Strathmore Minor Hockey to implement ban on peewee bodychecks
After many years of debate, Hockey Alberta has made the decision to disallow bodychecking in peewee hockey. This will be enforced come the fall 2013 season, and affects 4,000 players across the province. Instead of facing hits at ages 11 or 12, players will wait until bantam ages of 13 to 15.
“It’s a ground-breaking thing, I’m surprised, “ Keith Klemmensen said, head coach of the Peewee Wheatland Braves. “I probably disagree but the Hockey Alberta Board has the studies to make the decision.”
The University of Calgary ran a study showing that peewees were at three times the risk of injury, and at four times the risk of concussion, in comparison to Quebec players of the same age, where peewee checking has been outlawed since 1985. Though Hockey Saskatchewan is keeping hits in their peewee leagues, Nova Scotia recently followed in Alberta’s footsteps.
This past season’s Peewee Director for Strathmore Minor Hockey, Doug Raycroft, hasn’t discussed how to go about this issue with his board yet, but as it’s a Hockey Alberta rule, it must be put in place.
“I know Hockey Alberta doesn’t want to take any unnecessary risks with kids,” said Raycroft. “This is just something we’re going to have to accept and do our best with. I know a lot of hockey people are initially going to say, well if my player is going to be coming in the bantam now, I know the concerns are going to be how am I going to prepare?”
Wheatland Kings Coach and General Manager Doug Murphy is someone who has such views: “In peewee there’s certainly size discrepancies, and in bantam those discrepancies are more pronounced.” He believes that keeping contact at the peewee level will be more beneficial to the players.
Doug Raycroft understands the reasons behind the ruling, and says as long as the same introductory contact that would be introduced in peewee is now introduced in bantam, he doesn’t think there’s any reason that we won’t be able to prepare our kids.
“That’s an important part to injury prevention. Just making sure the players know how to take hits and give hits properly in a safe way,” said Raycroft. “Those things need to be taught really well and I think we do a good job of that.”
With these safety changes, more players will hopefully be able to be recruited and kept in minor hockey, as their parents’ minds will be put at more ease.
Strathmore Magic use their wizardry at May Opener
The Chinook Credit Union Fastpitch Mother’s Day Opener took place this weekend, with 12 teams competing - from U18 all the way to Sr. B, ladies from Calgary, Red Deer, Marwayne, Medicine Hat took to the AG diamonds. The Strathmore Magic Sr. B Club, however, took the diamonds, and then some.
“Our bats were very lively,” said Jim Songhurst, coach of the Magic, who beat the U18 Strathmore Thunder by a score of 16-1 on Friday night. Songhurst spoke highly of his neighbouring opponents, noting that it was the Magic’s ninth or tenth game of the year, whereas the Thunder had only played two or three.
“I think they have a very bright future,” Songhurst said. “When we were their age category, that’s the same thing that happened to us.”
Songhurst’s team had similar winning scores in two more tournament games on Saturday. However, the Magic battled through adversity come the evening, as by Saturday’s third game, only three girls were playing their regular position. They still won 6-5 against the Calgary Hawks.
“We capitalized on some of their mental mistakes and I think they realized they were playing a team that was there to win,” Songhurst said.
The following day, they defeated the Calgary Red Sox 3-2 in the final, going undefeated all weekend. A clear team effort, Songhurst noted, “if I had to pick on one girl, I’ll take all nine of them sweethearts any day.”
The Strathmore Magic must place first or second at provincials (to take place in Strathmore) to qualify for the Western Finals in Saskatoon from Aug. 8 to 11.
Songhurst admits that in previous years the team has run out of steam at provincials, but has high hopes for this season.
“We’ve gone against the best and we’ve beaten some of the best in this province,” he said.
Strathmore Spartans rugby split against Oil Fields
The Strathmore High girls rugby team shut out Oil Fields High School by a score of 19-0 on May 8; however, the boys lost a tough match, 22-12.
The young ladies put forth a great team effort, with strong tackling and ball movement.
“In the last 15 minutes of the first half, the girls started to gain their rhythm,” girls’ coach Jerry Flaws said. He also noted that Erin Warrack played her best game of the year, quickly becoming one of the team’s most consistent players.
