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COVID-19 Update - Hockey Canada Statement

The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, on the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Without question, this an unprecedented period of difficulty for the sports world. The health and safety of all participants in sport, including players, coaches, staff, officials, fans, family, volunteers and the general public, is of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada.

After much consultation with the Hockey Canada membership, our chief medical officer and public health officials, the Hockey Canada Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities*, including our national championships, until further notice, effective Friday, March 13, 2020.

We recognize the tremendous effort that has been put forth all year by individuals across the country as they participate in Canada’s game. Although it is difficult to process the hockey season ending abruptly, we feel this is the best course of action in order to do our part in keeping our country safe.”

*Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities include all Hockey Alberta-sanctioned activities. This means that all Hockey Alberta league games, playoffs, practices, camps and Provincial, Regional and National Championships are cancelled at the Minor, Female, Junior, Senior and Sledge levels.


Photo credit: LA Media

AFHL announces 2019-20 award and scholarship winners

RED DEER - The Alberta Female Hockey League is pleased to announce the 2019-20 league award and scholarship winners.

Four awards are handed out in each league: Most Valuable Player, Top Goaltender, Top Rookie, and Coach of the Year. One award is also given for the AFHL Administrator of the Year.

Bantam Elite

Most Valuable Player: Chloe Goofers, North Central Impact
Top Goaltender: Jorja Fisher, Calgary Fire Red
Top Rookie: Chloe Goofers, North Central Impact
Coach of the Year: Annette Jensen, Sherwood Park Royals

Midget Elite

Most Valuable Player: Kendal Pierson, Southern Express
Top Goaltender: Cienna Kinghorn, St. Albert Sharks
Top Rookie: Kendal Pierson, Southern Express
Coach of the Year: James King, Southern Express

Midget AAA

Most Valuable Player: Kaia Borbandy, Rocky Mountain Raiders
Top Goaltender: Elise Hugens, Edmonton Pandas
Top Rookie: Cassidy Rhodes, St. Albert Slash
Coach of the Year: Dustin Borbandy, Rocky Mountain Raiders

Administrator of the Year

AFHL Administrator of the Year: Dan Basterash, Edmonton Female Athletic Club

AFHL Scholarship Winners

Midget Elite: Alex Walsh, Lethbridge Cyclones

Alex was born in Fort Saskatchewan, and has grown into a graduating player from the SPKAC Midget Elite Fury. After playing with the Fury for the past three seasons, her plan is to play hockey at the post secondary level. Alex has been offered two scholarships but is still yet to commit. She credits her coaches, among others, who have supported her throughout her hockey journey.

Midget AAA: Alesha Santos, Rocky Mountain Raiders

Alesha Santos is a graduating defenseman from the Midget AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders, and currently lives in Calgary. Other than playing Ice Hockey, Alesha also plays Field Hockey for her High School team. Some of her most notable achievements include being a two time Ice Hockey Provincial Champion (2016-2017 Bantam Elite Fire White, 2017-2018 Midget Elite Fire White), receiving two MVP Awards for Field Hockey (2018 season, 2019 season), and being a consistent Honour Roll student. Playing hockey has also given her many volunteer opportunities which included volunteering at Tudor Manor Seniors Home, and mentoring young female hockey players. When she’s not playing sports, Alesha enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In the Fall, Alesha will be playing for the Red Deer College Queens Hockey team while pursuing a Nursing Degree.



Parent Engagement Series - Part Three: Nutrition

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to continue its Parent Engagement Video Series, aimed at helping parents navigate through the ups and downs of being a hockey parent.

Episode Three features Edmonton Oilers/Edmonton Eskimos Head Team Physician Dhiren Naidu, Canmore Eagles Head Coach Andrew Milne, and former NHL defenceman Shawn Belle, and focuses on the importance of nutrition for young athletes.

Parent Engagement Guide >

For more information on nutrition, and for other parent tips, head to


Message from the CEO and Board Chair of Hockey Alberta

Message to the Hockey Alberta Community:

At around 6:30 pm (MT) on Thursday, March 12, the Board of Directors of Hockey Canada, our national governing body, made the tough decision to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities, including our national championships, until further notice, effective Friday, March 13, 2020.”

A notification of this decision was placed on the Hockey Alberta website, and circulated to our Members, volunteers, staff, teams and partners.

