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News

Team Alberta’s Path Forward

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta has announced details for the Team Alberta U16 Male and U18 Female Summer Camps, Fuelled by Gatorade.


Team Alberta U16 Male Summer Camp

Team Alberta U16 Male Summer Camp is open to 2006-born male athletes from Alberta who were registered with a Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta sanctioned program in the 2020-21 season. The camp runs August 3-8 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

The Camp will be broken into three two-day camps based on region:

  • August 3-4: South Region
  • August 5-6: Central Region
  • August 7-8: North Region

Registration Directory >

Each player will participate in three on-ice sessions, with an additional session for goaltenders.

Registration for Team Alberta U16 Male Summer Camp will open on Friday, June 11 at 10am. Please note that space in the camp is limited, and registration is on a first come, first served basis.

Team Alberta U16 Male Fall Camp will run September 17-19, with the 2021 WHL Cup tentatively set for October.

For any registration inquiries, please contact Mike Kraichy, Manager, Elite Male Hockey at [email protected]


Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Camp

Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Camp is open to 2004 and 2005-born female athletes from Alberta who were registered with a Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta sanctioned program in the 2020-21 season. The camp runs August 10-15 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

The Camp will be broken into two three-day camps based on region:

  • August 10-12: South Region
  • August 13-15: North Region

Registration Directory >

Each player will participate in three on-ice sessions, with an additional session for goaltenders.

Registration for Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Camp will open on Monday, June 14 at 10am. Please note that space in the camp is limited, and registration is on a first come, first served basis.

Team Alberta U18 Female Fall Camp will run September 24-26, with the 2021 National Women’s U18 Championship set for October 31 – November 6 in Dawson Creek, BC.

For any registration inquiries, please contact Kendall Newell, Manager, Female Hockey at [email protected]


About Gatorade

Gatorade is a proud partner of Hockey Alberta and its Team Alberta athletes. Gatorade Sports Drink was created to fuel athletic performance. Over the last 50 years, countless hours in the lab and on the field enabled us to ensure that every single ingredient within it is a reflection of that mission. For more information on the science behind the fuel, or its products visit Gatorade’s website.

News

Photo credit: LA Media


Registration now open for 2021 U16 Female Development Camp

RED DEER - Registration is now open for Hockey Alberta’s 2021 U16 Female Development Camp, Fuelled by Gatorade, which runs July 26-29 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

This is a position specific skill development camp and is open to 2006 and 2007-born female athletes from Alberta who were registered with a Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta sanctioned program in the 2020-21 season. Each position will participate in 4 on-ice position specific skill sessions over two days:

  • July 26-27 Goaltenders: positioning, movement, puck skills & tactics
  • July 26-27 Defence: skating skills, puck skills, defending & shooting
  • July 28-29 Forwards: skating skills, puck skills, deception & goal scoring

Register >

It is important to note that there are no evaluations or selections associated with this camp.

NOTES:

  1. Registration is limited at each position.
  2. Only Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta Registered female athletes born in 2006 and 2007 are eligible to register.
  3. The deadline to register is Wednesday, July 14.

Refund Policy >

Cost for the camp is $200 plus GST.

For any registration inquiries, please contact Taryn Baumgardt, Coordinator, Female Hockey at [email protected]


About Gatorade

Gatorade is a proud partner of Hockey Alberta. Gatorade Sports Drink was created to fuel athletic performance. Over the last 50 years, countless hours in the lab and on the field enabled us to ensure that every single ingredient within it is a reflection of that mission. For more information on the science behind the fuel, or its products visit Gatorade’s website.

Home Ice Feature

If you can play, you can play

RED DEER – If you can play, you can play.

It’s that simple for those involved with the You Can Play Project.

The You Can Play Project began as an effort to continue the work done by Brendan Burke, son of Brian Burke, the president of hockey operations with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Brendan Burke, who came out as an openly gay man in 2009, died in an automobile crash in 2010. Brendan’s brother Patrick, along with Brian Kitts and Glenn Witman began the You Can Play Project to continue Brendan’s work to eradicate homophobia in the National Hockey League (NHL) and beyond.

“Every day we’re out there trying to make sure that all athletes are judged based on their heart, their talent, their character, not their sexual orientation, not their gender identity,” said Witman. “Just be a good teammate, and we want you on the team.”

In 2012, You Can Play officially launched their partnership with the NHL by releasing a video called “The Faceoff”, featuring numerous NHL players, with the goal of the video to “carry on Brendan’s legacy, and ensure that LGBTQ+ athletes around the world are afforded equal opportunity; judged only by their talent, character, and work ethic in their sport.”

Along with the NHL, You Can Play has partnered with numerous other leagues and corporations. The National Football League, Canadian Football League, National Women’s Hockey League, Major League Soccer, and others help make the You Can Play Project initiatives possible, such as Pride Night collaborations and the development of educational platforms.

“(These partners) are the bread and butter of You Can Play. You need to have ambassadors and people that understand our mission that are out there trying to spread the word,” said Witman.

You Can Play encourages everyone to get involved as an advocate, ambassador, or volunteer. They have an excellent collection of resources on their website that can help educate players, coaches, parents, and teams about the importance of safety and inclusion for all LGBTQ+ athletes.

To contact You Can Play, please click here.

Home Ice Feature

Registration now open for 2021-22 First Shift program

Do you have a child aged 6-10 years who is ready to fall in love with hockey? Registration is now open for the 2021-22 NHL/NHLPA First Shift program.

The NHL/NHLPA First Shift program is designed to ensure a positive experience for new-to-hockey families by offering a low-cost entry program to hockey.

Register For the First Shift Program Now >

Hockey Alberta is proud to once again host a First Shift program in Red Deer, February 19 - March 26 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Register >

The First Shift will be offered in eleven locations across Alberta in the winter

  • Brooks - Fall
  • Calgary (Hockey Calgary) - Fall
  • Carstairs - Fall
  • Edmonton (Edmonton Oilers & Hockey Edmonton) - Fall & Winter
  • Grande Prairie - Fall
  • Red Deer (Hockey Alberta) - Winter
  • Lamont - Fall
  • Leduc - Fall
  • Lethbridge - Fall
  • Ponoka - Winter
  • Siksika - Fall

To register for a First Shift program near you, and for more information, click here.

News

Photo credit: Rob Wallator


Registration now open for 2021 Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Selection Camp

RED DEER - Registration is now open for the 2021 Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Selection Camp, Fuelled by Gatorade, which runs August 10-15 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

The Summer Selection Camp is the first step in the identification and selection of potential players for Hockey Alberta’s Team Alberta program that will represent the province at the 2021 U18 Female National Championship. It is open to 2004 and 2005-born female athletes from Alberta who were registered with a Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta sanctioned program in the 2020-21 season.

