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Home Ice Feature

Volunteer Spotlight - Lisa Davies & Tom West

RED DEER - To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Hockey Alberta is shining the spotlight on a handful of volunteers who make a huge impact on the sport in Alberta.

More volunteer profiles can be found on Hockey Alberta’s Volunteer Appreciation page.

Lisa Davies - St. Paul

Hockey Alberta NewsLisa Davies has done it all as a volunteer over the past 22 years.

Whether it’s being a billet mom, volunteering at the Canada Winter Games or at a provincial championship - both around St. Paul and with Hockey Alberta - Lisa is well-known around the community and the region.

At the provincial level with Hockey Alberta, Lisa serves as the Minor Administration committee member for the Northeast Region. In that role, she assists minor hockey associations with registration processes, completes team and player approvals, and player transfers in HCR.

She also has been involved with junior hockey. Previously, she served as president of the St. Paul Canadiens Junior B team for eight seasons, and now she is the vice president in charge of discipline the North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL).

Lisa said the sense of community she gains, and shares through volunteering is what keeps her going.

"You get to meet new people, you get to network, and you get to learn new skills," she said. "It makes me happy.”

Although she couldn’t pin down just one, she said her favourite memories come from events like the Canada Winter Games, World Junior A Challenge, and Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships.

“You know they’re all having fun, they’re excited to be there, and they have reached their goal," she said. "So it always fun to see those happy faces.”

Lisa also volunteers outside of hockey, helping out with minor baseball, Skate Alberta and a variety of school programs.

It is the lifelong connection to the players in the game that keeps Lisa involved.

I was a billet mom for five years. They still call me mom, they still call if they need anything,” Lisa said.

Tom West - Grande Prairie

Hockey Alberta NewsA dedicated volunteer, Tom West has served the community of Grande Prairie for more than a decade.

Tom began coaching in Fort St. John in 1999, but, after three years, went on hiatus once he and his wife started a family.

He re-joined the coaching world in 2010 in Grande Prairie at just about every level, and also served as the Manager for the Midget U16 AAA team.

Tom has been on the Board of Directors for Grande Prairie Minor Hockey since 2015, and, on top of his coaching and board positions, Tom also gets some extra ice time in as an official.

He began officiating in 2014, and since then, has worked every level of hockey up to Junior A/B, and Senior in the Grande Prairie area.

Tom said no matter what role he is serving, he makes sure to bring a positive attitude, and dedicate as much of his time and possible to the organization.

"Whether it’s a development team where kids are just learning to skate, or a AA or AAA team that is well on their way, to have the right attitude and kind of re-focus and bring it down to their level whatever age or whatever level that is, and work with them,” he said.

For Tom, volunteering is his favourite way to give back to the community.

"I know a lot of people say that, but for me, I enjoy seeing the operation and opportunity to guide and grow," he said. "Whether it’s someone my own age or in hockey, usually someone younger, watching them grow and develop as a person and a player and expand their knowledge and improve their skill set."

Home Ice Feature

Volunteer Spotlight - Karyn Fanstone & Tony Jacbosen

RED DEER - To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Hockey Alberta is shining the spotlight on a handful of volunteers who make a huge impact on the sport in Alberta.

More volunteer profiles can be found on Hockey Alberta’s Volunteer Appreciation page.

Karyn Fanstone - Brooks

Hockey Alberta NewsAlthough hockey is already a full-time job for Karyn Fanstone, she still takes the time to give back to the game any chance she can get.

Since moving to Alberta from Manitoba in 2015, Karyn has been heavily involved in hockey in the province as both an Athletic Therapist and Equipment Manager. She is currently the Athletic Therapist for the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, a position she’s held since 2017, and previously worked for the Drayton Valley Thunder and the Bonnyville Pontiacs.

Karyn has also been an avid volunteer with Hockey Alberta since 2015, having been a part of the Team Alberta program in just about every capacity. She’s served as an Athletic Therapist at all three Team Alberta events: the Alberta Cup, Alberta Challenge, and Prospects Cup, as well as with Team Alberta U16 Male on numerous occasions. Her work with the U16 program includes back-to-back WHL Cup Championships in 2015 and 2016, and a bronze medal the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

She has also volunteered at the Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Camp, leaving serving as Athletic Therapist for a competition on the female side as the only checkmark missing from Karyn’s Team Alberta bucket list.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to kind of get my name out with hockey (in Alberta),” she said. “Ever since my first camp, my hockey family has grown exponentially, and getting to work with kids, and be a part of their process as they develop and accomplish their goals, as cheesy as it sounds, it’s an indescribable feeling.”

