News

Serge Lajoie, an Alberta Cup veteran both as a player and a coach, has been a part of the annual tournament many times, including its inception in 1986.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Serge Lajoie

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Serge Lajoie has a long history of involvement with Hockey Alberta, starting way back in 1986 with the inaugural Alberta Cup in Edmonton, where he won a silver medal with team Northeast. He would then go on to play a handful of games for the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, followed by one season with the St. Albert Saints of the AJHL. From there, Lajoie enjoyed five seasons with the University of Alberta before playing four more seasons of Division I hockey in Germany.

Lajoie, now the head coach of the U of A Golden Bears, developed as a coach through various Hockey Alberta programs, including many years as a coach or coach mentor in the Alberta Cup, and serving as Head Coach of the Team Alberta U16 Male Program in 2013, winning a gold medal at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. Just this past weekend, Lajoie served as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. Prior to joining the Golden Bears, Lajoie spent five seasons as head coach of the Nait Ooksmens team, leading the team to two ACAC championships and two silver medals, while capturing the ACAC Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year award in 2014 and 2015.


Q: How did the Alberta Cup help shape your future - in hockey or otherwise?

A: It was my first experience of short term completion. The Alberta Cup got me noticed by the Kamloops Blazers. It helped me start my Junior career in hockey which prepared me for University hockey a few years later.

Q: What other involvement did you have with Hockey Alberta before/after the Alberta Cup?

A: I have been involved with Hockey Alberta as a Coach and Mentor in Alberta Cups, Head Coach with Team Alberta U16 and various quest speaking engagements with Hockey Alberta Coaching Conferences.

Q: What do you believe coaches can/should take away from their time at the Alberta Cup?

A: It provides a great opportunity to learn from other coaches and allows you to challenge your coaching knowledge.

Q: What has it meant to you to be involved with the Alberta Cup in multiple ways – as a player, coach, and mentor?

A: It has offered me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a coach.

Q: How have you seen the Alberta Cup Change over its 30 years?

A: It not only develops players, but coaches as well. The Alberta Cup has helped raise the level of coaching and player development in our province.

Q: How has the game of hockey changed since you played in the Alberta Cup?

A: The skill level of players has improved tremendously. There is a stronger emphasis on the details and habits. The coaching is much more refined.

Q: Do you still talk to any friends from your Alberta Cup Team?

I still keep in touch with a few guys. Cory Clouston and I played together at the UofA and I have stayed in touch with him over the years.

Q: What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

A: I don’t remember too much about the 1986 year when I played. My most recent memory would be the year I mentored the Northeast team with Sean Beissel as the Head Coach. We had a tremendous team with players that have moved on to prominent WHL careers. Some of those players will be drafted this year in the NHL and I suspect will have strong professional careers. We had Sam Steel, Kale Clague, Carter Hart to name only a few.

Q: Any advice for this year’s players?

A: Enjoy the process and the journey. Embrace pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Build new friendships. Play with passion. Bring your best effort every day. Be a positive contributor to the success of your team.

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Photo by LA Media - lamediadesign.photoshelter.com


2016 Alberta Cup: Day Three Recap

CANMORE - The Alberta Cup Championship final will be a rematch of the final round-robin game, as reigning champion Calgary South will battle Northeast Sunday afternoon.

Calgary South defeated Calgary North 5-3 in the first semi-final of the day Saturday, punching its ticket to the A-Final for the second year in a row.

Despite trailing 2-0 halfway through the third period, Northeast scored two late goals to tie the game, and sealed their spot in the finals with a 3-2 overtime win over Team South.

Earlier in the day, Edmonton Blue and Northwest solidified spots in the C Final with 8-4 and 4-2 wins over Edmonton Yellow and Team Central, respectively.

Edmonton Yellow and Central will meet in the D Final at 8:00 a.m., with the C Final beginning at 8:15. The B Final will get underway at 11:00 a.m., and the A Final kicks off at 1:45 p.m.

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule > | Day One Results > | Day 2 Results >


Game #13

Edmonton Blue 8 - Edmonton Yellow 4

Players of the Game: Edmonton Blue - #11 Adam Hall | Edmonton Yellow - #6 Neithan Salame

Boxscore >


Game #14

Northwest 5 - Central 0

Players of the Game: Northwest - #9 Stuart Dovey | Central - #1 Bretton Park

Boxscore >


Game #15 (Semi-Final 1)

Calgary South 5 - Calgary North 3

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #4 Drae Gardiner | Calgary North - #19 Brayden Tracey

Boxscore >


Game #16

Northeast 3 - South 2 (OT)

Players of the Game: Northeast - #4 Jake Lee | South - #11 Tarun Fizer

Boxscore >

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Photo by LA Media - lamediadesign.photoshelter.com


2016 Alberta Cup: Day Two Recap

CANMORE - After another busy day of hockey at the Alberta Cup, round-robin play wrapped-up, and the standings are now set heading into Saturday.

Despite a 5-2 loss to Edmonton Yellow, Team South finished on top of Pool A, with Calgary North coming in second after edging Northwest 4-3, and Edmonton Yellow and Northwest finished third and fourth, respectively.

After tying Edmonton Blue 5-5, Calgary South earned the top spot in Pool B by beating Northeast 5-3 in the final game of the day, after Northeast won its first game against Central 5-0. Central took down Edmonton Blue 3-2 to finish third in Pool B, with Edmonton ending up in fourth.

It’ll be a battle of Edmonton to begin the day on Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and at 9:15 a.m. Northwest will take on Central. Another inter-city match-up will follow at 11:45 as Calgary South and Calgary North meet in the first semi-final game, with South and Northeast meeting in the other at 2:15 p.m.

