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Twelve Albertans named to Team WHL for Canada Russia Series

RED DEER - Alberta will be very well-represented during the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series, with 12 Albertans named to Team WHL’s roster.

On Tuesday, the Western Hockey League, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League, Moose Jaw Warriors, Swift Current Broncos and Hockey Canada, announced today the roster for Team WHL, which will compete against Team Russia in the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Forwards Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Calgary), Tyler Benson (Edmonton), Dillon Dube (Cochrane), Matthew Phillips (Calgary), Sam Steel (Sherwood Park), and Tyler Steenbergen (Sylvan Lake) will all suit up for Team WHL up front. On defence, Jake Bean (Calgary), Kale Clage (Lloydminster), Josh Mahura (St. Albert), and David Quenneville (Edmonton) will all be part of an Albertan-heavy blueline, in front of goaltenders Carter Hart (Sherwood Park) and Stuart Skinner (Edmonton).

Team WHL will face Team Russia in Game 1 of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series in Moose Jaw on Monday, November 6, before continuing on to Swift Current for Game 2 on Tuesday, November 7. The Ontario Hockey League will host Games 3 and 4, while the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will welcome the festivities surrounding Games 5 and 6.

For more information on the Canada Russia Series, click here.

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

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Photo credit: LA Media

Albertans land on Team Canada, Team WHL rosters

RED DEER - Wednesday was quite the day for a number of Albertans, as the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, National Women’s Team and Team WHL rosters were all announced.

Eight Team Alberta alumni selected for World U17 Hockey Challenge

Eight players from Team Alberta’s 2019 Canada Winter Games U16 squad have been selected to play in the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat and Swift Current.

Defencemen Corson Ceulemans (Beaumont) Kyle Masters (Edmonton) and Olen Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan), and forwards Jayden Grubbe (Calgary), Dylan Guenther (Edmonton), Matthew Savoie (St. Albert), Sean Tschigerl (Whitecourt) and Kai Uchacz (Okotoks) are among the 66 players chosen to represent Canada.

The 66 players will be divided into three teams representing Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White when they compete against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States in their quest for a gold medal.

In July, 112 players were invited to the week-long national under-17 development camp, marking the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.

The tournament opens with all three Canadian teams in action Saturday, November 2 at 7p.m. MT; Team Canada Red takes on Russia at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current, and Team Canada Black will face off against Team Canada White at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.

Single-game tickets will be available for purchase starting at $10 for youth and $15 for adults on Oct. 16, and can be purchased online at

Maschmeyer to suit up for Team Canada in November

Former Team Alberta U18 Female netminder Emerance Maschmeyer will take a familiar spot in net for Team Canada this November, as the Bruderheim native was named to the National Women’s Team roster for the two game-series against the United States set for November 8-10 in Cranberry Township, PA.

Team Canada will take on the United States at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on Friday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. MT and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. MT. Both games are in preparation for the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship, March 31-April 10 in Halifax and Truro, N.S.

Six Albertans land on Team WHL for Canada Russia Series

Six Albertans will suit up for Team WHL during the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series in Saskatoon and Prince Albert in November.

Defencemen Bowen Byram (Lethbridge/Cranbrook) and Ty Smith (Lloydminster), along with forwards Kirby Dach (Fort Saskatchewan), Dillon Hamaliuk (Leduc), Peyton Krebs (Okotoks) and Brayden Tracey (Calgary) will represent their league in games five and six of the annual series, set for November 13 in Saskatoon, and November 14 in Prince Albert.

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Photo credit: LA Media

Alberta well-represented in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list

RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its October ’Players to Watch’ list, with 18 Albertans making an appearance.

Three Albertan skaters are listed as ’A’ prospects: defencemen Kaiden Guhle and Jake Sanderson, and forward Dylan Holloway.

Seven Albertans are in the ’B’ prospect category, with eight more listed as ’C’ prospects.

The ‘A’ rating indicates a first round candidate, a ‘B’ rating indicates a second or third round candidate, and a ‘C’ rating indicates a fourth, fifth, or sixth round candidate.

The full list of Albertans named to the Players to Watch list can be found below:

Name Position Team League
A Prospects
Kaiden Guhle Defence Prince Albert WHL
Dylan Holloway Forward Wisconsin Big Ten
Jake Sanderson Defence USA U-18 NTDP
B Prospects
Ridly Greig Forward Brandon WHL
Connor McClennon Forward Winnipeg WHL
Jack McNaughton Goaltender Calgary WHL
Jake Neighbours Forward Edmonton WHL
Luke Prokop Defence Calgary WHL
Carter Savoie Forward Sherwood Park AJHL
Ozzy Wiesblatt Forward Prince Albert WHL
C Prospects
Tyrel Bauer Defence Seattle WHL
Michael Benning Defence Sherwood Park AJHL
Garin Bjorklund Goaltender Medicine Hat WHL
Noah Boyko Forward Lethbridge WHL
Ethan Edwards Defence Spruce Grove AJHL
Rhett Rhinehart Defence Prince George WHL
Ronan Seeley Defence Everett WHL
Carter Souch Forward Edmonton WHL

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Photo credit: Rob Wallator

Four Albertans named to Canada’s National Women’s Development and Under-18 Teams

CALGARY - Four Albertans will suit up for Team Canada this week in Lake Placid, New York, as the National Women’s Team announced its Development Team and Under-18 Team rosters.

