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Coach of the Month - January

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for January is Joe Bouvier of Clive.

In addition to serving as the Head Coach of the Clive Atom team, Joe is the Assistant Coach of Clive’s Novice and Initiation teams, to go along with his duties as the Vice President and Coach Mentor of the Clive Minor Hockey Association.

Joe has a long history as a player and a coach. Growing up, Joe played minor hockey in Central Alberta and went on to play in the WHL in Saskatchewan. He then moved to New Brunswick for University, where he played CIS hockey. Shortly after University, he moved to Austria to play professional hockey. Joe has been coaching for a total of twelve years at all levels across Canada.

“Joe has a passion for hockey, a skill set for teaching, knowledge of the game, and the skills to demonstrate and understand the process of making kids love and learn the game, and maybe most importantly, Joe believes there is a place in hockey for all kids,” said a fellow coach, who nominated Joe for the award. “He (Joe) is always available for our association’s coaches to ask him questions. And, he understands the game and the kids so well that he can give good guidance to all our coaches on a daily basis. Once a month, he goes on the ice with each of our teams and mentors the coaches by running a skills and drills practice. This gives the coaches age appropriate drills and explanations why to do these drills, as well as what to look for to correct and develop each child. Joe has been a huge role model for all of our players and has helped our Clive kids reach their full potential.”

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

Home Ice Feature

Alberta girls go global

Two outstanding young Albertans are on their way to take part in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation’s Global Girls Hockey Game in Toronto.

Samantha Boutin of St. Albert and Jasmine Rodak of Calgary were selected out of more than 25 applicants to attend the international event. Two female hockey players from each province are headed to the Global Game, which will see 37 IIHF member organizations hold events across the globe this weekend.

Boutin is a 14 year-old forward with the St. Albert Bantam A Blades.

“I am so excited to be a part of the Global Girls Hockey Game in Toronto, playing in a game like this gives me the opportunity to meet with other girls from across the country to play a game that we all love,” she said. “Hopefully we can all make some amazing long-lasting friendships as we get to experience this opportunity of a lifetime. Being one of two players selected from the province is a huge honour for me and I can’t wait to represent Hockey Alberta in Toronto.”

Hockey Alberta News

“Hockey is my escape from the pressures that come with being a teen today... no social media, no boys, just me and my skates. There is nowhere that I am happier than on the ice with my teammates. My family, my coaches, and the community have made sacrifices for myself and others to be able to play this game.”

In addition to her hockey activities, Boutin is an active volunteer in her community. She helps out at a senior centre and her school, and also helped prepare a meal and serve it at the Mustard Seed in Edmonton.

Rodak, also 14, is currently a goaltender for the Bantam A Hawks in Calgary.

“I am very excited to be a part of the second annual Global Game,” she said. “Hockey to me isn’t just a game, it’s about making lifelong friendships and having fun. Some of my strongest friendships have been made in my early years of Novice and Atom hockey and have continued into Bantam girls hockey. I’ve been so lucky to be playing with such amazing teammates and coaches who have helped me grow and develop my hockey game and life in general. I can’t wait for the amazing experiences and many lifelong memories that I will make at the Global Game 2017.”

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: J. Ashley Nixon Photography

Rodak also believes in giving back to the community, volunteering as a Goalie Mentor for two female goalies in the Crowfoot association in Calgary.

About the Global Game

The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, in partnership with Hockey Canada and the International Ice Hockey Federation, is hosting the Global Game February 18-19 in Toronto. The Global Game embodies the spirit of enjoyment, teamwork, and collaborating with those from diverse backgrounds. This unique game starts on Saturday and will be played in 28 different countries before being handed off to Canada to play the final segment of the game. A cumulative score is kept across all 28 countries between Team White and Team Blue with a winner being declared after the Canadian portion of the game. The goal this game is to unite all females currently playing hockey as one global family.

Two teams comprised of participants from across Canada will compete for Team White and Team Blue in the Canadian portion of the Global Game. Alberta selected two players - one forward and one goaltender - to represent the province at this event. Participants spend the weekend in Toronto participating in skills clinics, listening to guest speakers, visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as participating in the main event, the Global Game.

Hockey Alberta is proud to unveil a new section at 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].


Photo credit: LA Media

Team Alberta announces U16 and U18 Head Coaches

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is proud to announce the appointment of Spiros Anastas and Craig Perrett as the Head Coaches of Team Alberta for the 2017U16 Male and U18 Female Programs.