At the beginning of the month in the Vulcan Tournament, the Strathmore High Girls finished fourth among eight teams, with a record of 2-2.
On the boys’ side, coach Brad Steele couldn’t name names, but said the team had excellent tackling and rucking against Oil Fields.
“Unfortunately, just the little errors caught up with us and kept us from completing many plays,” Steele said. “We need to work on our basic skills, we just made too many ball handling errors. I think we played well enough overall to win, but some of our basic passing skills broke down.”
With a 2-2 record to start the season, the boys are most likely to finish third in their tier, and have a good chance to qualify for provincials. Steele’s team will lose roughly eight players after graduation; however, the younger students have gained experience and future seasons look hopeful.
“When both the girls and boys teams play well, they’re capable of beating anybody,” Steele said. “We haven’t seen a team that completely dominates us.”
Holy Cross track hopeful for provincials
The Hawks hope not only to have a few students qualify for provincials, but to excel once they get there. Track and Field Finals are set for Foothills Athletic Park in Calgary for the second weekend in June.
After athletes qualify in the Wheatland County competition (against SHS and Standard), the best move onto the South Central Zone finals. There are eight zones in the province, and the top two contenders in each event for their zone battle in provincials.
In track and field, students do not necessarily face other students from their grade; groups are based on age. For example: late-born grade 12’s may contend with the oldest grade 11’s.
“We’ve had a lot of success in long jump, high jump, and triple jump in the past few years,” said Michael Annicchiarico, one of the team’s coaches. Because the school doesn’t have an actual track to practice on, they usually perform better in field events.
Holy Cross has about double the amount of junior high kids on their track team than senior athletes; however, Annicchiarico says the Hawks have “a couple of athletes on the senior high track team that have done as well as second in provincials, which is an amazing achievement.”
Grade 12 Mike Molina’s best event is high jump, though he competes in long jump and triple jump as well. This will hopefully be his third year to move on to provincials. Fellow student Kirstyn Johnson went to provincials for both triple jump and long jump in 2012, placing second in the latter.
“It’s a lot of mental preparation and just kind of giving your best when it matters,” said Annicchiarico. “I think it’s possible, I think we could get someone to actually win at provincials.”
Strathmore sisters play against each other in showdown
Katie Coulter played for the Junior Strathmore Magic for 10 years, but has since moved up to the Senior Calgary Red Sox. Her sister Brianne, five years her junior, has plenty of time to catch up to 27-year-old Katie; Brianne currently plays for the Intermediate Calgary Sluggers. They faced each other this weekend in the Chinook Credit Union Strathmore Fastpitch May Opener, with Katie’s Red Sox taking the win, 9-2.
Both girls say their father gave them their passion for baseball, and started when they were two young girls growing up in Strathmore.
“My dad played, so that’s what got us into it. That’s why he started us, and we just fell in love with it,” Katie said.
“I would love to watch it when I have kids,” sister Brianne said.
Katie is most comfortable playing in the outfield - typically left or right - but wants to work on her pull-hitting. She hopes to continue with baseball “as long as her body will let her”.
Katie currently is a fifth grade teacher at Brentwood Elementary.
Brianne just began her career at third base this year, but enjoys second as well. Her Calgary Sluggers finished first in the Intermediate division this weekend, however lost in the semi-finals. Fastpitch is more of a hobby for Brianne, who recently graduated from the University of Alberta’s Dental Hygiene program. She loves the teamwork aspect of the game, and feels the Sluggers have the basics down to go fairly far this season.
Katie’s looking forward to Provincials at home in Strathmore come July, and then hopefully Westerns afterwards in August. This weekend, the Red Sox finished first in the Sr. B division, but lost to the Strathmore Magic in the final 3-2.
“We’re one of the top teams in Alberta,” Katie said. It’s just the start of the year; anything can happen.
New attractions for the Strathmore Stampede
For this year’s 40th Annual Strathmore Stampede, some notable changes have been set. The top ten contestants in each event will now compete in a championship final round on August 5 at 11 a.m. With this new, more attractive format, the winner of the totals will be crowned as one of the top 42 cowboys in the world, and receive a cheque for just under $10,000.
