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Photo credit: MT Action Photography


Inaugural AFHL Bantam Elite regular season comes to a close

RED DEER - The Alberta Female Hockey League’s Bantam Elite division wrapped up its inaugural season on February 26.

The Calgary Fire White (21-2-2) are taking home not South Division crown, but the league’s regular season title as well, although the Northern Division-leading St. Albert Raiders (21-3-4) gave them a run for their money.

The regular season Bantam Elite standings are:

North Division:

1) St. Albert Raiders (61 pts)
2) Lloydminster Junior Steelers (55 pts)
3) Sherwood Park Royals (47 pts)
4) Edmonton Pandas (41 pts)
5) North Central Impact (26 pts)
6) Peace Country Bonnett’s Storm (9 pts)

South Division:
1) Calgary Fire White (65 pts)
2) Olds Grizzlys (57 pts)
3) Calgary Fire Red (33 pts)
4) Lethbridge Cyclones (29 pts)
5) Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (27 pts)
6) Rocky Mountain Raiders (18 pts)

Olds’ Sarah Wozniewicz claimed the league scoring title, finishing with 27 goales and seven assists for 34 points. goals (23) and points (28). Calgary Red’s Emily Straw and North Central’s Chloe Reid round out the top three in points with 31 and 30, respectively.

Another Grizzly topped the regular season leaderboard, as netminder Jocelynn Pearce ended the regular season with a league-best .950 save percentage, to go allong with an 11-2-0 record and five shutouts.

The road to the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, is now laid out, as the first-round playoff matchups are set. In the North Division, the St. Albert Raiders receive a first-round bye, while the North Central Impact will battle the Edmonton Pandas, and the Peace Country Bonnett’s Storm will take on the Sherwood Park Royals.

Calgary Fire White advance directly to the second round in the South, with the Rocky Mountain Raiders going head-to-head with Calgary Fire Red, and the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs up against the Lethbridge Cyclones. All playoff matchups are two game, total-goal series. The winning teams from each second round series will advance to the Provincial Championship.

Playoff Schedule >

The Midget AAA and Midget Elite schedule wraps up this weekend, with playoffs set to start the following weekend.

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Jeff Rasmusen (left) and Brock Armstrong (right) will each enjoy a special "Coaches Night Out" after being nominated as Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month.


Coach of the Month - Coaches Night Out winners

RED DEER - Jeff Rasmuson of Duchess/Brooks and Brock Armstrong of Sylvan Lake are the winners of the Hockey Alberta Coach of the Month Coaches Night Out packages.

Jeff Rasmuson is the first recipient of the NHL Coaches Night Out Calgary Flames Package. Jeff is both the Head Coach of the Duchess Peewee Storm and an Assistant Coach for the Brooks Female Novice Team. Jeff has been coaching for the better part of 15 years and has coached from Initiation all the way up to Senior.

“I wanted to give back what I received from coaches throughout the years,” Jeff said of his decision to begin coaching. “What hockey gives you is a preparation in life for being able to work hard at a job be a team player at work. Raise a family with values and structure knowing that it takes the whole family to be successful by working together. And also it means that nothing in life is easy so you want to be successful you have to work for it. That’s Hockey for Life.”

“Jeff is a kind-hearted man who leads by example and uses his own knowledge and experience that he has gained playing at many levels himself to help him teach and communicate to the kids," said the parent who nominated Jeff. "The kids love and respect him. They look forward to each practice because of what Jeff has to show them and the stories he shares. He is passionate and empathic, competitive and fun. Yet he understands what the differences and needs from each kid and inspires them all to believe in themselves and their potential all while adapting things to make all feel comfortable in their ability.”


Brock Armstrong is the recipient of the NHL Coaches Night Out Edmonton Oilers Package. Brock has been coaching Initiation in Sylvan Lake for the last three years and was recently appointed a Junior Coach Mentor role within his association.

“I try to make the rink a destination for both players and parents, I want the entire family to be excited to come to the rink," said Brock. "My job as a coach is to not only teach the FUNdementals, but to help stock the cupboard with skills that will help the player in everyday life.”

Brock said there are three elements of his coaching philosophy. “1. Work hard, 2. Have Fun, 3. Respect yourself, your teammates, and your opponent.”

“An enthusiastic, fun, accepting, caring and hardworking role model. He has a true love for the game that is infectious if you ever have the privilege to be a player or a parent on his team,” said a parent from Brock’s team.

“I feel the effect of his (Brock’s) coaching in the way my son is improving in other aspects of his life including patients at home and confidence at school," said another parent. "My son really looks up to him and I am so grateful for him to have a role model so passionate for the game and well-being of the kids.”

Thank you to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers for supplying the two NHL Coaches Night Out Packages which four tickets to a game, apparel, and food and beverage vouchers.


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

News

Photo credit: Sheldon Graber


Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships: Week Three Preview

RED DEER - The third and final week of the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, kicks off on Thursday across the province with the final five tournaments of 2017.

Provincial championships set for this weekend include: Senior AA (Wainwright), Junior B (St. Paul), Midget AA (Okotoks), Bantam AA (Olds), and Peewee AA (Edmonton). Okotoks and Olds each hosted True Spirit of Hockey Days in conjunction with Provincials, celebrating a shared love for hockey and the community that supports the sport

You can keep track of all this weekend’s tournaments at haprovincials.ca, by following along with the score ticker at hockeyalberta.ca, on Facebook, or onTwitter (using the hashtags #HAProvincials or #ATBProvincials).

You can also follow along with a number of individual tournaments on social media:

Senior AA: Twitter | Facebook
Junior B: Twitter
Midget AA: Twitter | Facebook
Bantam AA: Twitter

The Junior A Provincial Championship will be decided through the Alberta Junior Hockey League Playoffs. The North and South Division finals begin on March 31. The Brooks Bandits and Okotoks Oilers are set to face off in the South Division Final, while the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and the Whitecourt Wolverines will battle in the North Division Final.