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule > | Day One Results


Game #7

Calgary South 5 - Edmonton Blue 5

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #20 Alex Young | Edmonton Blue - #14 Liam Keeler

Boxscore >


Game #8

Northeast 5 - Central 0

Players of the Game: Northeast - #2 Liam Antoniuk | Central - #11 Kyle Crosbie

Boxscore >


Game #9

Calgary North 4 - Northwest 3

Players of the Game: Calgary North - #19 Brayden Tracey | Northwest - #11 Kjell Kjemhus

Boxscore >


Game #10

Edmonton Yellow 5 - South 2

Players of the Game: Edmonton Yellow - #31 Noah Weinkauf-Bowman | South - #16 Peyton Krebs

Boxscore >


Game #11

Central 3 - Edmonton Blue 2

Players of the Game: Central - #15 Deegan Mofford | Edmonton Blue - #2 Daniel Baker

Boxscore >


Game #12

Calgary South 5 - Northeast 3

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #4 Drae Gardiner | Northeast - #1 Ross Hawryluk

Boxscore >

News

Northeast Head Coach Jack Redlick. (Photo by LA Media - lamediadesign.photoshelter.com)


Mic’d Up at the Alberta Cup

Get the sights and sounds behind the bench with Calgary South Head Coach Jamie Steer and Northeast Head Coach Jack Redlick:

Steer and Redlick will go head-to-head Friday night at 6, with first place in Pool B on the line. Follow along with the game at abcup.ca or on Twitter.

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Credit: LA Media - lamediadesign.photoshelter.com


2016 Alberta Cup: Day One Recap

CANMORE - After a busy first day of the 2016 Alberta Cup, Team South looks to be the team to beat after a pair of wins to open the tournament, sitting atop of Pool A. With a loss and a tie, Northwest and Edmonton Yellow finished day one with a point each.

Northeast and Calgary South each earned a win in their lone games of the day, taking down Edmonton Blue and Team Central, respectively.

Pool B teams will each play a pair of games on day two, while Pool A teams will each play just one. Round-robin play wraps up after day two, with the top two teams in each pool earning a spot in the Alberta Cup semi-finals.

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule >


Game #1

Calgary North 6 - Edmonton Yellow 1

Players of the Game: Calgary North - #19 Brayden Tracey | Edmonton Yellow - #15 Ethan Mack

Boxscore >


Game #2

South 4 - Northwest 1

Players of the Game: South - #18 Zachary Okabe | Northwest - #1 Evan Fradette

Boxscore >


Game #3

Calgary South 8 - Central 2

Players of the Game: Calgary South -#18 Tyson Upper | Central - #10 Tye Carriere

Boxscore >


Game #4

Northeast 5 - Edmonton Blue 3

Players of the Game: Northeast -#9 Ethan Browne | Edmonton Blue - #10 Brody Green

Boxscore >


Game #5

Northwest 2 - Edmonton Yellow 2

Players of the Game: Northwest - #31 Ryley Osland | Edmonton Yellow - #10 Kirby Dach

Boxscore >


Game #6

South 2 - Calgary North 0

Players of the Game: South - #1 Byron Fancy | Calgary North - #31 Ethan Fitzgerald

Boxscore >

News

Twins Adam and Justin Hall (Edmonton Blue) are looking forward to sharing their Alberta Cup experience with each other.


2016 Alberta Cup: It’s All Relative

CANMORE - As 160 of the top 2001-born hockey players in Alberta arrived in Canmore on Wednesday for the 2016 Alberta Cup, there was plenty of excitement in the air. But, for four players, it was an extra-special moment.

Twin brothers Adam and Justin Hall (Edmonton Blue) and cousins Kirby and David Dach (Edmonton Yellow) have the opportunity to share their Alberta Cup experience with a family member.

Adam and Justin say their time with the Alberta Cup so far has been nothing short of incredible, even more so because they can take it all in together.

“It’s a pretty cool experience, I get to play with the best players in Edmonton, and I get to play against the best players in Alberta, it’s cool,” said Adam. “It’s kind of like (Justin and I) are at home, because we know each other so well, and we’re so close.”

“It’s great, we’ve both had a lot of success, and we’ve been working really hard lately, and it’s good to be here with my brother,” said Justin. “We play really well together, so I think we can create some offense together and win some games.”

While playing together isn’t necessarily a new experience for the Halls, who play together in Edmonton, it’s a new experience for the Dach cousins. Kirby and David say they’re looking forward to hitting the ice together this weekend.

Hockey Alberta News
Cousins Kirby (left) and David Dach. (Credit: LA Media)

“It’s been really fun, and you get to experience almost what it’s like in the pros, and it’s really good,” said David of his experience so far.

“We know each other pretty much inside out, so that should help us get over our nerves,” said Kirby of playing with his cousin. “It’ll maybe bring more excitement instead of nervousness.”

Alberta Cup Website >

News

Bob Nicholson joins EKEC Speaker Series in Red Deer

The chief executive officer of the Oilers Entertainment Group, and former president and CEO of Hockey Canada, will be the guest speaker at a special Every Kid Every Community Speaker Series event in Red Deer on May 25.

Nicholson has been involved with hockey for more than five decades, with accomplishments ranging from helping the Penticton Broncos win the BCJHL and B.C.-Alberta championships in 1973, to overseeing Canada winning 71 medals in international competition since 1990, 44 of which were gold. Nicholson joined the Oilers Entertainment Group in 2014.

Co-hosted by the Oilers Entertainment Group, Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, Hockey Alberta, and the Hockey Alberta Foundation, the event is part of Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community Speaker Series which raises funds to create access to hockey for kids across Alberta.

To purchase your tickets, or for more information, visit the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s website.

www.hockeyalbertafoundation.ca

News

Now a head coach in the NHL, Bill Peters points to his time with the Alberta Cup as a key part of his development as a coach.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Bill Peters

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Current Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters spent two years with Team South at the Alberta Cup – in 2003 as the head coach, and as a coach mentor in 2004. His coaching career began in 1996, where he was an assistant coach with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs until 2002. His first head coaching job came with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, which he held until the 2004-05 season.

