Photo courtesy of the World Junior A Challenge

Get your tickets now for the 2016 World Junior A Challenge!

BONNYVILLE — For Junior A hockey fans, Bonnyville is the place to be, Dec. 11-17, as the best players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues will be competing in the 2016 World Junior A Challenge.

And tickets are still available for the event — online and at the Bonnyville District & Centennial Centre box office.

Two Canadian teams and four international squads make up the two pools of three teams that will face off in the 11th edition of the tournament at the R.J. Lalonde Arena.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006, more than 260 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 36 first-round selections. 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, or follow along via social media on Facebook or Twitter.


More than a game: #PassItForward

CALGARY – For Canadian hockey fans, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year; between the World Juniors in Montreal and Toronto, Team Canada around the world, and minor hockey tournaments across the country – not to mention family games on the backyard rinks – hockey options abound.

Hockey Canada is giving Canadians one more way to take part in Canada’s game with the endless pass. And the best part is, all ages and skill-levels can take part.

The initiative, which leverages social media channels, is part of the #PassItForward campaign celebrating the positive impact hockey has on its participants and fans.

“At the root of this campaign is a reminder of what hockey brings to the lives of Canadians from all walks of life, and the overwhelming answers have nothing to do with on-ice skills,” said Tom Renney, president and CEO, Hockey Canada. “Hockey should be about fun, teamwork, being active and healthy, and building those key characteristics that make us great citizens. PassItForward highlights what hockey is to Canadians, and encourages everyone to take part in talking about our great game.”

Celebrities from national team players such as Mélodie Daoust, Greg Westlake, and Patrice Bergeron to Hollywood A-lister Michael J. Fox are part of the television spots which see Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life take a pass and #PassItForward as they talk about how they have developed through hockey. The spots will air in French and English on a number of networks, including Hockey Canada’s broadcast partners TSN and RDS.

Canadians can upload their own videos and see them added to the piece by visiting

To kick-start the campaign, Hockey Canada is inviting Canadians to take to their social media networks on Dec. 31 to take part in the endless pass. The concept is simple – participants are asked to post a video or simply write out what hockey did for them using the campaign hashtag, and #PassItForward by tagging a teammate, friend, or family member.

“We want to close out 2016 with a celebration of hockey and what it means to be Canadian,” said Renney. “It’s easy to take for granted the role hockey and organized sport plays in the development of life skills. This campaign is a celebration of that, and we hope it also encourages Canadians to get involved in our great game – as a fan, participant, or volunteer.”

Home Ice Feature

Hockey Alberta’s Top Moments of 2016

RED DEER – As 2016 comes to a close, Hockey Alberta looks back on the year that was with some of our favourite moments (in no particular order).

New look(s) for Hockey Alberta

2016 started off with a bang for Hockey Alberta, as our newly re-designed website ( launched at the end of January after more than six months of work.

Click here for the full story.

In fact, it was a very busy year on the technology front, with the unveiling of the new Provincial Championships sites (, the Alberta Cup site (, and the transition of the Hockey Alberta Foundation website ( back to the Hockey Alberta platform.

Then, in August, Hockey Alberta proudly announced a new visual identity, unveiling a new logo that combines a number of elements that focus on how to best represent hockey in Alberta.

Click here for the full story.

Team Alberta finds the podium

2016 was another successful year for Hockey Alberta’s Team Alberta program, with medals in three different inter-provincial events.

Team Alberta U16 Male continued its winning ways at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in October, earning its third-straight gold medal, and fifth in the tournament’s six-year history. Click here for the full story.

Team Alberta North came out of the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in March with a gold medal on the male side, and a silver medal on the female. Click here for the full story.

At the Alberta Winter Games in Medicine Hat in February, it was Zone 6 Male (Edmonton) and Zone 5 Female (Yellowhead/Blackgold) skating away with gold medals, proving to be the best in the province. Click here for the full story.

The March to a title

The 2016 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, saw 39 different battles for provincial supremacy from Atom to Senior. Provincials were hosted across the Alberta as far north as High Level, and as far south as Taber. The annual “March to a title” is always a high point for minor hockey across Alberta, and 2016 marked the first year with ATB Financial as presenting sponsor.