The Camp will be broken into three two-day camps based on region

  • August 10-12: South Region
  • August 13-15: North Region

Register >

NOTES:

  1. Registration is limited at each position at each camp.
  2. Only Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta Registered female athletes born in 2004 and 2005 are eligible to register.
  3. The deadline to register is Friday, July 2.

Registration Directory > | Refund Policy >

Cost for the camp is $200 plus GST. Each player will participate in one on-ice session and three games with an additional session for goaltenders.

For any registration inquiries, please contact Kendall Newell, Manager, Female Hockey at [email protected]


About Gatorade

Gatorade is a proud partner of Hockey Alberta and its Team Alberta athletes. Gatorade Sports Drink was created to fuel athletic performance. Over the last 50 years, countless hours in the lab and on the field enabled us to ensure that every single ingredient within it is a reflection of that mission. For more information on the science behind the fuel, or its products visit Gatorade’s website.

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 21:12

Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

WE’RE READY!

Hockey Alberta and its member minor hockey associations are READY and encouraging you to get registered for the 2021-22 hockey season.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

SAVE THE DATE - 2021 INDIGENOUS HOCKEY SUMMIT

Hockey Alberta, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, is pleased to announce the inaugural Indigenous Hockey Summit, set for August 27-28.


MORE INFORMATION >


REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR THE FUTURE LEADERS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The Future Leader Development Program is designed to train and mentor post-secondary students in the area of coaching. In the 2021 version of the program, selected future leaders will be trained through virtual sessions that include: skill development, leadership, team building and practice planning.


INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

TEAM ALBERTA’S PATH FORWARD

Hockey Alberta has announced details for the Team Alberta U16 Male and U18 Female Summer Camps, Fuelled by Gatorade.


MORE INFORMATION > | U16 MALE COACHING STAFF >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

ALBERTA BUILT SUMMER CAMPS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Alberta Built Skill Camp options are now available for July and August. Each camp is focused on developing specific individual and team skills, and follow the principles of the Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model adopted by Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada.

REGISTER FOR A CAMP >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

HOCKEY FOR LIFE

Alberta’s hockey community is filled with incredible people and incredible stories. Hockey Alberta wants to share your stories and celebrate the hockey community in our province. Submit your own or nominate someone from your community whose story deserves to be told!

ALEX LE > | DEVIN BUFFALO > | SUBMIT YOUR OWN >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


News

Photo credit: Rob Wallator


Registration now open for 2021 Team Alberta U16 Male Summer Selection Camp

RED DEER - Registration is now open for the 2021 Team Alberta U16 Male Summer Selection Camp, Fuelled by Gatorade, which runs August 3-8 at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre in Red Deer.

The Summer Selection Camp is the the first step in the identification and selection of potential players for Hockey Alberta’s Team Alberta program that will represent the province at the 2021 WHL Cup. It is open to 2006-born male athletes from Alberta who were registered with a Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta sanctioned program in the 2020-21 season.

The Camp will be broken into three two-day camps based on region:

  • August 3-4: South Region
  • August 5-6: Central Region
  • August 7-8: North Region

Register >

NOTES:

  1. Registration is limited at each position at each camp.
  2. Only Hockey Canada/Hockey Alberta Registered male athletes born in 2006 are eligible to register.
  3. The deadline to register is Friday, July 2.

Registration Directory >

Each player will participate in three on-ice sessions, with an additional session for goaltenders.

For any registration inquiries, please contact Mike Kraichy, Manager, Elite Male Hockey at [email protected]


About Gatorade

Gatorade is a proud partner of Hockey Alberta and its Team Alberta athletes. Gatorade Sports Drink was created to fuel athletic performance. Over the last 50 years, countless hours in the lab and on the field enabled us to ensure that every single ingredient within it is a reflection of that mission. For more information on the science behind the fuel, or its products visit Gatorade’s website.

News

Hockey Alberta Names 2021 Team Alberta U16 Male Coaching Staff

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta has selected Serge Lajoie (St. Albert) to lead Team Alberta as the head coach of the 2021 U16 Male team.

Joining Lajoie on the bench as assistant coaches are Alex Mandolidis (Calgary) and Kyle Tapp (Lloydminster). Rounding out the coaching staff are James Poole (Calgary) as video coach and Derek Purfield (Calgary) as goaltending coach.

“We are extremely excited to not only resume the Team Alberta process, but to do so with such an exceptional staff,” said Michael Kraichy, Manager, Elite Male Hockey for Hockey Alberta. “The combined experience amongst these coaches is second-to-none, and we’re looking forward to seeing what this group can accomplish.”

POSITION NAME HOMETOWN
Director of Hockey Operations Michael Kraichy Red Deer
Coach Mentor Barry Medori Spruce Grove
Head Scout Bobby Fox Calgary
Head Coach Serge Lajoie St. Albert
Assistant Coach Alex Mandolidis Calgary
Assistant Coach Kyle Tapp Lloydminster
Video Coach James Poole Calgary
Goalie Coach Derek Purfield Calgary

Team Alberta will hold summer and fall camps in August and September in Red Deer to select the U16 Male team that will represent the province at the 2021 WHL Cup slated for later this fall.

Lajoie – currently the Head Coach of the OHA Edmonton U18 Prep team – has a storied history in the Team Alberta program. In 2011, he won a bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games as an assistant coach. In 2013, he was the head coach of Team Alberta at the Western Canada Challenge Cup (now the WHL Cup), leading the team to the gold medal.

Mandolidis is entering his third season as an assistant coach with the Mount Royal University Cougars. He has also been a fixture within Hockey Alberta programming. As video coach with Team Alberta, he won a bronze medal at the 2019 Canada Winter Games and silver at the 2017 WHL Cup. He has also had various roles at the Alberta Cup.

Tapp is the head coach of the Lloydminster U18 AAA Bobcats of the Alberta Elite Hockey League. He brought home a silver medal as an assistant coach with Team Alberta from the 2012 Western Canada Challenge Cup. He has also volunteered as a coach and mentor in the Alberta Cup program.

Poole is a head coach at the Edge School for Athletes in Calgary and Purfield is the goalie coach for the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Other members of the staff for Team Alberta U16 Male include: Bobby Fox (Calgary), head scout; Barry Medori (Spruce Grove), coach mentor; and Michael Kraichy (Red Deer), director of operations.