Previous Results

Week One Results > | Week Two Results > | Champions Photos >


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL PLAYDOWN SERIES

Senior AAA – Stony Plain Eagles VS. Lacombe Generals
Lacombe Generals win series 4-2

Game One: Stony Plain 6, Lacombe 4
Game Two: Lacombe 4
, Stony Plain 1
Game Three:
Stony Plain 7, Lacombe 4
Game Four
: Lacombe 8, Stony Plain 3
Game Five: Lacombe 5, Stony Plain 1
Game Six: Lacombe 10, Stony Plain 3

Allan Cup – April 10-15 – Bouctouche, New Brunswick


Midget AAAFoothills CFR Bisons vs Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings
Leduc Oil Kings win series 3-1

Game One: Leduc 3, Foothills 1
Game Two: Leduc 5, Foothills 4 (2OT)
Game Three: Foothills 4, Leduc 3 (2OT)
Game Four: Leduc 3, Foothills 1

Telus Cup – April 24-30 – Prince George, British Columbia


Bantam AAALethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks vs. Fort Saskatchewan Rangers
Fort Saskatchewan Rangers wins series 3-2

Game One: Fort Saskatchewan 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT)
Game Two: Fort Saskatchewan 2
, Lethbridge 1
Game Three: Lethbridge 7, Fort Saskatchewan 2
Game Four: Lethbridge 2, Fort Saskatchewan 1
Game Five: Fort Saskatchewan 2, Lethbridge 1

Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship – March 30 - April 2 – Warman/Martensville, Saskatchewan

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Photo credit: LA Media


2017 Alberta Cup rosters announced

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the rosters for the 2017 Alberta Cup.

Eight teams will take to the ice at the Canmore Recreation Centre April 26-30. The teams include two from each of Calgary and Edmonton, and one each representing the South, Central, Northeast and Northwest zones of the province.

Twenty 2002-born players comprise each roster, along with volunteers serving as head coach, assistant coaches, trainer, and director of operations. Rosters were selected based on performances at zone camps held March 24-26 throughout the province.

2017 Alberta Cup Rosters >

The teams will play in a four-day, tournament-format competition. The event also features an education seminar hosted by the Western Hockey League (WHL).


Tournament passes for the 2017 Alberta Cup are now on sale. Passes are $59+GST each, and include one Alberta Cup Program. Family passes for up to five people (maximum two adults) are $173+GST, and also include one program.

Tickets for the 2017 Alberta Cup Banquet are also now available for purchase. Tickets are $50+GST for adults, and $27+GST for children (12 and under). The Alberta Cup Banquet is Saturday, April 29 at 6 p.m. at the Coast Hotel.

Tickets > | 2017 Alberta Cup Schedule >


For more information on the Alberta Cup, click here.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Bakke, Van Vaerenbergh named distinguished Future Leaders

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation are pleased to announce Brady Bakke and Tricia Van Vaerenbergh as distinguished Future Leaders.

Bakke and Van Vaerenbergh are among the eight post-secondary students accepted into the 2016 Future Leader Development Program, which saw them fill a role during the U16 Male & U16 Female Provincial Camps in Camrose in July 2016. Both were selected as distinguished future leaders for their leadership, professionalism, enthusiasm and willingness to give back to the game of hockey.

Bakke, a Red Deer native, is in his second year playing for Concordia University, following three years with the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and two years of Midget AAA in Red Deer.

Van Vaerenbergh, orginally from Picture Butte, is in her second year at the University of Lethbridge, and previously skated for Team Alberta’s bronze medal-winning team at the U18 Nationals in 2013.

In addition to the original $1,000 scholarship awarded to participants of the program, the two distinguished Future Leaders will each receive an additional $3,000 scholarship.


2017 Future Leaders Development Program

Applications are still being accepted for the 2017 Future Leaders Development Program. The application deadline is April 12, and the FLDP runs April 28-30 in Sylvan Lake.

Apply >

For more information on the Future Leaders Development Program, click here.

News

Photo credit: Brian Calkins, On Sight Photography


Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships: Week Two Results

RED DEER - As Week Two of the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, wrapped up on Sunday with 19 teams crowned as 2017 Provincial champions.

Sixteen tournaments ran across the province from March 22-26, while three league champions also earned provincial championship honours last week.

Teams skating away with gold medals were: Lacombe Generals (Senior AAA), Edmonton NEZ Northstars (Junior C), Lethbridge Hurricanes (Minor Midget AAA), Leduc Oil Kings (Midget AAA), Edmonton Seera Icemen (Midget A), Barrhead Steelers (Midget B), La Crete Lumberjacks (Midget C), Valleyview Ice Bears (Midget D), Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (Midget Female Elite), Strathcona Stars (Midget Female A), Onoway Eagles (Midget Female B), St. Albert Blades (Bantam Female A), Medicine Hat Hounds (Peewee A), Bonnyville Pontiacs (Peewee B), Beaverlodge Blades (Peewee C), Irvine Bulldogs (Peewee D), GHC White (Peewee Female A), and Stettler Storm (Peewee Female B).

In addition to the on-ice action, seven host communities hosted a True Spirit of Hockey Day to celebrate a shared love for hockey and the community that supports the sport: 3Cs, Elk Point, High Prairie, Kneehill, Rocky Mountain House, Slave Lake, and Strathmore.

The 2017 Provincial Championships tournament schedule wraps up this coming weekend with five tournaments set for March 30 - April 2: Senior AA (Wainwright), Junior B (St. Paul), Midget AA (Okotoks), Bantam AA (Olds), and Peewee AA (Edmonton). Okotoks and Olds will both host True Spirit of Hockey Days in conjunction with Provincials.

The Junior A Provincial Championship will be decided through the Alberta Junior Hockey League Playoffs. The North and South Division finals begin on March 31. The Brooks Bandits and Okotoks Oilers are set to face off in the South Division Final, while the Fort McMurray Oil Barons will have to wait for Game Seven between the Whitecourt Wolverines and Spruce Grove Saints to decide who they will face in the North Division Final.