Click here for a list of the 2016 Provincial champions.

30 years of the Alberta Cup

Despite trailing 2-0 and 3-2 at different points in the game, Calgary South used a six goal third period to defeat Northeast 9-3 to capture the 2016 Alberta Cup. The win is an extra-special one for Calgary South Head Coach Jamie Steer, as he won the first ever Alberta Cup as a player with Calgary South in 1986, a story-book ending to the celebration of 30 years of the Alberta Cup.

Click here for the full story.

Alberta’s players and officials continue to excel

2016 was a banner year for Alberta players and officials, achieving a number of accolades and recognition.

For the first time since 1993, Alberta players were selected 1-2-3 in the WHL Bantam Draft. Peyton Krebs of Okotoks was taken first overall by the Kootenay Ice, with Fort Saskatchewan native Kirby Dach and Cochrane’s Bowen Byram going second and third to the Saskatoon Blades and Vancouver Giants, respectively. In total, 73 players from Alberta were selected in the 2016 draft. Click here for the full story.

At the 2016 NHL draft, 16 Albertans heard their names called by an NHL team. Jake Bean was the highest-drafted Albertan, going 13th overall to the Carolina Hurricanes. Team Alberta alumnus Sam Steel also went in the first round, as the Anaheim Ducks selected him with the 30th pick. Click here for the full story.

Alberta’s officials were assigned to numerous high-profile events throughout 2016. In March, 12 Alberta officials were assigned to the Western Canada Bantam Championships in Okotoks. In April, six Alberta officials were assigned to the RBC Cup in Lloydminster, and in November, five Alberta officials were assigned to the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville.

“Do what’s best for the children in your Minor Hockey Association”

At Hockey Alberta’s Hockey Conference and Annual General Meeting in June, keynote speaker, Dr. Stephen Norris, delivered a powerful message about doing what’s best for children in minor hockey. Following the keynote presentation, Norris was joined in a round-table panel discussion by Keith Hansen, retired volleyball coach at Red Deer College and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame; Lyn Radford, Board Chair, 2019 Canada Winter Games; and Rob Litwinski, Chief Executive Officer, Hockey Alberta.

Click here for the full story.

Hockey Alberta’s inaugural Coaches Conference

Hockey Alberta’s inaugural Coaches Conference saw over 80 minor hockey coaches from across Alberta come together in Calgary for two days presentations from 17 of the top minds in hockey. Presenters included Hockey Canada coaching legend Mel Davidson, Medicine Hat Tigers Coach and General Manager Shaun Clouston, Hockey Alberta Coach Mentors Barry Medori and Fran Gow, and Finnish Ice Hockey Association Regional Coach Kalle Valiaho.

Click here for the full story.

Albertans get the call to The Hall

Five outstanding individuals and one team were enshrined in the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in July, including former Boston Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Fame member Johnny Bucyk.

Joining Bucyk in the class of 2016 was Mike Rogers (retired NHL and WHA player, and former Calgary Flames broadcaster), Dr. George Kingston (internationally-renowned coach), Terry Ledingham (long-time Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada volunteer), the 1965-66 champion Edmonton Oil Kings, and Larry Kwong, the first player of Asian descent to play in the NHL. Click here for the full story.

In February, Female Hockey Builder Shirley Cameron was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. The Edmonton native was at the forefront of women’s ice hockey in Canada for 30 years as a player, coach and builder from the early 1970s until her retirement from the game in 2006. Click here for the full story.

Continued growth of the Initiation Program

Hockey Alberta’s Initiation Program continued to grow in 2016, with enhanced focus on our game’s youngest players.

A partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corporation offered a special grant to Minor Hockey Associations to obtain a full set of foam rink dividers, or fundraising towards a set of puck board rink dividers. The response was overwhelming, with nearly 60 minor hockey associations across Alberta applying to receive ice dividers. And Pembina responded by ensuring that every eligible applicant had a set of divider boards in place for the 2016-17 season. Click here for the full story.

