The Team Alberta Female and Male hockey teams are ready to represent the province at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, starting on February 13th in Prince George, BC.
The Under-18 Female team will be in action during the first week of competition (February 13th-20th), while the Under-16 Male team will take to the ice during week two (February 21st-March 1st).
For the U18 Female team, they finish preparation in Airdrie with three practices over two days before flying to Prince George on February 12th. The team has part of Friday to acclimatize to the one-hour time zone change, before hitting the ice for a practice in the afternoon.
“With every camp we’ve had in preparation for Prince George, the team has progressively become more cohesive as a unit,” said Mike Kraichy, Hockey Alberta’s manager of Team Alberta and director of operations for the Female team. “They players are very confident, but everyone is very aware that every game will be a battle.”
Preliminary round pool play starts on February 14th. As the gold medalist at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, Team Alberta is seeded in Pool A, grouped with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. Team Alberta opens against Nova Scotia, then plays Manitoba on the 15th, and Saskatchewan on 16th. All games are at 7:30 pm (PT, game times subject to change) at the Kin 2 Arena in Prince George.
Qualifying round playoff games start Tuesday, February 17th, with the quarter-finals set for Wednesday, February 18th; semi-finals Thursday, February 19th; and the gold and bronze medal games on Friday, February 20th. Playoffs are at the CN Centre.
For the U16 Male team, they also will be holding their final preparation camp in Airdrie, on February 19-20, before flying to Prince George.
“The process of building Team Alberta has been progressing in a positive direction throughout December and January. Our partnership with the Alberta Midget Hockey League has been a great asset to the process in terms of playing exhibition games as the team prepares for the Games,” said Tim Leer, Hockey Alberta’s senior manager of Team Alberta, and director of operations for the Male team. “The commitment by the team staff and players has been excellent and everyone is buying in to the goal of making Team Alberta all it can be in representing Alberta in Prince George.”
The Male team has its first practice in Prince George on February 21st, and then begins preliminary round pool play action at the Kin 2 Arena on February 22nd against Saskatchewan (4:00 pm PT, all times subject to change). As the bronze medalist at the 2011 Games, Team Alberta is seeded in Pool B, and also plays Nova Scotia on February 23rd (4:00 pm PT), and Quebec on February 24th (7:30 pm PT).
Qualifying round playoff games start February 25th. The final eight teams will play quarter-finals on February 26th, and semi-finals on February 27th, with the bronze medal game on February 28th and the gold medal game on March 1st. Playoffs are at the CN Centre.