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL TOURNAMENTS

Gold Medal Games


Junior C NEZ 5, Edmonton 2
Minor Midget AAA Lethbridge 7, CNHA 2
Midget A Seera 5, Strathmore 2
Midget BBarrhead 5, High Prairie 4
Midget CLa Crete 3, Tofield 1
Midget DValleyview 4, Eckville 0
Midget Female Elite Red Deer 4, Peace Country 1
Midget Female AStrathcona 6, Red Deer 1
Midget Female BOnoway 5, Irma 2
Bantam Female A St. Albert 2, Calgary 1
Peewee AMedicine Hat 8, Sherwood Park 2
Peewee BBonnyville 4, Drayton Valley 3
Peewee CBeaverlodge 3, Marwayne 2 (OT)
Peewee DIrvine 6, Paradise Valley 3
Peewee Female AGHC 3, Sherwood Park 2 (OT)
Peewee Female BStettler 4, Olds 3

Champions Photos >


Previous Results

Week One Results >


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL PLAYDOWN SERIES

Senior AAA – Stony Plain Eagles VS. Lacombe Generals
Lacombe Generals win series 4-2

Game One: Stony Plain 6, Lacombe 4
Game Two: Lacombe 4
, Stony Plain 1
Game Three:
Stony Plain 7, Lacombe 4
Game Four
: Lacombe 8, Stony Plain 3
Game Five: Lacombe 5, Stony Plain 1
Game Six: Lacombe 10, Stony Plain 3

Allan Cup – April 10-15 – Bouctouche, New Brunswick


Midget AAAFoothills CFR Bisons vs Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings
Leduc Oil Kings win series 3-1

Game One: Leduc 3, Foothills 1
Game Two: Leduc 5, Foothills 4 (2OT)
Game Three: Foothills 4, Leduc 3 (2OT)
Game Four: Leduc 3, Foothills 1

Telus Cup – April 24-30 – Prince George, British Columbia


Bantam AAALethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks vs. Fort Saskatchewan Rangers
Fort Saskatechewan Rangers wins series 3-2

Game One: Fort Saskatchewan 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT)
Game Two: Fort Saskatchewan 2
, Lethbridge 1
Game Three: Lethbridge 7, Fort Saskatchewan 2
Game Four: Lethbridge 2, Fort Saskatchewan 1
Game Five: Fort Saskatchewan 2, Lethbridge 1

Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship – March 30 - April 2 – Warman/Martensville, Saskatchewan

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Photo credit: Candice Ward/Hockey Canada Images


Hockey Canada puts age-appropriate programming at forefront for 2017-18 season

CALGARYHockey Canada wants all of Canada on the same page when it comes to the delivery of its Initiation Program – traditionally a player’s first brush with organized hockey at the ages of five and six.

Although the Initiation Program – originally developed more than 35 years ago – always recommended cross- ice or half-ice small-area games, its delivery has varied from community to community. Beginning in the upcoming 2017-18 season, a new Hockey Canada policy now mandates that Initiation-aged players receive age-appropriate programming on cross-ice or half-ice surfaces.

“You would never put a five- or six-year-old child on a full-size soccer pitch, or expect them to play basketball without any adjustments made for their size. Hockey is no different,” said Paul Carson, vice- president of membership development for Hockey Canada, who notes that while some provinces and communities already deliver cross-ice programming at the Initiation level, others have always utilized full ice for practices and games.

“The Initiation Program was developed to allow kids to have fun, learn skills, and develop confidence,” said Carson. “Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck-touches, which result in more chances to practice puck-control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill- development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility. Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The differences in skill-development opportunities with cross-ice or half-ice hockey are significant: players receive five times more passes and take six times more shots. They’re called on to have to make more decisions more quickly, and are overall more engaged in the game.

Special boards and bumpers have been developed that allow for quick and easy division of a regular-sized rink into two half-ice surfaces or three cross-ice rinks, with options to create different small-area configurations. Not only does re-sizing the playing surface allow for Initiation-aged players to develop their hockey skills more effectively, it also allows communities to maximize their ice time by safely putting more teams and games on the ice at one time.

Instruction on delivering age-appropriate programming will also be available to coaches trained in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Coach 1 – Intro Coach. This clinic, delivered by Hockey Canada’s 13 members, is geared towards coaches of entry-level players to provide resources that will aid in the implementation of skill-development and game play.

To ensure all members of the Alberta hockey community understand the new mandate for the Initiation Program, Hockey Alberta will be undertaking a multi-faceted communication plan that includes the following opportunities for engagement and updates:

  • May 6-7: in-person with Minor Hockey Association (MHA) presidents/executive members during SpringConference sessions held in Okotoks and Fort Saskatchewan.
  • June 17-18: in-person with Development Directors for MHAs, and Provincial Coach 1 Facilitators at the Hockey Alberta Development Seminar in Sylvan Lake.
  • September: in-person with Initiation Program Directors for MHAs (date/location TBA)
  • October-November 15: in-person as part of Coach 1 Clinic delivery (locations across the province)
  • Online at hockeyalberta.ca, where Initiation Program and development materials can be accessed by any member of the hockey community.

Resources such as the Hockey Canada Network – a best-in-class skill-development resource geared to coaches – features information on the purpose of cross-ice hockey and how to run effective on-ice sessions for the five-and six-year-old Initiation age group.

Hockey Canada has also produced a video that features renowned sport scientist Dr. Steve Norris; Olympic, World Cup, world, and Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, N.S./Pittsburgh, NHL); Memorial Cup, World Cup, and IIHF World Championship-winning coach Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./ Carolina, NHL); and Olympic gold-medallist and two-time IIHF Women’s World Championship silver-medallist Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) describing the importance of small area games and cross-ice/half-ice hockey.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Initiation Program, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

News

Learn to play with Calgary Flames alumni!

CALGARY - An exciting opportunity awaits first-time hockey players, as the Calgary Flames’ Learn to Play program is coming to Sylvan Lake and Lethbridge.

The Learn to Play program is a six-week introductory program for kids between the ages of 4 and 8. Sessions are led by Calgary Flames alumni.

The Sylvan Lake program will be led by Curtis Glencross, while Jamie Macoun will lead the program in Lethbridge.

The program costs $175, and includes a free full set of equipment, six weeks of on-ice instruction (one icetime a week from April 29 - June 10).

Register >

For more details on the Calgary Flames Learn to Play program, click here.

News

Photo credit: Scott Molnar Photography


Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships: Week Two Preview

RED DEER - Sixteen new champions will be crowned this weekend, as week two of the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, gets underway across the province.

