John Jacobs: 1954-2019

RED DEER - John Jacobs, an Honoured Member of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame and a Life Member of the Hockey Alberta Referee Council, passed away on Thursday, May 30 at the age of 65.

John’s officiating career begin in 1967. Over the course of his career, John obtained a Level 4L the highest ranking a linesman can achieve. He worked numerous national and international events, including serving as a linesman in six Viking Cups and several Team Canada Cups. Off the ice, John worked as a supervisor at three Viking Cups, and once at the Royal Bank Cup.

John’s list of contributions to officiating in Alberta is a lengthy one, starting in 1982 when he began instructing at the Hockey Alberta Officiating Development Camp, and was the Development Camp Coordinator for over 10 years, with 25 years of involvement with the camp. He was the Chair of the North Central Zone Referees Committee for four seasons, followed by six seasons as Hockey Alberta’s Referee Council Chair. He also served as a member of Hockey Alberta’s Board of Directors, as the officials’ representative.

John’s decades of work with officials in Alberta was recognized with a number of awards, including Hockey Alberta’s Hockey Development Award (2004), the Ernie Boruk Award (2008), and the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation Award (2008).

John is survived by his wife of 43 years, Donna; his daughters Terine (Derek) Forrester and Penny (Scotte) Titus; sister Val (Merv) Zwicker; mother-in-law Betty Hansen; sisters-in-law Carol (John) Zerkee and Lorraine Hansen; brothers-in-law Ted Hansen and Tim (Sandra) Hansen, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends.

For his contributions to hockey in Alberta, John was inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013. And he was honoured as an Officials’ Life Member in 2011. Officials are encouraged to wear their uniforms, and golfers and encouraged to wear their golf shirts.

Donations in John’s memory can be made to Stettler Minor Hockey, the Stettler Food Bank, or another charity of your own choice.

A celebration of John’s life will be held on Friday, June 7 at 1:00 p.m. in his hometown of Stettler, at the arena where John spent so many of his weekends.


Hockey Alberta - COVID-19 Update

RED DEER - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Hockey Alberta has cancelled all May programming. Hockey Alberta offices will also remain closed until further notice.

Due to the uncertainty of the current situation, Hockey Alberta has made the decision to cancel all programming until May 31. We understand that this is a trying time for many, and we will work diligently with each participant to ensure a proper refund is executed.

Due to the volume of refunds that we are processing, we ask for your patience over the next 4-6 weeks as we work though each registration. Our registration and payment platform provides us with all of the necessary information to complete the refund, so no additional action is required on your part.

All refunds for cancelled programs up to April 30 have now been processed. If you have not received notification that your refund has been processed, contact Hockey Alberta as soon as possible.

If you have questions, please submit via email to [email protected].

While the office remains closed, Hockey Alberta is still open for business, with staff working remotely. We are striving to carry on regular operations with as little interruption as possible. During this time, the best way to contact us is via the following channels:

As per government regulations, the office will remain closed until further notice. As circumstances develop, we will keep everyone informed of changes and updates. We apologize for any issues or inconvenience that may arise due to the office being closed.

Please take all precautions to stay safe. Follow the directions of local, provincial and federal health and government authorities, as we work together with fellow Albertans, and citizens across the country, to help resolve this situation.


Photo credit: LA Media

AFHL announces 2019-20 award and scholarship winners

RED DEER – The Alberta Female Hockey League is pleased to announce the 2019-20 league award and scholarship winners.

Four awards are handed out in each league: Most Valuable Player, Top Goaltender, Top Rookie, and Coach of the Year. One award is also given for the AFHL Administrator of the Year.

