2015 World Junior A Challenge champions, Team Canada West. (Photo courtesy Hockey Canada)

Tickets on sale now for 2016 WJAC

CALGARY – While Canadians enjoy the final weeks of summer, Bonnyville, Alta., is already thinking ahead to December, when the town will welcome the best players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues for the 2016 World Junior A Challenge.

The host committee and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) are already in “hockey mode” with the launch of the event schedule and full-tournament ticket packages, available online and at the Bonnyville District & Centennial Centre box office.

Two Canadian teams and four international squads make up the two groups of three teams that will face off in the 11th edition of the tournament Dec. 11-17 at the R.J. Lalonde Arena of the Bonnyville District & Centennial Centre.

Canada East will be the first Canadian team to see action, taking on the Czech Republic in the tournament-opener on Sunday, Dec. 11, while Canada West will make its debut that night when it faces Switzerland.

“It’s such an honour for our community to host this tournament for our hockey fans,” said Robb Hunter, co-chair of the 2016 World Junior A Challenge. “We’ve been working for months with a dedicated group of volunteers and we’re looking forward to the puck-drop.”

Defending champions Team Canada West plays in Group A with Russia and Switzerland, while Team Canada East is in Group B with the Czech Republic and the United States.

“"The CJHL is extremely proud and excited to bring this event to Bonnyville,” said Kirk Lamb, president of the CJHL. “The community, the volunteers and the fans will create an excellent atmosphere for the teams and will be treated to exceptional competition in return.”

Community impact

Previous editions of the World Junior A Challenge have generated more than $3 million in total economic activity in the host community and province. In addition to the local economic boom, net profits from the event stay in the community to benefit youngsters playing the game at a grassroots level.

This is the second time the event is held in an Alberta community since the tournament’s inception; Camrose hosted the World Junior A Challenge in 2008.

“We are very pleased with our partnership with the CJHL that allows its players to compete at this high-calibre tournament and represent Canada,” said Dean McIntosh, senior director of events and properties for Hockey Canada. “With its 125 communities, the CJHL is a strong part of the Canadian hockey fabric from coast to coast to coast. By hosting events like the World Junior A Challenge collaboratively with the CJHL, we are able to leave a strong legacy, raise funds for local hockey programs, and create an economic impact in excess of $3 million in the host community.”

The first-place team in each group will receive a bye to the semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 15, with the second-place and third-place teams crossing over for the quarterfinals Wednesday, Dec. 14. The losers of the semifinals will meet for the bronze medal on Friday, Dec. 16, while the winners will face off for gold on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, and also took the top prize in 2011 and 2015. The team also earned silver in 2008, 2009 and 2012, and won bronze in 2013. Canada East earned silver medals in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.

For more information on the 2016 World Junior A Challenge, please visit


Recognize an outstanding coach in your community!

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is now accepting nominations for Coach of the Month for the 2016-17 minor hockey season!

Coaches are an integral part of minor hockey and their countless hours and dedication provide the opportunity for over 60,000 kids in Alberta to play hockey. Help us recognize a coach in your community by nominating him or her for the Hockey Alberta Coach of the Month!

Nominate a Coach of the Month ›

One coach will be selected each month from September through March and will receive a coaching package valued at over $350.

This package will include:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Track Suit
  • Coach Bag
  • Puck Bag
  • Rink Board
  • Coaching Resources

Get your nominations in early! Coaches not selected each month will be eligible until the end of the season.

For more information, contact Paige Krelow-Weinberger, Coordinator, Hockey Development at


Two Hockey Alberta officials assigned to IIHF events

RED DEER – Two Alberta on-ice officials will be representing the province and Canada at international events in 2017.

Fraser Lawrence and Lacey Senuk have received assignments to prestigious IIHF events this season.

Lawrence, an Edmonton native, has been selected to work at the Division II Group B event of the IIHF U18 World Championship in Mexico City, March 17-19.

Senuk, also from Edmonton, will officiate at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic, January 7-14.

Hockey Alberta and its Provincial Officials Committee congratulate both officials for having their hard work rewarded with a chance to represent Alberta on the world stage.


Novice teams: register now for Dodge Caravan Kids!

Registration is now open for Dodge Caravan Kids for Novice teams across Alberta.

What is Dodge Caravan Kids?

The goal of Dodge Caravan Kids is to help enrich the game of hockey for participating coaches, players and their families. Dodge Caravan Kids represents one of FCA Canada’s key community endeavours.

Each year participating Novice-level hockey teams receive $500 in funding and access to exclusive hockey benefits. To-date, Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, and Ram retailers and FCA Canada Inc. have provided over $6 million to help more than 12,000 teams and 180,000 kids enjoy the game of hockey.

Who is Eligible?

- Canadian novice hockey teams and associations located within 150 kilometres of a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep® and Ram retailer. Visit to locate your closest retailer. (NOTE: Atom divisions teams are ONLY eligible in Atlantic Canada.) Exemptions can be made upon request (i.e. in rural areas where car dealerships are not local).