Peters then returned to the Spokane Chiefs, this time as head coach, leading the team to a WHL and Memorial Cup Championship in 2008. After spending time as the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, and as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, Peters landed his first ever NHL head coaching job in 2014 with the Hurricanes.

Internationally, Peters was the head coach of the gold medal-winning Team Canada squad at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and will serve as the head coach of Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships in Russia.


Q: Can you still recall your very first day at the Alberta Cup?

A: It’s an exciting time for sure, I remember it clear as a bell. We had a really good team, we had a bunch of the guys from that Airdrie Bantam team that had won the Western Canadian championship, they were a real good group of young men to work with, and I enjoyed every bit of.

I remember having a side bet with Team North, which was coached by Tom Keca, for a case of beer, and I lost the bet. Or you know what, I think I won; I better look up in the standings. If we won, I’m still waiting to get paid, if we lost, I paid the very next day.

Q: Are you still in contact with anyone from the Alberta Cup?

A: For sure I am, Tom Keca is one of them for sure, my assistant coach was a guy who was coaching the Brooks Bandits at the time, he’s over in Europe right now, but he sends me a text every once and awhile. Any time you’re coaching in any of those types of events, there’s always bonds, and there’s always people you stay in touch with, and that’s part of the hockey community. It’s a small community as you go along.

Q: Although it was in different years, but with you coaching a goalie in Cam Ward that also took part in the Alberta Cup, do you two ever share those experiences?

A: You know what, we do. We talk about that a little bit, we talk about that the first time I ever saw Wardo play, he was with the Red Deer Rebels, he was a very good goalie on a very good team. You always talk about that, and as you go along, it’s amazing how many people you cross paths with either at those events, or they played in the same events you either played in or coached in.

Q: How did your time at the Alberta Cup help you in your development as a coach?

A: Well, that’s what it’s all about, it’s all about developing and finding new ways and opportunities to develop, and the Alberta Cup gives that to both players and coaches. As a coach, you’re always looking for experiences, and you always learn from your experiences and grow, and it’s no different on what I’m going to depart on now (The World Championships in Russia).

Q: Was the Alberta Cup one of, if not the first experience for you as a head coach in short-term competition?

A: Yeah it was, and I thought it served me well. I went on from there to doing the World Under-17 with Team Pacific, and then from there did the Ivan Hlinka Team Canada Under-18 team, and after this World Championship would be two World Championships, and we have the World Cup of Hockey coming up in August and September. It’s been outstanding, and the Alberta Cup and that program is there for coaches to take advantage of the opportunity to improve.

Q: Do you have a favourite memory from the Alberta Cup?

A: I just remember more so the excitement. We had a couple practices with our team, and I just remember the excitement of the guys getting prepared to play in the Alberta Cup. I remember going over in a van, we were in Medicine Hat going to the rink to practice, how excited the guys were to be there and to spend time with each other. A lot of those guys knew each other but weren’t teammates, and for that special opportunity for them to be teammates for a weekend is something I’ll never forget.

Q: Do you have any advice for this year’s coaches and team staff?

A: I think the biggest thing is you have to go in with a plan, make sure as a coach you’re prepared, make sure you’re respectful of your players in the situation, and go in there and it’s all about the players. Obviously it’s an identification process for the Western Hockey League for the Bantam Draft, but also for you as a coach to coach against peers that are like-minded. Everyone’s competitive, but you have to go in there with a healthy attitude and do a good job, make sure you put your players on display, and the rest takes care of itself.

News

Long-time Hockey Alberta staff member Tim Leer, seen here at the 2005 World U17 Hockey Challenge in Lethbridge, has been a part of the Alberta Cup for nearly 20 years.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Tim Leer

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Tim Leer first started working with Hockey Alberta in 1997, and has been a part of just about every Alberta Cup since then. Now the Executive Director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Leer has seen countless players and coaches come through the Alberta Cup who would go on to experience success at all levels. He has seen the Alberta Cup grow into a top level development program which focuses all parts of the game. Leer says the primary goal is player development, but the Alberta Cup has also become a development opportunity for coaches, officials, support staff and administrators, which truly makes the Alberta Cup what is today.


Can you recall your first time at the Alberta Cup?

My first Alberta Cup was in Lethbridge, and it was the first time as Hockey Alberta we awarded the Alberta Cup to a host association. The excitement by the host, community and the energy in the rink was something that I will never forget as young program coordinator for Hockey Alberta.

How have you seen the Alberta Cup grow and change over the years?

Every year we try and raise the bar with the program and its operation/execution. But the players, coaches and officials have all gotten better over the years – the talent level of the players with skills and hockey IQ, the coaches with their level of preparation and knowledge of the game and the officials on their level of commitment to their craft in terms of professionalism and training.

In your mind, how does the Alberta Cup benefit the players?

It is a great opportunity to play best-on-best and gauge where you at with others players outside of your community. But, more importantly, it is a great life and growth experience for the players. Making new friends, team building, new coaches, learning about Team Alberta and being an Alberta Built player are all life lessons that will last far beyond hockey. Embrace the opportunity with a positive mind set and the rest will take care of itself.

What about the coaches, trainers and other team staff?

They are the ones that make it all happen. Without these key people the 30 years of the Alberta Cup doesn’t happen and the program does not become a top level development program in country without the great volunteers in Alberta. To me I am amazed by the level and commitment of the local coaches, trainers, Director of Operations that involved year after year in the Alberta Cup to give back and to also grow and develop themselves. The commitment and level of professionalism we get year after year is very impressive and something we are lucky to have in Alberta.