Team Alberta alumnus Malia Schneider (Millarville) was named to Canada’s Development Team roster, while 2019 Canada Winter Games gold medalists Jaden Bogden (Edmonton) and Sarah Wozniewicz (Cochrane), along with Taze Thompson (Sherwood Park), will all play for the Under-18 squad.

All three Under-18 players are on Team Alberta’s shortlist roster for the 2019 U18 National Championships in Morden and Winkler, MB.

Both teams will play in a three-game series against the United States, August 14-17.

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Photo credit: LA Media

Five Team Alberta alumni headed to Hlinka Gretzky Cup

CALGARY - Five members of Team Alberta’s 2017 U16 Male squad have earned the opportunity to suit up for Team Canada’s National Men’s Summer U18 Team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August.

Defenceman Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park), and forwards Ridly Greig (Lethbridge), Connor McClennon (Wainwright), Jake Neighbours (Airdrie) and Ozzy Wiesblatt (Calgary) are among the 22 players selected to represent Canada for the annual international under-18 tournament.

Hockey Canada finalized its roster Tuesday following a five-day selection camp that saw 44 players participate in on and off-ice sessions, including three intrasquad games, at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup runs August 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.

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Six Albertans invited to National Women’s Development and U18 selection camps

CALGARY - Six Albertans will head to Calgary in August for Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Development and Under-18 team selection camps.

Forwards Jaden Bogden (Edmonton), Taze Thompson (Sherwood Park) and Sarah Wozniewicz (Cochrane) will attend the BFL National Women’s U18 selection camp, while goaltender Kirsten Chamberlin (Cochrane) and forwards Malia Schneider (Millarville) and Danielle Serdachny (Edmonton) will skate in the BFL National Women’s Development Team selection camp.

Coming off a gold medal at the 2019 Canada Winter Games as the Head Coach of Team Alberta U18 Female, Carla Macleod (Calgary) will serve as an Assistant Coach on the Development Team, while former gold medal-winning Team Alberta U18 coach Howie Draper (Edmonton) will serve as the Head Coach of the Under-18 team.

The BFL National Women’s Development and Under-18 Team selection camps run August 2-11 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary. Both teams will compete in a pair of three-game series against the United States in Lake Placid, NY, August 14-17.

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Photo credit: Chicago Blackhawks

Twelve Albertans selected at 2019 NHL Draft

RED DEER - It was another solid year for Alberta at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver.

A total of 12 players with Alberta roots were selected, including seven in the first two rounds.

Four Team Alberta alumni were taken in the first round alone, with Fort Saskatchewan’s Kirby Dach going third overall to the Chicago Blackhawks, making him the highest-drafted Albertan since Jay Bouwmeester went third overall to the Florida Panthers in 2002.

Dach’s Team Alberta teammate Bowen Byram was selected by the Colorado Avalanche with the next pick, while Peyton Krebs and Brayden Tracey went 17th and 29th to the Vegas Golden Knights and Anaheim Ducks, respectively.

Carter Gylander of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Sherwood Park Crusaders was the lone Alberta netminder selected in the draft, going to the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round.

A full list of Albertans/Team Alberta alumni drafted can be found below:

Pick Player Team Position Hometown


3rd Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades, WHL) Chicago Blackhawks Forward Fort Saskatchewan
4th Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants, WHL) Colorado Avalanche Defence Cranbrook
17th Peyton Krebs (Winnipeg Ice, WHL) Vegas Golden Knights Forward Okotoks
29th Brayden Tracey (Moose Jaw, WHL) Anaheim Ducks Forward Calgary


49th Matthew Robertson (Edmonton, WHL) New York Rangers Defence Edmonton
55th Dillon Hamaliuk (Seattle, WHL) San Jose Sharks Forward Leduc
56th Brett Leason (Prince Albert, WHL) Washington Capitals Forward Calgary


92nd Quinn Olson (Okotoks, AJHL) Boston Bruins Forward Calgary
120th Maxwell Crozier (Sioux Falls, USHL) Tampa Bay Lightning Defence Calgary


191st Carter Gylander (Sherwood Park, AJHL) Detroit Red Wings Goaltender Edmonton
199th Matthew Wedman (Seattle, WHL) Florida Panthers Forward Edmonton
206th Kieran Ruscheinski (Calgary, AMHL) Montreal Canadiens Defence Calgary

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True Spirit of Hockey Day at Lois E. Hole Elementary School

True Spirit of Hockey Day at Lois E. Hole Elementary School

ST. ALBERT - Grade 4 classes at Lois E. Hole Elementary School in St. Albert held a True Spirit of Hockey Day event in March, putting their creative abilities to work while showcasing their passion for hockey. The students each illustrated and explained their suggestion for a Hockey Alberta Digital Mascot, which could be used to highlight the positive impact of hockey. With such overwhelming participation, and to thank the students for their incredible effort, Hockey Alberta presented a plaque and hosted a pizza party for the classes.