Registration for Team Alberta’s U16 Male Summer Camp, Fuelled by Gatorade, which will take place in August (dates determined by region), will open on Friday, June 11 at 10 am, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Team Alberta Path Forward >

News

Hockey Alberta and its member minor hockey associations are READY

Hockey Alberta and its member minor hockey associations are READY and encouraging you to get registered for the 2021-22 hockey season.

Not sure where to go or who to contact to register? Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the Hockey Alberta Region Map.
  2. Determine the region in which you live, and contact the Regional Minor Administration Coordinator. If you are not sure of your regional service area, contact the Hockey Alberta office.
  3. Contact your MHA for all the information you need to register. Many MHAs have their own websites which provide valuable information to their members.

If you are in need of financial assistance, accessing equipment or support for programming, information on these resources can be found through our Hockey Alberta Foundation page.

Hockey Alberta Foundation

Every Kid Every Community Grants Over $40,000 to Associations this Quarter

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation are thrilled to award over $40,000 to this quarter’s Every Kid Every Community (EKEC) grant recipients. This funding enables Hockey Alberta to support 13 programs across Alberta and help nearly 700 kids hit the ice this season.

Programs funded by EKEC make hockey accessible to all by introducing new participants to the game, furthering development and reducing cost. Programs and communities receiving funding for this quarter include:

  • Tsuut’ina Nation: 150 Indigenous children of Tsuut’ina Nation will enjoy the game free of cost with access to qualified instructors.
  • Calgary Lebanese Association community members who are under 18 years of age will be introduced to hockey.
  • Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association has developed an inclusive hockey program for kids 5-17 years who may have mental or physical impairments. EKEC funding helps purchase equipment, sleds and skating aids.
  • Bow Valley Pond Hockey is once again able to offer programming targeting at-risk youth.
  • Lacombe Minor Hockey Association can supplement their female hockey program, making the program more affordable for perspective players.

As well, five associations are planning to implement “Introduction to Hockey” programs that will engage grassroots players in the sport.

The Every Kid Every Community program provides a pathway to play hockey for any child in Alberta who is interested in the sport. The goal is to provide every child in Alberta the opportunity to play hockey, have fun and, in many cases, experience the sport for the first time. Grants are awarded four times a year, with the next application deadline July 31.


To see the application criteria, grant options and to apply, Click Here >

The Hockey Alberta Foundation relies on the generosity of donors across the province to help ensure that any child who wants to participate in hockey has the opportunity. To donate please Click Here >

News

Save the Date – 2021 Indigenous Hockey Summit

Hockey Alberta, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta, is pleased to announce the inaugural Indigenous Hockey Summit, set for August 27-28.

This virtual summit will gather hockey leaders from around the province to continue the growth of the game in Indigenous hockey communities, and allow for networking and sharing best practices.

The Indigenous Hockey Summit kicks off on the evening of Friday, August 27 with a keynote discussion. Training sessions and clinics follow on Saturday, August 28, with three streams: MHA administration, coaches, and officials.

The Friday night keynote panel is open to all minor hockey associations, coaches and officials across the province, while the Saturday MHA Stream will focus on the Indigenous Minor Hockey Associations, with the opportunity for any other Minor Hockey Associations to attend and participate. Coaching and Officiating clinics will only be available for members of Indigenous Minor Hockey Associations and other Indigenous hockey leaders.

Registration information and speakers for the event will be released later this month. Click here to receive a direct email when registration opens >

News

AEHL Celebrates Progress and Looks Toward Next Season at 2021 AGM

RED DEER – The Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) celebrated the progress made by the league in its inaugural season and developed new initiatives for the 2021-22 season at its Annual General Meeting on May 27.

In preparation for the 2020-21 season, the AEHL launched new website platforms in partnership with HockeyTech, and offered fans a livestream service through HockeyTV. The league also partnered with InStat, a statistic and analytic platform, to ensure each team received accurate and consistent statistics throughout the season,

The AEHL undertook new initiatives to recognize current and past players through the “Rinkside” and “Alumni of the Month” features. With limited competition able to be played due to COVID-19 restrictions, the initiatives highlighted how players were staying motivated and continuing to make hockey a part of their lives.

Looking ahead to the 2021-22 season, players from across the AEHL’s three divisions (U15 AAA, U16 AAA and U18 AAA) will participate in a showcase weekend. The AEHL is also planning to implement the following:

  • U15 AAA and U16 AAA will play 34 regular season games with U18 AAA playing 38 games.
  • Regular season games that end in a tie after regulation will go to a five minute, 3-on-3, overtime period.
  • All three divisions will play an unbalanced regular season schedule with a focus on regional play.
  • Post-season play will consist of a new format in all three divisions.

Sixty-one teams participated in the virtual meeting that would normally be held in-person.

For more information, visit the AEHL websites at: aehl.ca, u18aaa.ca, u16aaa.ca, or u15aaa.ca.

News

We’re Hiring!

Hockey Alberta is seeking a talented and energetic professional to join the organization as our newest Coordinator, Hockey Development. This is a full-time maternity leave position, based out of Red Deer, AB, and will extend until July 31, 2022.

The Coordinator, Hockey Development position plays a significant role in the pursuit of the vision and mission of Hockey Alberta. Under the direction of the Manager, Female Hockey, this position focuses on providing quality service to the membership and stakeholders of Hockey Alberta, as well as positive experiences for players within Alberta. Working alongside other staff and volunteers, this position leads and guides Hockey Alberta volunteers, connecting them to the annual strategies aimed at advancing the game as it pertains specifically to coach development.

Details >

The deadline to apply for this position is Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 11:59pm (MT).

Home Ice Feature

Asian Heritage Month - Alex Le

Alex Le was going to school to become an Emergency Medical Technician at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, when a classmate noticed his keen interest in hockey and suggested he get involved with a minor association.

Two weeks into his first trainer role, the Northwest Calgary team travelled to Chicago for a tournament. The camaraderie Le experienced between the staff and the team was enough to hook him for life.

“It hooked me. I wanted to be a part of that moving forward,” said Le. “I watched the Calgary Buffaloes win the Mac’s tournament in 2008 and I remember thinking, ‘that would be such a cool experience as a trainer - being down there, right in those benches in the Saddledome.’”

Le played minor hockey in Saskatoon until he was 13, before moving to Calgary in 1995. He joined the Northwest Calgary Athletics Association as the trainer for the Midget A Bruins in 2007. The following season he moved to the Calgary Buffaloes Hockey Association.

In 2019, life came full circle. Le celebrated in the benches of the Saddledome as the Buffaloes won the Mac’s Tournament.