Bantam Elite

Most Valuable Player: Chloe Goofers, North Central Impact
Top Goaltender: Jorja Fisher, Calgary Fire Red
Top Rookie: Chloe Goofers, North Central Impact
Coach of the Year: Annette Jensen, Sherwood Park Royals

Midget Elite

Most Valuable Player: Kendal Pierson, Southern Express
Top Goaltender: Cienna Kinghorn, St. Albert Sharks
Top Rookie: Kendal Pierson, Southern Express
Coach of the Year: James King, Southern Express

Midget AAA

Most Valuable Player: Kaia Borbandy, Rocky Mountain Raiders
Top Goaltender: Elise Hugens, Edmonton Pandas
Top Rookie: Cassidy Rhodes, St. Albert Slash
Coach of the Year: Dustin Borbandy, Rocky Mountain Raiders

Administrator of the Year

AFHL Administrator of the Year: Dan Basterash, Edmonton Female Athletic Club

AFHL Scholarship Winners

Midget Elite: Alex Walsh, Lethbridge Cyclones

Alex was born in Fort Saskatchewan, and has grown into a graduating player from the SPKAC Midget Elite Fury. After playing with the Fury for the past three seasons, her plan is to play hockey at the post secondary level. Alex has been offered two scholarships but is still yet to commit. She credits her coaches, among others, who have supported her throughout her hockey journey.

Midget AAA: Alesha Santos, Rocky Mountain Raiders

Alesha Santos is a graduating defenseman from the Midget AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders, and currently lives in Calgary. Other than playing Ice Hockey, Alesha also plays Field Hockey for her High School team. Some of her most notable achievements include being a two time Ice Hockey Provincial Champion (2016-2017 Bantam Elite Fire White, 2017-2018 Midget Elite Fire White), receiving two MVP Awards for Field Hockey (2018 season, 2019 season), and being a consistent Honour Roll student. Playing hockey has also given her many volunteer opportunities which included volunteering at Tudor Manor Seniors Home, and mentoring young female hockey players. When she’s not playing sports, Alesha enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In the Fall, Alesha will be playing for the Red Deer College Queens Hockey team while pursuing a Nursing Degree.



Photo Credit: 6 Hearts Creative Studios

Hockey Alberta Awards nomination deadline approaching

RED DEER – There is still time to recognize those who have made an impact on you or the sport this season.

Nominate that individual or team for one of six Hockey Alberta Awards, presented for outstanding achievements or contributions to amateur hockey in Alberta.

Awards Nomination Form >

Hockey Alberta recognizes the amazing work done by groups and individuals in the game every year through the Hockey Alberta Awards Program. All members of the hockey community in Alberta are encouraged to submit a nomination for a deserving individual or team.

There are six awards open for nominations including: Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Official of the Year, and Team of the Year. Nominations are also being accepted for the Order of Merit, which recognizes exceptional leadership and distinguished service to amateur hockey in Alberta for 10 years or more. Order of Merit may be presented for Administration, Coaching/ Development, or Officiating.

The 2020 deadline for application is March 31.


Parent Engagement Series - Part Three: Nutrition

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to continue its Parent Engagement Video Series, aimed at helping parents navigate through the ups and downs of being a hockey parent.

Episode Two features Edmonton Oilers/Edmonton Eskimos Head Team Physician Dhiren Naidu, Canmore Eagles Head Coach Andrew Milne, and former NHL defenceman Shawn Belle, and focuses on the importance of nutrition for young athletes.

Parent Engagement Guide >

For more information on nutrition, and for other parent tips, head to


Alberta Built Skills Camps – Refund Update

As was announced recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Alberta has cancelled all camps, events and programs that were scheduled to be held between now and April 30. A complete list of cancelled camps can be found here.

Hockey Alberta is currently in processing refunds for individuals who had registered in those camps, events and programs. Please note that this is a challenging task due to the number of events and individual registrations that need to be processed, and we ask your patience as we work as quickly as possible to take care of everyone.

For camps, programs and events scheduled after April 30, as decisions are made, registrants will be contacted directly with status updates.

To help answer any questions you may have, we’ve put together a short Q&A. If you have additional questions, please submit via email to [email protected]

Q: Do I need to do anything to receive a refund?

