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 2018 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial.
Tournament action will determine the majority of the 2018 provincial champions. Fourteen titles will be awarded on March 18. March 25 will see another 15 champions crowned, and the remaining six champions will be determined on April 1. 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 next weekend, March 15-18 in 14 locations around Alberta.
Provincial championships set for March 15-18 include: Bantam A (Marwayne), Bantam B (Rocky Mountain House), Bantam C (Drumheller), Bantam D (Elk Point), Bantam Female A (Brooks), Bantam Female B (Stettler), Peewee Female B (Medicine Hat), Atom AA Major (Glenlake/Calgary), Atom AA Minor (Chestermere), Atom A (Whitecourt), Atom B (Beaverlodge), Atom C (Spirit River), Atom D (Bentley), and Atom Female (St. Paul).
Provincial championships set for March 21/22-25 include: Senior AA (Bonnyville), Minor Midget AAA (Lethbridge), Midget A (Sherwood Park), Midget B (Wetaskiwin), Midget C (Rimbey), Midget D (Taber), Midget Female AAA (Red Deer), Midget Female A (Strathcona), Midget Female B (Lac La Biche), Bantam Female Elite (Grande Prairie), Peewee A (Edmonton), Peewee B (La Crete), Peewee C (Thunderstars), Peewee D (Oyen), and Peewee Female A (Okotoks).
Provincial championships set for March 29 - April 1 include: Junior B (Fort St. John), Junior C (Sherwood Park), Midget AA (Spruce Grove), Midget Female Elite (Calgary), Bantam AA (Edmonton), Peewee AA (Glenlake/Calgary).
Four champions will be determined via league playoffs: Senior AAA, Junior A, Midget AAA, and Bantam AAA. The final round of the Senior AAA provincials kicks off tonight (Friday) between the Lacombe Generals and the Stony Plain Eagles. Playoffs are just underway in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, while the Midget AAA Division Finals begin on Sunday. The Bantam AAA Provincial Championship is now set, with the St. Albert Sabres and Airdrie Xtreme squaring off, beginning on Saturday.
For schedules, arenas, host organizations, and other event-specific information, check the Provincial Championships website at haprovincials.ca or the Hockey Alberta website at hockeyalberta.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: Beaverlodge, Bentley, Chestermere, Daysland/Forestburg, Elk Point, La Crete, Okotoks, Oyen, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Taber and Whitecourt.