What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

I would have to say the first year we were in Medicine Hat, as that was the first Alberta Cup that I was responsible for as the lead program staff person. Working closely with the host, other staff and volunteers it was came with a few challenges but was also rewarding and I will remember it and the people for a long time.

Who were the most memorable people you’ve dealt with at the Alberta Cup?

Jerrold Lemko – Director of Operations for the North East Team and then held the Provincial Coordinator position. We developed a friendship that still last today and we also took the program to a new level together – formalizing the coach mentorship program, trainer program and the evaluation process. Jerrold was a key member in building the program.

John Kobal – Lead Provincial Coordinator for the referee program from the South Zone. Relationships are key, and I felt John and I had an excellent relationship and rapport and I think together we moved the referee portion of the Alberta Cup forward. John has a great sense of humour and I always enjoyed spending my Alberta Cup weekends with him.

Coaches, Trainers and Director of Operations – both good and bad! But, they are all there for the players. Regardless of the interaction I had with them and in all situations it was always professional and respectful and through the program many friendships have been formed. Bill Peters, Marty Palechuk, Jerrold Lemko, John Kobal, Blair Becker, Boris Rybalka, Tom Keca and Tyler Broderson, Barry Medori and Larry Pearson, to name a few are all friends as a result of the Alberta Cup program and to me it doesn’t get any better then that.

Do you have any advice for this year’s players?

As mentioned earlier, approach the weekend with a positive mind set and one that you will fully take advantage from a growth and enjoyment perspective. Be a positive team player and treat people right and the hockey will take of itself.

News

AJHL, Hockey Alberta partner on elite development camp

RED DEER – A new partnership between Hockey Alberta and the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) will provide exciting opportunities for 80 athletes participating in a six-day development camp in Camrose in July.

The AJHL Development Camp Presented by Hockey Alberta is set for July 19-24, 2016 at the Edgeworth Centre in Camrose. The goal of the partnership is to enhance an already-successful elite development camp that Hockey Alberta has operated over the past three years.

The 2016 camp will feature invited 2000-born athletes who played in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA league this year, and who are not currently on the protected list of a Western Hockey League team. The players will participate in on-ice activities that include six practices and four games, and off-ice and classroom sessions.

“We are excited at the opportunity to partner with the AJHL and provide a truly world class development and exposure opportunity for 80 Alberta athletes,” said Drew Dixon, Manager of Coach Development for Hockey Alberta. “Not only will these players have a unique experience in showcasing their talent to the AJHL and their coaches, but an opportunity to learn from some of Alberta’s best coaches.”

For the athletes attending the camp, the partnership will provide a number of benefits, including:

  • AJHL players serving as team leaders during the camp;
  • AJHL coach participation in player presentations, goalie sessions and off ice activities;
  • An AJHL league presentation for athletes and parents; and
  • Preparation of a scout package and evaluation summary of each player following the camp.

“The Alberta Junior Hockey League is proud to collaborate with Hockey Alberta for this unique opportunity in order to foster the development of an exclusive group of athletes while integrating the experience and knowledge of AJHL Coaches,” said AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk. “The event will serve to place a focused emphasis on development and further relations between all parties.”

The camp is doubly beneficial for the participating players, as the on-ice sessions are led by coaches as a component of their participation in the National Coaching Certification Program High Performance 1 (HP1) Seminar.

These coaches are guided by some of the top leaders and mentors in Canada. When not leading the on-ice sessions for the players, the coaches will be taking part in sessions on topics such as special teams, planning to perform, offensive/defensive team play, goaltending, game and bench management, ethics in coaching, and team building.

For more information on Hockey Alberta’s development programming and athlete skills camps, go to hockeyalberta.ca.

For more information on the Alberta Junior Hockey League, go to ajhl.ca.

News

The Brooks Bandits celebrate their third AJHL title in team history. (Photo courtesy of the Brooks Bandits)


Hockey Alberta weekend wrap-up

SPRUCE GROVE - For the third time in five years, the Brooks Bandits are AJHL Champions.

The Bandits sealed their third league title in team history Friday night in Spruce Grove with a 4-1 over the Saints, taking the Gas Drive Cup in five games. Brooks also won back-to-back league titles in 2012 and 2013, and won the RBC Cup National Championship in 2013.

The Bandits now advance to the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup, which runs April 30 - May 8 in Estevan, SK.


WEYBURN, SK - The Midget Female AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders bounced back from a heartbreaking semi-final loss in a big way on Saturday, beating the Saskatoon Stars 3-0 to earn bronze at the Esso Cup.

Raiders goaltender Kate Lloyd, who was named the tournament’s top goaltender, made 21 saves for the shutout win.

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Andy Devlin / Hockey Canada Images

The Raiders finished first in round-robin play, but found themselves in the bronze medal game following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Express du Richelieu. The Express would go on to lose 10-3 to the Brantford Ice Cats in the gold medal game.


QUISPAMSIS, NB - The Midget AAA Lloydminster Bandit Pipeline Bobcats also found themselves in the bronze medal game at the Telus Cup, but fell short of a medal with a 6-2 loss to the Lions du Lac St-Louis on Sunday afternoon.

After stumbling to begin the tournament, the Bobcats worked their way into second place in round-robin play, then fell 5-3 to the North York Rangers in Saturday’s semi-final matchup. The Rangers would go on to defeat the host Saint John Vito’s to earn its first Telus Cup in team history.

Lloydminster blueliner and former Team Alberta captain Ty Smith was named the Telus Cup’s top defenceman.