The championships will be broadcast by i-Link on TV, and shown on a live webcast.
The Stampede is also attempting to beat the world record for highest pole climb, for a total of 100 ft. There will be a full-on midway from A1 instruments as well, including a sling shot, inverter, tilt-a-whirl, star trooper, and spider (see you on the tilt-a-whirl until I get sick).
If none of those events are for you, enjoy some music from West Coast Lumberjack.
Hundreds of volunteers are needed to support the rodeo, especially with all of the coming attractions.
“It’s always a mammoth effort to do anyway,” said Jim Cammaert, CEO of the Strathmore Agricultural Society. “This year I think we’re going over the top with the entertainment value.”
The Ag Society is adding additional funding to support this new venture, hoping to bring larger audiences to Strathmore.
“It’ll take us probably around three years before we see substantial growth,” Rodeo Chairman Pascal Del Guercio said. “We do expect some kind of a growth in people coming to watch the show because now it becomes a finals that people can identify with, and at the end of the day, they will see the champion in each of the events, just like they do in Calgary.”
Del Guercio hopes that the rodeo won’t simply attract people to visit Strathmore, but possibly to live also.
“When we have a very successful show, it brings a lot of people to town, and we feel with time that will bring more people to Strathmore, that want to live there and be part of the community,” he said.
There will be free parking and camping, and the south infield stands are now reserved rather than rushing to grab a seat.
No dull moments this year. Tickets are currently on sale for the Strathmore Stampede, taking place on the Civic Holiday long weekend (Aug. 2 - 5), at the Ag Office. They can be reached at 403-934-5811.
Strathmore Triathlon continues to grow
The third annual Tri-Smore Triathlon will gather athletes and families to compete on June 22. Registration has grown every year, and is up 40 per cent from this time of last year’s event.
Nikola Johnson began the initiative to host the Tri-Smore after seeing similar exhibitions around small towns in Alberta; she wondered why Strathmore didn’t have something similar, as a fair sized community always looking to support.
“I just believe you got to be active, and create opportunities for your kids to be active,” Johnson said. “The atmosphere is have fun, and it’s as competitive as you want it to be.”
Though long-time triathloners train in the Tri-Smore - including Team Canada’s Kevin Mertz - everyone is strongly encouraged to finish on their own time. Walk the run portion, or wear a life jacket in the pool; you can’t know if you finish last until the results are in, because of the race’s staggered start times. Johnson also promotes anyone with mental or physical challenges to rise to the challenge.
“We’re just trying to remove all those barriers just to get people moving, and for families too,” Johnson said.
There are categories for every age group, with contestants ranging from ages two to 65. The Full Smore is 20 swim lengths, 20 km on the bike, and a 5 km run, with the Half Smore exactly half of all those lengths. The Quarter Smore for under 13 year-olds is four pool lengths, a 5 km ride, and a 1.5 km run. 2 Bite Smores (8 and under) complete one length of the pool, pedal for 0.8 km, and sprint 0.25 km to the finish.
If racing doesn’t appeal to you, Johnson is always looking for volunteers; around 75-100 helpers are needed to pull off the event. All volunteers are entered for a draw to win a prize hotel weekend in Banff, if you need a little encouragement.
The racers will complete the swim portion in the Aquatic Centre, then cycle up Hwy. 817 (for the full and half triathlon), followed by the run through Gray Park. The race begins at 8:30 a.m., and the finish line will be at Strathmore High School’s parking lot. Spectators’ best views are either in Gray Park or along Brent Boulevard. You can also follow along on racepro.ca, as timing chips are attached to each competitor.
Photographers, as well as first-aid if needed, will be standing by -- and yes, there are s’mores at the finish line.
If interested in racing or volunteering, contact Nikola Johnson at 403-480-1218, or visit www.tri-smore.com by June 1. Registration fees are $60 for adults, $20 for youth, and $15 for ages eight and under. Fees include a swim cap, a shirt, post-race nourishment, and the fantastic feeling of “I did it!”