Having worked with players of all ages between U14-U21 in the Buffaloes association, Le looked to the Team Alberta program to expand his trainer resume.

“Some of the trainers I had worked with said it was a great experience and I’m always looking to learn and grow. That year (2015), I decided to throw my hat into the ring and I was luckily accepted,” said Le. “The long days were worth every single second. Learning everything that Team Alberta puts into coaching and into developing players and setting them up for success. And not only that but it’s setting us trainers up for success as well. And I just loved that experience.”

Le has volunteered for Hockey Alberta on several occasions, including as the U16 Equipment Manager and Trainer in 2015 and 2016.

In his professional life, Le is employed by one of Hockey Alberta’s long-time partners and supporters, ATB Financial.

“What makes me proud about working with ATB Financial is that it’s purely Albertan. It’s a bank that’s here for Albertans, made for Albertans,” said Le. “We’re here to support Albertans through everything and I think that is the same as Hockey Alberta. We share the same core values, we share the same goals, just wanting to elevate Albertans in their journey.”

Part of Le’s journey includes growing up in Saskatchewan and Alberta as an Asian-Canadian.

“You face adversity here and there. Racial comments and racial slurs being thrown out whether it be by a parent or kid, it happens,” said Le. “Having to learn that and deal with that at such a young age. It was a good learning experience, it’s not the greatest learning experience, but it helps shape you as a person in terms of resiliency.”

Le believes there are kids out there that do experience the same adversity. His ability to relate to what they are going through and help navigate the situation establishes Le as a role model for the next generation. Through his trainer role, his hope is that he can help players be the best people they can be.

“I was listening to talk radio and they were talking about success in hockey and how it’s defined. The person who was talking about it said, ‘success doesn’t mean your child is playing in the NHL. Success is defined by is your child still using those skills in their life. If your child is 50 years old and still playing beer league hockey, that is success in hockey,’” said Le. “That really resonated with me because my Dad, who was an immigrant to Canada from Vietnam, turned on the TV one night and he saw the NHL and was captivated. He hoped that I could learn something from that and use it in my life. I didn’t make the NHL – I wasn’t even close. But those skills that I learned, like the cliché things about teamwork, have given me life skills.”

Le started in hockey at a young age and whether it be through playing, working as a trainer or the relationships he’s formed, he still finds joy in the game. Now married with a wife and two children, Le doesn’t see his life without hockey.

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 21:11

Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

CENTRE ICE PODCAST - EPISODE TWELVE: CASSIE CAMPBELL-PASCAL AND STEVEN TSUJIURA

Episode Twelve of the Centre Ice Podcast features a pair of players who coincidentally both played in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, one for Team Canada, and one for Japan - Cassie Campbell-Pascal and Steven Tsujiura

LISTEN AND WATCH > | OTHER EPISODES >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH - KASSY BETINOL

Kassy Betinol credits her brothers for getting her into the sport that has given her everything.


READ THE FULL STORY >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

ASHLEY SHRODE AND ALLYSON BENDFELD NAMED REGIONAL FINALISTS FOR BFL FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR

Congratulations to Ashley Shrode and Allyson Bendfeld on being named Alberta’s 2021 BFL Female Coaches of the Year by Hockey Canada.


MORE INFORMATION >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

ALBERTA BUILT SUMMER CAMPS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Alberta Built Skill Camp options are now available for July and August. Each camp is focused on developing specific individual and team skills, and follow the principles of the Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model adopted by Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada.

REGISTER FOR A CAMP >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

HOCKEY FOR LIFE

Alberta’s hockey community is filled with incredible people and incredible stories. Hockey Alberta wants to share your stories and celebrate the hockey community in our province. Submit your own or nominate someone from your community whose story deserves to be told!

STEVE TSUJIURA > | KASSY BETINOL > | SUBMIT YOUR OWN >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Home Ice Feature

Photo credit: LA Media


22 Albertans listed in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings

RED DEER - NHL Central Scouting has released its final rankings for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, with 22 Albertans making an appearance - 17 skaters, and five goaltenders.

A pair of Team Alberta alumni and Edmonton Oil Kings teammates lead the way in their respective categories, as Sebastian Cossa was named the top North American goaltender, while Dylan Guenther was the highest ranked Albertan among North American Skaters, coming in at number five.

Two more team Alberta alumni are among the top 20 North American skaters: defenceman Corson Ceulemans, and forward Colton Dach.

The full list of Albertans named to NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings can be found below:

Final Rank Player Position Last Amateur Club League
NORTH AMERICAN SKATERS
5 Dylan Guenther Forward Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
14 Corson Ceulemans Defence Brooks Bandits AJHL
19 Colton Dach Forward Saskatoon Blades WHL
45 Olen Zellweger Defence Everett Silvertips WHL
59 Sean Tschigerl Forward Calgary Hitmen WHL
60 Zack Ostapchuk Forward Vancouver Giants WHL
63 Jayden Grubbe Forward Red Deer Rebels WHL
93 Kyle Masters Defence Red Deer Rebels WHL
105 Owen Pederson Forward Winnipeg Ice WHL
142 Dru Krebs Defence Medicine Hat Tigers WHL
145 Marc Lajoie Defence Tri-City Americans WHL
151 Lucas Ciona Forward Seattle Thunderbirds WHL
190 Zack Stringer Forward Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL
191 Riley Ginnell Forward Brandon Wheat Kings WHL
192 Ryker Evans Defence Regina Pats WHL
208 Noah Serdachny Forward Salmon Arm Silverbacks BCHL
219 Gannon Laroque Defence Victoria Royals WHL
NORTH AMERICAN GOALTENDERS
1 Sebastian Cossa Goaltender Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
12 Talyn Boyko Goaltender Tri-City Americans WHL
18 Taylor Gauthier Goaltender Prince George Cougars WHL
28 Gage Alexander Goaltender Winnipeg Ice WHL
32 Ethan Kruger Goaltender Brandon Wheat Kings WHL

Home Ice Feature

George McCorry receives 2021 Hockey Canada Officiating Award

Congratulations to George McCorry on receiving the 2021 Hockey Canada Officiating Award.

Over the last 55 years, McCorry’s name has become synonymous with officiating in Alberta.

Donning the black and white for the first time at 12 years old, McCorry achieved the top level of refereeing certification, Level VI, by the time he was 30. He took on national and international assignments for Hockey Canada, including three national university championship appearances and a role in the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France. Two years later, McCorry refereed 10 games in the NHL.

