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Photo courtesy of The WHL/LA Media

Team Alberta stays perfect with 5-1 win over Manitoba

CALGARY - After narrowly escaping with a win against Saskatchewan to open the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, Team Alberta left nothing to chance on Thursday night, taking down Manitoba 5-1 to move to a perfect 2-0 record.

Manitoba struck first just 1:32 into the game, but Alberta responded with five unanswered goals to skate away with a victory.

Brayden Tracey paced Team Alberta with a pair of goals, while Carter Souch had two points of his own with a goal and an assist.

In his first start of the tournament, netminder Byron Fancy stopped all but one of the 31 shots sent his way by Manitoba. Fancy’s counterpart Danton Belluk also made 30 saves, allowing five goals on 35 shots.

Boxscore > | Game 1 Recap > | Team Alberta Roster >

With an assist on the game-winning goal by Ethan Browne, defenceman Bowen Byram was named the Player of the Game for Team Alberta. Manitoba blueliner Michael Ladyman earned the honours for his team.

The win sets up an exciting match-up with Team B.C. on Friday night, as both teams come into the game a perfect 2-0. The winner of Friday’s game will finish in first place, and will advance straight to Sunday’s gold medal final. Game time is 6:30 p.m. at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport.

For more stats, schedule and ticket information for the Western Canada U16 Challenge, click here.


Carter Chorney (left) celebrates his gold medal-winning overtime goal with his Team Alberta teammates. (Photo courtesy The WHL/LA Media)

Team Alberta wins U16 gold in overtime thriller

CALGARY - Team Alberta’s penchant for the dramatic was on display once again, skating away with gold at the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup after a 3-2 overtime win over Team BC.

Carter Chorney played the hero for Team Alberta, scoring the medal-winning goal just 31 seconds in to the extra frame.

Team Alberta jumped out to a 2-0 with goals from Ethan Browne and Dylan Holloway, and took a 2-1 lead into the third period after Ethan Leyh replied for Team BC. Alex Swetlikoff knotted the score at two with just five minutes left in the game, setting up a dramatic, albeit short, overtime battle.

Goaltender Taylor Gauthier stood tall for Team Alberta in net, stopping 32 of 34 shots en route to a gold medal. Roman Basran took the overtime loss for BC, making 26 saves on 29 shots.

"We got the job done today, it was a close game," said Head Coach Bram Stephen. "All week, there were certain points in games, in the Saskatchewan game they tied it up late, and in this game (BC) tied it up late, and it wasn’t easy, none of the games were. They all seemed to come together in key moments, the group got closer as the week went on, and they played a strong team game."

Boxscore > | Game 1 Recap > | Game 2 Recap > | Game 3 Recap > | Team Alberta Roster >

Chorney fittingly was named Team Alberta’s player of the game for his overtime heroics, while Leyh earned the honours for BC.

The gold medal is the third in a row for Alberta at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, and fifth medal overall in the tournament’s six-year history.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, Team Manitoba took the bronze medal after defeating Team Saskatchewan 4-1.

2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup All-Star Team

Goaltender - Byron Fancy (Alberta)
Defenceman - Kaedan Korczak (Saskatchewan)
Defenceman - Braden Schneider (Saskatchewan)
Forward - Logan Barlage (Saskatchewan)
Forward - Peyton Krebs (Alberta)
Forward - Joshua Williams (British Columbia)


Photo courtesy of LA Media/The WHL

Nine Albertans selected for World U-17 Hockey Challenge

RED DEER - Nine members of the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup-winning Team Alberta squad are set to suit up for Team Canada this fall.

Goaltender Carl Stankowski, defencemen Sean Comrie, Ty Smith and Jonathan Tychonick, and forwards Elijah Brown, Eric Florchuk, Tristen Nielsen, Josh Tarzwell and Chase Wouters are among the 66 players named to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Smith and Nielsen are also among the players selected who already have international experience, winning a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The process, which began with 111 players who took part in a seven-day development camp in late July, will be finalized next week when the 66-player roster is divided to make up the three Canadian teams - Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White - who will face the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States in their quest for gold.

Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence officially begins with the under-17 development camp in July, and runs through the men’s high-performance camps and teams up to, and including, Canada’s National Junior Team.

The 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge runs Oct 27 - Nov 5 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.


Announcing 2016 Team Alberta U16 Male and U18 Female rosters

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is proud to announce the Team Alberta rosters for the 2016 U16 Male and U18 Female provincial teams.

The U16 Male squad will compete in the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup and the U18 Female team will represent Alberta at the National Women’s U18 Championships.

Team Alberta U16 Male > | Team Alberta U18 Female >

The U16 Male squad won the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. The team will seek to continue Alberta’s success at the event, Oct. 19-23 at the Markin MacPhail Centre (WinSport) in Calgary.

"We are incredibly pleased to see our roster announced today,” said Head Coach Bram Stephen. “The 20 young men we have selected are deep in skill and character, and our coaching staff is excited to start working with the athletes and help Team Alberta become a strong cohesive unit."

The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The four-team round robin tournament is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players.

The majority of players participating in the event were selected in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft or have since been listed by WHL Clubs. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL and Hockey Canada.

For ticket, schedule and roster information for the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, click here.

The U18 Female team heads to the National Women’s U18 Championships in Regina, Nov. 9-13, looking to improve on last year’s eighth-place finish.

"As a staff, we are incredibly excited about the team we’ve been able to assemble,” said Head Coach Carla MacLeod. “It’s a group that is willing to earn their opportunities and we’re all looking forward to representing Alberta with pride next month."

Prior to the Nationals, the U18 Female squad will play an exhibition game in Calgary on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. against the Bantam AAA Calgary Flames at the Kyle Stuart Arena, located at Edge School for Athletes, 33055 Township Road 250 in Calgary.

The National Championship event brings together the top U18 female players from across Canada in an eight-team tournament, featuring teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario (Red and Blue), Quebec and Atlantic.

For schedule and ticket information for the National Women’s U18 Championships, click here.


Inaugural AFHL season kicks off

RED DEER - The 2016-17 season for the newly-created Alberta Female Hockey League begins today (Saturday) across the province.

All six Midget AAA teams are in action Saturday, officially kicking off the league’s inaugural season.

The Lloydminster PWM Steelers are at home against the Rocky Mountain Raiders, the Calgary Fire are set to host the Edmonton Pandas, and the St. Albert Slash pay a visit to the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs.

The Midget Elite and Bantam Elite seasons both get underway on October 15. Keep track of all the action on each league’s website, or by following the AFHL on Twitter.