It’s no surprise that these students showed great passion for this project, as Lois E. Hole Elementary School boasts a Hockey Academy as part of their programming. The Hockey Academy is open to male and female students of all skill levels who are passionate about the game, want to improve themselves, and have a desire to learn and commit to improvement and progression. Their philosophy is one of growth and development. The academy promotes both on-ice and life skills in student athletes, creating quality citizens who will make wise choices, be respectful, enthusiastic, confident, cooperative and independent.

The students were also provided with a number of different items to keep their fandom for the game burning, including foam fingers, clappers and thunders sticks. Thank you to Melissa Kueber and Cindy Jeffery, who were instrumental in leading this initiative and making this day special for their students. Hockey Alberta would also like to extend a special thank you to Dominos St. Albert, who generously donated all of the pizzas for this event.

True Spirit of Hockey Day at Lois E. Hole Elementary SchoolTrue Spirit of Hockey Day at Lois E. Hole Elementary School

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AHHF trio highlights special luncheon in Canmore

CANMORE - Mike Rogers, Mel Davidson and Al Coates were the featured guests at the special luncheon hosted in Canmore on Thursday in support of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Gala.

Rogers and Davidson are both Honoured Members of the AHHF, and Coates is a member of the AHHF selection committee. All three have extensive hockey resumes at the professional and international levels, and they shared some of their favourite memories during a hockey hot stove session.

The luncheon was co-hosted by Hockey Alberta, the Hockey Alberta Foundation and the Canmore AHHF VIP Luncheon and Reception Committee, with members of the Canmore business community participating in an information session on sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 AHHF Gala. Luncheon sponsors included: Basecamp Lodge, Good Earth Coffeehouse (Banff), Stickworx and Canmore Raft Tours.

The AHHF Induction Gala is on Sunday, July 21, at the Coast Hotel in Canmore. This year’s inductees are Shirley Cameron, Theoren Fleury, Kevin Lowe, Duncan MacDougall, Bob Ridley and the 1986-87 & 1987-88 Medicine Hat Tigers Memorial Cup Champions. 2019 Inductee Bios >

If you would like to become an integral part of the biggest celebration of hockey in Alberta, there are sponsorship opportunities available or plan to attend the 16th Anniversary Awards Gala & Hockey Celebration.

Purchase your Gala tickets >

Reserve a room at the Coast Hotel in Canmore Online >
Or by calling 1-800-663-1144. Please reference CCM-GFC 3880 or AHHF Awards - Attendees

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Grade 5 Girls Introduced to Hockey Basics

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta staff took part in the 16th annual Go Girl event at the Collicutt Centre on Thursday to introduce over 100 Grade 5 girls to floor hockey. The girls worked on the basics of passing and stick handling, culminating in fun small area games.

Go Girl, with Red Deer College’s Be Fit For Life Centre, is a one day event with a focus on physical activity, health and confidence for young girls. This year had nearly 800 Grade 5 girls from Red Deer schools participate to gain new skills and knowledge while building friendships. Each student got to experience four different session through the day.

If you have a daughter who has an interest in hockey or has been playing for a number of years – there are a number of great opportunities for her to become involved in female hockey in Alberta.

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Photo Credit: 6 Hearts

Hockey Alberta Awards Presented

RED DEER - This past Sunday, April 28, Hockey Alberta presented their annual Hockey Alberta Awards in conjunction with the Alberta Cup. These Awards allow Hockey Alberta and the Alberta hockey community to recognize 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.

The Hockey Alberta Awards program includes awards that are open to nominations from Hockey Alberta member organization, staff member or volunteer, and others that are determined by Hockey Alberta through a review of eligible candidates.

The 2019 Hockey Alberta Award recipients are:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Jody Forbes (Calgary). Presented to a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to amateur hockey during the current season.
  • Coach of the Year: Kent Beagle (Rimbey). Presented to a coach who has made an outstanding contribution to amateur hockey during the current season.
  • Player of the Year: Kason Buffalo-Rain (Maskwacis). Presented to a player who has achieved significant achievements, performances and contributions within amateur hockey during the current season.
  • Official of the Year: Lacey Senuk (St. Albert). Presented to an official who has made an outstanding contribution to amateur hockey during the current season.
  • Ernie Boruk Award: David Mousseau (Red Deer). Presented for outstanding dedication and contribution to Hockey Alberta Officials Committee.
  • Dave Ganley Award: Michael Roberts (Calgary). Presented for outstanding contribution to hockey officiating in Alberta
  • Team of the Year: Springbank Peewee AA Rockies. Presented to recognize a Team’s significant achievements, performances and contributions within amateur hockey during the current season.
  • Order of Merit: These awards recognize exceptional leadership and distinguished service to amateur hockey in Alberta for 10 years or more. Awards may be presented in the categories of Administration, Coaching/Development and officiating. Recipients have dedicated significant time, effort and leadership to the growth and development of amateur hockey, not only in their own community, but across the province.

Congratulations to all of the Award recipients and nominees and Hockey Alberta and the hockey community thank you for your contributions to our sport.

We encourage everyone to look at the full overview of the Hockey Alberta Awards program and consider who makes a difference to you, your team and your community in 2019-20.

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Alberta Cup Kids Fun Zone

RED DEER - Come visit the Alberta Cup Kids Fun Zone at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre today and tomorrow (Saturday, April 26) from 8:30-3:00. This fun, free and interactive activity corner utilizes three key skills to being successful in hockey.