News

Jamie Steer’s Alberta Cup journey will come full circle this year as he serves as head coach of Team Calgary South, the same team he won the very first Alberta Cup with in 1986.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Jamie Steer

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Jamie Steer not only played in the inaugural tournament in ’86, he was a part of the Calgary South team that claimed the first ever Alberta Cup championship. He went on to play in the NCAA with Michigan Tech on a scholarship, followed by 11 years of professional hockey, including a year with the Canadian National team. Steer is now the Operations Coordinator for Okotoks Minor Hockey, and now, exactly 30 years after winning the Alberta Cup with Calgary South, will serve as the head coach of that very same team.


How did the Alberta Cup help shape your future - in hockey or otherwise?

It definitely drove me to be better. After seeing the best in the province all in one tournament, it opens up your eyes to how many good hockey players there are.

What other involvement did you have with Hockey Alberta?

As a player I went on from Alberta Cup to what was sort of the top 80 in today’s terms. That was as far as I got. As a coach I have coached Peewee Prospects, Alberta Winter Games and have taken my High Performance 1 certification all in this calendar year.

What has it meant to you to be involved with the Alberta Cup from multiple perspectives?

Okotoks hosted two Alberta Cups which I was the tournament chairman for. I was a player 30 years ago, and now I am a head coach. I love the tournament, as it brings so many good players and coaches together. Everyone guesses it is a highlight for the players, but as a coach it’s a great teaching tool to better anyone involved. It means a lot that Hockey Alberta has given me so many chances to be involved in this, and other events.

How does it feel to coach the very team (Calgary South) this year that you won the very first Alberta Cup with in 1986?

Excitement for sure, also a challenge to give these kids and my coaches an experience like I had, one they won’t forget.

How have you seen the Alberta Cup Change over its 30 years?

The obvious is it went from Midget to Bantam. That change has brought in the WHL as it is the league’s last chance to see Alberta players before the draft. Also, the change from it being just a player event to an overall team event. Coach Mentors helping coaches, experienced directors of operations, and qualified trainers being graded. I also think the rural players have improved greatly since the start of this event. Then, you add in the top 80 camp which is feather in the cap for all players involved.


Steer and the rest of Team Calgary South celebrate winning the first ever Alberta Cup.

How has the game of hockey changed since you played in the Alberta Cup?

The game is so fast now which everyone knows, but it also has improved in skill as well. Add in that every team is well coached and it is a great game. Also, there are so many more good players. Back then there were so many more mistakes, you had more time, and every team had weak players. I still think players back then were great and would have been great in this era as well because they would have adapted but watching today’s hockey amazes me with the speed, skill and how quick decisions are being made.

Do you still talk to any friends from your Alberta Cup Team?

I have one real good friend still from that team but it is amazing that about half the team I still see every so often and can get caught up with a short conversation. Most from the team that still live in Calgary I have talked to in the past 10 years.

What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

Obviously winning it was the best. The second best, I would say, was playing in the Northlands Coliseum when the Oilers were in there prime (although I am not an Oilers fan!!), and third best was the lousy hotel we stayed at. No way Hockey Alberta would allow kids to stay there these days, but we had so much fun in that hotel even with the rif-raf, police sirens and much more.

Any advice for this year’s players?

Enjoy more than the hockey, meet friends and make lasting memories.

Steer (bottom row, centre) hopes to have the same result as the head coach of team
Calgary South as he did as a player in 1986.

News

CTV Calgary News Reporter Jordan Kanygin has fond memories of his time at the 2005 Alberta Cup, skating alongside future NHL stars Tyler Myers and Jordan Eberle.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Jordan Kanygin

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Jordan Kanygin skated in the 2005 Alberta Cup in Edson with Team Calgary South. He would continue on to play Junior A hockey with the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL, before pursuing a career in journalism. After spending time as a news and sports reporter with the Eagle 100.9 in Okotoks, including a season as the colour commentator of the AJHL’sOkotoksOilers, and as a reporter and sports director for CHAT TV in Medicine Hat, Jordan is now a news reporter with CTV Calgary.

Q: Can you recall your first game at the Alberta Cup?

A: I do, but it’s not so much a memory of the game itself. I remember first walking into the dressing room. Our team room, with our solid red track jackets and crisp white jerseys hanging in the stalls, seemed too put-together for us to even touch. Everything was in its place – our equipment was strategically arranged in individual stalls, tape rolls were stacked in circular towers, and the Gatorade cooler was flanked by cups for our taking. It seemed so professional to me, as if my 16-year-old self had snuck into an NHL dressing room.

I remember small details of the games themselves – like when my teammate Jordan Eberle seemed to take over games with his skill, or how well Tyler Myers used his incredible reach to shut down opponents – but it was the entire experience that’s really stuck with me. The pressure of being in front of coaches, scouts and parents; getting to know players, who were now my short-term teammates, I’d played against just weeks prior; and the overall commitment to the game by everyone at the tournament. The Edson rink where we played wasn’t glamorous, or even very big, but it felt like the Scotiabank Saddledome for a weekend.

Q: How did the Alberta Cup help shape your future - in hockey or otherwise?

A: The impact of the tournament wasn’t immediately felt by me. I wasn’t taken by any team in the WHL Bantam Draft, I wasn’t recruited by any Junior A teams, I didn’t even make my Midget AAA team the following year. But what the tournament did teach me, and it’s something I try to remember each day, was the commitment and hard work needed to succeed.

Being selected for the Alberta Cup team was an honour. It meant someone felt I was among the top 160 players in the province at my age. But it also opened my eyes to how many talented players were out there. I had a front-row seat to the best hockey players Alberta had to offer. Some of those players would go on to play in the NHL, AHL or professional European ranks. Most, like me, didn’t make it very far in our hockey careers, but I know seeing the commitment the top players had to put in to get to the next level is something that can be applied to every single career, hockey or otherwise.

Do you still talk to any friends from your Alberta Cup Team?

