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News

Engen joins Hockey Canada Board of Directors

CALGARY – Terry Engen, the past Chair of Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors, was elected to the Hockey Canada Board of Directors on Saturday at Hockey Canada’s Winter Congress and Annual Meeting - held virtually for the first time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The elections proved to be a significant step forward as Hockey Canada continues to address areas of diversity and inclusion throughout the organization. An important by-law change approved at the 2019 Annual Meeting requires the Board to include a minimum of two males and two females to better reflect Canadian society.

Engen, from Eckville, was one of five new directors elected to serve two-year terms.

The new board includes Michael Brind’Amour, returning as chair for the second consecutive term and three re-elected directors who will serve two-year terms; Kirk Lamb, Barry Reynard and Goops Wooldridge. Joining Engen as new directors are Bobby Sahni, Andrea Skinner, Leanne Standryk, and Mary Anne Veroba.

“We issued ourselves a directive to be more inclusive and this is an important step in that process,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Our entire organization is excited to welcome Andrea, Leanne, Mary Anne, Terry and Bobby to our board, joining Michael, Barry, Goops and Kirk as we continue the mandate that our organization and board members, past and present, have been working towards.”

Hockey Canada and its members extend their appreciation to the outgoing board members Al Hubbs (Indian Head, Sask.), Réal Langlais (Delson, Que.), Randy Pulsifer (Stillwater Lake, N.S.), Ed Pupich (Schumacher, Ont.) and Randy Henderson (Prince George, B.C.) - for their ongoing dedication and contributions to the game. In particular, the organization values their leadership in helping create a more inclusive and diverse board.

Hockey Canada’s Winter Congress and Annual Meeting brought together the governing body’s board of directors and partners, along with representation from all 13 Members.

Hockey Canada’s next Winter Congress and Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 18-20, 2021 in Toronto.

For board member bios and more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca .

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 20:22

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCKS PAIRS UP WITH HOCKEY ALBERTA FOUNDATION

For every pair of socks sold HERE between November 19 and December 31, using code ’hockeyalberta’ at checkout, Major League Socks will donate $6 per pair back to the Every Kid Every Community Program. Your team can also win a Zoom call with an NHL player by sending out the link to friends and family. The team with the most socks sold will get a 30 minute zoom call with an Oilers or Flames player, as well as a set of teams socks of their choice.

SHOP NOW > | CONTEST DETAILS >


VIRA, ZINGER ELECTED TO HOCKEY ALBERTA BOARD | BARTLETT, HAYDEN RECOGNIZED AS LIFE MEMBERS

Al-Amir Vira and Frances Zinger were elected to the Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors at the organization’s 113th Annual General Meeting held virtually on November 21. Bob Bartlett and Anne Hayden were also recognized with Life Membership status for their combined more than 90 years of service in the province of Alberta.

AGM FOLLOW UP >


ENGEN JOINS HOCKEY CANADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Terry Engen, the past Chair of Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors, was elected to the Hockey Canada Board of Directors on November 14 at Hockey Canada’s Winter Congress and Annual Meeting

MORE INFORMATION >


EVERY KID EVERY COMMUNITY PROGRAM AWARDS $34,000 IN GRANTS THIS QUARTER

Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation are pleased to announce this quarter’s Every Kid Every Community grant recipients. Over $34,000 is being distributed to communities around Alberta, helping more than 400 kids access the game.

VIEW THE RECIPIENTS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta Foundation

Every Kid Every Community Program awards $34,000 in grants this quarter

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation are pleased to announce this quarter’s Every Kid Every Community grant recipients.

Over $34,000 is being distributed to communities around Alberta, helping more than 400 kids access the game.

Intro to Hockey and Learn to Skate programs have been implemented by Clive Minor Hockey Club, Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey Association and Thunderstars Minor Hockey Association. These programs help recruit new players to the game of hockey and encourage families to get involved with their local association.