A: No. Our registration and payment platform provides us with all of the necessary information to complete the refund, so no additional action is required on your part if you are registered for any of the camps listed.

Q: When will my refund be processed?

A: We are working as fast as we can to have all refunds processed.

Q: How will I know my refund has been processed?

A: You will receive an email when your refund has been processed, however it may take longer than the normal 2-3 days for funds to appear back in your account.

Q: How much will my refund be for?

A: You will receive back the full amount paid, including any GST charged.


COVID-19 Update: Hockey Alberta closing office, staff working remotely

RED DEER – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Hockey Alberta is taking additional measures to protect our staff and the hockey community. We are temporarily closing our Red Deer office until further notice.

While the office is closed, Hockey Alberta is still open for business, with staff working remotely. We are striving to carry on regular operations with as little interruption as possible. During this time, the best way to contact us is via the following channels:

The office will remain closed until at least Monday, April 6. As circumstances develop, we will keep everyone informed of changes and updates. We apologize for any issues or inconvenience that may arise due to the office being closed.

Please take all precautions to stay safe. Follow the directions of local, provincial and federal health and government authorities, as we work together with fellow Albertans, and citizens across the country, to help resolve this situation.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to work through these uncharted waters.

Rob Litwinski,
CEO, Hockey Alberta


Message from the CEO and Board Chair of Hockey Alberta

Message to the Hockey Alberta Community:

At around 6:30 pm (MT) on Thursday, March 12, the Board of Directors of Hockey Canada, our national governing body, made the tough decision to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities, including our national championships, until further notice, effective Friday, March 13, 2020.”

A notification of this decision was placed on the Hockey Alberta website, and circulated to our Members, volunteers, staff, teams and partners.

The cancellation includes all hockey activities for participants registered through Hockey Alberta: games, tournaments, playoffs, tryouts, practices, camps, on-ice and off-ice team activities, programs (such as FirstShift), and Provincial, Regional, and National Championships at the Recreational (Pond Hockey), Minor, Female, Junior, Senior and Sledge levels.

For clarity, the 2019-20 season is cancelled. All sanctioned hockey activities and events in Alberta (and Canada) are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. “Until further notice” refers to the fact that the cancellation may extend beyond the conclusion of this season. The Hockey Canada Board of Directors will decide when sanctioned hockey will resume in Canada.


The decision to cancel hockey was based on feedback and input from medical and health experts, provincially and nationally, to determine what steps were necessary to ensure the health and safety of all participants who are the priority.

Hockey Alberta thanks Hockey Canada, its Board of Directors, and our Branch partners across the country for working together to arrive at this very difficult decision.

And we thank the hockey community in Alberta for your support and understanding as we proceed into uncharted waters.

We will update our Members and the hockey community in Alberta as new developments arise.

Rob Litwinski, Len Samletzki,

CEO, Hockey Alberta Chair, Board of Directors


COVID-19 Update - Hockey Canada Statement

The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, on the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Without question, this an unprecedented period of difficulty for the sports world. The health and safety of all participants in sport, including players, coaches, staff, officials, fans, family, volunteers and the general public, is of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada.

After much consultation with the Hockey Canada membership, our chief medical officer and public health officials, the Hockey Canada Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities*, including our national championships, until further notice, effective Friday, March 13, 2020.

We recognize the tremendous effort that has been put forth all year by individuals across the country as they participate in Canada’s game. Although it is difficult to process the hockey season ending abruptly, we feel this is the best course of action in order to do our part in keeping our country safe.”

*Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities include all Hockey Alberta-sanctioned activities. This means that all Hockey Alberta league games, playoffs, practices, camps and Provincial, Regional and National Championships are cancelled at the Minor, Female, Junior, Senior and Sledge levels.


Coach of the Month nomination deadline - March 13

RED DEER - Has your coach made a positive impact on your team this season? There is still time to nominate them for the Coach of the Month award, sponsored by Players Bench Team Apparel.

