With 2019 now in the rear-view mirror, Hockey Alberta looks back on the year that was with some of our favourite moments from the past year (in no particular order).
Canada Games Gold, Bronze for Team Alberta U18 Female and U16 Male
Photo credit: Kurtis Fischer
Team Alberta U18 female defied the odds in March, taking down an undefeated Quebec team 2-1 to capture gold on home ice at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
The gold medal was Alberta’s 100th medal of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and second in hockey, with the Men’s team winning bronze in week one.
Photo credit: Peter Fuzzery
After an 8-4 loss in the semi-finals at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, Team Alberta U16 Male rebounded with a 12-0 win over Saskatchewan to claim the bronze medal.
Photo credit: LA Media
After giving up the first goal of the game, Team Alberta Red scored three unanswered goals to defeat Alberta Black 3-1, capturing the 2019 Alberta Cup title in Red Deer.
Photo credit: LA Media
North Yellow claimed the 2019 Alberta Challenge title in Leduc, defeating North Blue 5-2.
Photo credit: LA Media
The Peewee Prospects Cup had a long trip home from Lethbridge in 2019, with North Grey skating to a 6-2 win over North Blue in the championship final.
March to a Title
The 2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial, had a little different look than previous years in the Peewee Division. Hockey Alberta undertook a trial that saw the Peewee A-D championships transition to Peewee Tiers 1-4 based on the new standardized tiering model implemented for the 2018-19 season. There were 40 provincial champs crowned, ranging from Atom to Senior AAA, with events hosted at locations ranging from Grande Prairie to Fort Macleod to Cold Lake.
Esso Cup Three-Peat
After making history as the first team to repeat as Esso Cup champions in 2018, the St. Albert Slash of the Alberta Female Hockey League re-wrote history again in 2019, defeating the host Sudbury Lady Wolves to capture a third straight national title.
Alberta players, officials take the next step
Photo credit: Chicago Blackhawks
Alberta saw a number of its players and officials earn accolades and recognition in 2019:
- For the fifth straight year, an Albertan was the top selection at the Western Hockey League Bantam draft, as the Winnipeg Ice took Matthew Savoie with the first overall pick. Full Story >
- A total of 12 Albertans were selected at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, including Kirby Dach, who went third overall to the Chicago Blackhawks, making him the highest-drafted Albertan since Jay Bouwmeester went third overall to the Florida Panthers in 2002. Full Story >
- A number of on-ice officials achieved opportunities at high-profile national and international events. More Stories >
Albertans Get The Call To The Hall
Photo credit: Andy Devlin/Oilers Entertainment Group
Five outstanding individuals and back-to-back Memorial Cup champions were enshrined as the 2019 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF): Theoren Fleury, Kevin Lowe, Shirley Cameron, Bob Ridley, Duncan MacDougall, and the 1986-87 and 1987-88 Medicine Hat Tigers.
Leading Change was the central theme of Hockey Alberta’s 2019 Hockey Conference and Annual General Meeting in Red Deer in November, highlighted by keynote speaker Matt Symes.
Hockey Alberta has a new Chair and Vice Chair at the helm of its Board of Directors after the organization’s 112th Annual General Meeting in Red Deer. Len Samletzki was acclaimed as the new Chair, taking over from Terry Engen. Allan Mowbray was acclaimed as the Vice Chair, taking over from Fran Zinger.
The Hockey Alberta Foundation also saw a new Chair and Vice Chair of its Board of Directors in 2019. Dennis Zukiwsky (Red Deer) was acclaimed as the new Chair, taking over from John Windwick. Jeff Robson (Calgary) was acclaimed as the Vice Chair, taking over from Dennis Zukiwsky. Zukiwsky previously served as the Board’s Vice Chair, while Robson was previously a Director on the Board.
Hockey Alberta Awards
Hockey Alberta presented their annual Hockey Alberta Awards in conjunction with the Alberta Cup in April, recognizing outstanding individuals and teams for their hard work and accomplishments in making a positive difference for our participants in the game of hockey during the 2018-19 season.
Every Kid Every Community - The Gateway to Hockey Opportunities Around the Province
To kick off the year, the Piper Creek Optimist Club of Red Deer’s annual Battle of Alberta fundraiser brought in nearly $15,000 for EKEC in January. The Foundation’s annual Golf and Gala events saw another $129,000 come in for the program in July, and the annual Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event raised $170,000 for EKEC, as well as Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta.
More than $45,000 was dispersed to organizations across the province, through Player Assistance Grants or Program Grants. Funding was provided directly by the Hockey Alberta Foundation to several charitable groups, including: Sport Central, Comrie’s Sports Bank, KidSport, HEROS Hockey and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
National, International Championship Tournaments in Brooks and Medicine Hat
Alberta saw a pair of high-profile events in 2019, with the National Junior A Championship taking place in Brooks in May, and the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat in November (split with Swift Current).
The host Brooks Bandits took home the 2019 National Junior A Championship title.
Leading Our Leaders
Hockey Alberta strives to ensure every coach in the province has the opportunity to receive all the proper information and training needed to provide our players with the highest level of coaching at all levels. In 2019 alone, more than 4,600 hockey coaches in Alberta attended National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) and other professional coach development clinics offered this season through Hockey Alberta.
Kicking Off the Sledge Season
Alberta’s Sledge Hockey season started out with a bang in Red Deer in September, with a two-day Sledge Hockey Player Development Camp for players of all ages and skill levels, led by Canada’s Women’s National Para-Ice Hockey team Head Coach, Tara Chisholm. A Sledge Hockey Coach 2 - Coach Level clinic ran in conjunction with the camp, emphasizing basic skills and the importance of having players develop confidence, self-esteem, and a love for the game.