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:
RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its midterm rankings for the 2020 NHL draft, with 22 Albertans on the list.
Six Albertans landed in the top 30 of the North American Skater rankings: Kaiden Guhle, Dylan Holloway, Jake Sanderson, Ozzy Wiesblatt, Ridly Greig and Jake Neighbours.
Garin Bjorklund, Jack McNaughton, Blake Lyda and Taylor Gautier are listed among the top North American goaltenders.
The full list of Albertans appearing in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings can be found below:
Last Amateur Club
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 [email protected].
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Home Ice Feature
Prairie Thunder Midgets hosted their 2nd annual Prairie Thunder Alumni game held on December 22
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. If you would like to share your team’s story of giving back during the holidays, please email [email protected] with details and photos.
Airdrie Atom 1
The Airdrie Atom 1 team purchased $780 worth of groceries for the Davis ‘Fill the truck’ event, where all donations were provided to the Airdrie Food Bank.
Airdrie Atom 2 Red
Airdrie’s Atom Tier 2 Red went shopping for pillows to donate to the Airdrie Lioness Club.
Airdrie Atom and Midget Female
The Airdrie Female Atom and Midget girls teams were able to raise funds to purchase 808 turkeys to donate to the Airdrie Food Bank this holiday season.
Airdrie Peewee Female B
Airdrie’s Female Pee Wee B donated their time assisting to fill backpacks for the Stephen’s Backpacks Society for Children In Need.
Airdrie Peewee 4
Airdrie’s Pee Wee Tier 4 purchased goods and made up Care Packages for the less fortunate in their community this holiday season.
Beaverlodge Midget Female and Male
On December 22, the Beaverlodge Minor Hockey Midget Male and Midget Female teams hosted a fun game against each other, including a game with our youngest Initiation players during the intermission. The Midget teams chose to donate the proceeds from the 50/50 during this game to the local food bank in Beaverlodge, with $492.50 donated. The community came together to support our two teams playing against each other.
Bow Valley Peewee AA Timberwolves
The Bow Valley Timberwolves Peewee AA team hosted a ’Battle of the Badges’ game between local firefighters/EMS and police, raising funds for ’Project All In’, which supports first responders’ mental health and well-being. More Photos >
Calgary Fire Red Bantam Elite
The Calgary Fire Red Bantam Elite team have spread holiday cheer by bringing gifts to the Calgary Women’s Shelter and sang carols to the residents at Brentwood Care Facility.
Calgary Midget AAA North Stars
The Calgary Midget AAA Northstars have been busy giving back to the community this holiday season. The team, coaches, and parents participated in Canadian Blood Service’s #HockeyGivesBlood campaign, with seven 17 year-olds giving blood for the first time. The team also spent time shoveling sidewalks, ran a toy and coat drive to contribute to Project Warmth, and held a special mother’s game day for the leading ladies in their lives.
Calgary North Stars Minor Midget AAA Blazers
The CNHA MM AAA Blazers spent an evening packing backpacks at Stephen’s Backpacks for some of Calgary’s less fortunate children.
Edmonton Girls Hockey 603 and 605
The EG603 and EG605 teams faced off earlier this month, and challenged each other to bring food bank donations to the game.
Edmonton Girls Hockey Peewee 505 and 506
EG506 went head to head with EG505 for a league game on December 14, so they decided to add in a donation challenge. Both teams chose Boyle Street as our recipients of donations for their Donations In Kind program. They were able to fill a truck with topper to the brim, including the back seat, with all of the donations.
Fort McMurray Bouchier Peewee AA
The Fort McMurray Bouchier Peewee AA Junior Oil Barons supported the Centre of Hope this Holiday season. They served homemade chilli and soup to the patrons, and presented them with a cheque for $3,060 from fundraising efforts.
Fort Saskatchewan Midget AA Rangers
The Fort Saskatchewan Midget AA Rangers were busy helping the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank on December 21st. The team packed nearly 200 hampers including everything needed for a Christmas meal and toys for the little ones into volunteers’ vehicles for delivery.