A grant to Variety – the Children’s Charity of Alberta will support their new Volt Hockey program. The Volt Hockey program offers a unique adaptation to the sport so that almost anyone living with mobility limitations can utilize specialized wheelchairs and equipment to play hockey independently. Volt hockey wheelchairs are nearly impossible to tip, are fast and agile and all the player needs is to be able to operate a joystick. Alberta is the second province to host Volt and will be running in both Calgary and Edmonton.

Five MHAs received Player Assistance Grants to assist with fees, equipment costs and additional costs for kids within the community who may not otherwise have access to the financial needs required to play the game of hockey.

The Every Kid Every Community program was launched in 2011, to provide a pathway to play hockey for any child in Alberta who is interested in the sport. The goal is to provide every child in Alberta the opportunity to play hockey, have fun and, in many cases, experience the sport for the first time.


To see the application criteria, grant options and to apply, Click Here >The next application deadline for the Every Kid Every Community Grant is January 31.

The Hockey Alberta Foundation relies on the generosity of donors across the province to help ensure that any child who wants to participate in hockey has the opportunity. To donate please Click Here >

News

Three Albertan Officials selected for World Junior Championship

RED DEER - Three Albertans are among the 26 Canadian Officials selected to work the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Referees Kyle Kowalski and Fraser Lawrence, and Linesperson Deion Foster will all take to the ice when the World Juniors comes to the Edmonton bubble in December.

Kowalski (Edmonton), the son of a Hockey Alberta official and former member of the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, has worked the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, 2018 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup and was selected to officiate the 2020 USports Cup that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Foster (Edmonton) grew up playing in Lloydminster, and now calls Edmonton home. He has officiated the 2016 & 2019 National Jr A Championship, worked the 2019 WHL Championship Series between the Vancouver Giants and the Prince Albert Raiders.

Lawrence (Edmonton) officiated the 2020 World Juniors last January in the Czech Republic and also worked the WHL Final in 2019 and many other International assignments, Lawrence was named the Official of the Year for Hockey Alberta for the 2019-20 Hockey Season.

Due to the unique nature of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, the IIHF Officiating Committee has selected an all-Canadian line-up of 26 officials – 14 referees and 12 linesmen - that represent seven Hockey Canada Members. The decision was made to ensure the health and safety of all participants due to COVID-19 and current travel restrictions.

“Hockey Canada is proud of the 26 Canadian officials that have been selected to work the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship this year. Although it is a unique year, we know these individuals will represent Canada with pride when they step on the ice in Edmonton,” said Todd Anderson, senior manager of officiating with Hockey Canada. “Our officials have worked tirelessly to get to this point in their careers, and to be considered among the top officials in Canada is an honour.”

All 26 officials are products of the Hockey Canada Officiating Program, which includes six levels of certification and is the foundation for the training and development of officials across Canada.

News

2020 WHL Cup cancelled

CALGARY - Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, in conjunction with the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Hockey Canada, have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 WHL Cup.

With the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the decision was made with the health and safety of all coaches, staff, and participants as the top priority.

The WHL Cup features U16 provincial teams representing BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The round-robin tournament is the first step in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence and assists Hockey Canada in evaluating these top prospects in this age group for future high-performance programs.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Major League Socks pairs up with Hockey Alberta Foundation

With Christmas around the corner, what better way to surprise the avid hockey fan on your list than with their favourite player - in sock form!

Major Leagues Socks is Pair[ing] up with the Hockey Alberta Foundation!

When you use the code: HOCKEYALBERTA at checkout, Major League Socks will donate $6 per pair back to the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community Program.

Shop Now >

With the impact of COVID-19 and the cancellation of in-person fundraising events, every dollar raised will go a long way to keep kids playing hockey across Alberta.

Anyone can use the link to purchase, but who doesn’t love a friendly competition? If you’re looking for a fun way to engage your team virtually while supporting a great cause, take a look below for more information!


