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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

Hockey Alberta News

Hockey Alberta News

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

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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.

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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

Hockey Alberta News

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

Hockey Alberta News

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

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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.

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

Duchess Minor Hockey

Hockey Alberta News

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

Hockey Alberta News

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.

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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.

Hockey Alberta News

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

Hockey Alberta News

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

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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

Hockey Alberta News

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

Hockey Alberta News

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.

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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".

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

Hockey Alberta News

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

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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

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

Spruce Grove Peewee AA Broncos

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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

Hockey Alberta News

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!

Hockey Alberta News

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 [email protected].

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.


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.