Provincial championships set for this weekend include: Junior C (Calgary), Minor Midget AAA (Grande Prairie - began March 22), Midget A (Strathmore), Midget B (Rocky Mountain House), Midget C (Slave Lake), Midget D (Elk Point), Midget Female Elite (Sherwood Park), Midget Female A (Edmonton), Midget Female B (High Prairie), Bantam Female A (Edmonton), Peewee A (Lloydminster), Peewee B (3Cs), Peewee C (Athabasca), Peewee D (Kneehill), Peewee Female A (Calgary) and Peewee Female B (Lacoka - Lacombe/Ponoka).

Seven more host communities will host a True Spirit of Hockey Day this week: 3Cs, Elk Point, High Prairie, Kneehill, Rocky Mountain House, Slave Lake, and Strathmore. True Spirit of Hockey Day aims celebrate a shared love for hockey and the community that supports the sport.

You can keep track of all this weekend’s tournaments at haprovincials.ca, by following along with the score ticker at hockeyalberta.ca, on Facebook, or onTwitter (using the hashtags #HAProvincials or #ATBProvincials).

You can also follow along with a number of individual tournaments on social media:

Midget Female Elite: Twitter
Peewee B:
Facebook
Peewee C:
Twitter
Peewee D: Twitter (For live streams of games in Trochu) | Facebook (For live streams of games in Three Hills)
Peewee Female B: Twitter


Previous Results

Week One Results >


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL PLAYDOWN SERIES

Senior AAA – Stony Plain Eagles VS. Lacombe Generals
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2

Game One: Stony Plain 6, Lacombe 4
Game Two: Lacombe 4
, Stony Plain 1
Game Three:
Stony Plain 7, Lacombe 4
Game Four
: Lacombe 8, Stony Plain 3
Game Five: Friday, March 24, 8:00 p.m. @ Lacombe
Game Six: Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. @ Stony Plain
Game Seven (if necessary): Thursday, March 30, 8:00 p.m. @ Lacombe

Allan Cup – April 10-15 – Bouctouche, New Brunswick


Midget AAAFoothills CFR Bisons vs Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings
Leduc leads best-of-five series 2-0

Game One: Leduc 3, Foothills 1
Game Two: Leduc 5, Foothills 4 (2OT)
Game Three: Friday, March 24, 8:00 p.m. @ Foothills
Game Four (if necessary): Sunday, March 25, 2:00 p.m. @ Leduc
Game Five (if necessary): Monday, March 27, 8:00 p.m. @ Foothills

Telus Cup – April 24-30 – Prince George, British Columbia


Bantam AAALethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks vs. Fort Saskatchewan Rangers
Fort Saskatechewan Rangers wins series 3-2

Game One: Fort Saskatchewan 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT)
Game Two: Fort Saskatchewan 2
, Lethbridge 1
Game Three: Lethbridge 7, Fort Saskatchewan 2
Game Four: Lethbridge 2, Fort Saskatchewan 1
Game Five: Fort Saskatchewan 2, Lethbridge 1

Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship – March 30 - April 2 – Warman/Martensville, Saskatchewan

Home Ice Feature

Team Alberta alumni Sam Steel (centre) and Kale Clague (right) celebrate Team Alberta’s 2013 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup win. (Photo credit: LA Media)


Albertans bring home WHL hardware

RED DEER/CALGARY – Alberta was very well-represented when the Western Hockey League announced its 2016-17 Eastern and Western Conference award winners and All-Star teams on Wednesday.

Four Albertans took home major awards:

Sam Steel (Sherwood Park), Regina Pats - Eastern Conference Player of the Year, WHL Top Scorer
Zach Sawchenko (Calgary), Moose Jaw Warriors - Eastern Conference Top Goaltender
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park), Everett Silvertips - Western Conference Top Goaltender
Tyler Steenbergen (Sylvan Lake), Swift Current Broncos – Eastern Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player

All four players were also among the eight Albertans named to the WHL’s First and Second All-Star teams:

Eastern Conference First All-Star Team:
Goaltender – Zach Sawchenko (Calgary, AB), Moose Jaw Warriors
Defenceman – Kale Clague (Lloydminster, AB), Brandon Wheat Kings
Forward – Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, AB), Regina Pats
Forward – Tyler Wong (Cochrane, AB), Lethbridge Hurricanes

Eastern Conference Second All-Star Team:
Defenceman – Jake Bean (Calgary, AB), Calgary Hitmen
Forward – Tyler Steenbergen (Sylvan Lake, AB), Swift Current Broncos

Western Conference First All-Star Team:
Goaltender – Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, AB), Everett Silvertips
Forward – Matthew Phillips (Calgary, AB), Victoria Royals

WHL Award Winners > | WHL All-Star Teams >


Hockey Alberta is proud to unveil a new section at hockeyalberta.ca. 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 info@hockeyalberta.ca.

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Photo credit: LA Media


2018 Alberta Cup coming to Spruce Grove

SPRUCE GROVE – Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the City of Spruce Grove as the host of the 2018 Alberta Cup.

The Spruce Grove Agrena is the host location for the event, scheduled for April 25-28, 2018.

The Alberta Cup is a core Hockey Alberta development program, and a significant step in the identification and evaluation process for Team Alberta’s U16 Male provincial team that competes at either the U16 Western Challenge Cup or the Canada Winter Games. It is also the final opportunity for Western Hockey League scouts to evaluate players eligible for the WHL bantam draft.

On the ice, the Alberta Cup features 160 of the top bantam-aged male players in Alberta, divided into eight zone teams, playing in a four-day tournament format event. The Alberta Cup also provides coaches, therapists, equipment managers, administrators and officials the opportunity to be identified for potential positions at higher level events such as the Western Challenge, World U17 Hockey Challenge and Canada Winter Games.

“Hosting an event like the Alberta Cup is a challenging undertaking. In addition to the on-ice action, there are a multitude of behind-the-scenes logistics such as accommodations, meals, travel, souvenirs, sponsorship and off-ice player preparation that need to be covered,” said Michael Kraichy, Hockey Alberta’s Manager of Team Alberta. “We were very impressed with the range of partners who will be involved in the event, and the thoroughness and attention to detail shown in the bid package submitted by Spruce Grove. We are confident that the 2018 Alberta Cup will be a memorable one for all participants.”