Not as many as I should. The Alberta Cup is so short, so you don’t have a lot of time to form long-term relationships, other than just the base to some. Having said that, there are a few teammates who I speak to regularly and we’ll talk about the tournament every once in a while. We’ll remember the bus rides to the rink full of nervous excitement and the anticipation we felt as we stood in a line, waiting for the rink gate to open and let us onto the ice.

I do follow the careers of many of my Alberta Cup teammates, the ones who still play hockey at a high level. We have very different lives now, but it’s nice to think we all shared a tournament weekend in Edson together.

What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

My favourite memories didn’t even happen on the ice. They are memories that came from coming together as a team off the ice… sharing music on the bus rides, fighting over beds in our shared hotel rooms and hanging out in our limited down time. Our team activity off the ice? A Family Feud game that we spent hours on over the tournament.

When we weren’t pouring over tournament stats online, we were collectively yelling at a computer screen about our answers to the Family Feud Showdown. It was team bonding, we told ourselves.

Do you still follow the Alberta Cup and cheer for your team?

Not yearly, no, but I do pay attention to some of the scores. I cover the announcements every year for my job and remember the excitement I had when I was chosen for the team years ago.

Who were the most memorable people you played with, and why?

I’ve mentioned two, Jordan Eberle and Tyler Myers. They are the most noteworthy due to their professional success. Even at Alberta Cup age, you could see the skill in those two players.

Others are Brandon Kozun, Kris Foucault and Ian Schultz, who each went on to play for the 2009 Calgary Hitmen team that went to the Memorial Cup. The latter two were my Alberta Cup line mates, and now all three play professionally.

Do you have any advice for this year’s players?

Take it all in and enjoy the moment.

It’s cliche, I know, but it’s an event that goes by very, very quickly. There’s pressure and you’re in an unusual environment, but you’re playing with people who may become some of the biggest names in hockey. Enjoy the people and the dressing room and the great coaches and atmosphere, and just have fun.



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Photo Credit: LA Media


Hockey Edmonton announces changes for Bantam and Midget divisions

EDMONTON - At their April 13, 2016 General Meeting Hockey Edmonton voted on a motion which will have an immediate, positive impacts on hockey in the Bantam and Midget divisions of play.

Effective in the 2016-17 hockey season, Hockey Edmonton and its Clubs and Districts will offer body checking in the Divisions of Bantam and Midget in categories of play that participate in Provincial Championships – specifically AAA, AA, A, and B.

Bantam and Midget Tiers 1 and 2 will now be referenced as A and B respectively and compete in Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships in these categories.

All remaining categories of play in Edmonton Federation Hockey League Bantam and Midget divisions will be referenced as Community Hockey programs and renumbered accordingly (e.g. 1, 2, …). All Community Hockey programs will be non body checking categories of play.


Mark Doram, President, stated that: “Our goal is to provide an environment - for athletes of all ability - in which they can develop their skills, compete and foster a love for the game that lasts for life.”

In Community Hockey body contact in all divisions (e.g. Novice to Midget) and categories (e.g. 1, 2…) of play is within the rules as defined by Hockey Canada.

Hockey Edmonton’s Recreational Hockey League will continue to offer non body checking programs of play for those looking for a less rigorous commitment than provided for by Community Hockey.

Hockey Edmonton REM 15AA teams while not participating in a Hockey Alberta Championship will continue to play within REMHL and remain a body checking category of play.

Full release from Hockey Edmonton >

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Photo Credit: LA Media


Six Alberta officials selected for 2016 RBC Cup

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta is proud to announce the six Alberta officials selected to work the 2016 RBC Cup in Lloydminster.

Referees Cody Rude (North Zone) and Fraser Lawrence (North), along with linesmen Jared Mackey (Central), Kris Hartley (Central), Chad Huseby (North Central), and Deion Foster (North), will be a part of the 10-person crew that will officiate the annual National Junior A championship.

Hockey Alberta and the Officiating Committee would like to congratulate each official on their selection.

The remaining three referees will be selected from across Canada, while the last linesman will be chosen from either Saskatchewan or BC.

The 2016 RBC Cup ran in Lloydminster from May 14-22. For more information, click here.

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Credit: LA Media


Introducing abcup.ca

Hockey Alberta is proud to introduce a brand new website for the 2016 Alberta Cup.

Some key features of the new abcup.ca include:

- A fully responsive site that automatically adjusts to the size of your screen, including mobile devices and tablets.
- A score ticker across the top of both abcup.ca, and hockeyalberta.ca.
- Dynamic player profile pages, complete with a headshot, individual stats and scouting information.
- A Social Media feed allowing you to keep up with the Alberta Cup on Twitter and YouTube.

The main page of the site will also be updated regularly in the days prior to, and during the tournament with stories and updates from the Alberta Cup.

The new website was designed by Edmonton’s Pixel Army, who also re-designed hockeyalberta.ca, and created haprovincials.ca, which the Alberta Cup site is modeled from. Pixel Army worked with Hockey Alberta staff to ensure functionality and appearance that meets the needs of the organization, and the entire hockey community across the province.

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Credit: Doug Mathieson / Allan Cup


Hockey Alberta weekend wrap-up

STEINBACH, MB - The Allan Cup is coming back to Alberta once again, as the Bentley Generals won the Senior AAA national title in a thrilling fashion on Saturday afternoon.

In what was a rubber match from last year’s Allan Cup in Clarenville, NL, the Generals exacted revenge against the reigning champions and tournament host South East Prairie Thunder with a 4-3 overtime victory.

Bentley’s win marks the third Allan Cup in team history, to go along with four silver medals. The Generals have appeared in the Allan Cup final seven of the last nine years.


REGINA, SK - The North Peace Navigators will be returning home to Alberta with some hardware of their own, landing a bronze medal at the Keystone Cup with a triple-overtime win Sunday afternoon.