In August, Hockey Alberta partnered with Powerscout Hockey and St. Albert Minor Hockey to conduct a study on the effectiveness of smaller ice surfaces in skill development. Results reinforced that using a smaller ice surface at the Initiation level helps in the overall positive development of skating skills and skating acceleration for our youngest players, thereby better preparing them for when they are old enough to move to higher levels of hockey. To read more about the findings from this study, click here.

The Alberta Female Hockey League kicks off its inaugural season

As part of the implementation of Hockey Alberta’s new female hockey model, the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) was created, and its inaugural season kicked off in October. The league is comprised of three levels: Midget AAA, Midget Elite, and Bantam Elite.

In November, seven Midget AAA players from the AFHL suited up with Team Alberta at the National Women’s U18 Championships in Regina.

In December, the AFHL announced its rosters for the Midget Elite and Bantam Elite All-Star games, which will be held on January 14 in Red Deer and Strathmore, respectively.

Hockey Alberta is proud to unveil a new section at Home Ice Feature stories will focus on interesting stories about the individuals and groups who make a difference within the hockey community in Alberta. If you have a suggestion for a Home Ice Feature story, email


AFHL December wrap-up

RED DEER – As the 2016 portion of the Alberta Female Hockey League season comes to a close, the St. Albert Slash (Midget AAA), Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (Midget Elite), and Calgary Fire White (Bantam Elite) all lead their respective leagues heading into 2017.

Midget AAA

After three months of play, the Midget AAA standings are:

1) St. Albert Slash (45 pts)
2) Rocky Mountain Raiders (36 pts)
3) Lloydminster PWM Steelers (26 pts)
4) Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (18 pts)
5) Calgary Fire (18 pts)
6) Edmonton Pandas (17 pts)

St Albert’s first year forward Madison Willan closes out 2016 leading all skaters in points (24) and assists (11). Rocky Mountain Raiders forward Nicole Fry is tied with Willan for the lead league in points, and leads the way goals (15).

AFHL puck stoppers had another strong month with three goaltenders at the top all with a .940 save percentages: St. Albert’s Brianna Sank, Calgary’s Katie Crowther and Lloydminster’s Bella McKee. Sank boasts three shutouts while her counterpart in St Albert, Camryn Drever, leads the way with 8 wins on the season.

Midget AAA Leaderboard >

Outside of AFHL Play, Calgary Fire, Lloydminster Steelers and Rocky Mountain Raiders traveled to Saskatchewan to compete in the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament. All three teams has a strong showing and competed hard throughout the weekend.

Midget Elite

Our Midget Elite teams had a hard fought first half of the season as the competitiveness of this division increases. The Midget Elite standings at the end of December are:

North Division:
1) Peace Country PCFAC Storm (36 pts)
2) Sherwood Park Fury (31 pts)
3) St. Albert Sharks (19 pts)
4) Edmonton Pandas (16 pts)
5) Lloydminster Elite Steelers (10 pts)
6) North Central Impact (7 pts)

South Division:
1) Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (36 pts)
2) Calgary Fire White (35 pts)
3) Calgary Fire Red (27 pts)
4) Airdrie Lightning (27 pts)
5) Rocky Mountain Raiders (17 pts)
6) Lethbridge Cyclones (9 pts)

Calgary Fire White’s Danika Stang has taken over the league lead in points with 19, while Red Deer’s Danica Polson holds the lead in goals (14), and St. Albert’s Payden Bialowas leads the way in assists (10).

Jayda Thompson of Red Deer continues to lead all Midget Elite goaltenders with a .860 goals against average, a 960 save percentage, along with six wins on the season. Peace Country’s Paige Jassman leads the way in wins and shutouts, with 12 and six, respectively.