Hockey AlbertaHockey AlbertaHockey AlbertaHockey Alberta


Passing the puck to a teammate helps move the puck up the ice faster, gets the puck into a better position to score a goal, and helps a team defend their own net. Tips on making a good pass include:

  • your hands and arms should be relaxed and away from your body
  • look where you would like to pass
  • release the puck or ball from the heel to the toe of the stick and finish by pointing to the target with your stick blade.


In hockey, we want to score more goals than the other team by shooting the puck into the net. A good shot features a quick release and accurate directing of the puck or ball. There are different types of shots (slap, wrist, snap, backhand), but all shots have common techniques for a quick and accurate release:

  • your arms should be relaxed and away from your body,
  • the puck or ball should start toward your back leg,
  • as you take the shot your weight should move from your back leg to your front leg
  • finally follow through by pointing to the target with your stick blade.

Stickhandling allows a player to keep the puck while s/he moves around the ice, avoid defenders and get to a better scoring area. Important stickhandling tips include:

  • your “top” hand “hides” the top end of your stick
  • your “bottom” hand’s thumb and index finger grips the stick like a “V”
  • keep the puck or ball in the middle of your stick blade
  • guide the stick with your “top” hand while sliding your “bottom” hand up and down.

For more information on these or any of the other hockey related skills please visit Hockey Canada’s player development section.

Do you want to try hockey?

Hockey Alberta and Minor Hockey Associations across the province offer various youth program options (minor hockey, rec hockey, pond hockey etc) designed to fit your busy life. Or you can check out programs such as the Canadian Tire First Shift that give you an introduction to the game - and includes free equipment.

For more details or to ask questions:

Hockey Alberta website:


Phone: 403-342-6777

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Photo credit: LA Media

Twenty Albertans listed in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings

RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its final rankings ahead of the 2019 NHL draft, with 20 Albertans on the list.

Six Albertans landed in the top 30 of the North American Skater rankings: Kirby Dach, Bowen Byram, Peyton Krebs, Brayden Tracey, Brett Leason and Matthew Robertson.

Byram moved up two spots to become the highest ranked Albertan, while Tracey’s outstanding rookie season in the WHL, which landed him the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year nod, saw him jump up 52 spots in the rankings.

Taylor Gauthier, Carter Gylander and Matthew Davis were both listed among the top North American goaltenders.

The full list of Albertans appearing in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings can be found below:

Final Rank Player Position Last Amateur Club League
7 Taylor Gauthier Goalie Prince George WHL
10 Carter Gylander Goalie Sherwood Park AJHL
24 Matthew Davis Goalie Spruce Grove AJHL
2 Bowen Byram Defence Vancouver WHL
3 Kirby Dach Forward Saskatoon WHL
10 Peyton Krebs Forward Kootenay WHL
21 Brayden Tracey Forward Moose Jaw WHL
25 Brett Leason Forward Prince Albert WHL
26 Matthew Robertson Defence Edmonton WHL
85 Maxwell Crozier Defence Sioux Falls USHL
105 Quinn Olson Forward Okotoks AJHL
137 Luke Bast Defence Brooks AJHL
147 Jake Lee Defence Seattle WHL
170 Bryce Kindopp Forward Everett WHL
179 Chase Felgueiras Defence Humboldt SJHL
197 Kirby Proctor Defence Des Moines USHL
199 Tarun Fizer Forward Victoria WHL
201 Zachary Okabe Forward Grande Prairie AJHL
202 David Kope Forward Edmonton WHL
Limited Viewing Dillon Hamaliuk Forward Seattle WHL

Home Ice Feature stories 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

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Brooks Novice Jamboree – “It’s a great day for hockey”

Sunday March 23, 2019
by Jamie Langley
Player/Coach Development
Brooks Minor Hockey Association
Jamie Langley organized a four-team half-ice Novice jamboree to wrap up the 2018-19 season in Brooks. Here are his thoughts about a fantastic day for all the participants.

BROOKS - The day began with excitement and uncertainty as all four teams prepared for the four games in six hours journey. The goal was to host an event to celebrate the half-ice hockey game and reward the players with something fun, challenging and exciting.

All teams received a complimentary gift basket of Gatorade, fruit, energy bars, a hockey bracelet and helmet sticker to mark the event.

Setting the tone was announcer extraordinaire Devin Campbell as he energized and welcomed everyone to the “IT’S A GREAT DAY FOR HOCKEY” Novice Jamboree.

Team and player introductions followed and all four teams took their place on the two blue lines. Pre game festivities concluded with the singing of O’ Canada.

Four teams participated in the event; Lacombe Red Rockets, Bow Island Rebels, Brooks Jr. Bandits Novice Red and Brooks Jr. Bandits Novice Blue.

The excitement in the kids’ eyes was contagious as they heard their names over the sound system as they skated to their respective blue lines. This really set the tone for the day. To round things out all games were played with music being played through the sound system truly making it a fun and exciting day for the kids playing the game.

Every player, coach, parent and fan had a tremendous day either playing or watching the action which featured two games back-to-back, a pizza break for teams to meet and mingle while enjoying free pizza from Domino’s, followed by two more games.