The Perfect Pair[ing] Team Contest

WIN A ZOOM CALL WITH A FLAMES OR OILERS PLAYER

  • Pitch the idea to your hockey team.
  • Register your team for the Perfect Pair[ing] Contest here
  • Send out the website link www.majorleaguesocks.com/collections/hockey-alberta to your family and friends (for tracking purposes must purchase off this link).
  • Your family and friends forward their purchase confirmation emails to [email protected] with your team name.
  • The number of socks sold in support of your team will be tallied.
  • Contest runs November 23 - December 31, 2020.
  • The team with the most socks sold will get a 30 minute zoom call with an Oilers or Flames player, as well as a set of teams socks of their choice.
  • Runner up gets a set of team socks of their choice

But wait, there’s more!

If you or your friends and family show off your Major League socks on Twitter or Instagram and tag @HockeyAlberta @MLSocks in your post (be sure to tag us in the photo, not just in the caption), along with your team, you earn an additional tally to your teams total!

Register Your Team >

News

Vira, Zinger elected to Hockey Alberta Board

RED DEER – Two members were elected to the Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors at the organization’s 113th Annual General Meeting held virtually on Saturday.

Al-Amin Vira of Heritage Pointe joins the Board of Directors for his initial three-year term as a Director at Large. Vira brings an extensive business background to the Board of Directors, including his current position executive director with Okotoks Honda.

Fran Zinger of Sherwood Park returns to the Board for her 15th year. She originally joined the Board in 2006, and has served in various capacities, including vice chair.

For more information on the new Board members, short videos and biography overviews can be found on the Hockey Alberta website.

Vira and Zinger join current members of the Board: Chair Len Samletzki (St. Albert); Vice Chair Allan Mowbray (Calgary); Finance Director Donna Gallant (Edmonton); Directors at Large Michael Bates (Cochrane), Francois Gagnon (Fort McMurray), and Wilson Gemmill (Grande Prairie); and Past Chair Terry Engen (Eckville).

Two individuals were also recognized with Life Membership status for their combined more than 90 years of service in the province of Alberta. Life Membership is the highest honour which may be bestowed by Hockey Alberta.

The new Life Members are Anne Hayden of Vauxhall (posthumous induction) and Bob Bartlett of Lethbridge. Bartlett has been involved in hockey in the province for more than five decades, while Hayden was involved for more than 40 years. For more on each new Life Member, click the images below to view a short biography video:

During the business portion of the meeting, the membership of Hockey Alberta approved a Notice of Motion to change the definition of Regular Membership within Hockey Alberta. Based on the recommendations of an Ad Hoc Committee that sought input over the past couple of years, the changes recognize that all types of programs currently registered with Hockey Alberta and operating amateur hockey will have the opportunity to apply for full membership.

News

CMOH Public Health Order FAQs - November 17 Update

RED DEER - Targeted public health measures came into effect November 13 in Alberta, impacting hockey, and other indoor team sports, in specific areas of the province.

Details of the announcement by the Government of Alberta were provided by Hockey Alberta to its Members in an Information Bulletin sent out on Thursday, November 12.

BULLETIN 20:07 >

Since the announcement, Hockey Alberta has been establishing communication plans with Alberta Health Services, Leagues and Minor Hockey Associations. As a result of these discussions, Hockey Alberta has put together an FAQ document to address questions regarding what is allowed within our sport during the 14-day pause in activity. The FAQ document was updated on November 17 to provide further clarification.

The FAQ can be found on the Return to Hockey page and will be updated as is appropriate.

FAQ - Targeted Public Health Measures (Updated Nov 17) >

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 20:21

COVID-19 UPDATE - NOVEMBER 12

The Government of Alberta today announced a mandatory two-week pause on indoor group fitness classes and team sport activities. The pause applies to Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Red Deer. The full list of surrounding communities (for the Calgary and Edmonton regions) is available on the Government of Alberta website.

VIEW RETURN TO HOCKEY PAGE >


LEST WE FORGET

For Captain Daniel Deluce, a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force stationed at CFB Cold Lake, Remembrance Day takes on special meaning for himself and his family.