Spruce Grove’s Strategic Plan identifies that the community will become a leading recreation, leisure, and sports community, and be recognized as an event-hosting destination. The Alberta Cup will join a growing list of sporting events hosted in Spruce Grove, including curling, collegiate soccer, ringette, and junior hockey.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this prestigious event in our community next year,” said Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston. “Sports and recreation play an important role in our city and it’s always a pleasure when we are able to bring a large-scale event like the Alberta Cup to Spruce Grove. I have complete confidence that the players, coaches, spectators and everyone else who comes out to enjoy some fantastic hockey will feel right at home during their stay with us.”

The host committee will include municipal representatives, members of Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Association, local businesses and other sports and not-for-profit organizations.

Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Association will be coordinating volunteers for the 2018 event. Anyone interested in volunteering can email abcup2018@gmail.com.

The Town of Canmore is hosting the 2017 Alberta Cup, April 27-May 1. Zone selection camps are slated for March 24-26.

For more information on the Alberta Cup, go to hockeyalberta.ca or abcup.ca.

News

Register now - Regional Leader Development Program

RED DEER - The deadline for future coaches to register for Hockey Alberta’s Regional Leader Development Program is Friday, March 24.

The Regional Leader Development Program is aimed to develop and train 1999 and 2000-born Midget level male and female hockey players in the areas of coaching, skill instruction and leadership.

The delegates will be trained and mentored on and off ice through classroom sessions that include: leadership, team building and off-ice LTPD training. Along with classroom sessions, regional leaders will work through the NCCP Coach 2 program and with leave the program with a trained status. Delegates will also receive NCCP Instructional Stream-trained status. The total value of the program is more than $400. During the 2 day RLDP all registrants will be provided with:

• Lunch both days
NCCP Coach 2 Trained Status
NCCP Instructional Stream Trained Status
• Access to the new Hockey Canada Network App
• Coaching starter kit

The program cost is $50 (plus GST), and registration is on a first come, first served basis. Each location is limited to 30 registrants.


Dates & Locations

March 25 & 26
March 25 & 26
April 1 & 2
April 8 & 9
April 8 & 9
April 8 & 9
Calgary Sylvan Lake Lethbridge Edmonton Bonnyville Grande Prairie
Register Register Register Register Register Register

News

Photo credit: Rob Ganzeveld, RG Images


Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships: Week One Results

RED DEER - Fourteen new provincial champions were crowned on Sunday, highlighting a busy first weekend of the 2017 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial.

One Midget team, six Bantam teams, and seven Atom teams skated away from their respective tournaments with gold medals: St. Albert Slash (Midget Female AAA), Midnapore Mavericks (Bantam A), RMAA Renegades (Bantam B), CNN Spurs (Bantam C), Boyle Blazers (Bantam D), Calgary Fire White (Bantam Female Elite), Irma Aces (Bantam Female B), St. Albert Lightning (Atom AA Major), Sylvan Lake Lakers (Atom AA Minor), Drayton Valley Meter All-Stars (Atom A), Athabasca Hawks (Atom B), Provost Blades (Atom C), Smoky River (Atom D), and the Stettler Storm (Atom Female).

In addition to the on-ice action, seven host communities held a True Spirit of Hockey Day to celebrate a shared love for hockey and the community that supports the sport: Athabasca, Battle River, Delburne, Fairview, Fort McMurray, Hanna, and Sherwood Park.

Provincial championships set for March 23-26 include: Junior C (Calgary), Minor Midget AAA (Grande Prairie), Midget A (Strathmore), Midget B (Rocky Mountain House), Midget C (Slave Lake), Midget D (Elk Point), Midget Female Elite (Sherwood Park), Midget Female A (Edmonton), Midget Female B (High Prairie), Bantam Female A (Edmonton), Peewee A (Lloydminster), Peewee B (3Cs), Peewee C (Athabasca), Peewee D (Kneehill), Peewee Female A (Calgary) and Peewee Female B (Lacoka - Lacombe/Ponoka).

Seven more host communities will host a True Spirit of Hockey Day this week: 3Cs, Elk Point, High Prairie, Kneehill, Rocky Mountain House, Slave Lake, and Strathmore.


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL TOURNAMENTS

Gold Medal Games


Midget Female AAASt. Albert Slash 2, Rocky Mountain Raiders 1
Bantam A Midnapore Mavericks (Calgary) 5, Medicine Hat Hounds 1
Bantam B RMAA Renegades (Carstairs) 2, Lacombe Rockets 0
Bantam C CNN Spurs 3, Vermilion Tigers 0
Bantam DBoyle Blazers 5, Hanna Colts 2
Bantam Female Elite - Calgary Fire White 1, St. Albert Raiders 0
Bantam Female BIrma Aces 2, Olds Grizzlys 0
Atom AA MajorSt. Albert Lightning 6, Glenlake Hawks (Calgary) 5
Atom AA Minor Sylvan Lake 15 Lakers, Chestermere Lakers 7
Atom A Drayton Valley Meter All-Stars 5, Indus Hurricanes 2
Atom BAthabasca Hawks 6, La Crete Lumberjacks 2
Atom CProvost Blades 6, Redcliff Grizzlies 1
Atom DSmoky River Pirates 6, Clive Blackhaws 4
Atom FemaleStettler Storm 4, Okotoks Green 2

Champions Photos >


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL PLAYDOWN SERIES

Senior AAA – Stony Plain Eagles VS. Lacombe Generals
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2

Game One: Stony Plain 6 @ Lacombe 4
Game Two: Lacombe 4
@ Stony Plain 1
Game Three:
Stony Plain 7 @ Lacombe 4
Game Four
: Lacombe 8 @ Stony Plain 3
Game Five: Friday, March 24, 8:00 p.m. - Stony Plain @ Lacombe
Game Six: Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. - Lacombe @ Stony Plain
Game Seven (if necessary): Thursday, March 30, 8:00 p.m. - Stony Plain @ Lacombe

