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Calgary South Flames Win 2011 Alberta Cup

The Calgary South Flames captured the 2011 Alberta Cup with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Northwest Sharks Sunday night at the Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge.

Josh McCulloch, Landon Welykholowa tallied for Calgary South while Thomas Foster and Kord Pankewicz scored for the Sharks to send the game to overtime. After scoreless 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 overtime sessions, the game came down to a shootout. The third shooter for the Flames was Captain Brayden Point. With the game on his stick Point made no mistake rifling a shot past Sharks netminder Patrick Gora giving the Flames their first Alberta Cup title since 2008 when they won the tournament in Lloydminster.

The 2011 Source for Sports Play SMART Award was handed out to the Edmonton North Oilers for their good sportsmanship, respect and attitudes both on and off the ice.

The Alberta Cup Program begins in March each year with close to 1000 players trying out at their respective zone camps. Each of the 160 athletes playing in the Alberta Cup is competing for one of eighty invites to the U16 Male Provincial Camp in July. The U16 Male Provincial Camp is the final stage in the first year of the Team Alberta Program.

The Alberta Cup is the premier event in the province that helps identify the top male players in Alberta. It is well attended by scouts as they prepare for the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft. In addition to player evaluations, the competition is also an opportunity for administrators, coaches, trainers and referees to be evaluated for future positions with the Team Alberta Program.

Former Alberta Cup graduates include such players as Jordan Eberle, Dany Heatley, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf, Scott Hartnell and Devin Setoguchi.

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RBC Cup Wraps Up In Camrose

The Pembroke Lumber Kings have won the 2011 RBC Cup, Canada’s 41st National Junior A Championship, with a 2-0 victory over the Vernon Vipers on Sunday night at the Edgeworth Centre.

The national championship is the first for the Lumber Kings in six all-time appearances, while the Vipers saw their two-year reign end and came up short in their quest to become the first team to win three consecutive national titles.

Goaltender Francis Dupuis was the story for the Lumber Kings, stopping all 40 shots he faced as Pembroke was outshot 40-23 by the Vipers. Jonathan Milley scored both goals for Pembroke, including the game-winner on a breakaway with 6:21 remaining in the third period.

Dupuis kept the Lumber Kings in a scoreless game in the first period, when the Vipers outshot Pembroke 15-5, and again in the third period when Vernon held a 14-3 advantage. His counterpart in the Vipers’ goal, Kirby Halcrow, stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced, 15 of which came in the second period.

With overtime looming in the championship game for the first time since Olds beat Kelowna in 1994, Milley blocked a shot at the Pembroke blue line and raced in alone on Halcrow, slipping a shot through the pads of the Vernon netminder. He added his second into an empty net with 14.6 seconds remaining, making the Lumber Kings the first East Region representatives to be crowned national champions since the tournament went to its current five-team format in 1990.

Pembroke lost national finals in 1973 (to the Portage Terriers) and 1977 (to the Prince Albert Raiders) during the days of the East vs. West best-of-seven final, and came up short in semifinals in its other three trips – 1987, 1988 and 2007. Vernon missed an opportunity to extend its own record with a seventh national championship, joining titles won in 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2009 and 2010.

Following the championship game, the 2011 RBC Cup tournament all-star team was announced, as selected by the tournament awards committee:

Goaltender – Francis Dupuis (Pembroke Lumber Kings)
Defence – Sam Jardine (Camrose Kodiaks)
Defence – Adam Thompson (Vernon Vipers)
Forward – Jonathan Milley (Pembroke Lumber Kings)
Forward – Matthew Peca (Pembroke Lumber Kings)
Forward – Dylan Walchuk (Vernon Vipers)

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Regional & National championship results

Hockey Alberta would like to congratulate the Blackfalds Wranglers and Sherwood Park Knights (Junior B), the Bentley Generals (Senior AAA), the Edmonton Thunder (Midget AAA Female), Edmonton SSAC Southgate Lions (Bantam AAA), the Calgary Coyotes (Senior A Female) and the Grande Prairie Panthers (Senior B Female) for their success at this year’s regional and national championships.

The Blackfalds Wranglers defeated the host Sherwood Park Knights 2-1 to capture the 2011 Western Canada Junior B Championship, the Keystone Cup.
           
The Knights opened the scoring in the first period when Michael Samoil fired one into the back of the net. It wasn’t until the second period that the Wranglers found their scoring touch. At the 17:24 mark Karson French tallied tying the game heading into the second intermission. In the third, it was the Wranglers David Jantzie scoring the game winner making it 2-1 for Blackfalds

The Bentley Generals lost 5-3 to Clarenville Caribous from Newfoundland to capture a Silver Medal at the 2011 Senior AAA National Championship Allan Cup in Kenora, Ontario. 

Joe Vandermeer, Curtis Austring and Don Morrison scored the goals for Bentley, which lost despite outshooting the Caribous 42-23, including 25-8 in the second period. Saturday’s game marked the fourth straight championship game appearance for the Generals, who won their lone national championship in 2009. Bentley is the first team since the 1994-97 Warroad Lakers to appear in four consecutive championship games.

The Edmonton Thunder fell 5-2 to the Notre Dame Hounds to win a Silver Medal at the 2011 Esso Cup in St. Albert.
 

The Edmonton Thunder, who finished in first during preliminary action at the 2011 Esso Cup and made their third straight appearance at the tournament in St. Albert, appeared to be determined to claim Canada’s National Female Midget Championship bragging rights, when Thunder captain Heather Kashman capitalized on a powerplay by letting a quick snap shot go and sending the puck into the back of the Notre Dame net at 12:32 in the first period. The Hounds kept coming finding more offense as the game wore on. They notched three goals in the third period to give them a the 5-2 victory of the Thunder. Edmonton went 6-1 in the tournament only losing the final game.
 