READ THE FULL STORY >


CENTRE ICE PODCAST - EPISODE THREE - FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

Episode Three of the Centre Ice Podcast explores the meaning of ’Hockey for Life’, with a focus grassroots hockey in Alberta, the Alberta Elite Hockey League and Alberta Female Hockey League, and the opportunities and experiences hockey can offer.

LISTEN AND WATCH >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY COMMUNITY RALLIES AROUND SPRINGBANK FAMILY

On October 13, Justin Ikebuchi was involved in a fatal car crash. In the days and weeks following, his wife, Jamie, and children Sydney, Raiden, Calder and Devin have seen the entire hockey community rally around them and show their support.

READ THE FULL STORY >


CANADIAN TIRE OPERATION: PUCK DROP

Canadian Tire Operation: Puck Drop is looking for hockey lovers – local builders and do-it-yourselfers – in towns across our country with a desire to build more outdoor rinks. When you enter Operation: Puck Drop, you’ll have a chance to win a rink kit, tools and equipment to help complete each rink build.

ENTER NOW >


REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR 2020-21 NHL/NHLPA FIRST SHIFT PROGRAM

Do you have a child aged 6-10 years who is ready to fall in love with hockey? Registration is now open for the 2020-21 NHL/NHLPA First Shift program. The NHL/NHLPA First Shift program is designed to ensure a positive experience for new-to-hockey families by offering a low-cost entry program to hockey.

REGISTER NOW >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


News

COVID-19 Update - November 12

RED DEER - The Government of Alberta today announced a mandatory two-week pause on indoor group fitness classes and team sport activities. The pause applies to Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Red Deer. The full list of surrounding communities (for the Calgary and Edmonton regions) is available on the Government of Alberta website.

The pause includes all levels of minor hockey, Accredited Schools, Junior B and C, and Senior hockey in the affected areas. It is in effect starting at 12:01 am on Friday, November 13, continuing until November 27, and includes all practices, games, competition and team activities. Games in the Alberta Elite Hockey League and Alberta Female Hockey League scheduled between November 13-27 will not take place.

The pause does not apply to the Alberta Junior Hockey League, ACAC or USport.

The safety of all participants in our sport remains paramount, as it has throughout the Return to Hockey process.

Teams must not circumvent the pause by holding practices, games or competition in an area not included in the pause. Teams that violate the pause will be subject to, at minimum, a fine assessed to the Member MHA, Club Team or Accredited School, and a suspension assessed to the head coach.

Hockey Alberta will be working with the MHAs, teams and Tiered Minor, Junior and Senior leagues in areas not included in the pause to identify what games can be played. Currently, games scheduled this weekend where both teams are in areas not included in the pause may be played.

Currently, Coach and Officials clinics planned for this weekend will be hosted as scheduled.

Hockey Alberta received this information Thursday afternoon, and will continue to work with our Members and hockey partners to identify additional impacts to the hockey community across the province.

Rob Litwinski,
Chief Executive Officer

Home Ice Feature

Lest We Forget

COLD LAKE – At Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country today, Canadians pause to remember those who have served, and continue to serve, our country.

For Captain Daniel Deluce, a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force stationed at CFB Cold Lake, Remembrance Day takes on special meaning for himself and his family.

“My grandpa was in the Air Force as well, he was a fighter pilot in World War II,” said Capt. Deluce. “If I can get airborne and go for a flight (on Remembrance Day), I will try to do that. That’s the best way for me to kind of put myself in my grandpa’s shoes.”

In fact, Remembrance Day this year holds special significance for Capt. Deluce because he recently received his grandfather’s service records.

“This year’s pretty cool. I’ve spent the last two years applying to get my grandpa’s records, and they just came in yesterday (November 5), so I got a little piece of history there,” said Capt. Deluce. “And my mom, her uncle was in the Army, and she just sent me a letter he had written to his girlfriend at the time. So, just finding ways to learn a bit more about what people were going through back then, and it is pretty interesting, and something very unique to those time periods.”