Highlighting the “IT’S A GREAT DAY FOR HOCKEY” Jamboree was the focus on team work and sportsmanship, which was evident as the Jamboree signed off after the last two games with a giant handshake line and group picture with all four teams at centre ice, celebrating the parents and the excitement of the day.

As for the teams, they all had an extraordinary day of hockey, fun, excitement and a little exhaustion. They were thrilled to be taking part and are excited to be invited back next year for “IT’S A GREAT DAY FOR HOCKEY” Jamboree, part two.

The future of hockey lies with today’s youth. Because of this, Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta have developed age appropriate programming to encourage the growth of foundational skills for young players in hockey. Minor hockey associations and coaches lead the implementation of the Initiation and Novice programs with the assistance of volunteers, parents and others associated with hockey.

The programming must provide opportunities for a wide range of people to get involved to improve the quality of the hockey experience through sound instruction and enjoyable play.

Effective for the 2019-20 season, Initiation and Novice hockey in Alberta will run under the title Intro to Hockey. The goals and objectives of Intro to Hockey programming are to:

  • Teach the basic skills of hockey so players can enjoy the game,
  • Assist in the development and enhancement of physical literacy and basic motor patterns,
  • Deliver a program that is age appropriate for the size, skill and age of the players,
  • Encourage the aspects of fitness, fair play and co-operation while having fun playing the game.

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Seven Albertans win Canada West awards

RED DEER - It was another banner year for Alberta’s collegiate athletes as Canada West announced its year-end honours on Wednesday.

Seven Albertans - three in Men’s Hockey and four in Women’s Hockey, were recognized for their outstanding seasons.

Canmore’s Luke Philp (University of Alberta) repeated as the Canada West Player of the Year, while Edmonton’s Grayson Pawlenchuk (University of Alberta) was named the Rookie of the Year. Sherwood Park native Riley Kieser (University of Alberta) was honoured with the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.

Both Philp and Pawlenchuk are Team Alberta alumni, with Philp winning bronze with Alberta at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

It was a clean-sweep for Albertans in Women’s Hockey, with all four awards going to Team Alberta alumni. Edmonton native Alex Poznikoff (University of Alberta) earned top honours as the Canada West Player of the Year, Okotoks’ Breanne Trotter (Mount Royal University) was named the Rookie of the Year, and the Student Athlete Community Service Award went to Anna Purschke (Mount Royal University) of Sherwood Park. Former Team Alberta Coach Howie Draper (University of Alberta) was named Coach of the Year.

Poznikoff won a bronze medal with Team Alberta at the 2013 National Women’s U18 Championship, and again at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Draper coached the bronze-medal winning 2015 team, and also led Team Alberta to gold at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

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Photo credit: Peter Fuzessery/Canada Winter Games

Canada Winter Games come full circle for 1967 gold medal-winner

Hockey Alberta NewsRED DEER - The Canada Winter Games attract volunteers and spectators from all walks of life, but for one volunteer, the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer are particularly special.

Billings, a Red Deer native, was back in his hometown during the winter months for the first time in nearly ten years, as he and his wife both volunteered for the 2019 games.

According to Billings, it was important for him to take part in the Canada Winter Games in his hometown, as he was part of the inaugural games in 1967. In fact, Billings was a member of the gold medal-winning University of Alberta Golden Bears, who represented Alberta at the games.

"It makes me feel old, for one thing," said Billings on volunteering for the Canada Winter Games 52 years after winning gold. "I’m glad to still be here to enjoy it, and it probably means more to me now than when it happened, because I understand things a little better, you know, you cherish things more. I’m excited for all the young kids too, I’m looking forward to seeing it and being a part of it again."

Billings said as time passed by, he gained a greater appreciation for the one-in-a-lifetime experience in 1967.

"I didn’t really understand it all back then, I was just 19 years old, and in my first year of University," he said. "It was just exciting to be part of it. We played in the Quebec Coliseum, the building that Jean Beliveau built, that’s exciting. You walk in there, and you look up and see all these guys and say ’wow, I can’t believe I’m here’. Then we finally won, and that was hard to accept, we sat there and thought ’wow, did we really do this’? Then it hits home after awhile, and just like anything that you win, it was surreal."

Billings had the honour of representing the historic 1967 Men’s Hockey team at the 2019 Canada Winter Games Opening Ceremonies as well, as was selected as one of the final torch-bearers.

Although 52 years have passed, Billings said he still carries fond memories of the 1967 Canada Winter Games, and is looking forward to make new memories in 2019.

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Photo credit: Rob Wallator

Canada Winter Games: Alberta’s Tradition of Success

RED DEER - Hockey has been included as an event in the Canada Winter Games since its inaugural year in 1967. Throughout each passing year, the sport has seen its share of different winners and famous alumni. Since its inception, Alberta has been the only province to compete in each iteration of the Canada Winter Games, achieving great results in both the male and female competitions.

The 2019 Games set to begin on Friday - the first to be held in Alberta since 1995. Here is a look at the history of Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games:

Team Alberta Male

Male hockey was introduced at the 1967 Canada Winter Games with just three teams participating: Alberta, BC, and Ontario. Team Alberta won the gold medal, followed that up with a silver in 1971, and then gold again in 1975. Each tournament contained three teams.