Hockey Alberta has been collecting nominations all season to help recognize coaches in communities around the province. Coaches are an integral part of the game and their countless hours and dedication provides the opportunity for over 60,000 kids to play minor hockey.

The 2019-20 deadline for nominations is Friday, March 13. All coaches who are nominated this season will be eligible to win one of two year end coaching packages sponsored by Players Bench, which include tickets to an NHL game provided by the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

2019-20 Recipients >

Nomination Form >


Coach of the Month - February

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s February Coach of the Month, sponsored by Players Bench Team Apparel, is Chad Huseby of the Red Deer Novice Gritty Flyers.

Chad is currently head coach of the Red Deer Novice Gritty Flyers and an assistant coach of the Red Deer Dynamite Ice Hawks. He has been coaching hockey for five years, and also helps out with the Red Deer Four-Year-Old Hockey Program.

"Chad volunteers A LOT of his time to help out all of his children on and off the ice, while working a full time job and pursing high level officiating career. He is transparent in his plans and always makes sure that the other coaches are prepared." Said the Team Manager who nominated Chad. "Chad shows up with a positive attitude and helps create a fun and respectful environment on and off ice."

Chad officiates hockey at a high level, to which he credits his wife for being so supportive. He also coaches the Red Deer Blue Jays baseball team during the summer months.

"At the end of the day, being a good teammate is extremely important," said Chad. "In sports, school, and eventually adulthood, being a good person and a great teammate will take you a long ways."

Hockey Alberta News

The Coach of the Month award is presented every month during the Minor Hockey season, based on nominations submitted to Hockey Alberta.

One minor hockey coach will be selected each month from October through March and will receive a coaching package from Players Bench Team Apparel valued at over $500, which includes a helmet, gloves, track suit, coach bag, puck bag, rink board, and coaching resources.

Nomination Form >


Photo Credit: Rob Wallator

Spots available for 2020 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships Selection Camps

RED DEER - Spots are still available for 2002-2006 born male and female athletes to participate in selection camps for the 2020 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

Selection camps for both the male and female team will be held at the Servus Sports Centre in Lloydminster on April 10-12.

Hockey Alberta, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, is overseeing and coordinating the selection process for the players and coaches representing the province at the championships. That process includes recruiting and selecting the Indigenous coaching staff, registration and selection camps for players, team training, and designing the uniforms.

The Aboriginal Sport Circle established the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) in 2002 to serve as the premiere competition for young Aboriginal hockey players in Canada.

The annual event provides a forum for elite Bantam/Midget aged Aboriginal male and female youth and attracts participation from First Nation, Inuit and Metis across the 13 provinces and territories. This annual event helps foster cultural unity and pride to celebrate the athletic abilities of Aboriginal athletes from across the country. The NAHC also serves as a focal point for grassroots and regional Aboriginal hockey development.

The 2020 edition of the NAHC is being held in Regina, at the Co-operators Centre, May 9-16. More than 500 elite bantam and midget Indigenous hockey players from across Canada will compete in male and female divisions in the tournament.




Zones 4 and 7 win gold at 2020 Alberta Winter Games

AIRDRIE - It was a thrilling finish at the 2020 Alberta Winter Games in Airdrie on Monday, with Zones 4 and 7 winning gold in Female and Male hockey, respectively.

The female gold medal game went back and forth for the entire 60 minutes where Zone 3 and Zone 4 would need extra time to find a winner. Zone 4 scored the gold medal clinching goal just 1:41 into the extra frame, making the final score 2-1. Zone 7 claimed bronze with a 2-1 victory over Zone 5.

Female Rosters > | Female Results > | Female Stats >

On the Male side, Zone 7 broke away from Zone 3 in a tightly contested game for a 6-4 victory to earn gold. Meanwhile, Zone 2 completed a late comeback in the bronze medal game, defeating Zone 4 by a score of 7-5.