In addition to serving as a pilot for approximately 10 years, Capt. Deluce is also a part of the hockey community in Cold Lake, where the sport is a big part of life for not only himself, but for many individuals stationed at the base.

“Flying and playing hockey, it’s the two things I really like to do, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to do both,” Capt. Deluce said. “Normally, we have intramurals on the base, so between the different units, we’ll have hockey teams playing each other. That’s a nice way to just let loose a bit, and de-stress. Our jobs can be a little stressful sometimes.”

For Capt. Deluce, he is actively involved in the sport in several capacities. He plays in the intramural league at the base. He regularly dons the stripes, officiating in the intramural leagues, as well as games in the community. And he coaches – the CFB Cold Lake women’s team that competes at the national championship, and helping out with his daughter’s U7 team in Cold Lake.

“It’s a little difficult sometimes with our jobs, we deploy or we go away quite a bit,” he said. “So, I may not be able to be a full-time coach, but maybe an assistant coach is something I’d like to get involved in.”

For Capt. Deluce, hockey is a great way to get to know people in the community, and to unwind – especially with the stress that comes with flying high-performance airplanes.

“As an Officer, I play with a lot of the mechanics, and different support trades,” he said. “We’ll play against the Fire Hall and others, so you get to know people around the base as well, so it’s a bit of a networking thing. You might walk to your plane, and the person who’s helping you start, it’s like ‘oh, he was your right D the other night’, so it makes the squadron a little more personal.”

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Capt. Deluce said the squadron won’t necessarily be observing Remembrance Day in its traditional fashion.

“Usually, we’re having some sort of parade, so this year it might be a little different.” He said. “It might be more of the command team in a smaller ceremony laying wreaths.”

For Capt. Deluce, the key on November 11 is honouring not only those individuals who served in World War I or World War, but anyone who has served, and continues to serve our country.

“It doesn’t have to be WWI or WWII. There’s lots of things in between, or people currently serving, as well as any kind of front-line people. Especially this year with the pandemic, some of those people in the hospitals, or the first responders, those are going to be people you keep in mind.”

Home Ice Feature

Photos provided by the Ikebuchi family


Hockey community rallies around Springbank family

In the wake of the sudden and tragic loss of a long time Springbank coach and volunteer, the hockey community is once again proving just how powerful the game can be.

On October 13, Justin Ikebuchi was involved in a fatal car crash. In the days and weeks following, his wife, Jamie, and children Sydney, Raiden, Calder and Devin have seen the entire hockey community rally around them and show their support

“They check in on us, constantly check in on us,” said Jamie. “They’ve supported us with meals, with texts and emails, and small things, like the doorbell will ring and there will be a latte there for me. We’ve had little gifts and quite large gifts given to us. It’s pretty overwhelming overall, but in a good way; all of these gestures of kindness have really helped give us strength as we move through these last few weeks.”

Coaching and volunteering was a huge part of Justin’s life. With Raiden (13), Calder (11) and Devin (9) all playing minor hockey, Justin was heavily involved as a coach, and as a member of the the Springbank Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) Board of Directors. He was the SMHA Timbits (U7) Coordinator for five years, and was the VP of Hockey for the last two.

“I know that he gave back because he truly enjoyed his experience as a child growing up getting to play sports, and he wanted to make sure he gave back like people did for him,” Jamie said.

Justin’s influence on the game is unmistakable, as seen by the lasting impression he left as a coach.

“He was definitely known as the coach with the red helmet and the red gloves, and he was the one who told (the players) all of the time to play hard and have fun,” Jamie said. “He wanted them to love the game as much as he loved the game, and he wanted them to not just love the game, but he wanted them to love being part of a team, because he felt like being part of a team and being a good teammate was a life skill.”

“Dad was the best coach,” said Raiden, Justin’s eldest son. “He was always very positive. The game wasn’t always about being the best to him, but working towards being the best. He wanted me to play hockey because I loved it, not because he wanted me to love it. That’s just kind of who he was.”