The 1979 Games marked the first year where all provinces and territories entered a team into the tournament. Over the next three Canada Winter Games, Team Alberta finished out of the medals, with 1987 the last Games where Team Alberta Male did not win a medal. Since 1991, Team Alberta has finished with two bronze, three silver, and two gold medals. Alberta is the only province to win a medal in each of the last seven Canada Winter Games events.

The 1999 gold medal winning team was a 2018 inductee into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame. They were led by notable alumni Jay Bouwmeester and Scott Hartnell.

Team Alberta U16 Roster/Schedule >

Team Alberta Female

Female hockey was introduced to the Canada Winter Games in 1991. Team Alberta wasted no time finding success, taking home the gold medal with a team that included 13-year-old Hayley Wickenheiser. Since 1991, Team Alberta earned bronze in 1999 and 2015 while taking home the gold for a second time in 2011.

The 1991 gold medal winning squad was also inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

Team Alberta U18 Roster/Schedule >

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Vote for Springbank - Vote for Alberta!

Hockey Alberta News

The Springbank Rockies are the only Alberta team to qualify as a semi-finalist in the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup. Help win $100,000 for an Alberta charity. CLICK HERE or on the photo above to watch this incredible 60 second video. Each view equals one vote. Once you click and watch the FULL video, it registers your vote. The entire hockey community is encouraged to get involved... every age group, every team, every association to help win $100,000 for the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation and The Calgary Food Bank.

CALGARY - The Springbank Peewee AA Rockies agreed that the team should perform a “good deed” in the community that would bring value to the team and community and inspire others to participate or support the “good deed”.

The Rockies took their inspiration from their superhero Nathan O’Brien and The Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation support for the Calgary Food Bank. Nathan was a member of the Springbank Rockies Timbit Senators at the time of his tragic death in 2014. This season the AA team proudly wears the Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation logo on their helmets and pre-game warm-up gear.

The team worked with the Foundation and the O’Brien family to keep Nathan’s spirit alive, make a significant impact in the community, inspire others, and represent Springbank Minor Hockey, the Foundation, and the Calgary Food Bank as proud ambassadors.

The team set a goal to make a significant contribution to the Calgary Food Bank in support of The Nathan O’Brien Children’s Foundation. The goal - to fill a 40-foot transport trailer with non-perishable food. In order to achieve this goal, Purolator graciously provided a 53-foot transport trailer - 13 feet more than planned. The 53-foot challenge was eagerly embraced. Here is what was accomplished in a week:

  • 1,200 volunteer hours.
  • More than 5,000 bags distributed throughout the Springbank community and collected several days later.
  • Total amount of food collected: 53 feet = 16,752 lbs (approx. value $43,555)
  • Total cash donated: $4,920 (or approx. 9,500 lbs of food)
  • Total equivalent of approx. 16,200 meals to Calgarians.

The team recognized the significance of its undertaking and realized the opportunity (and need) to inspire the entirety of Springbank’s Peewee division to help fill the trailer. Proudly, EVERY Springbank Peewee team - House league through AA - participated in this year’s Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup competition.

The enthusiasm and commitment from the Peewee division was truly amazing, producing results that were equally spectacular. The 53-foot trailer was filled from front to back with almost 17,000 pounds of food and nearly $5,000 was collected - all within one week.

In addition, the Peewee AA team gained an appreciation of their Good Deed’s significance when they invested more than three hours at the Calgary Food Bank and witnessed firsthand the need in Calgary. The team and parents received a tour, sorted food into hampers, and learned that there are neighbours in the community who rely on the Calgary Food Bank for groceries - something that is generally taken for granted.


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Photo credit: LA Media

Sixteen Albertans listed in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings

RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its midterm rankings for the 2019 NHL draft, with 16 Albertans on the list.

Five Albertans landed in the top 20 of the North American Skater rankings: Kirby Dach, Bowen Byram, Peyton Krebs, Brett Leason and Matthew Robertson.

Taylor Gauthier and Matthew Davis were both listed among the top North American goaltenders.

The full list of Albertans appearing in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings can be found below:

Midterm Rank Player Position Last Amateur Club League
2 Kirby Dach Forward Saskatoon WHL
4 Bowen Byram Defence Vancouver WHL
8 Peyton Krebs Forward Kootenay WHL
17 Brett Leason Forward Prince Albert WHL
18 Matthew Robertson Defence Edmonton WHL
73 Brayden Tracey Forward Moose Jaw WHL
78 Jake Lee Defence Seattle WHL
97 Kirby Proctor Defence Des Moines USHL
154 Quinn Olson Forward Okotoks AJHL
158 Luke Bast Defence Brooks AJHL
159 David Kope Forward Edmonton WHL
176 Chase Felgueiras Defence Humboldt SJHL
201 Zachary Okabe Forward Grande Prairie AJHL
Limited Viewing Dillon Hamaliuk Forward Seattle WHL
5 Taylor Gauthier Goaltender Prince George WHL
30 Matthew Davis Goaltender Spruce Grove AJHL

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Photo credit: Rob Wallator

Highlight Reel: 2018

RED DEER - With 2018 now in the rear-view mirror, Hockey Alberta looks back on the year that was with some of our favourite moments (in no particular order).