While the list of on-ice accomplishments is lengthy, his continued work developing officials may be more meaningful to the long-term success of the game. For over 25 years, McCorry has been an instructor for the National Referee Certification Program, and he’s been supervising officials in Alberta for 38 years. He has served as referee-in-chief with Hockey Alberta and as chair of the Hockey Alberta Referees’ Council. Since 1999, McCorry has been the vice-president and supervisor of officials for the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

On and off the ice, McCorry has been keeping the game in check and teaching the next generation of officials how to do the same.

Centre Ice Podcast

Centre Ice Podcast - Episode Twelve: Cassie Campbell-Pascal and Steven Tsujiura

Episode Twelve of the Centre Ice Podcast features a pair of players who coincidentally both played in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, one for Team Canada, and one for Japan.

With the Professional Women’s Hockey Player’s Association’s Secret Dream Gap Tour making a stop in Calgary, and being covered on Sportsnet, we chat with two-time Olympic gold medalist Cassie Campbell-Pascal, who is part of the broadcast team for the event.

And, with May being Asian Heritage Month, we also sit down with former Medicine Hat Tiger standout Steven Tsujiura to talk about his roots, his time playing hockey in Alberta, and where the game has taken him.

Hockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta News


Episode Links: PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour > | Ashley Shrode, Allyson Bendfeld win BFL Female Coach of the Year Awards > | George McCorry wins Hockey Canada Officiating Award > | Volunteer with Hockey Alberta > | Asian Heritage Month: Steven Tsujiura >

More Episodes >


Centre Ice is the brand-new Hockey Alberta podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province. Subscribe now on your favourite podcast app!

Home Ice Feature

Asian Heritage Month - Kassy Betinol

Kassy Betinol credits her brothers for getting her into the sport that has given her everything.

“My journey with hockey started when I was really young with my two older brothers,” said Betinol. “My brother was a goalie and I really wanted to be a goalie so I went to all of his goalie lessons and would watch all of his practices.”Her favourite memories growing up were the hours spent in the basement with the goalie pads strapped on as her brothers fired shots at her; but Betinol’s dreams of being a goalie were dashed as she became an offensive force on the ice.

Becoming a fixture with Team Alberta, Betinol’s hockey journey took her from her hometown in Okotoks to the Okanagan where she played in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) throughout her high school, before traveling across the border to University of Minnesota-Duluth to play NCAA Division I hockey.

“Being in the Team Alberta environment, a more organized and professional environment helped me develop,” said Betinol. “Growing up in Okotoks, it’s such a nice size small town and moving out in high school, being away from my parents and having to make decisions on my own made me less homesick when I got to Duluth. Coming to the (United) States has always been my dream. Playing in the NCAA, in front of all these crazy fans, has been unbelievable.”

After a rookie NCAA season cut short due to COVID-19, Betinol earned an invite to Canada’s National Women’s Development Team 2020 Summer Camp. Even though the camp – her first with Hockey Canada – was cancelled due to the pandemic, Betinol spent time on Zoom calls with the top players from across the nation.

“Moving forward, I want to work as hard as I can to get as far as I can within the (Hockey Canada) program,” said Betinol. “I want to have these experiences to use to give back to the game later and guide the younger players. The women’s game is growing and in the right strides.”

Betinol wants to utilize her experiences to give back to the game - including being an Asian-Canadian female hockey player.

“You don’t see a lot of players with Asian backgrounds, so it’s really cool to say that I have that. Being a little bit different means a lot to me,” said Betinol. “I’m in a pretty fortunate spot to say that I haven’t had to face many challenges. Every town that I’ve lived in and every program that I’ve played for have been super welcoming and I can’t see I’ve had any crazy problems with it.”

With two seasons under her belt with Minnesota-Duluth, Betinol is already eyeing professional opportunities for her post-university career. The opportunities hockey has continued to give Betinol are endless and she owes the game, and her brothers, everything.

News

2021 BFL Female Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Ashley Shrode and Allyson Bendfeld on being named Alberta’s 2021 BFL Female Coaches of the Year by Hockey Canada. Through the BFL Female Coach of the Year, Hockey Canada’s mission is to recognize coaches who are leaders in hockey and leaders in life, both in community and high performance leagues.

2021 Alberta BFL Female Coach of the Year – Community

Shrode has coached with the Barrhead Minor Hockey Association for nine years, currently with the U9 program. She embodies sportsmanship and fair play by ensuring players receive equal playing time and are treated with respect, and she provides a positive experience to players, officials and parents. Shrode is committed to the development of players on and off the ice, as she works with minor hockey associations and mentors coaches through her through her company called GAS’D, an acronym for Goals and Attitude Skills Development.

“Being selected for this award is a great accomplishment and a great reminder that it does matter,” said Shrode. “I don’t coach for the recognition, I coach to be a part of the athletes milestone in achieving their goals. Being able to help with their core fundamentals in skill development is so rewarding.”

Whether it is through coaching with Barrhead, Team Alberta, Whitecourt Minor Hockey or her company, Shrode is dedicated to the sport of hockey, to the players and to making the sport grow.

2021 Alberta BFL Female Coach of the Year – High Performance

Bendfeld is a 15-year veteran behind the bench who currently works with the Olds College Broncos of the ACAC. Her coaching philosophy emphasizes what can be controlled and reacting to situations on and off the ice. She believes that within the game of hockey, everyone is working to be the best versions of themselves and that mistakes will always occur no matter how you are involved in the game.

“I am extremely honoured to be nominated and then to be selected (for this award). Coaching has always been something that I do to have fun and give back to the game that I love so much,” said Bendfeld. “It is always nice to be recognized for the time, hard work and dedication that it takes to coach, I hope it inspires others to do the same.”

As a former student-athlete, Bendfeld can relate to the pressure her players feel when trying to balance academics and athletics. Her connection to the players underscores the importance of the development of each player by focusing on a foundation of well-being, making her an excellent role model for the young adults with whom she works.

BFL Female Coach of the Year

Coaches from coast to coast were nominated for Hockey Canada’s BFL Female Coach of the Year award. A selection committee chose the provincial and territorial winners for each category based on fair play and sportsmanship, emphasis on emotional and physical well-being of players, and commitment to developing every player and dedication to the game on and off the ice.

The selection committee consisted of Olympic gold medalists, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Gina Kingsbury and Caroline Ouellette; Steve Lacoste vice-president of sports and leisure with BFL; and Teal Gove, manager of hockey development with Hockey Canada.

Each provincial and territorial winner receives a $1,000 bursary. A national winner from each category will be announced in June.