Glenlake Hawks Atom 1 Green
The Glenlake Hawks Atom 1 Green team came together to adopt a family through the Northeast Calgary Adopt-A-Family Society, providing a family of seven necessity items to ensure they will be warm this holiday season, and beyond. From shopping to wrapping to delivery the Hawks were motivated to make this Christmas a little brighter for this family.
Grande Prairie Peewee A2 Arctic Crane Knights
Every second Sunday, the Pee Wee A2 Arctic Crane Knights get together and cook, bake and prep food for the Sunrise House in Grande Prairie. The Sunrise House is our local youth shelter that provides a home for homeless youth between the ages of 12-17. The players are required to do the shopping and all the work required in order to provide a nice meal for the youth at the Shelter.
Grande Prairie Atom 1 Knights
On November 16, the Grande Prairie Atom A Knights went out into the community to ring the Kettle Bells for the Salvation Army. Groups of players spread out through various lcoations in the city ringing the bells, accepting donations, and handing out candy canes.
Grande Prairie Bantam AA Higson Dental Group Storm
The Grande Prairie Bantam AA Higson Dental Group Storm have been spending the whole first half of the season giving back to the community. They have donated over $500 to Kev’s Kids, donated pet food and supplies to Bandaged Paws, picked up litter in the community, donated to the GP Hospital Foundation, donated food and clothing to the homeless, helped with the Festival of Trees set-up, accepted donations for the Salvation Army, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and are supporting a teammate whose Father is battling cancer.
Lacoka Bantam Female
The Lacoka Bantam females hosted a tournament last weekend and accepted donations for the local food back. All teams involved were very supportive - Leduc, Red Deer, Lloydminster, Stettler, and West Central.
Lethbridge Timbit Pirates
The Lethbridge Timbit Pirates have joined the Lethbridge Foodbank’s "Snowball Effect" Food drive for the holiday season. The team had heard about the food drive and decided that it would be a perfect way to give back to the community. All players were asked to donate some non-perishables and bring them to weekly Saturday practice. The team was very happy to learn that they would be helping out less fortunate families have meals during the Christmas season.
Medicine Hat Atom Black Hounds
The Medicine Hat Atom CAHL Black Hounds made a difference in the life of a local family this Christmas. In the 2nd annual "Giving Christmas Away" theme, the team adopted a family, raising close to $1400 that allowed them to make a deserving family’s Christmas dreams come true. They shopped together, wrapped together, and have learned a valuable lesson of giving back to the community through a sport that has taught them what it means to "be a good person".
Medicine Hat Peewee A Female Wildcats
The Medicine Hat Peewee A Wildcats gave back to their community by ringing kettle bells for The Salvation Army on December 19.
Medicine Hat Peewee B Female Wildcats
The Medicine Hat Peewee B Wildcats have been busy with their Kindness Campaign this season, beginning with sharing homemade cookies at the Irvine rink on Random Act of Kindness Day. They have also rang kettle bells and raised money for the Salvation Army, decorating the Masterpiece Southland Meadows retirement home for Christmas, shovelled neighbours walkways, and sent out a Christmas card to every Meals on Wheels recipient.
Olds Bantam AA Grizzlys
The Olds Bantam AA Grizzlys players donated $465 to the Olds and District Christmas Angels. They collected this money by having dressing room/team standards, and if a player falters on these, they need to donate. Many of the players families added to the total once the players decided to donate the funds instead of having a team Christmas party. The team also headed to the Mountain View Seniors Lodge to fill over 90 stockings for the residents.
Over the holiday season, the Onoway Bantam team decided to help the neighbouring community by building 100 food hampers for those in need. This is sponsored by the Alberta Beach lions club. The players helped unload the trailers full of food, sort accordingly, and help fill up the hampers.
Peace Country Storm and Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs Midget Elite
The Peace Country Storm and the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs gave back to a family who needed some help during the holidays. Both teams donated food, water, blankets and $525.00 in gift cards. The Sutter Fund Chiefs also prepared and served a meal to approximately 150 people at Potters Hands in downtown Red Deer.