It took nearly two full games worth of hockey to decide, but the Navigators defeated the host Extreme Hockey Regina Capitals in the third overtime frame to claim third place at the annual Junior B Western Canada championship.

Hockey Alberta News

The 100 Mile House Wranglers (BC) took the gold medal with a 3-2 overtime victory over the AGI Insurance Quakers (Saskatchewan).


Meanwhile, a pair of Alberta teams will vie for national supremacy this week, as the Lloydminster Bandit Pipeline Bobcats (Midget AAA) and the Rocky Mountain Raiders (Midget Female AAA) compete in the Telus Cup and Esso Cup, respectively.

The Raiders are already off to a good start at the Esso Cup in Weyburn, SK, kicking off their tournament with a 2-1 win over Brantford Ice Cats (Ontario), with forward Hailey McCallum earning the Esso Cup’s First Star of the Day honours. The Raiders are back at Monday at 12 noon against Metro Boston Pizza (Atlantic). That game can be viewed live here. All games will be available live on the Esso Cup website.

After making the long trip out to Quispamsis, NB, the Bobcats will begin their quest for the Telus Cup Monday at 1:00 p.m. against the Lions du Lac St-Louis (Quebec). That game can be viewed live here. All games will be available live on the Telus Cup website.

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Calling All Volunteers!

Want to join the Hockey Alberta family? We’re now accepting applications for key volunteer positions across 12 different committees for the 2016-17 hockey season.

Hockey Alberta is a provincial sport organization that relies heavily on its volunteers throughout the province to ensure the smooth operation of every hockey season. If you’re passionate about the game of hockey, and would like to give back to your community, please review the available positions below, and fill out an application form. The application deadline is May 1.

Volunteer Application Form >


Operations Standing Committee Volunteer Position Volunteer Position
Minor Administration Committee Chair, Minor Administration Minor Administration Coordinator
Minor Regulations Committee Chair, Minor Regulations Minor Regulations Coordinator
Minor Discipline Committee Chair, Minor Discipline Minor Discipline Coordinator
Minor Female Committee Chair, Minor Female Minor Female Regulations Coordinator
AA Hockey Committee Chair, AA Hockey
Junior B/C Male Committee Chair, Junior B/C Male
Junior/Senior Female Committee Chair, Junior/Senior Female
Senior Male Committee Chair, Senior Male
Minor Leagues Committee Chair, Minor Leagues
Player Safety Committee Chair, Player Safety
Aboriginal Hockey Committee Chair, Aboriginal Hockey

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Host the 2017 Alberta Challenge

Bid applications are now being accepted to host the 2017 Alberta Challenge.

2017 Alberta Challenge Bid Guidelines >

The application deadline is May 13 at noon.

The Alberta Challenge is a core Hockey Alberta Female Development program, providing players, coaches, therapists, equipment managers, administrators and referees an equal opportunity to discover the great qualities of competitive hockey.

The Alberta Challenge is held alternating years, when the Alberta Winter Games are not held.

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Put your hockey knowledge to work – join the OAC (Deadline Sunday)

Hockey Alberta is now accepting applications from individuals interested in serving as a member of the organization’s Operations Advisory Committee (OAC). Deadline for applications is this Sunday (April 17).

The OAC acts in an advisory capacity to the Executive Director and Board of Directors of Hockey Alberta. Committee members are expected to be informed on the state of the game in Alberta, by communicating and collaborating with the members and stakeholders of Hockey Alberta.

OAC Job Description | OAC Application Form

OAC committee positions are elected for a two-year term (maximum of three terms). Elections occur at Hockey Alberta’s annual Spring Zone Meeting. Representatives from Local Minor Hockey Associations (one per LMHA) vote on the slate of qualified candidates for their zone.

For 2016-17, applications are being accepted for the OAC representative in the following Hockey Alberta Zones: 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. Individuals who reside in the specified zones only are eligible to apply.

Successful candidates in the elections in Zones 2, 4 and 6 will serve a full two-year term. Elections in Zones 2, 4 and 6 will be held at the Zone meetings on Sunday, May 1. Successful candidates in elections in Zones 1 and 5 will be elected on an interim basis for one year, to fill the remainder of a term. Elections for Zones 1 and 5 will be held at the Zone meetings on Sunday, April 24.

All applications will be reviewed by Hockey Alberta’s Volunteer Human Resource Committee to ensure applicants meet the requirements of the position. Names of accepted applicants will be presented at the applicable Spring Zone meeting for election.


For more information, please contact:

Jeremy Haluschak, Manager, Business Operations
Phone: 403-342-6777
Email: jhaluschak@hockeyalberta.ca

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Credit: LA Media


Team Alberta Announces Assistant and Video Coaches for 2016 U16 and U18 Programs

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is proud to announce the assistant and video coaches of Team Alberta for the 2016 U16 Male and U18 Female programs.

Spiros Anastas (Assistant Coach), Matthieu Keillor (Assistant Coach), and Ryan Allen (Video Coach) will join Head Coach Bram Stephen on Team Alberta Male.

Anastas is currently the head coach of the University of Lethbridge men’s hockey team, and has previously served as an assistant coach in the AHL, and in the NCAA. The list of accomplishments for Anastas includes a Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013, a bronze medal as an assistant coach with Team Canada at the 2015 World University Games, and a pair of gold medals with the Korean U18 and National teams in 2015.

This season marks Keillor’s sixth year with the U16 program as a coach or a mentor, most recently serving as the team’s video coach in 2015. He’s currently the head coach of the Grande Prairie Midget AAA Storm, and is also the technical director of the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association.

Allen is an assistant coach and the assistant general manager with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Allen has previous experience as an assistant and head coach with the Northeast Flyers, and as an assistant coach with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, who hosted the 2015 Western Canada Cup.