Allan Cup – April 10-15 – Bouctouche, New Brunswick


Midget AAAFoothills CFR Bisons vs Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings
Leduc leads best-of-five series 1-0

Game One: Leduc 3, Foothills 1
Game Two: Foothills @ Leduc

Game Three: Leduc @ Foothills
Game Four (if necessary): Foothills @ Leduc
Game Five (if necessary): Leduc @ Foothills

Telus Cup – April 24-30 – Prince George, British Columbia


Bantam AAALethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks vs. Fort Saskatchewan Rangers
Best-of-five series tied 2-2

Game One: Fort Saskatchewan 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT)
Game Two: Fort Saskatchewan 2
, Lethbridge 1
Game Three: Lethbridge 7, Fort Saskatchewan 2
Game Four: Lethbridge 2, Fort Saskatchewan 1

Game Five: Wednesday, March 22, 6:30 p.m. - Fort Saskatchewan @ Lethbridge

Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship – March 30 - April 2 – Warman/Martensville, Saskatchewan

Home Ice Feature

Photo credit: U Sports


Former Team Alberta players and staff win National Championship

EDMONTON - Twelve former Team Alberta players and three former staff are now U Sports national champions as members of the University of Alberta Pandas.

The sixth-seeded Pandas defeated the fourth-seeded McGill Martlets in double-overtime Sunday night in Napanee, Ontario to clinch the championship.

Taylor Kezama, Cayle Dillon, Ashley Morin, Deanna Morin, Amy Boucher, Alex Poznikoff, Hanna Olenyk, Regan Wright, Abby Benning, Kirsten Chamberlin, Dayna Owen, and Kennedy Ganser have all previously played in the Team Alberta U18 Female program.

Kezama netted the double-overtime winner for the Panadas, while Poznikoff, who was recently named to the Canada West All-Star team, was named one of the tournament all-stars.

Head Coach Howie Draper, Assistant Coach Leah Copeland, and Equipment Manager Wes Nystrom were also previously involved with the Team Alberta program.


About the Team Alberta U18 Female Program

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.


Hockey Alberta is proud to unveil a new section at hockeyalberta.ca. 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 info@hockeyalberta.ca.

News

Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships: Week One preview

RED DEER – The Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial officially kick off Thursday and Friday with 14 tournaments across the province.

Provincial championships set for March 16-19 include: Midget Female AAA (Okotoks), Bantam A (Grande Prairie), Bantam B (Springbank), Bantam C (CNN), Bantam D (Hanna), Bantam Female Elite (Olds), Bantam Female B (Leduc), Atom AA Major (Fort McMurray), Atom AA Minor (Sturgeon), Atom A (Foothills), Atom B (Fairview), Atom C (Provost), Atom D (Delburne), Atom Female (Battle River).

You can keep track of all this weekend’s tournaments at haprovincials.ca, by following along with the score ticker at hockeyalberta.ca, on Facebook, or on Twitter (using the hashtags #HAProvincials or #ATBProvincials).

You can also follow along with a number of individual tournaments on social media:

Atom B - Facebook
Atom Female - Twitter
Bantam C -
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Midget Female AAA - Twitter


2017 HOCKEY ALBERTA PROVINCIAL PLAYDOWN SERIES

Senior AAA – Stony Plain Eagles VS. Lacombe Generals
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1

Game One: Stony Plain 6, Lacombe 4
Game Two: Lacombe 4,
Stony Plain 1
Game Three:
Friday, March 17, 8:00 p.m. - Stony Plain @ Lacombe
Game Four
: Saturday, March 18, 7:30 p.m. - Lacombe @ Stony Plain
Game Five: Friday, March 24, 8:00 p.m. - Stony Plain @ Lacombe
Game Six (if necessary): Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. - Lacombe @ Stony Plain
Game Seven (if necessary): Thursday, March 30, 8:00 p.m. - Stony Plain @ Lacombe

Allan Cup – April 10-15 – Bouctouche, New Brunswick


Midget AAATeams, dates TBD

Telus Cup – April 24-30 – Prince George, British Columbia


Bantam AAALethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks vs. Fort Saskatchewan Rangers
Fort Saskatchewan leads best-of-five series 2-0

Game One: Fort Saskatchewan 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT)
Game Two: Fort Saskatchewan 2,
Lethbridge 1
Game Three: Saturday, March 18, 5:15 p.m. - Lethbridge @ Fort Saskatchewan
Game Four (if necessary): Sunday, March 19, 12:15 p.m. - Lethbridge @ Fort Saskatchewan
Game Five (If necessary): Wednesday, March 22, 6:30 p.m. - Fort Saskatchewan @ Lethbridge

Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship – March 30 - April 2 – Warman/Martensville, Saskatchewan

News

Photo credit: Two Point Photography


Midget AAA season wrap-up | Midget AAA and Bantam Elite Provincials kick off

RED DEER - The Alberta Female Hockey League’s Midget AAA regular season has officially come to a close, and the Provincial Championships for Bantam Elite and Midget AAA kick off on Thursday and Friday.

The Midget AAA Division wrapped up its inaugural season on March 5. The regular season standings finished up with St. Albert (27-2-1) taking home the regular season crown. The final standings are as follows:

1) St. Albert Slash (81 pts)
2) Rocky Mountain Raiders (55 pts)
3) Calgary Fire (36 pts)
4) Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (35 pts)
5) Lloydminster PWM Steelers (34 pts)
6) Edmonton Pandas (29 pts)

St. Albert’s first year forward Madison Willan takes home the league scoring with 25 goals and 25 assists for 50 points. Willan’s teammates Cassidy Maplethorpe and Tyra Meropoulis round out the top three point leaders with 46 and 45 respectively. Maplethorpe also finished the season leading the league in assists (29).

Two goaltenders tied for top save percentage of the seson, both with a .940; St. Albert’s Camryn Drever and Red Deer’s Chantelle Sandquist (Red Deer). Drever boasts a 1.38 goals against average and a 14-3-0 record, while Sandquist appeared in 11 games, posting a 6-3-1 record with a 1.60 goals against average.

AFHL Action heated up as the race to the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships kicked off last weekend. The regular season champion St. Albert received a bye into the tournament, as well as host association Rocky Mountain Raiders.