Prairie Thunder Midgets
Prairie Thunder Midgets hosted their second annual Prairie Thunder Alumni game on December 22. The local charity this year was the Brooks Elks Canada annual toy drive, which raised over $300 in cash and donations of unwrapped toys. We like to thank everybody for coming out.
Red Deer Atom A Cambridge Chiefs and Minor Midget AAA North Star Chiefs
On December 9, 2019, the Red Deer Cambridge Atom A and North Star Chiefs MM AAA spent the evening getting to know each other and the residents at Extendicare Michener Hill. The older players had the opportunity to be mentors to the young Atom players while playing games with the senior citizen residents. On December 14th, the Atoms had a follow up event where they went to cheer on their Minor Midget AAA buddies during their home game. The Atom players created personalized signs and shared snacks and smiles that led to a fun night for everyone involved.
Red Deer Atom B RCM Transport Chiefs
On Dec. 11, the Red Deer Atom B RCM Transport Chiefs met at Extendicare Michener Hill in Red Deer to help bring all the residents to the common area, where a live band performed. They then played some pool noodle hockey with one hockey loving resident. After the band performed, the team ushered all of the residents back to their rooms, and helped the band carry out their equipment, put away all the chairs, and tidy up.
Red Deer Bantam Elite and Novice Chiefs
The Red Deer Bantam Elite Sutter Fund and Novice Chiefs partnership program saw the two female teams get together and create care packages for families and their children staying at Ronald McDonald House. These care packages will be placed in the “Magic Room” where they are available to families staying at the House to provide a small sense of comfort. Afterwards the volunteers of Ronald McDonald House took time to educate the girls on their program & share stories of families that have been helped.
Rocky Mountain House Renegades
During their home game on December 20, the Rocky Renegades held an event called Renegades Help Fight the Cold Weather! The team collected warm fuzzy toques, mittens, and socks for people in need. They donated 55 warm items to our local Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter on January 2. The Renegades are hoping that their efforts can help keep several families a little bit warmer this winter.
Rocky Mountain House Royals
The Rocky Mountain House Royals (from left to right) #7 Assistant Captain Colton Bradshaw, #19 Captain Colin Muyres, #16 Assistant Captain Jason Roberts and #4 forward Hunter Girard dropped off 126lbs of food at the Lords Food Bank after their game on December 15th vs. Kneehill.
Rocky Mountain Raiders Midget AAA Female
For the second year in a row, the Rocky Mountain Raiders Midget AAA Female hockey team partnered up with a local Supportive Living Seniors Care Home in Okotoks, Tudor Manor. The group spent the day interacting and spending time with the residents while making gingerbread houses.
SE439 Millwood Bruins
The SE439 Millwoods Bruins ran a bottle drive, using the funds raised to purchase gifts for seniors who may not have anyone to give them a gift on Christmas.
SEAC Minor Midget AAA Tigers
On December 20, the SEAC Minor Midget AAA Tigers went to Chinook Village in Medicine Hat to deliver wrapped gifts to seniors in assisted living. The team collected gifts for seniors in need at a home game in Medicine Hat on November 16 at the Hockey Hounds Arena, and then worked with the Santa for Seniors organization to deliver these gifts to seniors in our community of Medicine Hat. The team delivered gifts, sang a few songs, and visited with some of the seniors. The team also volunteered at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen, serving a hot meal to around 100 people. They helped with serving a meal and coffee, visiting with people as well as doing dishes and clean up of the centre after the meal.
Sexsmith Atom 1 Vipers
The Sexsmith Atom A Vipers helped out in the Town of Sexsmith’s Reverse Santa Parade on December 7th. Residents of the town put out bags of non-perishable food and toys on their front steps for donation to the community Christmas hampers. The Vipers walked through the town collecting the donated items and loaded them onto the horse drawn wagons. The Christmas hampers are given to families in Sexsmith and the surrounding area that need a little extra help during the Christmas season.