Home Ice Feature

Asian Heritage Month - Steve Tsujiura

Born to Japanese-Canadian parents who were interned in British Columbia during World War II, Steve Tsujiura grew up skating the streets of Coaldale - literally.

“When I was a kid, the town made an outdoor rink, so I would get home from school put on my skates and skate down the road. We’d play on the rink and then I’d skate back home,” recalled Tsujiura. “My toes would be freezing so my mom would put me on a vent heater and bring me hot chocolate.”

As Tsujiura’s love for the game grew, he travelled to nearby Lethbridge and Taber to play competitive hockey before becoming a fixture with the Western Hockey League’s Medicine Hat Tigers in 1978.

For three consecutive seasons Tsujiura led the Tigers in points, capping his junior career with an impressive 389 points in 243 games. Along the way, he was named WHL Player of the Year (1981), Most Sportsmanlike Player (1980, 1981) and a WHL Second All-Star (1981). And in the 1981 National Hockey league draft, Tsujiura was chosen in the 10th round by the Philadelphia Flyers (205th overall).

Over the next eight seasons, Tsujiura found his stride in the American Hockey League (AHL) where he spent most of his career with the Maine Mariners. While his NHL dream may have dwindled, his hockey journey was far from over.

The Canadian love affair with the game that started with frozen toes and hot chocolate, took Tsujiura overseas where he played in leagues in Italy and Switzerland from 1989-1994.

Then, in preparation for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, Japan began developing its national hockey program. As part of an effort to ice a competitive team in Nagano, the Japanese Men’s National Team extended invitations to six North Americans, including Tsujiura.

“Marching into the stadium in the opening ceremonies and seeing all the different countries was an experience I won’t forget,” said Tsujiura. “It was a very cool experience. We played in the earlier pool with countries like France, Austria, Kazakhstan and they took the winner of each side to play against Canada, U.S, Czech Republic. That’s how Olympic hockey was set-up then.”

Following the 1998 Olympics, Tsujiura retired from his playing career to step behind the bench as head coach of the Japanese National Team. Having no experience in coaching prior to taking over as bench boss, Tsujiura saw it as an opportunity to stay in the game.

“It was my first foray into coaching, which was interesting. I didn’t get a team for a whole season so I coached different events. I would be in Japan and I was also a second assistant coach for a team in Portland, Maine, which was in the AHL, so I was also home a month,” said Tsujiura. “It was probably harder on my wife, but I was kind of an absentee Dad. I would be home for three weeks, drive the kids around or look after them. I wouldn’t call it the best situation, but it was a unique situation.”

After four years traveling between the Japan and the United States, Tsujiura returned to Maine to settle with his family.

Because of hockey, Tsujiura was able to call the country from which his ancestors had immigrated home for a short while.

“My parents were born in Canada, they were born on the west coast. They were uprooted when the war broke out and got interned in interior B.C., my Mom and Dad really never talked about anything,” recalled Tsujiura. “It’s very sad because it’s a part of our history, that’s just the way it was. But they set up a good life in Alberta.”

With resilient parents, who had everything taken away from them and were forced to start a new, Tsujiura took advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves throughout his hockey career. Never wavering from his Alberta roots, he credits hockey for teaching him some of the most valuable life lessons he has learned.

Ice Times Newsletter

Ice Times Newsletter - Edition 21:10

Hockey Alberta News

CENTRE ICE PODCAST - EPISODE ELEVEN: LACEY SENUK AND KYLE REHMAN

Episode Eleven of the Centre Ice Podcast focuses on one of the most under-appreciated positions in the game: the official, featuring interviews with two of Alberta’s biggest success stories in Level Five Official Lacey Senuk, and NHL Referee Kyle Rehman.

LISTEN AND WATCH > | OTHER EPISODES >


Hockey Alberta News

ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH - LARRY KWONG

Larry Kwong’s NHL career lasted all of a New York minute, though that minute changed the game forever.


READ THE FULL STORY >


Hockey Alberta News

VOLUNTEER APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

Hockey Alberta is accepting applications to fill volunteer roles within our Operational Committees for the 2021-22 hockey season. View the Hockey Alberta Volunteers page for available roles and the volunteer application form.


MORE INFORMATION >


Hockey Alberta News

BREAKFAST WITH BECKETT: THE LIFE OF A U11 GOALIE

Life as a 10-year-old goaltender can be busy navigating through school, hockey practices, and spending time with friends. For one hockey player in Strathcona, he has found the time to add in so much more.


READ THE FULL STORY >


Hockey Alberta News

GRINDSTONE AWARD FOUNDATION GRANT APPLICATIONS OPEN UNTIL JUNE 30

Do you know of a female hockey player who is being kept off the ice due to financial constraints? The Grindstone Award Foundation can help. Check out their website for more information on their grants!

APPLY NOW >


Hockey Alberta News

ALBERTA BUILT SUMMER CAMPS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Alberta Built Skill Camp options are now available for July and August. Each camp is focused on developing specific individual and team skills, and follow the principles of the Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model adopted by Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada.

CAMP OPTIONS AND REGISTRATION >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

HOCKEY FOR LIFE

Alberta’s hockey community is filled with incredible people and incredible stories. Hockey Alberta wants to share your stories and celebrate the hockey community in our province. Submit your own or nominate someone from your community whose story deserves to be told!

BECKETT WILLIAM > | DAVE CAMPBELL > | SUBMIT YOUR OWN >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta News

Home Ice Feature

Asian Heritage Month - Larry Kwong

Larry Kwong’s NHL career lasted all of a New York minute, though that minute changed the game forever.

Born in Vernon, B.C. in 1923, to a Chinese-Canadian mother and a Chinese immigrant father, Kwong was one of 15 children. Kwong’s family owned and operated a grocery store, though as a Chinese-Canadian family, the household faced segregation, including being banned from voting.

During the winter months, in skates a size too big and magazines taped to his shins for pads, Kwong would spend hours on frozen ponds playing shinny with his brothers. In the evenings, they would huddle around the radio listening to Foster Hewitt call the game from Toronto and as many Canadian kids, he dreamed of one day hearing his name. Having never played organized hockey and in the days of the “Original Six,” that dream seemed a world away.

At 16, Kwong joined the Vernon Hydrophones and quickly became an offensive phenom, helping the Hydrophones to a provincial championship in 1941. Though he excelled on the ice, Kwong felt the repercussions of being a Chinese-Canadian in the 40’s, facing discrimination on and off the ice.

But his love for the game kept him pushing boundaries.