In the first round series, the third-place Calgary Fire faced off against the sixth-place Edmonton Pandas and won the two game, total point series by a score of 6-5. The other series featured the fourth-place Red Deer Chiefs and fifth-place Lloydminster in a low-scoring battle. Red Deer skated away victorious as Kaitlin Linnel scored on a rebound to seal the victory for Red Deer on Sunday afternoon.

The inaugural AFHL Midget AAA Provincial Championship will start on Friday morning, March 17 at Scott Seaman’s arena and will feature our top four teams from the regular season; (1) St. Albert, (2) Rocky Mountain Raiders, (3) Calgary, and (4) Lloydminster. If you are unable to make it Okotoks this weekend, you can still catch the games online! The live video and audio streams, as well as updates on scores will be provided on the AAA Provincial website.

The Bantam Elite Provincial Championships kick off this weekend as well in Olds March 16-19. The five-team tournament features the Calgary Fire White, Calgary Fire Red, St. Albert Raiders, Sherwood Park Royals, and Olds Grizzlys. Tournament information and scores can be found on the Bantam Elite Provincial website.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Introducing the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017

RED DEER – Five outstanding individuals, and perhaps one of the most celebrated families in all of hockey comprise the 2017 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF).

Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation announced on Wednesday the 2017 inductees who will be recognized at the AHHF Awards Gala in Canmore:

  • Mel Davidson, three-time Olympic gold medalist (Head Coach, Canadian Women’s national team).
  • Bill Hay, Stanley Cup champion, and former head of the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Tony Kollman, one of the most noteable senior hockey players of the 1960s
  • Perry Pearn, second-winningest coach in ACAC history, including six ACAC championships.
  • Glen Sather, former coach, general manager and president of the 5-time Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers
  • The Sutter family – Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Gary, Rich, Ron, Grace and Louis.

Inductee Bios >

We invite you to celebrate the legacy of these Alberta hockey legends on Sunday, July 23 at the Coast Hotel in Canmore. For ticket information, click here.

News

Photo Credit: Brian Calkins


Communities and teams across Alberta gearing up for Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships

RED DEER – Six months of regular season and tournament action, including up to six weeks of games in Zone playdowns, culminates this month, as teams prepare to “March to a title” at the 2017 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial.

Tournament action will determine the majority of the 2017 provincial champions. 14 titles will be awarded on March 19. March 26 will see another 16 champions crowned. The remaining five champions will be determined on April 2. Tournament champions will emerge from a weekend of round-robin pool play and playoff action in their respective tournaments.

The slate of provincial championship tournaments starts this weekend, March 16-19 in fourteen locations around Alberta.

Provincial championships set for March 16-19 include: Midget Female AAA (Okotoks), Bantam A (Grande Prairie), Bantam B (Springbank), Bantam C (CNN), Bantam D (Hanna), Bantam Female Elite (Olds), Bantam Female B (Leduc), Atom AA Major (Fort McMurray), Atom AA Minor (Sturgeon), Atom A (Foothills), Atom B (Fairview), Atom C (Provost), Atom D (Delburne), Atom Female (Battle River).

Provincial championships set for March 22/23-26 include: Junior C (Calgary), Minor Midget AAA (Grande Prairie), Midget A (Strathmore), Midget B (Rocky Mountain House), Midget C (Slave Lake), Midget D (Elk Point), Midget Female Elite (Sherwood Park), Midget Female A (Edmonton), Midget Female B (High Prairie), Bantam Female A (Edmonton), Peewee A (Lloydminster), Peewee B (3 Cs), Peewee C (Athabasca), Peewee D (Kneehill), Peewee Female A (Calgary), Peewee Female B (Lacoka).

Provincial championships set for March 30-April 2 include: Senior AA (Wainwright), Junior B (St. Paul), Midget AA (Okotoks), Bantam AA (Olds), Peewee AA (Edmonton).

Four champions will be determined via league playoffs: Senior AAA, Junior A, Midget AAA, and Bantam AAA.

For schedules, arenas, host organizations, and other event-specific information, check the Hockey Alberta website at hockeyalberta.ca or the Provincial Championships website at haprovincials.ca. You can also follow Hockey Alberta on Twitter and Facebook.

Provincial championship host locations were awarded in mid-December, and in the ensuing months, organizing committees in communities across Alberta have been busy securing local sponsors, organizing opening ceremonies, confirming teams and schedules, ordering souvenirs and player gifts, arranging for accommodations, and numerous other tasks to ensure that the participating teams have a memorable experience.

In addition to the on-ice action, several communities will participate in True Spirit of Hockey Day activities in their location communities. In conjunction with the Provincial Championship tournament hosts in these communities, a local school is hosting a number of fun activities, allowing students to learn about hockey, and the teamwork and friendships that can be generated in the sport. Participating communities are: 3Cs, Athabasca, Battle River, Delburne, Elk Point, Fairview, Fort McMurray, Hanna, High Prairie, Kneehill, Okotoks, Olds, Rocky Mountain House, Slave Lake, Sherwood Park and Strathmore.

News

Coach of the Month - February

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for February is Jake Rushton of Fairview.

Jake is currently the Head Coach of the Fairview Novice Bears, and has been coaching hockey for three years.

“Jake is the coach that goes beyond! He will help out in a heartbeat with equipment, booth shifts or to take five more minutes with a player struggling with a skill," said the parent who nominated Jake. "His enthusiasm and pride in his team, as well as all other teams shines in every direction of his life.”

“He (Jake) treats all the kids like his own and he’s very energetic and communicates great with the parents," said the second parent who nominated Jake. "If there is anything that any kid or even parent needs on the team he’s right there to help. He’s great at picking up on where these kids need a little extra help and making sure they reach their goals and succeed!”

“The thing I love most about coaching is the kids," said Jake. "Every child is unique in their own way. I like to stress teamwork on and off the ice whether it be in the dressing room or in their classroom.”


Tuesday, March 14 is the last day to nominate your coach as Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month! All nominated coaches will have a chance to win an NHL Coach’s Night Out prize package!