Midget Elite Leaderboard >

Rosters for the inaugural AFHL Midget Elite All-Star Game were announced on December 20. Rosters >

Bantam Elite

Things remain tight in the hunt for the Bantam Elite regular season title! Four points separate third from first in the North, whereas down south, Calgary White and the Olds Grizzlys are battling it out for top position. The Bantam Elite standings heading into January are:

North Division:

1) St. Albert Raiders (34 pts)
2) Lloydminster Junior Steelers (31 pts)
3) Sherwood Park Royals (30 pts)
4) North Central Impact (19 pts)
5) Edmonton Pandas (18 pts)
6) Peace Country Bonnett’s Storm (5 pts)

South Division:
1) Calgary Fire White (29 pts)
2) Olds Grizzlys (28 pts)
3) Lethbridge Cyclones (16 pts)
4) Calgary Fire Red (15 pts)
5) Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (12 pts)
6) Rocky Mountain Raiders (12 pts)

There are three skaters currently on top of the leaderboard with 18 points each to close out 2016; North Central’s Chloe Reid, Lethbridge’s Isabelle Dyck, and Calgary Fire Red’s Emily Straw. OldsSarah Wozniewicz has 13 goals to lead all Bantam skaters, while Lloydminster’s Madison MacDuff leads the way with 12 assists.

St. Albert’s Holly Borrett and OldsJocelynn Pearce both sit atop the league with a 0.960 save percentage, while Borrett’s counterpart in St. Albert, Elle Boyko, leads the way in wins with seven.

Bantam Elite Leaderboard >

Rosters for the inaugural AFHL Midget Elite All-Star Game were announced on December 20. Rosters >

Teams have earned a well-deserved winter break and league play will resume on January 7, after the holidays. January will be an exciting month as league play resumes as well the AFHL host its inaugural All Star Games and AFHL teams will help celebrateAlberta Hockey Day on January 21.


Coach of the Month - November

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for November is Kent Goodreau from Pincher Creek.

Kent, currently the coach of the Pincher Creek Midget 1 team, has been coaching since the 2002-2003 season, and since then he has been head coach or assistant coach of multiple teams each year. This will be his last year coaching.

“I have been fortunate to coach with some excellent people along the way, which has taught me a lot and has made it easy for me to enjoy the game,” said Kent.

“He (Kent) has been coaching since our kids were about six years old," said the parent who nominated Kent. "Kent provides guidance to our Midget players but, at the same time lets them play their style of game. He has a great relationship with each player and enjoys the team as a whole. He has been such an amazing coach for all these years!”

Kent’s coaching philosophy is very player centered. “My coaching philosophy is to bring out the best in every player, and to always have fun and improve every time you step on the ice to practice or play a game. To create pride for what you accomplish through hard work, and respect all that participates in the game of hockey. Also to have these values continued into everyday life. What makes a great coach is a great team of players!”

For more details on Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month, click here.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Supporting Fort McMurray – more than $21,000 donated by Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta

FORT MCMURRAY – In the aftermath of devastating wildfires that impacted northeastern Alberta in May, the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association has emerged as a source of stability for a community filled with uncertainty.

As residents returned to Fort McMurray throughout the summer, following the evacuation of nearly 90,000 people, the community was looking for any signs of normalcy.

“We had a lot of people wondering when hockey was going to start, saying that ‘we need hockey to go, we need hockey,’” said Travis Galenzoski, president of Fort McMurray Minor Hockey. “People were looking to hockey for a calming effect. Spending a day at the arena is normal, it provides an outlet.”

In the early going, though, there weren’t many answers. The fires and evacuation meant the association had not held its annual general meeting. Jerseys and equipment needed to be cleaned or repaired. And then there was an even bigger question – would there be a place to play?

“There was uncertainty in ice availability. Were we going to get our home arena back?” said Galenzoski. “The biggest thing was not knowing. Once we got our arena back, the front of the season was extremely busy and pretty stressful. Thanks to the hard work of our arena manager, operations manager, and a whole lot of volunteers, we made it happen. Other than a bit of a delay in starting evaluations, our players’ hockey experience has not changed.”

Registration numbers are down slightly (about three per cent) for the 2016-17 season. But more than 1,100 players, comprising approximately 60 teams, are on the ice. And the association is hosting Hockey Alberta’s Atom AA Major provincial championships in March.

“This is fantastic. We have managed to put on a hockey program after an 88,000-person evacuation,” said Galenzoski.

To help support minor hockey in the northeast, Fort McMurray minor hockey and players throughout the region are the beneficiaries of $21,500 raised collectively by Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, Hockey Canada Foundation and Hockey Alberta Foundation.