Anastas comes into the head coach position for Team Alberta’s U16 team after winning gold last year at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup as an assistant coach. He’s served as the Head Coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns (CIS) since 2014, having previously spent time as an assistant coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, and with Western Michigan University and Lebanon Valley College. At the international level, Anastas won gold medals With South Korea at the 2015 IIHF World Championships as the Assistant Coach of the Division I, Group B Men’s National Team, and as the Head Coach of the Division II, Group A Korean U18 team.

Perrett is currently an Assistant Coach with the Mount Royal Cougars Women’s hockey team, and returns to Team Alberta after serving as an Assistant Coach on Team Alberta’s gold medal-winning U16 team in 2015. Perrett has spent many years with the Team Alberta program in various roles, most recently serving as a Coach Mentor at the Alberta Cup and Alberta Winter Games, and will mentor once again at the upcoming Alberta Challenge.

“We’re looking forward to having both Spiros and Craig back with the Team Alberta program,” said Mike Kraichy, manager of Team Alberta. “Both coaches are coming off gold medals in their respective years, and we’re excited to see how they will build off those successes.”

The U16 Male Program is the third stage of the development and identification process to select a roster for Team Alberta to compete at either the U16 Western Challenge or the Canada Winter Games. The Games are held every four years, with the next event set for 2019 in Red Deer. Players in the U16 Male program will be challenging for the opportunity to compete on one of the three teams that represent Canada each year at the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

The High Performance U18 program works towards identifying the top 20 female players in Alberta, who will comprise Team Alberta U18 representing the province at the National Women’s Under 18 Championship or the Canada Winter Games. Making this team is the pinnacle of female amateur hockey in Alberta, and a major lifetime highlight for the players.


Photo credit: MT Action Photography

Hockey Alberta unveils provincial Goaltender Development Plan

RED DEER - The goaltender position has evolved dramatically over the past few decades.

Not only has the equipment changed and improved, so has the coaching, mechanics and mental training associated with the position.

In order to ensure that Alberta’s goaltenders, and their coaches, are properly equipped for the best performance possible in this specialized position, Hockey Alberta has developed a new Provincial Goaltender Development Plan.

“The goaltender position is a unique one in the sport of hockey. In working with coaches and athletes across the province, we have identified the need to better support the overall training and development of goaltenders,” said Justin Fesyk, Senior Management of Development. “Hockey Alberta’s new goaltender development plan focuses on ensuring goalies at all levels have the chance to enjoy the position and the game of hockey to the fullest.”

The Goaltender Development Plan has a multi-pronged approach. One focal point is on developing the knowledge and expertise of coaches, both regionally and within individual associations. The other prong involves providing goaltenders with specialized training opportunities, where they can work with other goalies as well as some of the most experienced goaltender coaches in the province.

The initial stages of the plan are being implemented over the next few months, in preparation for full operation starting in September for the 2017-18 season.

The first step is to identify and recruit six Goaltender Coach Leads who will be strategically located around the province and work as part of Hockey Alberta’s Regional Centre network. Each Regional Goalie Lead will provide leadership and support to minor hockey associations and Regional Centre Consultants in implementing Hockey Alberta’s Goaltending Development Plan throughout their region.

The position outline and application instructions for the Regional Goaltender Lead positions are available on the Hockey Alberta website. Deadline for applications is February 22.

Regional Goaltender Lead Application >

“The Regional Goalie Leads will be the keys to the success of the Goaltender Development Plan,” said Matt Weninger, Regional Centre South Consultant, and a former Junior A and NCAA goaltender. “The Leads will coordinate support to our minor hockey associations, educating coaches, planning practices and camps, supporting MHAs with their goalie evaluation process, and mentoring coaches.”

In addition to selecting the Regional Leads, a number of training weekends are already scheduled for goaltenders, coaches, and development directors.

For goalies, three goaltender camps have been organized - two open to any 2000-2007 born goaltender, and one targeted at elite level goalies:

  • South: May 27-28, Cochrane (led by World Pro Goaltending); Register >
  • North: June 3-4, Edmonton (led by ATC Goaltending); Register >
  • Elite: June 24-25, Sylvan Lake (led by industry experts). Application forms from interested AAA, AA and Female Elite goaltenders will be reviewed, and 18 male and 18 female goalies to participate. Apply >

The big event for coaches and development directors will be June 17-18 at Sylvan Lake, Each Local Minor Hockey Association (LMHA) in Alberta will be able to nominate an individual to attend the Goalie Coach Training Seminar. As well, LMHA development directors will receive training on building a goalie development plan for their own organization. More details on both segments of the Sylvan Lake event will be available in March.