The Bantam AAA Edmonton SSAC Southgate Lions defeated the host Winnipeg Sharks 5-3 to capture bronze at the 2011 Western Canada Bantam Championship. 

The Lions roared through the round robin only losing one game to the BC earning a spot in the semi finals. After a tough loss to Manitoba in the semis, Edmonton beat the Sharks for a second time in the tournament, first a 6-2 win in round robin and then the 5-3 win in the bronze medal game.
 

At the Western Canadian Shield Senior Female Regional Championship it was the Calgary Coyotes taking home a bronze in the Senior A Female category and the Grande Prairie Panthers winning silver in Senior B Female.

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Team AB Challenge Rosters Announced

Hockey Alberta announced Thursday the rosters for the 2011 Team Alberta Challenge set for April 28 - May 1 in Fort Saskatchewan at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.

The Team Alberta Challenge brings together the top U16 female hockey players from  six zone teams from across the province - Calgary Wild, Central Lightning, Edmonton Flyers, Northeast Penguins, Northwest Hawks, and South Sabres – to compete in a short-term tournament format competition. The rosters are made up of 20 athletes, 3 coaches, a coach mentor,  a director of operations, and a trainer from each zone.

“We’re very excited to see the talent on display throughout this tournament and we know each and every player in attendance will take away something valuable,” said Team Alberta Female Coordinator, Mike Kraichy. “The female game in Alberta is continuing to improve each year and we are looking to build off our U18 Female’s Gold Medal from the 2011 Canada Winter Games. That process starts right here at the Team Alberta Challenge.” 

The Team Alberta Challenge Program begins in March each year with players trying out at their respective zone camps. Each of the 120 athletes playing in the Team Alberta Challenge is competing for one of 60 invites to the U16 Female Provincial Camp. The U16 Female Provincial Camp is the final stage in the first year of the Team Alberta Program.

The Team Alberta Challenge program is a core Hockey Alberta Development Program. It provides all players, coaches, trainers and referees an equal opportunity to discover the great qualities of competitive hockey in a well-organized and fair Zone Camp and Select Team competition. The program is held in years opposite of the Alberta Winter Games.

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Flames And Sharks To Battle For Alberta Cup

Reid Duke of the Calgary South Flames scored a heroic overtime goal in Saturday’s semi final matchup against the Edmonton South Bruins to send the Flames to the Alberta Cup championship game Sunday against the Northwest Sharks at 4:15pm at the Nicholas Sheran Arena in Lethbridge.

The Sharks had their own semi final heroics earlier in the day when they trailed the South Senators 2-1 after two periods before scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to win 5-2.

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Team Alberta U18 Female Coaching Staff Announced

Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce Stu Pietersma (Brooks, Alta) as the Head Coach, Jennifer Jubb (Edmonton, Alta) and Jason Schmidt (Rollyview, Alta) as Assistant Coaches, and Richard Jones (Edmonton, Alta) as the Goalie/Video Coach for Team Alberta U18 Female that will compete at the 2011 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, November 2-6, 2011 in Saguenay, Quebec.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with high performance athletes who are leaders within their communities and who continuously strive to be the best they can be,” said Pietersma.

“Our coaching staff has experience and knowledge working with athletes during short term competition, and we are surrounded by mentors and support staff who have national level experiences,” added Pietersma. “Together we plan on developing a team program that will challenge the athletes in Alberta to reach their full potential and pursue a gold medal performance in hockey and in life.”

Stu Pietersma, head coach,is currently the Head Coach of the Medicine Hat Midget AAA Female Hounds. He was an assistant coach for Team Alberta U18 Female in 2008 and has been a coach mentor in both the Alberta Winter Games & Team Alberta Challenge programs. Pietersma also has a wealth of playing experience including pro hockey in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

Jennifer Jubb,assistant coach, most recently won a National Championship as a player in 2010 with the U of A Pandas. She is a former Hockey Alberta Future Leader Scholarship winner and won gold as an assistant coach in 2009 with the Central Zone at the Team Alberta Challenge.

Jason Schmidt,assistant coach, held the position of head coach of the Edmonton Chimos Senior Female team in the 2010/11 season. He has been involved in the past with Team Alberta’s U16 and U18 programs in a variety of capacities. Schmidt will also be the head coach of the Northeast Zone at the 2011 Team Alberta Challenge.

Richard Jones,goalie/video coach, most recently won a gold medal at the 2011 Canada Winter Games as the goalie/video coach for Team Alberta U18 Female. Jones has also been the goalie coach for the Team Alberta U16 Female program and is currently an instructor at the Parkland Hockey Academy.

Team Alberta staff are selected through an open application process. Education, Team Alberta program experience and involvement, prior coaching and playing experience, and coaching philosophy make up the selection criteria.

The National Women’s Under-18 Championship occurs in the off years of the Canada Winter Games. In 2009, Team Alberta finished in 5th place with a 4-2 win over Team Atlantic.

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Bentley wins McKenzie Cup

The Bentley Generals of the Senior AAA Chinook Hockey League defeated the Fort St. John Flyers 3-2 in Game five on Monday night to win the Pacific Regional Championship, McKenzie Cup.

The Generals now advance to the National Senior Hockey Championship, Allan Cup, April 11-16 in Kenora, Ontario.