The funds include:

  • $10,000 from Hockey Canada
  • $5,000 from the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community grant and player assistance programs
  • $5,000 from the Hockey Canada Foundation, and
  • $1,500 raised at Hockey Alberta’s 2016 annual general meeting through contributions from Local Minor Hockey Associations across Alberta.

“Our hearts went out to the community and residents of Fort McMurray this summer who faced displacement, devastation, and loss. To see the relentless work of the volunteers of Fort Mac’s hockey community to ensure their players, coaches, officials, and fans all had hockey to turn to this season as they work to rebuild was truly inspiring,” said Tom Renney, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation are proud to contribute to the efforts of the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association, and to support this resilient community as they move forward from this summer’s devastating fire.”

All funds will go directly towards support the players, families and coaches who were impacted by the devastating forest fires that impacted the region in May. Planned initiatives include supporting ongoing player development programs, implementing a coach development plan in partnership with Hockey Alberta’s Regional Centre network, and player assistance and growing the game initiatives.

“Our biggest area of opportunity is development for our coaches,” said Galenzoski. “We want to invest in our coaches, and we believe that investment in coaching has a direct correlation with player development and participation.”

Player development programming started about six weeks ago, with a goal of having each team participate in 3-5 development sessions. The association is also looking to host division-specific sessions for goaltenders, with mentors coming in to provide development opportunities.

“The Hockey Alberta Foundation, through the Every Kid Every Community program, is proud to play a role in assisting Fort McMurray Minor Hockey continue in its leadership role, not just for hockey, but within the overall community. We look forward to supporting a number of initiatives that will benefit current coaches and players, as well as those who want to play hockey for the first time,” said Tim Leer, executive director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation.

Growing the game initiatives aimed at attracting new players to the game by providing equipment and helping with registration fees will be geared to recruiting for the 2017-18 season.

For more information, check out the association’s website at

Contributions at the 2016 Hockey Alberta AGM included seven minor hockey associations (Caroline, Hinton, Lloydminster, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Hockey Edmonton and Hockey Calgary), and two individuals (Jody Ginther and Betty Chmilar).

For individuals or groups interested in making a donation to support Fort McMurray minor hockey, the Hockey Alberta Foundation is accepting donations, with 100 per cent of funds donated going to Fort McMurray. Donations can be made at, or by going to this link:

Supporting Fort McMurray Minor Hockey >


2017 AFHL All-Star Rosters announced

RED DEER – The Alberta Female Hockey League is pleased to announce the rosters for the inaugural Midget Elite and Bantam Elite AFHL All-Star games.

Midget Elite All-Star Rosters > | Bantam Elite All-Star Rosters >

Two forwards and one defence from each AFHL team were selected to their respective All-Star rosters by AFHL coaches, while goaltenders were selected based on their statistical ranking as of December 19. The coaches chosen to represent the North and South teams in each league are from the first and second place teams within each division.

Both All-Star games are set for January 14 – with Red Deer hosting the Midget Elite game, and Strathmore hosting the Bantam Elites. The Midget Elite All-Star game begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Penhold Regional Multiplex, and the Bantam Elite All-Star game gets underway at 1:45 at the Strathmore Family Centre.

In addition to the All Star games, the host Associations will be offering development clinics for female athletes within their communities.

Home Ice Feature

The SPMHA Atom A Jets teams volunteered their time at the Edmonton Food Bank to help sort food donations, just one of the many stories of how Alberta’s hockey community gives back during the holiday season.

Hockey gives back across Alberta

Alberta’s hockey community is always at its best during the holiday season, and we’ve asked Minor Hockey Associations and teams from across Alberta to share their stories of giving back to the community with us.

McKnight Mustangs

The Calgary McKnight Mustangs Atom 4 Black team raised a total of $175 for Ronald McDonald House at the team’s Christmas party. The team’s co-managers are nurses, and the team wanted to give back to other kids in the community, kids who could possibly be playing hockey with them if they weren’t sick. The team fashioned the “McKnight Christmas Cup”, which was filled with candy. Each guess cost $1 on the number of pieces of candy in the cup. There were 454 pieces, and defenceman Josh Penner had the closest guess at 450. In the spirit of the night, he shared his prize with his teammates.