SCHOLS, GLOWINSKI, TAPP JOIN U18 FEMALE STAFF

Joining Head Coach Carla MacLeod on Team Alberta Female will be Cassea Schols (Assistant Coach), Grant Glowinski (Assistant Coach) and Amanda Tapp (Goalie/Video Coach).

Schols has been the head coach of the Banff Academy Female Prep team since 2014, and was previously head coach of the Midget AAA Edmonton Thunder. The Thunder won the silver medal in the 2014 Esso Cup. She served as an assistant coach at the Alberta Winter Games, and as a head coach at the 2015 Alberta Challenge. Schols was also the summer camp video coach for Hockey Canada’s female development team.

Glowinski is coming off his first year as the head coach of the Sherwood Park Kings Athletic Club Bantam AAA Female Royals. He’s been a hockey program instructor at Colver Bar Junior High since 2013, and a professional skating instruction coach since 2000. With Hockey Alberta, Glowinski was a head coach at the 2015 Alberta Challenge, and an assistant coach at the 2012 Alberta Winter Games.

Tapp brings over 22 years of experience as a goalie coach, this being her fourth straight year with Team Alberta Female, having previously won gold medals with the team at the 2013 U18 Nationals and the 2015 Canada Winter Games. She’s currently the video coach for the Edge School for Athletes, a position she’s held since 2014, while also working with Top Prospects Goaltending. Tapp also spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach with the GHC Bantam AAA Rangers.

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.

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Kath Surbey (right) is Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for March, and the final winner for the 2015-16 hockey season.


Coach of the Month - March

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for March is Kath Surbey of Calgary, the last recipient for the 2015-16 hockey season.

Surbey is coming off her first season as a Head Coach in the Alberta Major Bantam Female Hockey League, leading the Calgary Bantam AAA Rangers to the 2016 Provincial Championships in St. Albert in March. She played hockey in Calgary growing up, and returned to Alberta in 2015 to work at the Global Sport Academy after playing college hockey at Brown University in Rhode Island and teaching/coaching for five years in Connecticut.

"Coaching allows you to be a lifelong learner; constantly discovering new styles and ideas, taking lessons from the failures and successes of all shapes and sizes, challenging yourself in the same way you challenge your athletes - and ask them to challenge themselves - all in order to improve your craft. It’s like being an athlete again in that way."

"Kath Surbey has been, in a word, wonderful." Said a team parent, who nominated Surbey for the award. "Throughout the course of the season, Kath has taken the time to connect with each of the players and has been not only a coach and mentor to all of the girls, but also their biggest cheerleader. She has made it her primary focus to build a team in which all the players are valued, respected and given the same opportunity to succeed."


Click here to view all the 2015-16 Coach of the Month recipients.

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The North Peace Navigators celebrate their Junior B provincial title.


Hockey Alberta weekend wrap-up

RED DEER - It was quite the busy weekend for hockey across Alberta as the Junior B provincial title was handed out, along with a handful of regional medals for Bantam and Midget teams.

The fifth and final week of Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, concluded Sunday afternoon with the crowning of the Junior B champion.

In the last ever game at the historic Red Deer Arena, the North Peace Navigators edged the Wainwright Bisons 3-2 to claim the gold medal. The Navigators will move on to compete in the Keystone Cup in Regina April 14-17. Earlier in the afternoon, the Wetaskiwin Icemen skated away with the bronze medal after a thrilling 3-2 double overtime win over the host Red Deer Vipers.

The Junior A title is now the last one to be decided in Alberta, as the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs continue. Click here for up-to-date results.

List of 2016 Champions | 2016 Champions Photos


Week One Results | Week Two Results | Week Three Results | Week Four Results


Meanwhile, Okotoks played host to the 2016 Western Canada Bantam AAA Championships. Alberta teams fared quite well. The 2016 AMBHL champion Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks earned the bronze medal with a 2-1 overtime win over the Winnipeg Monarchs, while the host Rocky Mountain Raiders just missed out on gold, falling 3-2 to the Burnaby Winter Club.

It was more good news for Alberta teams in the Midget AAA circuit. The Lloydminster Bandit Pipeline Bobcats advanced to the 2016 Telus Cup (Quispamsis, NB, April 18-24) by sweeping the best-of-three Pacific Regional series against British Columbia’s Valley West Hawks, 2-0.

Hockey Alberta News

On the female side, the Rocky Mountain Raiders swept their Pacific Regional series against the Northern Cougars, punching their ticket to the 2016 Esso Cup in Weyburn, SK, April 17-23.

Hockey Alberta News

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Host Raiders meet BC for gold in Western Canadian Bantam final

OKOTOKS – The host Rocky Mountain Raiders will meet the Burnaby Winter Club (British Columbia champions) in the gold medal game at the Western Canadian Bantam Championships.

The Raiders (2-2) and the BC champions (4-0) will face off at 1 pm on Sunday in the Pason Centennial Arena. The gold medal game follows the bronze medal game, which pits the Lethbridge Val Matteotti Golden Hawks (Alberta champions) against Winnipeg Monarchs (Manitoba champions) at 10 am.

Rocky Mountain and Lethbridge finished with identical 2-2 records after round-robin play. However, Rocky Mountain advanced to the championship final by virtue of a 3-2 victory over Lethbridge on Friday afternoon. In fact, it took a dramatic third-period comeback, with Rocky Mountain erasing a 2-1 deficit and scoring the winning goal with three seconds remaining.

Rocky Mountain’s other victory was on Thursday, 5-1, over Yorkton Terriers (Saskatchewan champions). Losses came to Winnipeg (7-3) and Burnaby (4-3). Lethbridge defeated Winnipeg (3-1) and Yorkton (4-1), along with a 4-1 loss to Burnaby.

For complete tournament results, and a link to the purchase tickets for Sunday’s games, go to the tournament website.