Alberta Hockey Day / Female Hockey Day

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Dave Brunner

A pair of popular participation events served as book-ends for 2018 to highlight hockey development in the province: Alberta Hockey Day and Female Hockey Day.

Alberta Hockey Day was celebrated on January 20 in six different communities across Alberta: Brooks, High Level, Paradise Valley, Red Deer, Strathmore and Westlock. Alberta Hockey Day had a special focus on age-appropriate programming at the Initiation and Novice levels.

Alberta Hockey Day Photo Gallery >

The inaugural Female Hockey Day ran December 15 at the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer, with on and off-ice activities in all areas of the game, including coaching, officiating, and parenting. The day was capped off the the very first Canadian Women’s Hockey League game in Red Deer, as the Calgary Inferno took on the Toronto Furies in a regular season game, which saw more than 600 fans an attendance.

Female Hockey Day Photo Gallery >


Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: LA Media

The 2018 Alberta Winter Games in Fort McMurray saw a clean sweep in hockey as Zone 2 won gold in both the Male and Female categories. Full Story >

Team Central skated away from Spruce Grove as the 2018 Alberta Cup champions with a 2-0 win over Edmonton Yellow. Full Story >

Team Alberta North earned a pair of podium finishes at the 2019 Arctic Winter Games in Fort Smith and Hay River, NWT. The Bantam Male squad narrowly missed out on gold, with the host Northwest Territories scoring the decisive goal with less than 10 seconds to go in regulation. Meanwhile, the Junior Female team defeated the Yukon in a shootout to claim bronze. Full Story >

The March to a Title

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Rob Ganzeveld/FX Photo

Back-to-back winners and multiple championships highlighted the 2018 Hockey Alberta Provincials, presented by ATB Financial.

The Wainwright Bisons (Junior B), Lethbridge Hurricanes (Minor Midget AAA), St. Albert Slash (Midget Female AAA), Calgary Fire White (Bantam Female Elite), Irvine Bulldogs (Peewee D), and Drayton Valley Meter All Stars (Atom A) all repeated as Provincial champions.

It was quite the year for Lethbridge Minor Hockey in the Midget category as well. In addition to Minor Midget AAA, the Lethbridge Hurricanes also took home a provincial title in Midget AAA and Midget A.

2018 Parade of Champions >

History at the Esso Cup

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Dennis Pajot/Hockey Canada Images

After becoming the first team from Alberta to win the Esso Cup in 2017, the St. Albert Slash of the Alberta Female Hockey League made history again in 2018, becoming the first-ever team to repeat as Esso Cup champions.

After claiming the Midget AAA provincial title for the second straight year, the Slash defeated the Saskatoon Stars 2-1 to win gold once again. Full Story >

The Humboldt Broncos

Hockey Alberta News

April 6, 2018 is a date most will never forget. But, in the wake of the unthinkable Humboldt Broncos tragedy, a country came together as one.

In addition to a Canadian record-setting $15 million GoFundMe campaign, an outpouring of support came in from across Canada, and beyond. #HumboldtStrong became an immediate movement on social media, as did #JerseysForHumboldt and #PutYourSticksOut, which encouraged Canadians to leave a hockey stick at their front door to honour to victims of the crash.

On opening night of the 2018 Alberta Cup, Team Northwest and Team Edmonton Yellow paid tribute to those affected by the tragedy, including four Broncos who previously played in the Alberta Cup.

Alberta players, officials take the next step

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Every year, Alberta sees many of its players and officials take the next step in their career, and earn a number of accolades and recognition. 2018 was no different.

For the fourth straight year, an Albertan was the top selection at the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft as the Edmonton Oil Kings took Dylan Guenther with the first overall pick. A total of 11 Albertans were taken in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft, including fellow Alberta Cup All-Stars Kai Uchacz and Keagan Slaney, who were selected 10th and 20th overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds and Edmonton Oil Kings, respectively. Full Story >

At the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas, seven players from Alberta heard their names called by NHL teams. Lloydminster’s Ty Smith, a former number one pick in the WHL Bantam Draft, was the highest Albertan selected, going number 17 overall to the New Jersey Devils. Jacob Bernard-Docker also went in the first round, taken 26th overall by the Ottawa Senators. Full Story >

Meanwhile, in October, four of Alberta’s officials, Taylor Burzminski, Cody Huseby, Fraser Lawrence, and Lacy Senuk, were selected to represent the province on the national and international stage this season in Hockey Canada and IIHF events. Full Story >

Centre Ice Summit - Focus on Development

Hockey Alberta News

In conjunction with the Centre ICE Summit and the Hlinka/Gretzky Cup, Hockey Alberta offered several events to promote player, coach and officials development in August.

For players, in addition to the two-day Summer ICE Jamboree tournament for novice-aged players, Hockey Edmonton hosted a special session for parents to discuss the benefits of half-ice hockey.

The weekend also featured the Alberta Built Coach Seminar, a rare opportunity for more than 100 Alberta coaches to hear presentations from Todd McLellan and Glen Gulutzan (Edmonton Oilers); Dr. Paul Dennis (University of Toronto); Dr. John Dunn (University of Alberta); Dr. Stephen Norris (iMobius Ingenuity Inc); and Richard Monette (Active for Life).