The cancellation includes all hockey activities for participants registered through Hockey Alberta: games, tournaments, playoffs, tryouts, practices, camps, on-ice and off-ice team activities, programs (such as FirstShift), and Provincial, Regional, and National Championships at the Recreational (Pond Hockey), Minor, Female, Junior, Senior and Sledge levels.

For clarity, the 2019-20 season is cancelled. All sanctioned hockey activities and events in Alberta (and Canada) are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. “Until further notice” refers to the fact that the cancellation may extend beyond the conclusion of this season. The Hockey Canada Board of Directors will decide when sanctioned hockey will resume in Canada.


The decision to cancel hockey was based on feedback and input from medical and health experts, provincially and nationally, to determine what steps were necessary to ensure the health and safety of all participants who are the priority.

Hockey Alberta thanks Hockey Canada, its Board of Directors, and our Branch partners across the country for working together to arrive at this very difficult decision.

And we thank the hockey community in Alberta for your support and understanding as we proceed into uncharted waters.

We will update our Members and the hockey community in Alberta as new developments arise.

Rob Litwinski, Len Samletzki,

CEO, Hockey Alberta Chair, Board of Directors

Hockey Alberta Foundation

From left: Braden Corbett, Connor Patchett, Ted Emmett, Tim Leer, Gavin Heintz and Derek Ryckman

Battle of Alberta brings in $22,000 for EKEC, Piper Creek Optimist Club

RED DEER - The fourth annual Piper Creek Optimist Club of Red Deer’s Battle of Alberta fundraiser was a major success, bringing in $22,000 for the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community program, as well as other youth initiatives in Central Alberta.

The event was held in January at Bo’s Bar and Grill in Red Deer, with Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames fans gathering for a night of hockey, stories, and a chance to win tickets to see the Battle of Alberta in Calgary on January 11, and in Edmonton on January 29.

The night was hosted by local comedian Zach Landry. Former Calgary Flame and 2020 Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jamie Macoun, and former Edmonton Oiler Dave Hunter served as the night’s entertainment with a special hockey hot stove.

Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter
From left: Zach Landry, Dave Hunter, Jamie Macoun

“It never ceases to amaze us just how much support we receive for this event,” said Tim Leer, Executive Director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation. “We’re always fortunate to partner with a group like the Piper Creek Optimist Club to raise funds and awareness for Every Kid Every Community. Our goal as a foundation is to ensure every kid in Alberta has a chance to play hockey, and the Battle of Alberta fundraiser gets us one step closer to achieving that goal every year.”

The Hockey Alberta Foundation would like to thank all of the major sponsors of this event: the Piper Creek Optimist Club of Red Deer, Bo’s Bar and Grill, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Calgary Flames Foundation, ATB Financial, ATB Investor Services, WestJet, the Molson Coors Brewing Company, MNP, Viking Projects Ltd, Vada Capital, Century 21 - Gavin Heintz, and Arrow Limousine.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

(L to R) Braden Bystrom, Dennis Zukiwsky, Jantzen Leslie and Tim Leer

Bystrom, Leslie named distinguished Future Leaders

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation are pleased to announce Braden Bystrom and Jantzen Leslie as distinguished Future Leaders.

Bystrom and Leslie were among the eight post-secondary students accepted into the 2019 Future Leader Development Program, which saw them fill a role during the U16 Male & U16 Female Provincial Camps in Red Deer last year. Both were selected as distinguished future leaders for their leadership, professionalism, enthusiasm and willingness to give back to the game of hockey.

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

Hockey Alberta Foundation Board of Directors Chair, Dennis Zukiwsky, presented Bystrom with a cheque on February 28 during a West Central Midget Tigers game. Bystrom is currently an assistant coach with the team and is attending Red Deer College.

Hockey Alberta Foundation Executive Director, Tim Leer, presented Leslie with a cheque at the Hockey Alberta office on February 28. Leslie is currently a skills coach for Lakeside Hockey Development and for NHL/NHLPA First Shift Program being hosted by Hockey Alberta and is attending Red Deer College.

2020 Future Leaders Development Program

Applications are still being accepted for the 2020 Future Leaders Development Program. The application deadline is April 22, and the FLDP runs May 8-10 in Red Deer.

Apply >

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