Raiden’s teammate, Jack McHarg, echoed that sentiment, and said Justin’s number-one goal was to make sure hockey was fun for everyone.

“He always came to practice with a smile,” he said. “With four kids, he always made our practices, he was very committed to the game, and he always made sure, even if we lost a game, he made us hold our heads up high, and he always made us feel good at the end of the day.”

Justin’s impact as a coach reached far beyond just the players, as the coaches he’s shared the ice with over the years speak very fondly of his coaching style and personality.

"Justin was a fantastic coach; he was always there for the boys and always there for the right reasons,” said Jack’s father, David McHarg, Justin’s co-coach and a family friend. “I think just because he loved the game so much, he wanted to add to it. Whether it was at an administration level within the Springbank Minor Hockey Association, or as a coach, or even just as a helper on the ice, a parent in the box, or doing anything, he was always there supporting everyone along the way – parents, players, coaches. It was all for the game.”

Cory Larson, another of Justin’s co-coaches and a family friend, said Justin’s personality was infectious.

“I felt like he was the guy that was on the ice in practice, wherever he was, the kids sort of gravitated towards him” he said. “If they weren’t in a drill, they’d be over talking to him, and he was that guy that could be that supportive, fun-loving guy that was out there making sure everybody had a good time, all the time.”

Jonathan Black, also a co-coach and family friend, said Justin’s coaching style was a lot more than just drawing up plays on a clipboard.

“What he did better than most people was the relationship piece,” he said. “I would be at a tournament getting medals ready and handing things out, and he’s the guy who’s talking to each individual kid as they’re waiting, where typically coaches might just stand around. He coupled the idea of a real coach trying to improve the kids and teach them how to play a team sport, but also that relationship piece, which was so important with kids understanding and believing what he had to say.”

Brent Merchant, who coached alongside Justin for over six years and also became a family friend, said his commitment as a volunteer was something to behold.

“For most parents, it’s maybe a little intimidating just to jump in with both feet and commit to being a huge volunteer,” he said. “I think for Justin, it just came naturally; he was just was part of that Springbank hockey community from day one. Whether it was in a coaching role, or as part of the board of directors, he just seemed to kind of jump in with both feet, which you can appreciate – that’s not easy to do with the amount of energy and time it takes.”

Nicole Kraljic, the SMHA’s administrator, worked closely with Justin as a volunteer, and said the time and effort he put in to improving the game will have a positive effect on the association for years to come.

“He leaves behind the framework, of which we are working on still to this day at the board level, of our coaches, and doing our coach credentials, and keeping a legacy of information for our coaches and training them, and that’s something that his fingerprints will be all over when we’re done developing it,” she said. “Justin did everything with thought and purpose…. When he finalized a roster, he was always thinking about the player and their potential development, and that was every player.”

While the shockwave of Justin’s sudden passing hit Springbank hard, it was also felt around the entire hockey community. On October 20, in Raiden’s first game back with the NWCAA U15 AA Bronks, he scored a goal. In fitting fashion, it was the team’s eighth goal of the game – which just happens to be Justin’s favourite number.

“A very emotional night obviously for the boys, to have Raiden there and back with the group, and Jamie and her family in the stands,” said David McHarg. “It was emotional just being there, but also just to see him score that eighth goal, and with that being his dad’s favourite number, it was just extra special.”

While Raiden’s entire team celebrated the emotional moment with him, the members of the CNHA Kings came together with the Bronks at the end of the game and raised their sticks in honour of Justin and his family.

“After we beat them, they still had the respect to do something like that,” Raiden said. “You battle it out on the ice, but after it’s all said and done, you’re all playing for the same reason, because you love what you do, and there’s a lot of respect there.”

In that game, the entire team also sported red tape on their sticks (Justin’s favourite colour), as well as Justin’s initials in red on their helmets – which Raiden said was done by all NWCAA U15 AA teams.