Airdrie MHA

Airdrie Minor Hockey Association’s main Christmas initiative for 8 years running has been to support the Airdrie Lioness Hamper Program by collecting much needed items. This year, we collected scarves, mittens and toques over the course of a weekend.

We also have a Hockey Fights Hunger campaign that goes for two weeks. Each division is given a large moving box in the lobby of the arena and the division that fills their box the most times, becomes the Hockey Fights Hunger champions for that season. This year, the champions were the Peewee Division. It’s always a different division each year, so everyone gets very involved.

Teams invite their out-of-town competitors to join the fun, and this year a Peewee team from Okotoks won a friendly competition and collected the most food between the two teams, forcing the Airdrie Peewee Ruff Dogs to do the chicken dance at center ice.

AMHA teams have also collected Turkeys for the Food bank (Midget AA Female and Atom Female) and donated toys to the Children’s Hospital.

In general this season, we have seen the most contributions and the most participation and as usual we are so proud of our teams on and off the ice.

Calgary Midget AAA Fire

The Calgary Fire Midget AAA Fire got together to fill, and deliver warm sock to the Mustard Seed Foundation.

Claresholm MHA & Pincher Creek MHA

The Claresholm and Pincher Creek Bantam teams are banding together this Friday (December 23) for the last game of 2016 and charging an admission of a food bank item to donate to those less fortunate during the Holiday Season. The game starts at 7:45 on Friday and we are hoping to fill the stands.

CNN Spurs

The CNN Spurs families gave back to the Bon Accord and Gibbons Food Bank. Each level decorated a tree at the annual fundraiser with high-demand donation items. Making spirits bright… Go Spurs!

Cold Lake Hornets

Cold Lake’s Novice 3 team, the Hornets, spent two hours on Dec 10th braving the cold to help out with the annual Fill-a-Bus campaign, raising donations for the local food bank. Led by Coach Robyn Stenz, the Hornets brought with them 274 kg (604 lbs) of items to donate, and helped to collect much, much more from Sobey’s patrons.

The Hornets had a great turn out with 14 team members, as well as coaches, managers and parents!

Duchess Minor Hockey

Duchess Minor Hockey hosted "Hockey Day in Duchess" where all 6 of our teams from Initiation up to Midget played back-to-back. We collected for our local food bank, as well as toys to be donated at Christmas to families in need through a local organization - Oil People Helping Oil People (OPHOP). All 6 teams also donated their 50/50 proceeds from the day and a silent auction to OPHOP. Many people from the community came for the day and the visiting teams donated as well.

Grande Prairie MHA

Last Friday, the Grande Prairie Minhas Brothers Peewee AA team hosted a sponsorship night to show how grateful our team is for the community support we have received and also to show our hockey family how we have been busy giving back to our wonderful city of Grande Prairie. In the past two weeks our team volunteered for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles, Did a food bank drive and had time to send a Christmas Card to a 9 year old little girl on the other side of the country asking in the news for Christmas Cards to lift her spirits with her ongoing battle with cancer.

My son Lucas and I recently went to Africa as part of a giving back initiative. Our Peewee hockey team filled a hockey bag of mini sticks and balls that we took with us. When my son and I were visiting an orphanage he went out into the middle of the field and taught about 40 kids how to play with a hockey stick. The children were very intrigued and even though there was no common language it was amazing to watch them play. This particular village in rural Uganda now has about 70 mini sticks and enough balls for their school to use this for phys ed class.

Each year, the Grande Prairie Salvation Army helps families who are in need. The Grande Prairie Bantam A team volunteered to help organize all of their gift bags the night before they were to distribute them.

It was overwhelming to see just how many unfortunate families there are in our community. The boys organized of 600 bags with smiles on their faces.

Grande Prairie Midget AAA Storm

The Grande Prairie Midget AAA Storm collected two bins filled with food donations at their game this past weekend for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Also collected were gift cards, which will be donated to local youths in need.