Karyn said even though her initial reason for volunteering was to network and get a feel for the game in Alberta, it’s become so much more than that for her.

“Volunteering is the opportunity to do what I absolutely love, and use that to help others reach their goals,” said Karyn. “I had lots people when I was up-and-coming and still in school who took that extra time to mentor me to make sure I felt comfortable with what I was doing and learning, and to be able to be that person for other people is my goal.”

Tony Jacobsen - Grande Prairie

Hockey Alberta NewsAnthony (Tony) Jacobsen has been a committed volunteer in Grande Prairie since 2011.

Tony has coached all levels of minor hockey over the last 10 years, from U7 to U15. The relationships and connections that Tony has built are what he enjoys most about coaching.

“It’s a pretty cool learning experience overall,” said Tony. “There are a lot of people that you’re dealing with like parents, other teams, coaches, and dealing with a lot of kids. I would say volunteering is a great learning experience for anybody.”

The Jacobsens are a big hockey family with three kids playing with Grande Prairie Minor Hockey and Deunne, Tony’s wife, coaching on the female side. During his time coaching, Tony is proud to have been able to see his players grow and develop.

“You know what’s really rewarding? Recently I was on the ice with the U15 group. These are kids that are my kid’s age and I coached them back in novice, and when I watch them skate around, all of them can skate better than I can and all of them are playing heads up high-level hockey. That’s really cool when you had a little tiny hand in that,” said Tony.

Tony won the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association (GPMHA) Recreation Coach of the Year in 2016 and continues to serve the community as a coach in Grande Prairie.

Home Ice Feature

Volunteer Spotlight - Tom O’Toole & Chris Williams

RED DEER - To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Hockey Alberta is shining the spotlight on a handful of volunteers who make a huge impact on the sport in Alberta.

More volunteer profiles can be found on Hockey Alberta’s Volunteer Appreciation page.

Tom O’Toole - Okotoks

Hockey Alberta NewsAs a former professional hockey player, Tom O’Toole knows the importance of giving back to the game, and has been doing just that for over 40 years.

Once his pro career ended, Tom wanted to stay connected to the game, and to give back and share his knowledge about the game.

“One of the (reasons) was to help kids understand the game,” he said. “And to me, it wasn’t about the game in itself, I just wanted to share some of my ideas, and I had a lot of people help me along the way so I figured I owed that to the kids to teach (them).”

Tom’s coaching career began by running goalie clinics in Okotoks on a volunteer basis. He also has served as an Assistant Coach at the Midget AA and AAA, and Bantam AA and AAA levels throughout Southern Alberta, along with Peewee and Bantam teams on the female side. He currently serves as the goalie coach for the U16 AAA team in Okotoks.

The passion for volunteering throughout the hockey community is common in the O’Toole family; two of Tom’s daughters have a key roles in Minor Hockey in Alberta, one is a coach and the other is a physical trainer.

“If anyone is looking to do it, any aspiration; if you want to coach try to coach, it’s really rewarding,” Tom said.

Chris Williams - Okotoks

Volunteer Appreciation - Chris WilliamsChris Williams has volunteered with Okotoks Minor Hockey Association as a coach for nearly a decade.

His coaching career began in 2004 as an assistant coach with the Timbits program. Chris then took a 10-year hiatus to establish his career and family, but his passion for the game brought him back to coaching in 2014.

Chris believes in giving back to the community.

“I’m a huge believer that young kids need guidance, not just from parents or teachers, but they need it from coaches and other mentors,” he said. “It’s kind of an honour to be one of those people who get to jump in.”

Between 2014 and 2018, Chris served as the Head Coach of the Midget AA team in Okotoks, as an assistant coach for the Midget AAA team in 2019, and currently serves as the Head Coach of the U16 AAA team.

Chris is also a high school teacher in Okotoks, and said while there are many similarities between coaching and teaching, they are definitely not the same.

“There’s Coach Chris at the rink and there is Mr. Williams at school. I have to act professionally in both settings but there’s a difference,” he said. “You’re a bit looser at the rink, you can be a bit more buddy-buddy, but while you’re at school, you’re a professional. It’s what you do, but it really helps you see the different sides of the kids.”

Centre Ice Podcast

Centre Ice Podcast - Episode Ten: Broadcasting Legends

Episode Ten of the Centre Ice Podcast features a pair of Albertan broadcasting legends in longtime Hockey Night in Canada Host Ron MacLean, and Medicine Hat Tigers play-by-play announcer Bob Ridley.

Hockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta News

Episode Links: Hockey’s Path Forward > Two Albertans invited to National Women’s Team selection camp > | Five Albertans Named to National Men’s Under-18 Team > | 2021 AHHF Gala Postponed > | 2021 Future Coaches Program >

More Episodes >

Centre Ice is the brand-new Hockey Alberta podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province. Subscribe now on your favourite podcast app!


AHHF Induction Gala postponed until 2022

RED DEER – The induction gala for the 2020 Class of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF) has been postponed for another year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celebration event is now scheduled for Sunday, July 18, 2022 in Canmore.

Members of the induction class are: Bill Bucyk, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Bob Clark, John Davidson, Dr. Randy Gregg, Ken Hitchcock, Jamie Macoun, and the 1974-75 Lethbridge Native Sons.

“It’s been a challenging year for many and with the uncertainty around COVID-19 and restrictions in place, the AHHF committee made the difficult decision to postpone the event for another year,” said Al Coates, chair of the AHHF. “The AHHF strives to bring Alberta’s hockey family together, and we want to ensure our inductees have the opportunity to do just that. We look forward to seeing everyone safe and healthy at the event in 2022.”

The 2022 Gala will mark the 40th anniversary of the AHHF. In addition to the 2020 inductees, it is expected that a Class of 2022 will be recognized.

Nominations for the AHHF can be submitted year-round for individuals and teams. The online nomination form, and the full list of Honoured Members in the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame, can be found at


April 7 officially declared Green Shirt Day in Alberta

April 7 – Green Shirt Day – will have additional significance this year for Albertans.

Since 2019, Canadians have been encouraged to wear green on April 7 to promote organ donation, in honour of Alberta’s Logan Boulet, one of the 16 people who died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

This year, though, Green Shirt Day has official recognition in Alberta. Health Minister Tyler Shandro recently declared April 7, 2021 as Green Shirt Day in Alberta, to “raise awareness of the need for registered organ and tissue donors.”

Tuesday, April 6 marks three years since the tragic bus crash that eventually claimed the lives of Boulet and 15 other members of the Broncos organization. Boulet died the next day. He was a registered organ donor who had spoken to his parents about his wishes.

Boulet’s heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and corneas were donated to six different recipients. In a phenomenon that is now known as the “Logan Boulet Effect”, almost 150,000 Canadians registered as organ donors in the weeks following the crash.

This upswing in registrations inspired Green Shirt Day. The day honours, remembers and recognizes the victims and families of that fatal crash. And it carries on Boulet’s legacy to inspire more Canadians to register as organ and tissue donors, and to share their wishes with family, so that access to live-saving transplants can be improved.

For more details on Green Shirt Day, go to .


Five Albertans Named to National Men’s Under-18 Team

Matt Wenniger - South Regional Manager, Hockey Alberta


South Regional Manager,
Hockey Alberta

CALGARY – Three players and two team staff members from Alberta have been named to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team.

Hockey Canada unveiled the 25 players and the staff members named to the team that will compete at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 26-May 6 in Frisco and Plano, Texas.

Olen Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan) and Corson Ceulemans (Beaumont) were named as two of the eight defencemen on the team, while Dylan Guenther (Edmonton) is one of the 14 forwards on the roster.

The roster features 23 players who played for Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red or Team Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat and Swift Current. The team was selected by Alan Millar, director of player personnel, and Benoit Roy, manager of national teams.

Also named as team staff members are Hockey Alberta’s Matt Weninger as the team’s Goaltending Consultant, and A.J. Murley of Beaumont as the Equipment Manager.

The coaching staff is Dave Barr (Toronto) head coach, with assistant coaches Gordie Dwyer (Dalhousie, N.B.) and Mike Stothers (Toronto)

“We are excited to announce the 25 players that have been selected to wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship. Despite a difficult year for our players and staff, we are confident this group will represent our country with pride while giving us a chance to compete for a gold medal in Texas,” said Millar. “We are also pleased to have Dave, Mike and Gordie as a part of our coaching staff, and to welcome a number of excellent support staff who bring unique skills to our team. We know the extensive experience of our coaching staff and the dedication of our support staff will greatly benefit our team at the world championship.”

Prior to travelling to Frisco on April 17, players and staff will self-isolate at home starting April 12 and will be tested for COVID-19 three times. Upon arrival in Texas, all team personnel will enter a four-day quarantine at the hotel before starting a pre-tournament camp on April 21. The team will take on Finland in its lone pre-tournament game on April 24 at 7 p.m. MT.

Canada will open the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 26 at 7 p.m. MT, and will also take on Latvia, Switzerland and Belarus in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast select games throughout the tournament and will announce details at a later date.

Since 2002, Canada has won three gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.