- Teams and associations are eligible to participate regardless of other corporate sponsorships they may have, unless those partnerships are with a competing automaker or their associated retailer

Program Benefits?

Each team/association enrolled in the Dodge Caravan Kids program will receive:

- $500 in funding. Please contact your local branch/association for further information on funding policies.

- The opportunity to enter the Dodge Caravan Kids photo contest for a chance to win up to $500 in extra funding.

- The opportunity to win a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and $5,000 for your local minor hockey association.

Registration is available between September 23rd, 2016 and December 1st, 2016

Register > | More Information >


Rule update: adjustment to 7.4 - new emphasis, slew-footing

RED DEER - Hockey Canada has updated Tripping Rule 7.4 in the rule book for the 2016-17 season.

Rule 7.4(b), which pertains to slew footing, contains new language and penalties for this infraction. Rule 7.4(b) now reads:

A player who slew foots an opponent shall be assessed a double minor penalty plus a game misconduct if he is standing still while committing the foul. Should the player be moving (skating) or if an injury results from the infraction, the player shall be assessed a match penalty. A match penalty shall be assessed to any player who attempts to injure or deliberately injures an opponent with a slew foot.

The rationale for the change is to strengthen player safety and to eliminate injuries, namely to the head, from the resulting fall. We need to eradicate dangerous and unprovoked gestures, such as slew footing, from the game.
All people in the game – including players, coaches, officials and spectators – need to understand the rule and to respect the intent as we move to eliminate slew footing from hockey and strengthen player safety.

There is a video available from Hockey Canada that illustrates what officials are looking for when assessing a penalty for slew footing, which can be viewd below:

Hockey Alberta’s Referee Committee thanks everyone for their support and urges patience with the implementation of this rule as we move into the 2016-17 season.

Should you have questions, contact the Officials Zone Chair in your region, or email Dave Shaw at

To download the info bulletin pertaining to Rule 7.4(b), click here.


Lacing Up – helping Novice players develop their off-ice skills

RED DEER – After a successful program launch in January in Calgary and Edmonton, novice-aged hockey players across Alberta can participate in Lacing Up, an exciting partnership between Hockey Alberta and Respect Group.

Lacing Up is a free, optional, fun, interactive, online, game-based program that helps players aged 6-8 years learn the fundamentals of being a successful, respectful hockey player. Lacing Up focuses on the off-ice skills players need to know to stay healthy, play fair, support their teammates, respect officials, and contribute positively to their team.

The hour-long program features stories, adventures, games, and quizzes “hosted” by five young animated characters and their coach. Topics include:

  • Long Term Player Development: growth and development, nutrition, hydration, and sleep.
  • Playing fair: the Hockey Canada Fair Play Pledge, respect for teammates, officials, and opponents, and recognizing that everyone makes mistakes.
  • Bullying: types of bullying, and what to do if you are the target of bullying, or if you see it happening to someone else.
  • Respect: for the game, each other, and ourselves.

Up and coming hockey players who are just “lacing up” are encouraged to complete this program with a parent or other adult in the household.

To Access Lacing Up

  1. Go to:
  2. Select Register Your Profile
  3. Parents/Guardians with an existing Respect in Sport, Respect in Sport Parent Program, Respect in the Workplace, or Respect in School profile: Click the button Lookup. Once you have found your profile and completed registration, you will be prompted to associate existing children to Lacing Up, or Add New Children to your profile
  4. New users for Respect Group programs: Click Register. Parents/Guardians should register themselves in the system first, then follow the prompts to add children to their profile.
  5. Have fun with Coach Mike and the team!


Introducing the new Alberta Female Hockey League website

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is proud to introduce a brand new website for the newly created Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL).

The new site,, is the official portal for the three divisions of the Alberta Female Hockey League: Midget AAA, Midget Elite, and Bantam Elite.

Some key features of the new include:

- A fully responsive site that automatically adjusts to the size of your screen, including mobile devices and tablets.
- Full schedules for each league, including a link to the Google map location of each rink.
- A score ticker across the top of the page.
- A stats page for both players and goaltenders, updated automatically once a game score is inputted.
- A league message board, so teams can interact with each other throughout the season.
- A Social Media feed allowing you to keep up with the AFHL on Twitter and Facebook.

The main page of the site will also be updated regularly with league news and information.

Schedules have been added for Midget AAA and Bantam Elite, with the Midget Elite schedule to be added once it’s finalized.

The new website was designed by Edmonton’s Pixel Army, who also re-designed, and created and , both of which the AFHL 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.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

2016 Rinks to Links in Calgary - 25 budding new hockey players

The Hockey Alberta Foundation’s 2016 Rink to Links program took place at Country Hills Golf Course and Crowfoot Arena in Calgary, giving 25 kids a chance to hit the driving range and ice all in one day.

Each kid also received a full set of hockey equipment, thanks to Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank in Calgary and United Cycle in Edmonton. A special thanks also goes out to ATB Financial and Hockey Calgary for sponsoring the event.

For photos from the event, click here.