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

Hockey Alberta Foundation

The Talking Goalie poses with a group of Edmonton Oil Kings fans at the first of five stops around Alberta


The Talking Goalie raises $3,100 for EKEC

RED DEER – After a cross-province tour with stops at all five of Alberta’s Western Hockey League teams, the Talking Goalie has raised a total of $3100 for the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community program.

With a donation to the EKEC program, WHL fans had the chance to take their best shot on the Talking Goalie (Rob Kerr of Sportsnet 960 The Fan), and whether they silenced him or not, walked away with a commemorative t-shirt courtesy of ATB Financial.

The Hockey Alberta Foundation would like to thank the Western Hockey League, Edmonton Oil Kings, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Calgary Hitmen,Red Deer Rebels and Medicine Hat Tigers for their support, as well as all of the fans who tried to silence the Talking Goalie.


About Every Kid Every Community

The Every Kid Every Community program was launched in 2011, with the goal of ensuring a gateway to play hockey for any child in Alberta who is interested in the sport. The goal is to provide every child in Alberta the opportunity to play hockey, have fun and, in many cases, experience the sport for the first time.

Funding through Every Kid Every Community is available to assist amateur sports organizations, minor hockey organizations, youth groups, recreation groups, or any community group with an idea, project or program that helps establish an event or program to get local children active in hockey. Hockey is a great way for kids to be active, healthy and surrounded by positive leaders in their community. Keeping kids active in sport helps reduce childhood obesity, creates a safe and fun environment and forms friendships.

News

Welcome New-to-Hockey families into YOUR Minor Hockey Association!

CALGARY - The Canadian Tire First Shift is pleased to announce the launch of the 2017-2018 application process to become a host Minor Hockey Association for The First Shift program. Minor Hockey Associations are encouraged to review the application criteria and submit an online application.

Application Forms >

The Canadian Tire First Shift Program is designed to ease kids and their families into the sport of hockey in a fun and welcoming environment. It is open to boys and girls ages 6-10 years old, who have never registered to play hockey. The registration fee is $199 for each participant and includes:

  • A Welcome Event - information, education, and an equipment fitting session
  • 6 "learn to play on-ice sessions, implemented by MHA
  • A complete set of Bauer equipment including: Helmet with facemask, neck guard, gloves, jersey & socks, shoulder & elbow pads, pants, skates, shin pads, jock/jill shorts, stick and a bag.

For more program information, visit thefirstshift.ca. Additional questions and inquiries can be sent to thefirstshift@hockeycanada.ca

News

Mount Royal’s Sarah Weninger, Canada West’s Student-Athlete Community Service honouree


Albertans Weninger, Ganser and Cooke take home Canada West awards

EDMONTON – Three Alberta hockey players highlight the list of 2016-17 major award winners announced today by Canada West.

University of Alberta Panda forward Kennedy Ganser is the Canada West Rookie of the Year in Women’s Hockey, while Mount Royal’s Sarah Weninger is the Student-Athlete Community Service honouree. In Men’s Hockey, University of Saskatchewan netminder Jordon Cooke was named Goalie of the Year.

Ganser, a former Team Alberta forward from Provost, led all Canada West rookies with 17 points this season, suiting up in all 28 games. Her 17 points were two more than UBC Thunderbird Mairead Bast, of Red Deer, while her seven goals were tied with Manitoba Bison Sheridan Oswald for tops among rookies. Ganser also showed her potential as a strong two-way forward, adding 84 shots and a +13 rating this season. Ganser is now the Canada West nominee for the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year.

“Kennedy has been a tremendous addition to our roster. She is the kind of player that coaches can build a program around. She has a high degree of skill and a hockey IQ to match. These abilities have made her a strong addition to all of our specialty situations,” said Howie Draper, head coach of the Pandas. “Despite her smaller stature, she competes like a giant on both sides of the puck. She is already and will continue to be a tough player to play against in the next four years of her career.”

Weninger, a fifth-year forward from Lethbridge, excelled both on and off the ice at Mount Royal. She finished tied for MRU’s scoring title this season, registering nine goals and four assists in 25 games.

Off the ice, Weninger is involved in several volunteer initiatives, including Hockey Alberta’s Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) program, which uses the game of hockey to teach life-skills and empower Canada’s marginalized youth. In addition to her involvement with HEROS, Weninger also attended Hockey Alberta’s Future Leaders Camp, which helps prepare coaches to play an active role in Hockey Alberta programs and within their communities.

Academically, Weninger has achieved a combined GPA of 3.66 over her last two academic semesters and is on pace to be an Academic All-Canadian this season. Weninger now moves forward as the conference nominee for the Marion Hilliard Award as the nation’s top student-athlete.

“Sarah is extremely committed to try and better those around her, whether it is in the hockey community, or life in general,” said Scott Rivett, head coach at Mount Royal. “Her relationship with HEROS is truly remarkable. Sarah has brought other players from our team out to work with them and many are continuing to build their own relationships with these kids on a weekly basis and are having a true impact in their lives. We raised over $3,000 and created an evening for these kids that most have never experienced and it was in large part to all the work that Sarah has put in.”

For a second consecutive season Jordon Cooke has been named Canada West’s top goalie, after posting a 19-4-1 record, 1.94 GAA, and .929 SV%. The Leduc native was the backbone of Saskatchewan’s tremendous campaign, which saw the Huskies claim the conference regular season title for a second straight season.

2016-17 has been a phenomenal season for Cooke, as the Leduc, Alta. product was also named to Canada’s team at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland over the holiday break. Cooke’s four shutouts this season tied the Canada West single-season record, and his seven career shutouts are the most among any active Canada West goalie.

Cooke now moves forward as the conference nominee for the U SPORTS Goaltender of the Year award, which has been won by a Canada West goalie all but once since being created in 2009-10, including last season by Cooke.

"Last year, Jordon stood out in his first full-year as our No. 1 goaltender. He helped calm a young team, leading us to the Canada West pennant," said Dave Adolph, head coach at the University of Saskatchewan. "In 2016-17, he made things look routine as our team skated to a first-place‎ finish in the regular season. He and our young defence enabled us to lead the league with a very stingy 2.11 goals GAA. He loves to play and loves the challenge. We are very fortunate to have him in a Huskie uniform.”