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Calgary South repeats as Alberta Cup Champs | Canmore announced as 2017 host

CANMORE - For the second straight year, Calgary South are the Alberta Cup Champions.

Despite trailing 2-0 and 3-2 at different points in the game, Calgary South used a six goal third period to defeat Northeast 9-3. All-star defenceman Zach Ashton led the way for Calgary South with a goal and two assists, while Ryan Shostak chipped in with a goal and two assists of his own. Taylor Gauthier stood tall for Calgary South, stopping 35 shots, while All-Star goalie Ethan Kruger made 33 saves for Northeast.


Calgary South Captains (from left: Zach Ashton, Nolan Coventry, Matthew Sanders,
and Alex Young) accept the Alberta Cup.

The win is an extra-special one for Calgary South Head Coach Jamie Steer, as he won the first ever Alberta Cup as a player with Calgary South in 1986.

"I want to thank Hockey Alberta for the opportunity to coach (Calgary South) 30 years later," said Steer. "It’s something we set out to do as a team, and as a coaching staff. Obviously every body wanted to win, but to actually come out on top and make it an even 30 years is really exciting."

Team South finished third in the tournament, beating Calgary North 4-1 in the B Final. Earlier in the day, Edmonton Blue erased a 6-1 deficit to defeat Edmonton Blue 9-7 in the C Final, while Central took the D Final over Edmonton Yellow by a score of 5-4.

Alberta Cup All-Stars >

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule > | Day 1 Results > | Day 2 Results > | Day 3 Results >

As the 2016 Alberta Cup comes to a close, Hockey Alberta is proud to announce the 2017 Alberta Cup will be held in Canmore for the third straight year.

"We couldn’t be more excited to bring the Alberta Cup back to Canmore next year," said Michael Kraichy, Manager of Team Alberta. "This year’s Alberta Cup was even better than the last, and the Host Committee has done an outstanding job once again."

The Alberta Cup is the premier event in the province that helps identify the top male players in Alberta. It is well attended by scouts as they prepare for the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft. In addition to player evaluations, the competition is also an opportunity for administrators, coaches, trainers and referees to be evaluated for future positions with the Team Alberta Program.

Alberta Cup graduates include Matt Dumba, Braden Holtby, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf, Scott Hartnell, Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk, and Andrew Ference.


A Final

Calgary South 9 - Northeast 3

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #4 Drae Gardiner | Northeast - #4 Jake Lee

Boxscore >


B Final

South 4 - Calgary North 1

Players of the Game: South - #16 Peyton Krebs | Calgary North - #9 Connor Brock

Boxscore >


C Final

Edmonton Blue 9 - Northwest 7

Players of the Game: Edmonton Blue#19 Mitchell Verenka |  Northwest - #8 Cameron Aucoin

Boxscore >


D Final

Central 5 - Edmonton Yellow 4

Players of the Game: Central - #15 Deegan Mofford| Edmonton Yellow - #10 Kirby Dach

Boxscore >

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Northeast Trainer Karyn Fanstone. (Photo by: LA Media - lamediadesign.photoshelter.com)


The Alberta Cup: Not Just For Players

While the Alberta Cup brings together 160 of the top bantam-aged male hockey players in the province every year, the impact of the even goes far beyond the ice.

Team Northeast Trainer Karyn Fanstone, Referee Supervisor Craig DeCoursey, and Edmonton Yellow Coach Mentor Matt Keillor share their Alberta Cup experiences, and the role it plays in the development of trainers, officials, and coaches.

The 2016 Alberta Cup was the second for Fanstone, who will return as the athletic therapist for the 2016 Team Alberta U16 Male program. She’ll be joined by Keiller, who will serve as assistant coach of the U16 team, after working as the team’s video coach in 2015.