In the days following the game, Raiden’s touching story made its way around social media, and caught the attention of the entire hockey community, including the Calgary Flames. On October 28, two of the Flames – Milan Lucic and captain Mark Giordano – surprised Raiden and his teammates at practice.

“Those guys are his heroes,” Jamie said. “What I thought was pretty awesome was that those men came to talk to my son, and they asked if it was okay if they spoke about their own personal loss, because both of them have lost loved ones tragically. They left their families for the day to come and speak to a boy, and it was a sad situation – it’s hard to talk to people who have lost someone, but they chose to do that.”

“That was very special,” said Raiden. “I was super surprised, I had no idea. I heard a couple of the boys saying that some of the Flames were being interviewed outside, but I didn’t think anything of it. Those guys have been my heroes; I’ve been a fan of Lucic since he won the (Stanley) Cup with Boston.”

Giordano and Lucic both said Raiden’s story hits very close to home for them, so they were more than happy to take the time to show their support. For Giordano, his sister died in a car crash at the age of 14. Lucic experienced the sudden death of his father.

“It’s never something that’s easy to deal with,” said Lucic. “Just to be here to support him is the least that I can do, and we can do as far as the Flames organization, happy to be here supporting him through a time like this.

Jamie added the gesture was especially touching because the impact went beyond the family.

“They got on the ice and practiced with the team. So the whole team got to have that experience, it was pretty awesome for them to have that bonding experience together, so I thought that was pretty great of those gentlemen,” she said.

As for the outpouring of support the Ikebuchi family has received, Giordano said he’s not surprised to see the hockey community come together in the face of tragedy.

“I’ve been playing hockey now for a long, long time, and the support we receive from family, friends, community – it’s second to none,” Giordano said. “When I was a young kid and had some tragedy in my life, one of the biggest things that helped me get through was coming to the rink and being with my buddies and teammates.”

And Jamie knows that hockey will be a key part of the recovery process for her three boys.

For Raiden, hockey has been his passion since he was three, and Jamie was concerned he would have a hard time going to hockey, because his dad was such a big part of the game for him.

Calder is a defenceman, whose love of hockey has developed over time, and it’s important to Jamie that he continues to enjoy the sport.

“Devin is the happiest little hockey player you have ever seen,” she said. “So, my hope for him, because he said this weekend that hockey is not fun without his dad, that dad is what makes hockey fun, my hope is that he’ll find joy with hockey again.”

And Justin will not be forgotten within the local hockey community, as Springbank has named its yearly volunteer of the year award after him.

“Whether it was community members or friends, the outpouring of commitment from people was unreal. But what impresses me is that commitment that they have today, I think this is going to be for years down the road,” said Brent Merchant.

Jamie said the ongoing support their family has seen from the hockey community goes beyond what words can express.

“It’s very overwhelming, but in a good way. I love my husband, and I love him as a dad, and he touched so many people in our Springbank Minor Hockey community, and they are really helping us get through this very devastating and tragic time,” she said. ”There’s this life question Justin and I have talked about – in life, do you get what you get, or do you get what you give? He would say you get what you give, and I now know that to be true, and you get more.”

News

BFL Female Coach of the Year is back!

RED DEER - Do you have a coach that has made a significant impact on your team this season? Nominate her for the BFL Coach of the Year award!

The BFL Female Coach of the Year Awards recognize and honor coaches who exemplify the positive values of hockey and sport, for their successful and outstanding achievements in player development and the leadership of their players and teams.

The BFL Female Coach of the Year Awards will honor one female community coach and one female high-performance coach in each province who have made outstanding contributions over an extended period of time coaching hockey programs within Hockey Canada female and/or minor hockey programs.

In addition, BFL Female Coach of the Year Award provincial winners will be considered in the selection of the national BFL Female Coach of the Year Awards for community coach and high-performance coach.