Male Rosters > | Male Results > | Male Stats >

2020 Alberta Winter Games Photos >


Photo credit: Peter Fuzessery/Alberta Winter Games

2020 Alberta Winter Games: Day Two Recap

AIRDRIE - The Gold and Bronze medal matchups are set after Day Two of the 2020 Alberta Winter Games came to a close on Sunday.

After a tightly fought round robin draw, Zones 3, 4, 5 and 7 each earned a spot in the Semi-Finals. The goalies stole the show in each of the evening games, as Zone 3 posted a 3-0 shutout win over Zone 7, and Zone 4 did the same in their game against Zone 5.

Day Three will begin with the 5th Place game featuring Zone 2 and Zone 6 at Rob Ebbeson Arena at 7:30am. Zone 5 will take on Zone 7 in the bronze medal game at 8:00am, and Zone 3 will play Zone 4 for gold at 10:15am, both at Genesis Place.

Female Rosters > | Female Schedule/Results >

With both pools wide-open on the Male side, Zones 2, 3, 4 and 7 all punched their tickets to the Semi-Finals. After trailing 6-3, Zone 4 mounted a comeback against Zone 7 to tie the game, but Zone 7 scored a late powerplay goal to earn their spot in the final. Meanwhile, Zone 3 won a tightly contested matchup against Zone 2, scoring less than a minute into 3-on-3 overtime to win 6-5.

Zone 2 will face Zone 4 at 9:30am for bronze, while Zones 3 and 7 battle for gold at 10am. Meanwhile, Zone 1 defeated Zone 8 by a score of 7-5 in the 5th Place game, and Zone 5 won the 7th Place game 5-4 over Zone 6.

Male Rosters > | Male Schedule/Results >


Photo credit: Amanda Ubell Photography/Alberta Winter Games

2020 Alberta Winter Games: Day One Recap

AIRDRIE - A busy first day at the 2020 Alberta Winter Games went off without a hitch in Airdrie, with 14 games in the books.

Day one of the Female competition was full of close games and exciting action. Zone 5 leads the way as the only 2-0 team and sits at the top of Pool B, while Zone 3 and Zone 4 each picked up a win and sit tied atop Pool A with two points.

Female Rosters > | Female Schedule/Results >

The Male competition remains wide open after the first day of competition, with all eight teams still in contention. Zone 3 remains the lone undefeated team with a 2-0 record, and sits atop Pool A. It’s a four-way tie in Pool B, with all four zones holding an identical 1-1 record.

Male Rosters > | Male Schedule/Results >

Round-robin play wraps up on Sunday on both sides, starting at 8am, with the semi-finals and consolation games taking place later in the day.


2020 Alberta Winter Games kick off in Airdrie

AIRDRIE - After months of preparation, the battle for provincial hockey supremacy heats up as the 2020 Alberta Winter Games take place in Airdrie this weekend.

The opening ceremonies are set for today (Friday) from 7-8 p.m. at Airdrie City Hall, with hockey running from February 15-17. Global News will live-stream the opening ceremonies on, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Eight teams will compete on the male side, comprised of 2007-born players from across the province, while six teams will compete on the female side, comprised of 2005 and 2006-born players.

Male Rosters > | Female Rosters >

A full schedule for both the male and female competition can be found on the Alberta Winter Games section of the Hockey Alberta website:

Male Schedule & Results > | Female Schedule & Results >

For period-by-period updates, follow Team Alberta on Twitter.

Hockey Alberta coordinates the ice hockey portion of the Winter Games, as a core segment of its Development Program. The Winter Games provide players, coaches, trainers and referees an opportunity to discover the great qualities of competitive hockey starting with the zone camp and selection process, through to competing in the Games.



Applications now being accepted for High Performance 1 Seminar

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is now accepting applications for the NCCP High Performance 1 Seminar being held in Red Deer July 21-26.

This seminar includes professional speakers focusing on the delivery of sessions including special teams, planning to perform, offensive/defensive team play, goaltending, game and bench management, ethics in coaching, teambuilding and many more.

