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Team Alberta Wins Gold At U16 Challenge Cup

Reid Duke (Calgary, Alta) scored the game winning goal and added an assist leading Team Alberta U16 Male to a 10-4 win over Team Manitoba claiming the gold medal at the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Team Alberta finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record posting 23 goals for and allowing only 9 goals against.

The victory marks the second time that Team Alberta has won this tournament after also defeating Team Manitoba in the inaugural event in 2009 in Blackfalds, Alta.

Team British Columbia beat out Team Saskatchewan 5-4 to win the bronze medal earlier in the day.

The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is a partnership between the four Western Provincial Hockey Branches - Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association – and the Western Hockey League (WHL). The event only occurs in the off years of the Canada Winter Games.

The event features the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category representing the four Western Provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is the final event in the first year of the Team Alberta Male program. Selected players then advance to the second year of the program (U17) where they compete for a roster spot on Team Pacific.

Former Team Alberta players include 2011 WHL Rookie of the Year, Matt Dumba, and NHL’ers Jordan Eberle, Jay Bouwmeester, Devan Dubnyk, Devin Setoguchi and Tyler Myers.


Calgary To Host World Sledge Challenge 

Hockey Canada, in partnership with Hockey Alberta, have announced that Calgary will host the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, November 27 to December 3 at the new WinSport Canada Athletic and Ice Complex at Canada Olympic Park.

Leading up to the event, Hockey Alberta will be visiting Alberta’s five Western Hockey League (WHL) venues to promote the World Sledge Challenge by showcasing local sledge hockey teams and demonstrating the sport in game intermissions.

  • Red Deer Rebels - Friday, October 21
  • Calgary Hitmen - Sunday, October 23
  • Lethbridge Hurricanes - Friday, October 28
  • Medicine Hat Tigers - Saturday, October 29
  • Edmonton Oil Kings - Saturday, November 5

"We’re really excited to be a part of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge and for the chance to continue promoting Sledge Hockey in Alberta," said Hockey Alberta General Manager, Rob Litwinski. "It’s a really exciting and unique sport and we’re thrilled to offer the experience to fans through both the event and the WHL promotion nights."

Canada’s National Sledge Team, the defending gold medalists, will be joined by Japan, Norway and the United States. The four teams competing in Calgary were the top four finishers at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.

Canada won the gold medal at the last edition of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, in April 2011 in London, Ont., capping off a dominating run through the tournament with an 8-0 victory over Norway in the gold medal game. Overall, Canada outscored the opposition 48-2 while posting a perfect 5-0 record.

"We could not be more excited to take to the ice in Calgary, the home of Hockey Canada, at the brand-new WinSport facility and go for gold," said Mike Mondin, head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team. "Last spring in London was such a tremendous experience, winning the gold medal in front of our fans, and we’re looking forward to what will surely be an unforgettable atmosphere in Calgary."

Tickets are now on sale for the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge. A seven-game Team Canada package is available for just $45, including all three of Canada’s preliminary round games, both semifinals, the bronze medal game and gold medal game. Single-game tickets will be available closer to the start of the tournament. 

Fans will be able to follow the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge via webcasts thanks to Hockey Canada and FASTHockey

The gold medal game, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. MT, will be shown on TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada. Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.