Local girls compete in hockey challenge
Six young ladies with Strathmore ties competed in the ATB Financial Alberta Challenge this past weekend in Medicine Hat. The top 60 bantam girls from Southern Alberta were divided into three teams; likewise for the top 60 in the North. A core development program for women’s hockey, this gave all 120 players involved a chance to showcase their skills, but also provided an opportunity to experiment with new linemates from all across the province. Sarah Lecavalier, Korrie Stewart, Hailey McCallum, Paige Russell, Jane Jacobs, and Kierra Scollo of Drumheller all competed in the Challenge.
“As a team, we just got along really well together,” says Paige Russell, who scored three goals in five games over the tournament. She liked the idea of experimenting, and playing with different teammates. It was her first tournament of such size – a big step in attaining her dream of playing AAA midget next year, after AAA bantam this past season.
Russell’s teammate in the Alberta Major Bantam Female Hockey League, Jane Jacobs, fractured her wrist attempting to block a shot in the tournament. This was a big loss for the South Lightning in the Challenge; Jacobs had 29 points in 27 games this season for the Rocky Mountain Raiders.
“It was a sudden shock. I was skating across the net to block that shot and didn’t really have time to react. Then I dropped instantly,” Jacobs said. Once healed, she intends to play AAA midget next season as well.
Jacobs wasn’t the only one to be injured. Hailey McCallum, Jane’s teammate in the tournament, remarked that players on her team were so often hurt that healthy girls had to step up with multiple shifts.
“In the finals there were over 10 pretty severe ones, like five concussions. It was bad,” McCallum said. Her idol, hockey star Hailey Wickenheiser, attended the tournament, and took the time to speak with some of the girls. Like Wickenheiser, McCallum plays lots of fastball in the summers, but is looking forward to her next season in bantam AAA.
Kierra Scollo had one goal in the tournament, while Korrie Stewart had one assist. Both forwards played for the South Flyers with Sarah Lecavalier, who had a stellar tournament.
The North Red Wings won the tournament, going undefeated all weekend, while the South Coyotes and Lightning each had six points. The South Flyers finished with one point less.
Crowther Memorial to start hockey program
Crowther Memorial Junior High has announced that it is going to start a hockey program in September for students in Grades 7 to 9. This program would allow students to train continuously for hockey while in school from Grade 5 until the end of high school.
“This is something that we’ve thought about doing for a while,” said Ivan Wright, Principal at Crowther Memorial. “There were already two programs within the Golden Hills School Division at (Westmount) Elementary and Strathmore High School, so it makes sense to have a skills program here that acts as a bridge (between elementary and high school).”
The co-ed program will run from September until the end of February, and there will be 24 spaces available to experienced players. Two classes will be offered, with the classes each getting two to three ice times per week on alternating days. The classes will be held at the Strathmore Family Centre, and two teachers at the school will run the sessions. The cost is $350, and the program would be run according to the following schedule: September to November at the rink, December at the school, and then students would return to the rink for January and February.
“Ice time in Strathmore is valuable,” Wright said. “Hockey is still the number one sport here, and the availability of ice time for those who want to improve their skills is going to be a great benefit. (Junior high) is also an age where there is a need and a want because the kids are trying to further improve their skills.”
Wright said that Crowther Memorial is in discussions with Strathmore High School about a mentorship program where the high school students would help the junior high students in developing their skills.
“The older players can help out, and pass on their knowledge,” he said. “We already make use of other facilities in the town for other sports such as curling, so this was not an issue.
“And the arena is our next door neighbour, so the proximity is good.”
Venom split weekend with a win and a loss
The Jr. Tier II lacrosse team had a come-from-behind victory in their home opener against the Red Deer Renegades last Friday, with a score of 13-12. Cody Betterton scored with one minute remaining for the tie, and then again 50 seconds later for the win. Betterton contributed more than half of the Venom’s goals, with seven in the game.
“He played the lights out that night. He was the leader on the team,” Coach Hal Morris said. Betterton also had two assists in the win, and finished the weekend tied for the team lead in points with 17, alongside Hal Morris’ son, Brady.