“I was afraid to tell my family, because if I did tell them that, the first thing they would say is ‘You’re not going anymore.’ And that means I couldn’t play hockey or sports. I toughed it out, just toughed it out,” Kwong said in a 2013 CBC article.

The success Kwong found with the Hydrophones did not go unnoticed as he earned himself a tryout with the Trail Smoke Eaters, a semi-professional team. Players with the Smoke Eaters received a high-paying job at the local smelter. Being Chinese, Kwong was stripped of the job at the smelter, instead spending his days working as a bellhop at a hotel.

During this time, the impact of World War II was being felt across the world and Kwong moved to Nanaimo to build war materials by day and skate with the Nanaimo Clippers by night, still dreaming of one day playing in the NHL. As the war raged overseas, Kwong set his dreams aside for his country and enlisted in the army.

Kwong’s basic training stationed him in Red Deer, where he played for the army’s Red Deer Wheelers. NHL players returning home to enlist in the military were recruited by rival teams and Kwong soon found himself facing off against men living his dream - and holding his own against them. As his comrades were sent overseas, Kwong was instructed to stay in Red Deer to play hockey to entertain the troops. And this is where he began catching the eye of professional scouts.

After the war, Kwong returned to the Smoke Eaters, where he led the team in scoring and earned another championship. In 1946, the New York Rangers extended a try-out invitation.

Topping out at five feet, six inches, Kwong’s agile speed and smooth stick handling landed him an assignment to the Ranger’s farm team, the New York Rovers. A fan favourite, his nicknames, “King Kwong” and “Chinese Clipper” echoed Madison Square Gardens during Rovers games.

Nearing the end of Kwong’s second season with the Rovers, the New York Rangers were traveling to Montreal with a line-up riddled with injuries when Kwong got the call.

“When I had the chance to become a Ranger I was really excited. I said to myself: That’s what I wanted since I was a young boy. I wanted to play in the NHL,” Kwong said in an article in the New York Times.

On March 13, 1948, Kwong dressed in his first NHL game. On that night, he became the first player of Asian heritage and the first person of colour to play in the NHL. He found a spot on the bench and that’s where he stayed until he got the nod late in the third period.

Kwong did not score, he did not get an assist, he did not get a penalty, nor did he let Montreal score. He played his first and last shift in the NHL. Kwong’s NHL career was over in a New York minute. But he opened the gate for many to follow.

Over the next five years, Kwong played in the minors, demonstrating blistering speed and unmatched goal scoring abilities. He then moved overseas to play in British and Swiss leagues before transitioning to coaching.

Despite many efforts to derail his hockey career, Kwong accomplished his goal of playing in the NHL and is an honoured member in the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (2016 Founder’s Award Recipient) and B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame (2013) as a pioneer of the game.

Kwong returned to Calgary where he opened a grocery store and was active in his community. He lost both of his legs due to poor circulation, yet his resilient spirit carried him to the gym into his 90’s.

Kwong passed away in 2018 at the age of 94.

News

AEHL InStat Logos


AEHL Extends Partnership with InStat

RED DEER – The Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) is excited to announce a one-year extension of its partnership with InStat Sport.


The extended partnership will see InStat Sport provide all 57 teams in the AEHL with the statistics and analytical features of the InStat Hockey platform.


“InStat Sport is passionate about growing our hockey platform across North America and we are happy our partnership with the AEHL remains part of that process. When hockey returns, we’re ready to get all 57 teams back on and active on our leading video analysis and stats platform,” said Mark Yates, Director, InStat North America.


InStat Sport, founded in 2007, is a leading provider of performance analysis services in soccer, basketball and hockey. Hockey clients include teams in the NHL, CHL, NCAA, and USports. Coaches and players can receive detailed reports after each game, statistical breakdowns, and links to corresponding video or playlists for the purpose of development and exposure to the next level. 


“Despite being anything but a normal hockey season, InStat was committed to working with the AEHL and growing the partnership. We know with the return of hockey next season the InStat platform will play a big role in coach and player development for all teams in the AEHL,” said Michael Kraichy, Manager, Elite Male Hockey, for Hockey Alberta.


For more information regarding InStat, go to its website, www.instatsport.com, or check out their YouTube channel.


For more information on the AEHL, check out aehl.ca, or any of the division sites at u18aaa.ca, u16aaa.ca or u15aaa.ca.

Centre Ice Podcast

Centre Ice Podcast - Episode Eleven: Lacey Senuk & Kyle Rehman

Episode Eleven of the Centre Ice Podcast focuses on one of the most under-appreciated positions in the game: the official, featuring interviews with two of Alberta’s biggest success stories in Level Five Official Lacey Senuk, and NHL Referee Kyle Rehman.

Hockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta NewsHockey Alberta News


Episode Links: Coach of the Month: Brad McCoy > | Coach of the Month:Tracey Desmarais > | Coach of the Month: Derek McEwan > | Coach of the Month:Lee Zalasky > | Volunteer Appreciation Week > | Breakfast with Beckett >

More Episodes >


Centre Ice is the brand-new Hockey Alberta podcast, featuring the latest news and views on amateur hockey across the province. Subscribe now on your favourite podcast app!

Home Ice Feature

Breakfast with Beckett: The life of a U11 Goalie

STRATHCONA – As a goaltender, actor, and radio host, Beckett William is a young man of many talents.

Life as a 10-year-old goaltender can be busy navigating through school, hockey practices, and spending time with friends. For one hockey player in Strathcona, he has found the time to add in so much more.

It all started when Beckett was three years old and learned to skate thanks to the influence of his grandfather. As soon as he was able, Beckett began playing organized hockey with the Strathcona Warriors Minor Hockey Association. When he got to his second year of U9, the team was giving all the players a chance to try playing goalie, and it didn’t take long for Beckett to fall in love with the position.

“I wanted to (play hockey) because my Grandpa was a hockey player, and I wanted to skate like him, so I started skating and we got me a stick and I just started playing hockey,” said Beckett. “I get to meet great people and friends on the team, and it’s fun getting pucks in my chest.”

What may be more impressive is how Beckett has filled his time away from the rink.

He auditioned for a role in an upcoming movie called Connecting Flights. Beckett landed the role due to his ability to do a British accent on top of using his regular voice. The movie began filming in March 2020 but was then postponed to July due to COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta. Once completed, the film was released in early 2021. Beckett attributes his years of playing hockey as something that helped with his teamwork during the film making process.

“I’ve seen myself on a screen before, but not in a movie – and I was just like this is really cool, I want to keep doing this,” said Beckett.