In addition to classroom sessions, coaches will be provided practical learning and development by running on-ice session and coach on the bench with our AJHL Player Development camp which is run the same week. Coaches selected to attend this Seminar will be guided by some of the best leaders and mentors in Canada.

The requirement set nationally is that “All Head Coaches coaching Bantam, Midget and Junior A teams that compete in Inter-provincial or National Championships or the highest level as determined by the branch, must be High Performance 1 Certified. It is recommended that all Assistant Coaches be at minimum Development 1 trained.”

Please refer to Coach Requirements for those who would require this course for coaching within Alberta.

Coaches looking to apply should meet the following criteria:

  • Currently coach elite athletes in a competitive stream
  • Currently or will be coaching in one of the 5 required leagues
  • Certified at the Development 1 Level



Photo credit: LA Media

Serge Lajoie named Head Coach for Team Alberta U16 Male | Assistant, Video Coach applications now open

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce Serge Lajoie as Head Coach of the Team Alberta U16 Male squad that will compete in the 2020 WHL Cup.

This will be Lajoie’s second time at the helm of Team Alberta, having guided the U16 team to gold at the 2013 WHL Cup.

"We are excited to bring Serge back into the fold again this year," said Mike Kriachy, Manager, Team Alberta. "He’s been an integral part of the Team Alberta program in previous years, and will bring a lot to the program again this time around."

Lajoie is currently the Head Coach of the OHA Edmonton Midget Prep team, and previously served as Head Coach of the University of Alberta Men’s Hockey Team, winning a U SPORTS National Championship in 2018.

Hockey Alberta is also now accepting applications for two Assistant Coach positions, and one Video Coach position for Team Alberta U16 Male.

U16 Coach Application >

Key dates for the U16 Male program include the Alberta Cup (April 29 - May 3, Red Deer), Team Alberta Summer Camp (July 6-12, Red Deer), and the WHL Cup (TBD).

The deadline for all coaching applications is March 4 at 4pm.


Photo Credit: Rob Wallator

Coach applications now open for Team Alberta U18 Female

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is now accepting coach applications for the Team Alberta U18 Female team that will be competing in National Women’s U18 Championship.

Team Alberta U18 Female is seeking one Head Coach, two Assistant Coaches, one Video Coach, and one Goaltender Coach.

U18 Coach Application >

Key dates for the U18 Female program include Team Alberta Summer Camp (July 13-19, Red Deer), Fall Camp (September 25-27, Edmonton), and the U18 Nationals (November 1-7, BC).

The deadline for all coaching applications is March 4 at 4pm.

The Team Alberta U18 program is the final stage of identification and evaluation towards Team Alberta and one of the stages of identification for Canada’s national programs. Through on and off-ice evaluation, the high performance U18 program works towards the final goal of taking Team Alberta to the National Women’s U18 Hockey Championship or the Canada Winter Games.


Photo Credit: Hockey Canada

Two Albertans experience 2020 Global Girls’ Game

ST. JOHN’S, NL - Two of Alberta’s Bantam Female players got a once in a lifetime experience while participating in the Global Girls’ Game this past weekend.

Bryn Weinkauf (Daysland) and Emily Harty (St. Albert) arrived in St. John’s on Friday to take in the Global Girls’ Game activities. They got the opportunity to spend the weekend participating in activities focusing on empowerment and team-building in order to foster greater self-confidence, learn from one another, and form friendships, before taking part in the Global Girls’ Game.

The game was neck and neck until the final period when Team Blue (in red, since it’s Canada) pulled ahead for the 7-5 win.

The Global Game embodies the spirit of enjoyment, teamwork, and collaborating with those from diverse backgrounds. The unique game began on February 8 and was played in 28 different countries across the globe before being handed off to Canada to play the final segment. The goal of the game is to unite all females currently playing hockey as one global family. A cumulative score was kept across all 28 countries with Team Blue defeating Team White by a score of 127-111.