Lakeland College Bantam Tigers

Last week, our team of 13-14 year old boys went carolling at our local Nursing Home, Seniors Lodge and some downtown businesses to spread some Christmas Cheer. We wanted to do some community activities and chose to visit three different Senior residences to sing some Christmas carols and brighten their evening. We were rewarded with smiles from residents and staff, some of them singing along with us, and plenty of warm wishes and thanks for our time. It was good for the boys to share these moments - the seniors appreciated their efforts, it was fun for all of us.

Lethbridge City League

The Pee Wee Division in the Lethbridge City League was challenged on the weekend to fill several food bins for the Lethbridge Food Bank Society. Six games were held over the weekend and the teams were able to gather over 300lbs of donated food. Thanks to the Milestone Mazda Bandits for organizing and all teams that helped with this project.

Medicine Hat MHA

The Atom Wildcat girls gathered to have a Secret Santa gift exchange as well as collect and donate items for the Women’s Shelter. We are encouraging these young ladies to be a community on and off the ice.

On December 8th, the Medicine Hat Minor Hockey Atom A Hurricanes and Senators hosted a WHL inspired "teddy bear toss" exhibition game. When the first goal was scored, approximately 150 bears came tumbling onto the ice. The bears were collected and held by the parents and coaches until Saturday December 17. On this day, both teams met at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital with all the bears. The players then went through four wings of the hospital and handed the bears out to patients of all ages on behalf of Medicine Hat Minor Hockey. The reaction from the patients was amazing and they were very appreciative. It was also, amazing to see how the kids responded when handing the bears out and wishing people, whom they do not know, a "Merry Christmas" and "hope you feel better soon".

The Peewee Hounds Black team rang bells and collected donations for the Salvation Army on December 7.

The Peewee Hounds Orange team also rang bells and collected donations for the Salvation Army, on December 9.

The Peewee City Flames bought and donated gifts for the United Way Toy Drive on December 17.

The SEAC Midget 15’s collected food donations for the Brooks Food Bank Foundation and the Medicine Hat & Disctrict Food Bank Association at their home games on December 17 & 18. The players are also working with the United Way to help prepare food hampers.

Sherwood Park MHA

The SPMHA Atom A Jets teams volunteered their time at the Edmonton Food Bank to help sort food donations.

Spruce Grove Peewee AA Broncos

The Spruce Grove Peewee AA Broncos donated and did a food and toy drive to support the Spruce Grove Kinettes Christmas Hamper Program. The team raised over $350 and had a truck full of food and toys.

West Central Bantam AA Tigers

The West Central Bantam AA Tigers, Foothill Bisons and all the West Central home community supporters at a home game on Saturday December 3, participated in a Teddy Bear/Gift Card Toss. We raised over $500 in gift cards/cash and 102 Teddy Bears were tossed! A special thank you to the Foothills Bisons for helping support and participate in this event as well- both teams were on the ice for this event and it was a special moment to see!

The gift cards and teddy bears were distributed throughout local charities in Sylvan Lake, Bentley, Rimbey, Eckville, Spruceview, Caroline, Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer. The Tiger players hand delivered to each community group.

Also, some of our boys have helped and volunteered in community Canskate programs as Program Assistants in Rimbey, AB.

If you’d like to share a story of your team or association giving back, please email


2017 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce the host sites for the 2017 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial.

2017 Provincial Host Sites >

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province, at locations ranging from Fort McMurray in the north, the Foothills (High River and Blackie) in the south, to Lloydminster in the east and Grande Prairie in the west.

Host sites for two 2018 Provincial Championships have also been confirmed, with the Bonnyville Pontiacs hosting the Senior AA championship, and the Fort St. John Huskies hosting the Junior B championships.

ATB Financial will once again headline as the presenting sponsor of the Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, continuing a long-standing relationship with Hockey Alberta.

Hockey Alberta’s month-long “March to a title” features provincial championship tournament action during three weekends in March, along with four champions crowned through league playoff series. Organizations interested in hosting a provincial championship tournament completed a detailed bid process, with a bid committee evaluating the submissions.

The majority of teams competing in minor Provincial Championship tournaments qualify by winning a zone playdown. Playdowns start in mid-January across the province, with up to 1,000 teams vying for the right to represent their zone at the provincial championships. Host teams receive an automatic berth in the championship they are hosting, although they do participate in zone playdowns, and have the opportunity to win their zone title.