Criteria

  • Leads by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship,
  • Places the emotional and physical well-being ahead of a personal desire to win,
  • Places an emphasis on equitable participation of all players registered on the team,
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the development of every player and staff member,
  • Treats each player as an individual and understands the range of emotional and physical development,
  • Does her best to provide a safe playing situation for all players,
  • Uses the coaching techniques that are appropriate for all of the age and skill level of her players,
  • Must be actively coaching at the female hockey, minor hockey or high-performance levels within the province the nomination originates from,
  • Must be trained and/or certified in the Hockey Canada National Coach Certification Program,
  • Must have completed all elements required to be an active coach,
  • Must be a member in good standing within the Province the nomination originates from.

How to Nominate

Any individual may nominate a coach for the provincial coach awards. The nomination must clearly state whether the award nomination is for the community coach and high-performance coach category. The individual submitting the nomination should complete the online nomination form and should also include a covering letter of support (not to exceed 300 words). As well, the supporting materials will include testimonials as to why the individual should be considered.

Provincial Finalists will each receive:

  • A cash bursary of $1,000 toward future coaching development

Grand Prize Winners will each receive:

  • A trip for two (2) to the 2020 Women’s World Championship in Halifax, NS
  • A cash bursary of $2,500 toward future coaching development

NOMINATION FORM >

News

UPDATED - Can I Participate In Hockey?

Hockey Alberta has updated its flow chart to help families navigate their way through the expectations and process when a player is showing symptoms or has been tested for COVID-19.

The updated version reflects important updates for athletes under the age of 18, based on updated Alberta Health Services guidelines.

This chart will be updated, as required, based on changes to Alberta Health Services protocols.

Centre Ice Podcast

Centre Ice Podcast - Episode Three: For the Love of the Game

Episode Three of the Centre Ice Podcast explores the meaning of ’Hockey for Life’, with a focus grassroots hockey in Alberta, the Alberta Elite Hockey League and Alberta Female Hockey League, and the opportunities and experiences hockey can offer.

Hockey Alberta’s Coordinator of Female Hockey, Taryn Baumgardt and Coordinator of Male Hockey, Dustin Moore discuss their experiences growing up playing hockey in Alberta, and how it led to them working in the sport. We also re-visit an interview with Kodie Curran, who signed his first NHL deal with the Anaheim Ducks back in June.



Episode Links: League Alumni Spotlight: Taryn Baumgardt > | League Alumni Spotlight: Dustin Moore > | Return to Hockey Participation Flow Chart Update > | Coach Clinics > | AEHL Schedule > | AFHL Schedule > | Hockey Canada Champion: Chantel Timmons > | An unrelenting love of the game key in Curran’s journey to the NHL >

More Episodes >


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

News

Registration now open for 2020-21 NHL/NHLPA First Shift program

Do you have a child aged 6-10 years who is ready to fall in love with hockey? Registration is now open for the 2020-21 NHL/NHLPA First Shift program.

The NHL/NHLPA First Shift program is designed to ensure a positive experience for new-to-hockey families by offering a low-cost entry program to hockey.

Register For the First Shift Program Now >

Hockey Alberta is proud to once again host a First Shift program in Red Deer, January 29 - March 27 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Register >


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Accessible

Open to all Canadian children between the ages of 6 and 10 years old that have never previously been registered in minor hockey. On-ice sessions with fun drills are always on the same day of the week, same time and same arena.

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Affordable

$199 registration fee that includes a full set of BAUER equipment and six on-ice trial sessions.

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Safe

Proper-sized BAUER equipment fitted by NHL/NHLPA First Shift fit experts and Hockey Canada-provided insurance.

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Fun

Hockey Canada on-ice curriculum with drills focused on fun range hockey experiences to stimulate a desire for continued participation in hockey.












The First Shift will be offered in seven locations across Alberta in the winter

  • Leduc (Janaury 21)
  • Strathcona (January 22)
  • Edmonton x3 (January 23)
  • Edmonton x2 (January 25)
  • Ponoka (January 28)
  • Red Deer (January 29)
  • Calgary x3 (January 31)
  • Calgary x2 (February 1)
  • Lethbridge (February 3)

To register for a First Shift program near you, and to find out more information click here.