Saturday’s game against the Lethbridge Barracudas was much tougher for the Venom, as Lethbridge went to the provincial finals last year, and only lost six players from their roster. Brady Morris led the way with a hat trick, but Strathmore still fell 16-6.
“Unfortunately we were missing lots of key players. We were dealing with lots of tired and injured players since we played the night before,” Hal Morris said.
Austin Allen and Lucas Bobbitt both took the net, impressing their coach, as they “faced a lot of shots from a very skilled team.”
Though the Venom need to improve in motion offense and more discipline on the defensive end, coach Morris still “expects to finish near the top or top third of our division this year, if not the top.”
The Strathmore Venom sit 2-2 on the season, with their next game May 10 at 8 p.m. against the Lacoka Locos.
Tour of Alberta cycling route announced
The Tour of Alberta, a 900 km bicycle race throughout Alberta, announced the trails that 15 professional teams of eight riders will follow, with participants from over 20 nations around the world. It’s the first year of the tour, and the first race of its type to be held in Canada.
Edmontonian Alex Stieda, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in Tour de France, helped created the proposal for the race to the Rural Alberta Development Fund.
The riders will journey from the start in Edmonton on Sept. 3, through the prairies and steep Rocky Mountains, to finish in Calgary on Sept. 8.
The prologue of the event begins at Winston Churchill Square, where cyclists will battle for the Tour of Alberta’s leader jersey by running individual time trials of 7.3 km. Top speeds are expected to reach 80 km/hour.
The real journey begins the next day, Sept. 4, as cyclists make their way from Strathcona County to Camrose – a distance of 158km. The following day takes the riders to Devon (or “Bike Town Alberta”).
On Sept. 6, the racers will leave Strathmore for Drumheller. They’ll hustle up the 817 Highway into the Canadian Badlands, after beginning their day on 2 Avenue, between 3 Street and Lakeside Boulevard.
“It’ll bring a lot of attention to Strathmore and we have the opportunity to showcase who we are and what to offer here,” said Tracy Simpson, recreational events and communication coordinator for the Town. “It’ll bring the community together as well, with lots of volunteers need, over 200. Sports and recreation is a great way to unite your community. It’ll set us up for bigger and better things in the future.”
The longest distance the riders will have to face is on Sept. 7, as they pedal from Black Diamond to the Canmore Nordic Centre about 200 km away (with 50 km uphill). The ensuing day, the teams will finish in downtown Calgary at Centre Street and 4 Avenue, passing along Memorial Drive and the Bow River.
Giro D’Italia Champion Ryder Hesjedal is confirmed to be racing with his Garmin-Sharp team; they currently sit at fifth in the world. Hesjedal was the first Canadian to ever capture the Giro race last year.
Modeled after professional races such as the Tour de France, the tour will be sanctioned under Union Cycliste Internationale rules. The route is designed to be safe for cyclists, spectators and motorists.
The tour will be broadcast on Sportsnet in Canada, but will be followed internationally as well.
Strathmore area players part of Allan Cup championship team
Four Strathmore area players were part of the Bentley Generals hockey team that won the 2013 Allan Cup on April 20: Brett Thurston, Jeremy Colliton, Keenan Desmet, and Kyle Sheen.
The 2013 edition of the historic tournament was played in Bentley, with the championship game being televised live on TSN.
The Generals won the Allan Cup final 3-0 over the Clarenville Caribous, including a goal and an assist by Desmet. During the provincial playoffs, Colliton had nine points with three goals and six assists, Desmet had three goals and two assists, Thurston had four assists, and Sheen had two assists. In the Allan Cup tournament, Desmet was third on the team with four points, while Colliton scored a goal.
“It was our goal to win, and we were very excited to win,” Colliton said. “Anything less would have been a disappointment.”
“Winning the Allan Cup brought back memories of winning the Memorial Cup in 2002 with the Kootenay Ice,” said Sheen. “It’s not something that happens very often, and to win any hockey championship is a great feeling.”
“When we won the cup, it was a surreal moment because, coming from a family of hockey players, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to win any professional championship,” Desmet said. “And to do it in a prestigious tournament was a great opportunity.”