The following provincial champions will be decided via league playoffs: Senior AAA, Junior A, Midget AAA, and Bantam AAA.

Hosts for the following events are still being accepted and reviewed: Midget Female Elite, Bantam Female A, Atom AA Minor, and Atom A. Interested applicants can contact Bryden Burrell, Coordinator, Hockey Operations.


Photo Credit: LA Media

Alberta Hockey Day: Celebrating the female game

GRANDE PRAIRIE - Hockey Alberta is proud to host its inaugural Alberta Hockey Day on January 21, 2017, to celebrate and showcase female hockey across the province.

This day will combine a number of on and off-ice events catered to both new and existing participants, focusing on fun, skills and friendships.

Grande Prairie will be the host site of Alberta Hockey Day’s main event, with special guests scheduled to attend, including two-time Olympic gold medallist and former Team Alberta player and coach Carla MacLeod.

Edmonton, Calgary, Leduc, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Olds and Banff/Canmore will also host Alberta Hockey Day Events.

Event Details >

Hockey Alberta’s goal is to develop female players, coaches and officials who are currently in our program while introducing the sport to new participants. All sessions offered throughout the day will be at no cost to the participants, in an effort to connect our sport to a larger audience.


Photo credit: Lethbridge Hurricanes

WHL Game Day Speaker Series - Lethbridge Hurricanes

LETHBRIDGE - Hockey Alberta is proud to partner with the Western Hockey League to present two more installments of the WHL Game Day Speaker Series with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

These seminars are open to all local minor hockey coaches registered with Hockey Alberta. The seminar will allow for coaches to attend a Lethbridge Hurricanes home game, where participants will get a behind-the-scenes experience to talk and learn from WHL coaches. With both practical and theoretical learning experiences, this is a great educational opportunity for coaches.

Each seminar costs $45 per coach, and includes:

  • Hurricanes game ticket
  • One drink voucher
  • Chicken wings
  • Souvenir Lethbridge Hurricanes hat.

Both seminars take place at the home of the Hurricanes, the Enmax Centre, and feature a pre-game presentation from Hockey Alberta, a visit from the visiting team’s Coach, a ticket to watch the Hurricanes game, and a Q&A session after the game with members of the Lethbridge Hurricanes coaching staff.

Seminar dates, details, and registration information can be found below. Each seminar has a maximum capacity of 30 participants, and registration is on a first come, first serve basis.

Date: Wednesday, December 14 vs Kamploops Blazers
Visiting team presenter: Don Hay, Blazers Head Coach

Date: Saturday, February 4 vs Moose Jaw Warriors
Visiting team presenter: Tim Hunter, Warriors Head Coach

Register >

For more information, please contact Matt Weninger, Consultant, Regional Centre South

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Photo credit: LA Media

Nominations open for Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame

RED DEER – Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Induction Class of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF).

The AHHF recognizes significant accomplishments and contributions by individuals, teams, and organizations in the sport of hockey in Alberta. Induction into the AHHF is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a hockey participant in the province.

Nomination Package >

Nominees may be active or retired. To be eligible for consideration, the following minimum criteria must be met by a nominee:

  • Resided in Alberta for at least five years.
  • Made a significant impact to hockey during their time as an Alberta resident.
  • Exceptional service or contribution to the game of hockey in Alberta or at a national or international level.
  • Achieved significant personal, team and or professional accomplishment in the game.
  • Made an impact in the game beyond a local or regional level
  • Received significant other recognitions (for example, Canadian Sport Hall of Fame, Hockey Hall of Fame, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, national or International champion or medalist, major individual award).
  • Groups/Teams must have achieved a significant result at a national or international level or have impacted on a provincial level under exceptional circumstances.

Deadline for nominations is January 30. The 2017 Induction class will be honoured in July at the AHHF Awards Gala in Canmore.

Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation oversee the AHHF, and host the annual Awards Gala. The AHHF Gallery is located at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Red Deer, and features memorabilia showcasing the history of the sport in Alberta, with a focus on items from each year’s induction class members.

AHHF Honoured Members >