (Camrose, AB) made 9 saves to earn the shutout victory while Team Alberta peppered the Newfoundland goaltenders with 67 shots on goal. 

Team Alberta 4 – Team BC 0 

Captain Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) opened the scoring seven minutes into the game and Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB) would add another two minutes later as Team Alberta would take a 2-0 lead heading into the 2nd period. Team Alberta would add to their lead in the 2nd  when Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) capitalized  on a breakaway chance early in the period. The scoring would be rounded out in the 3rd as Sam Sutherland (Cochrane, AB) notched her first of the tournament. Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, AB) made 18 saves for the shutout, while Team Alberta would throw 34 shot at the Team BC goaltender.

Team Alberta Female won Gold in 1991 and Bronze in 1999 while finishing in 9thplace in 2007.

Former Team Alberta players that have competed at the Canada Winter Games include HayleyWickenheiser (1991), MeaghanMikkelson (2003) and Carla MacLeod (1999).


EKEC Kicks Off With Hockey Jamboree

Hockey may be a part of life for many of us, but for a group of inner-city youth from Edmonton, playing hockey is harder than you might think.

“Some kids can’t afford equipment and some kids just never get the chance to play,” said Jenn Dermott, program coordinator, West Edmonton Boys and Girls Club.

This is an issue Hockey Alberta is looking to address. On Saturday, February 12, Hockey Alberta kicked off its Every Kid Every Community Project with a hockey jamboree at the McCauley Community Outdoor Rink in Edmonton.

Recently, Hockey Alberta awarded funding to two Edmonton community groups, (E4C - $5,000 and West Boys and Girls Club - $4,500) to facilitate structured hockey programs for inner-city youth who would otherwise not have access to hockey. The kickoff event invited children associated with these two organizations to take part in a day of free on and off ice programming provided by Hockey Alberta. The goal was to raise awareness and inform the community of the new and alternative hockey services that are available to kids in the neighborhood.

“With minor hockey fees not being affordable for all families, this program is giving inner city kids the chance to play hockey where otherwise they wouldn’t have the opportunity,” said David Prodan of E4C.

 “Our goal is to empower and challenge communities across the province to identify their local needs and come up with a creative way to engage their youth in hockey,” said Hockey Alberta’s Senior Manager of Business Development, Scott Robinson.

“We used our money to buy new hockey equipment to help facilitate a shinny program,” added Dermott. “The kids were so excited when they heard they were getting new equipment to play hockey. It was a very special day.”  

“This is hockey in its purest form,” said Hockey Alberta Foundation Board Member, Howard Wurban. “Watching these kids out on the ice with big smiles on their faces is what it is all about.”

The following is what the Edmonton organizations plan to facilitate when the programs are fully operational at the local level:

•    E4C, Edmonton - $5000.00

E4C Edmonton has created a “Hockey for kids” project to introduce hockey to kids in Edmonton inner city neighbourhoods. They are targeting 40 kids ages 5-12 for this project.

•    West Boys and Girls Club, Edmonton – $4500.00 
The West Boys and Girls Club of Edmonton have created a shinny hockey program for club kids ages 4-17. This program will align with their existing “Cool Moves” program, promoting healthy and active living.

Four other Alberta communities - Frog Lake, Mundare, Vegreville and Acme – were also provided with funding. Hockey Alberta distributed a total of $20,000 this year for the Every Kid Every Community Project.

The Every Kid Every Community Project was created as a funding based program through Hockey Alberta as a way of getting more kids active in hockey. The percentage of Alberta’s population ages 5-19 that are registered in hockey is 9.6%. This is the third lowest percentage per capita in Canada. Hockey is a great way for kids to be active, healthy, and be surrounded by positive leaders in their community. Hockey Alberta recognizes that the existing minor hockey system doesn’t accommodate the needs of all communities. This program offers an opportunity for groups to create innovative ways to get more kids involved.

Funds for Hockey Alberta’s Every Kid Every Community Project have been made available through generous financial support from ATB Investors Services and Penn West Energy and the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s fundraising efforts. Hockey Alberta accepted grant applications between September 1 and December 1, 2010 based on the established criteria for projects.


Davidson Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

Team Alberta Alumnus, Mel Davidson, will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame on April 16 in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Melody Davidson is head coach of both the 2010 and 2006 Olympic gold medal women’s hockey teams in Vancouver and Torino. Davidson was assistant coach in 2002 when the women’s team won its first-ever Olympic gold medal. She has been head or assistant coach for four World Championship teams, and two world silver medal squads. She is the only person ever to be named five straight years to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity’s "Most Influential Women" list. Davidson is globally admired for her dedication to the women’s game, her core belief in values and her leadership.