Colliton, who is from Blackie and a former UFA Bison, played junior hockey with the Prince Albert Raiders and was a former second round pick of the New York Islanders. He also was a member of three World Junior Hockey Championship Teams during his junior career. After finishing with the Raiders, he spent time in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and has also played 57 games with the Islanders. In between his stints in the NHL/AHL system, he spent the 2009-2010 season in the Swedish Elite League playing for Rögle BK. He felt that it was a great experience to play in a tournament with such a long history.
His journey to the Generals was an interesting one. He was dealing with injury issues, which prevented him from playing pro hockey during this past season. The general manager of the Generals asked him if he was interested in playing. After talking it over with Thurston, Colliton agreed to make the trip to Bentley.
“I was comfortable (in Bentley) because there were already some players on the team that were from Strathmore, and I had played with and against some of the other players during my career,” he said.
Desmet, who is from Strathmore, played minor hockey in Strathmore and with the UFA Bisons before moving on to the AJHL. After a season with the Olds Grizzlys, he went to the BCHL to play for the Victoria Grizzlies and Salmon Arm Silverbacks before going to the US to attend the University of Alabama-Huntsville and play hockey there. He won an NCAA (CHA) championship with Alabama-Huntsville in 2009-2010. During the 2011-2012 season, he went to a French league team called Evry. He also was happy about being able to play in the Allan Cup.
“It was a great experience because of the history of the cup and the (Generals),” he said of playing in the tournament. “It was also a privilege to play in it.”
He got onto the team through conversations with his brother, who played alongside Thurston with the Generals last year, and Thurston himself. Both of them suggested that Desmet join the Generals.
“I had never played professionally (in North America) before, so after talking with my brother and Brett, I gave the GM of the Generals a call, and I went up there,” he said. “It was a great experience.”
Sheen, who lives in Chestermere, played minor hockey in Strathmore, and then went on to play for the Kootenay Ice and Kamloops Blazers. He continued his career in the United Hockey League before going on to Mount Royal University (when it was known as Mount Royal College).
After a year at Mount Royal, he went back to the US to play in the SPHL and Central Hockey League. He was happy that he even got a chance to play after falling ill the week prior.
“I was excited to be in the line-up for the weekend games after having the flu for a few days,” said Sheen. “It was tough not to be playing earlier in the week because of it.”
Sheen’s journey to play for the Generals was also an interesting story. He was supposed to play for the Lloydminster Oil Kings last year, but it fell through. After talking with Thurston, Sheen texted someone from the Generals, tried out for them, and was on the team.
Thurston, who is also from Strathmore, played minor hockey in Strathmore before joining the AAA Bantam Team Extreme in Airdrie. After bantam, he played in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, and then went on to attend the University of Calgary and play with the Dinos. After he finished school, he went to the US to play professional hockey, starting with the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League for a couple of seasons, where he won a league championship in 2006-2007. After spending two seasons in the ECHL, he returned to the Eagles for two more seasons. He played on the Generals last season, and decided to return to the team this year, which allowed for the other Strathmore players to join him in Bentley.
Sheen mentioned how happy he was to finally win a championship alongside Thurston. “Winning this championship with him was great,” Sheen said. “After only getting silver medals together in minor hockey, to finally get gold together means something.”
Strathmore area referee awarded
At the Hockey Alberta Central Zone’s annual awards ceremony on April 19, Strathmore area referee Justin Geeraert received both a pin recognizing his ten years of service in the zone, and the Al Peterson Memorial Award for Most Improved Official.
“Both awards are big accomplishments in my career so far,” Geeraert said. “It’s pretty cool to get recognized for them, and (I was happy when I received both the pin and award). And my parents were impressed when I got recognized for these accomplishments.”
“(His father and I) are very proud of him that he achieved these accomplishments,” his mother, Kim, said. “Not every referee gets an award, so him winning the Peterson Award is great.”
The Peterson Award has been active since 2009. According to the Central Zone’s website, it is awarded to the official that “has progressed the most through their attendance at clinics/seminars and their on-ice efforts.”