In February, Beckett was asked if he would like to expand his talents and begin hosting his own radio show on Sound Sugar Radio where he could discuss his three favourite things: film making, acting, and hockey.

It was shortly after that when Breakfast with Beckett was born. Since his first episode, Beckett has featured such guests as Andrew Ference, Tim Hunter, and Gene Principe. His favourite part about hosting a radio show is getting to know different kinds of people and hearing their experiences.

“I was on an interview on my Grandpa’s show (Bill & Paul Face the Music), and we went off air and he just asked me if I wanted to do my own radio show, and I was like definitely, then two weeks later we did the first episode,” said Beckett.

There has been a lot of excitement packed into Beckett’s first decade, but he says he hopes to continue with acting, radio hosting, and hockey for the foreseeable future.

Ideally, he will one day star in a big feature film such as Batman or Spiderman, or even take a role as the goalie in the Mighty Ducks series. Even if he becomes a movie star one day, Beckett says he will always make time to play hockey.

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES - Edition 21:09

Hockey Alberta News

COACH OF THE MONTH - YEAR-END WINNERS

As a wrap-up to the 2020-21 season, Hockey Alberta is featuring four outstanding coaches as recipients of the Coach of the Month recognition - sponsored by Players Bench Team Apparel. Hockey Alberta is pleased to recognize Brad McCoy, Tracy Desmarais, Derek McEwan, and Lee Zalasky.

BRAD MCCOY > | TRACY DESMARAIS > | DEREK MCEWAN > | LEE ZALASKY >


Hockey Alberta News

THE BEST HOCKEY MOM: MOTHER’S DAY CONTEST

Why is your mom the best hockey mom? We want to know! Submit your one-minute (or less) video telling us why your mom is the BEST hockey mom for a chance to win a special Mother’s Day prize package!


ENTER THE CONTEST >


Hockey Alberta News

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Hockey Alberta is shining the spotlight on a handful of volunteers who make a huge impact on the sport in Alberta.


VOLUNTEER FEATURES >


Hockey Alberta Ice Times Newsletter

HOCKEY FOR LIFE

Alberta’s hockey community is filled with incredible people and incredible stories. Hockey Alberta wants to share your stories and celebrate the hockey community in our province. Submit your own or nominate someone from your community whose story deserves to be told!

BRENDA DYCK > | KEVIN KURYLUK > | SUBMIT YOUR OWN >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta News

News

Coach of the Month - Lee Zalasky

As a wrap-up to the 2020-21 season, Hockey Alberta is featuring four outstanding coaches as recipients of the Coach of the Month recognition - sponsored by Players Bench Team Apparel. These coaches were nominated by parents, players, and fellow coaches due to their exceptional leadership, initiative, and innovation during the difficult season.

Today Hockey Alberta is pleased to recognize Lee Zalasky of St. Albert.

ST. ALBERT - Lee Zalasky was the head coach of the Canadian Athletic Club U15 AAA team (AEHL) in Edmonton during the 2020-21 season. After an extensive playing career which saw him make stops in Prince George (WHL) and the University of Alberta (U Sports), Lee still felt the itch to be involved in the game. It was through his first job as a teacher where he met Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor Barry Medori who connected him with the Spruce Grove AAA program where he began coaching.

Throughout the difficult 2020-21 season, Lee went the extra mile to allow for his players to build on their development while being away from the ice. Facilitating team meetings via Zoom, bringing on guest speakers and scouts, setting up virtual workouts, yoga classes, stickhandling, and sports psychology sessions were just some of the ways that he was able to keep his team engaged. Before the pause of the season, Lee placed a huge emphasis on the importance of supporting the community and encouraged his players to rake leaves for their neighbours as a team.

"I know our coach has a history of helping the community and you can tell he wants to build that culture in our team everyday, which he has done a great job of doing so," said the player who submitted the nomination. "Coach Lee is definitely the best coach that I have had, and he definitely deserves this recognition after all he’s done for us!"

In a typical year, Lee volunteers to coach sports at his school which include basketball, badminton, and track and field. It is the dressing room comradery and lifelong relationships developed along that way that are his favourite part of coaching. His personal philosophy as a coach and teacher is to construct a learning environment where the foundation is based on the values of trust, caring, respect, hard work, and effective communication. For him, 2020 was a reminder to slow things down and just enjoy the process.

"It is important to provide players with the necessary supports to meet their individual needs to further promote personal growth both on and off the ice." said Lee. "As players move on beyond your team, it’s exciting to watch them grow both as citizens within the community and the hockey world."

News

Hockey Canada Safety Program/RIS – Parent & Activity Leader Extension

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta has worked with both Hockey Canada and the Respect Group Inc. to facilitate an extension of the expiration dates for the Hockey Canada Safety Program (HCSP) and Respect in Sport Parent/Activity Leader Programs.

Any parent, coach or team official that has valid certification in any of the above programs will have their expiration automatically extended by one year.
• For HCSP, the certification will extend from three to four years.
• For RIS Parent and Activity Leader, the certification will extend from four to five years.

These extensions will be reflected on an individual’s Hockey Canada Registry profile for HCSP & RIS Activity Leader and the child’s profile of which it is connected for RIS – Parent. Because RIS is a multi-sport platform and this change is specific to Hockey Alberta, the extension will not be reflected in an individual’s RIS profile. This may affect any prerequisites currently set up through 3rd party registration platforms.

For those with HCSP Level 2, an additional year may be granted but if any supplemental qualifications (Standard First Aid) have expired, valid documentation must be submitted with your application.

These programs play significant roles in achieving Hockey Alberta’s mandate of providing a safe and fun environment for all participants. We are confident that a one-year extension to these programs will not impact these areas of our game and will provide a degree of financial relief to our parents, volunteers and Member Associations in what has been a challenging year on many levels.

News

The Best Hockey Mom: Mother’s Day Contest

Why is your mom the best hockey mom? We want to know!

Submit your one-minute (or less) video telling us why your mom is the BEST hockey mom for a chance to win a special Mother’s Day prize package!

Enter Contest >

Package prizes from:

Video guidelines:

  • Shoot landscape (lengthwise)
  • Ensure lighting is good
  • Record in a quiet place and be sure to speak clear and loud
  • Have fun and get creative!

Rules:

  • Contest closes, Thursday, May 6th at 12pm.
  • One (1) submission per person (siblings can submit individual videos)
  • Winner will be selected and contacted on Friday, May 7, and announced on Sunday, May 9.
  • By completing the contest entry form and submitting your video, you consent to allow Hockey Alberta authorization to post to Hockey Alberta social media platforms, YouTube and website.