Sherwood Park Atom 2 Havoc
The Sherwood Park Atom 2 Havoc helped spread some holiday cheer by visiting a couple of local Seniors Centers. The team enjoyed sharing some cookies and holiday treats with the residents and spent some time talking and visiting with the seniors in the afternoon.
Sherwood Park Peewee 1 Aces
The Sherwood Park Peewee Aces have been busy giving back this season! On October 5, they spent the day collecting used sports equipment around Sherwood Park and area as part of SportsCentral’s Dave’s Drive, in honor of Dave Semenko. Following that, on November 13th and November 28ththey participated in Strathcona County’s Snow Busters program where they spent the evenings shovelling driveways for those in need. Lastly, the Aces dedicated a few hours to helping our local sports store - Sin Bin Sports - move to their brand new location! The boys hauled and organized all the hockey sticks for Mike (the owner) to show their support for Sin Bin Sports and all they do for our hockey community.
Sherwood Park Peewee Assassins
The Sherwood Park Peewee Assassins went door to door and collected food items for the Stratchona Food Bank. Their efforts brought in almost 740lbs of food and just over $100 in donations.
Sherwood Park Bantam 2 Royals
The Sherwood Park Royals bantam team spread some holiday cheer by helping out at their local food bank. They were helping to unload food donations from the local “Stuff A Bus” food drive.
Simons Valley Midget 2 Storm
The Simons Valley Midget 2 Storm and their families organized a bottle drive which raised $1,020. They used the money raised to purchase gifts for the Toys for Angels campaign.
St. Albert Raiders AA Bears
The St. Albert Raiders AA Bears hosted a food bank drive and game against the AA Blues Sunday evening where a total of 1932 lbs if food were collected for the St. Albert food bank. Along with a cash donation of $330.
St. Paul Bantam 1 Canadiens
Every year, a bantam or midget team from St. Paul Minor Hockey helps out with the local Christmas hamper drive. This year, the Bantam 1 Canadiens team delivered hampers out to the local people in need around the area.
Tofield Titans Peewee 2
On December 20, the Tofield Titans Peewee 2 team led a fundraiser at their local Midget game against Whitecourt. The fundraiser was for Elaiza Belda, a grade 6 student at Tofield School (where many of the players attend) who is battling Stage 4 bone cancer. The Peewee 2 team collected donations throughout the Midget game and the weekend before at their home tournament, raising over $2,000 for the family to help off- set the cost of spending many hours at the Stollery Hospital in Edmonton, AB. They hope that this helps the Belda family and allows them to concentrate on Elaiza’s health and wellness.
Trails West Bantam 5 Wolves
The Trails West Bantam 5 Wolves hosted The Season of Giving Invitational on December 9-12, where they would battle with Crowfoot, Bow River, and The Knights in the spirit of play and friendly competition. In lieu of medals, the teams were awarded a cash donation, which would be made to a charity of each team’s choice. Trails West played for Kids Cancer Care, Crowfoot for the Ronald McDonald House, and Bow River and The Knights for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, all teams came together to donate filled backpacks for The Mustard Seed.
Trails West Novice 1 Red
The Trails West 1 Novice 1 Red players decided that rather than having a gift exchange amongst themselves this year, they wanted to select gifts to donate to other less fortunate children, so the team donated their gifts to the Salvation Army’s Toy Angels program.
Trails West Peewee 2 Red
The Trails West PW Red 2 team spent a winter evening at a Silvera senior’s centre playing games and entertaining the residents. The players enjoyed interacting with the seniors and trying the Silvera Olympic games. Some amazing stories were shared and the players took away valuable life lessons. The seniors encouraged them to keep up with their sports and always work hard. It was a wonderful night for both residents and players.
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 HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Home Ice Feature
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.
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.
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.
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.
ErnieBoruk 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.
Minor Hockey Association of the Year: Lacombe Minor Hockey Association. Presented to recognize a Minor Hockey Association (MHA) judged to have made a significant impact on the game through their day to day operations.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
Last Amateur Club
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 [email protected].
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.
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.
RED 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.
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.
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.