Geeraert started refereeing at the age of 13 because he wanted to get into it, and felt that it would be a great experience. He also wanted to help out the kids in some way, and since he knew the rules of hockey, he felt that this was the best way to do that.
Geeraert mentioned that his most memorable moment from his career so far was getting to referee during the Junior B Provincials last year.
“Just getting selected to it was pretty cool,” he said. “Also, being able to work the bronze medal game was also a pretty cool experience for me.”
When he looked back on the past ten years since the start of his career, Geeraert talked about other moments that stood out.
“Working the Hockey Alberta South Final last year was a great experience,” said Geeraert. “I had a lot of fun doing that. Also, getting invited to and attending the Hockey Alberta Referee Development Camp last summer was something that was a really cool experience for me.”
He’s already been hired to work as a linesman for the Alberta Junior Hockey League next season, with the hope that the Western Hockey League is not too far behind.
“Justin’s goal is to be in the WHL with his friend Clayton Hall, who won the Peterson Award in 2010,” Kim said. “Winning the Peterson Award is just another step towards that goal for him.”
Alberta Cup a success
The 2013 Edition of the Alberta Cup, held last weekend for the first time in the Town of Strathmore, was a resounding success.
“It was fantastic,” said out going Strathmore Minor Hockey Association President Wayne Hansen. “The attendance was big, as the arena was filled every day from eight in the morning to 10 at night. This was an event that the town hadn’t seen before, and it went flawlessly.”
Hansen wanted to thank all of the people that helped out in making the event a success.
“There are so many people I would like to thank,” he said. “The 150 volunteers that helped, the staff at the Strathmore Family Centre that worked hard to keep the arena clean every day. They all just did a great job. I also want to thank the corporate sponsors and the community for all of their support.”
The players that participated, as well as their parents, also enjoyed themselves at the event. From the Twitter comments to the praise that was heaped on the town and the community, it seemed that no one had anything negative to say about their experience.
“This event showed that in Strathmore and Alberta, when there’s hockey, people will come to watch and support it,” Hansen said.
There were a few lessons that the Alberta Cup committee learned, though there were no negative things that occurred.
“One lesson that we learned was that, when you host an event of this size, you need to make adjustments on the fly,” Hansen said. “But anything that did come up, we dealt with right away, so we didn’t have any problems.”
Hansen also mentioned that the restaurants in town were packed during the event.
The town will also host the 2014 edition of the event. While there have been preliminary talks with Hockey Alberta, the Alberta Cup committee will take some time off to rest. Towards the end of May, the Alberta Cup committee will sit down with Hockey Alberta to start talking about preparations for the 2014 Alberta Cup.
Alberta Cup wraps up
The 2013 Alberta Cup has come and gone, leaving with it a lasting impression on many of the youth who were lucky enough, and talented enough, to be chosen to take part in the four-day event.
Kody McDonald from Lethbridge played right wing for team South. He has been working hard over the years to consistently improve on his skills, something he felt showed at the Alberta Cup tryouts.
“I’m pretty excited I can’t wait to play a few of the guys that we’ve played through the year and just looking forward to the great competition,” said McDonald.
Parker Aucoin, from Calgary, played left wing on the Calgary North team. He said the fact that he is a goal scorer and is an offensive player is reasons why he thinks he was picked for the team.
“I’m extremely excited, it’s been a privilege to play against these guys all year and I’m very excited to get to play against them all again,” said Aucoin.
“I’m excited for the experience but I’m excited for the on-ice experience but I am also excited for the off-ice experience and just hanging with the team in the room and everything like that.”
Both boys represented their teams at the April 24 press conference, and both hope to play professionally one day.
McDonald’s team, the South, team played their final game of the weekend against Northwest. Northwest scored early in the game and maintained the one point lead until the final minute of the third period when South scored. The game went from overtime into a shootout, and South walked away the C champions after scoring in the shootout.
Calgary North played against defending champion Northeast in the A championship. Calgary North quickly took the lead, but in the end the Northeast remained the reigning champs with a final score of 6-3.
The Alberta Cup will return to Strathmore next year for the 2014 edition of the games.