For officials, the weekend included an on-ice session led by Dave Smith, the NHL Officials Director of Fitness and a classroom session with presentations from Hockey Alberta and the Western Hockey League.

Albertans Get The Call To The Hall

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: LA Media

Four outstanding individuals, and two Canada Winter Games gold medal-winning teams comprised the 2018 Induction Class for the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (AHHF) in July.

Grant Fuhr, Wally Kozak, Ron MacLean, Mike Vernon, and 1991 Team Alberta U18 Female and 1999 Team Alberta U16 Male were enshrined in Alberta’s hockey history at the AHHF Awards Gala in Canmore. Full Story >

Lessons From Behind The Glass / Hockey Alberta Awards

Hockey Alberta News

Hockey Alberta’s 2018 Annual General Meeting was held November 23-24 in Red Deer. Allyson Tufts, author of the book ’Lessons from Behind the Glass’, delivered the Keynote Address to kick off the weekend. Her address focused on the ways hockey is changing - both the game itself, and the kids who play it. Full Story >

The 2018 AGM also saw a new format for the Hockey Alberta Awards, which included the inaugural recipients named in several new categories including Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, and Team of the Year, . Full Story >

The Road to Red Deer Continues

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Rob Wallator

2018 saw many steps taken on the Road to Red Deer, as the Team Alberta U16 Male and U18 Female squads prepared for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

On the male side, the process began with the 2018 Alberta Cup in Spruce Grove, where 80 players were identified and chosen to attend Summer Camp in Camrose in July. From there, a shortlist roster was established, with the final roster announced in December. The Canada Games team got together for three days in December for Christmas Camp, which was highlighted by a pair of exhibition games against the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs and the St. Albert Raiders.

For the Female team, 88 athletes were invited to take part in the Team Alberta U18 Spring Camp in Spruce Grove in May. Forty-six of those athletes attended Summer Camp in Camrose in July, with a shortlist roster of 28 players established for September’s Fall Camp in Edmonton. The final roster was announced in December, with the team converging in Red Deer for Christmas Camp, playing exhibition games against the Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels and the Leduc AAA Oil Kings.

Hockey Alberta’s New Home

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Red Deer College

Hockey Alberta completed the transition to our new home in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer College. The new offices are located on the second floor of the facility, with boardroom windows overlooking the ice surface.

Hockey Alberta was proud to host the first official events on the new ice surface - a Super Skills Camp and Female Development Camp. Hockey Alberta has hosted several coaching and officiating clinics, player development camps, and Female Hockey Day, and will be hosting the 2019 Alberta Cup at the new facility.

Every Kid Every Community - The Gateway to Hockey Opportunities Around the Province

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: LA Media

The Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community program, aimed at giving all kids across Alberta the chance to play hockey, saw no shortage of support in 2018.

To kick off the year, the Piper Creek Optimist Club of Red Deer’s annual Battle of Alberta fundraiser brought in $21,000 for EKEC in January. The Foundation’s annual Golf and Gala events saw another $107,000 come in for the program in July, and the annual Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Event raised $190,000 for EKEC, as well as Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta.

More than $54,000 was dispersed to organizations across the province, through Player Assistance Grants or Program Grants.

Intro to Hockey - For Our Youngest Players

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Dave Brunner

As part of the continuing evolution of development for our youngest players, Hockey Alberta unveiled the new Intro to Hockey model for Initiation and Novice divisions.

The Intro to Hockey model operates as part of the Hockey Canada mandate that all Novice-aged players receive age-appropriate programming on half-ice surfaces effective for the 2019-20 season.

The Intro to Hockey model evolved to its final format through on-ice demonstration events, and a variety of meetings and sessions with minor hockey associations. The model includes specific details on Seasonal Structure, Grouping of Players, Practice Environment, and Game Format requirements for Initiation and Novice hockey, starting in 2019-20

Standardized Tiering

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Tracy Hope/Hired Gun Photography

A new Alberta One Standardized Tiering Model was developed and has been in operation for the 2018-19 season.

Hockey Calgary, Hockey Edmonton, Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL), Northern Alberta Interlock, All Peace Hockey League, and North Eastern Alberta Hockey League worked within Hockey Alberta’s Minor Leagues Committee to develop a tiering model that accounts for the size of a minor hockey association, the size of a league, and geographic factors. The model features six tiers within the divisions of Atom, Peewee, Bantam, and Midget.

As well, Hockey Alberta is undertaking a trial Provincial Championship Model. The trial will see the Peewee A-D Provincial Championships transition to Peewee Tiers 1-4. The Peewee Tiers 1-4 Provincial Championship Tournaments will take place March 28-31 with eight teams - six champions from the participating Alberta One leagues/ organizations, one host team and one wild card team.

Parent Engagement

Hockey Alberta News
Photo credit: Dave Watling Photography

Hockey Alberta’s goal is to ensure all parents, coaches, and families are engaged, educated and supported in all areas of hockey. To achieve that goal, Hockey Alberta has developed a Parent Engagement Guide, and added a Parents component to the website.

A key aspect of supporting our athletes is providing resources and support for parents across the province. Parents are encouraged to check the Hockey Alberta website regularly, under the Parents Tab, for links to articles and videos to you support your athlete.