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From Left: Ethan Browne, Brayden Tracey, Peyton Krebs, Zach Asthon, Matthew Robertson, and Ethan Kruger. (Photo by LA Media - lamediadesign.photoshelter.com)


2016 Alberta Cup All-Stars Announced

At Saturday night’s Alberta Cup Banquet at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club, the Tournament All-Stars were announced. All-Stars were voted on by WHL scouts and Team Alberta staff.

Goaltender

#31 Ethan Kruger - Northeast

GP: 2 | MP: 128 | W: 2 | L: 0 | OTL: 0 | T: 0 | SO: 1 | SA: 59 | GA: 2 | SVS: 57 | GAA: 0.94 | SV%: .970


Defence

#2 Zach Ashton - Calgary South

GP: 4 | G: 1 | A: 5 | Pts: 6 | PIM: 4


Defence

#6 Matthew Robertson - Northeast

GP: 3 | G: 1 | A: 2 | Pts: 3 | PIM: 0


Forward

#19 Brayden Tracey - Calgary North

GP: 4 | G: 8 | A: 2 | Pts: 10 | PIM: 17


Forward

#16 Peyton Krebs - South

GP: 4 | G: 1 | A: 3 | Pts: 4 | PIM: 0


Forward

#9 Ethan Browne - Northeast

GP: 4 | G: 5 | A: 3 | Pts: 8 | PIM: 0


 All-Star Official

Todd Layton (left) - Central Zone

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2016 Alberta Cup: Day Three Recap

CANMORE - The Alberta Cup Championship final will be a rematch of the final round-robin game, as reigning champion Calgary South will battle Northeast Sunday afternoon.

Calgary South defeated Calgary North 5-3 in the first semi-final of the day Saturday, punching its ticket to the A-Final for the second year in a row.

Despite trailing 2-0 halfway through the third period, Northeast scored two late goals to tie the game, and sealed their spot in the finals with a 3-2 overtime win over Team South.

Earlier in the day, Edmonton Blue and Northwest solidified spots in the C Final with 8-4 and 4-2 wins over Edmonton Yellow and Team Central, respectively.

Edmonton Yellow and Central will meet in the D Final at 8:00 a.m., with the C Final beginning at 8:15. The B Final will get underway at 11:00 a.m., and the A Final kicks off at 1:45 p.m.

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule > | Day 1 Results > | Day 2 Results >


Game #13

Edmonton Blue 8 - Edmonton Yellow 4

Players of the Game: Edmonton Blue - #11 Adam Hall  | Edmonton Yellow - #6 Neithan Salame

Boxscore >


Game #14

Northwest 5 - Central 0

Players of the Game: Northwest#9 Stuart Dovey | Central - #1 Bretton Park

Boxscore >


Game #15 (Semi-Final 1)

Calgary South 5 - Calgary North 3

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #4 Drae Gardiner | Calgary North - #19 Brayden Tracey

Boxscore >


Game #16

Northeast 3 - South 2 (OT)

Players of the Game: Northeast - #4 Jake Lee | South - #11 Tarun Fizer

Boxscore >


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2016 Alberta Cup: Day Two Recap

CANMORE - After another busy day of hockey at the Alberta Cup, round-robin play wrapped-up, and the standings are now set heading into Saturday.

Despite a 5-2 loss to Edmonton Yellow, Team South finished on top of Pool A, with Calgary North coming in second after edging Northwest 4-3, and Edmonton Yellow and Northwest finished third and fourth, respectively.

After tying Edmonton Blue 5-5, Calgary South earned the top spot in Pool B by beating Northeast 5-3 in the final game of the day, after Northeast won its first game against Central 5-0. Central took down Edmonton Blue 3-2 to finish third in Pool B, with Edmonton ending up in fourth.

It’ll be a battle of Edmonton to begin the day on Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and at 9:15 a.m. Northwest will take on Central. Another inter-city match-up will follow at 11:45 as Calgary South and Calgary North meet in the first semi-final game, with South and Northeast meeting in the other at 2:15 p.m.

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule > | Day 1 Results


Game #7

Calgary South 5 - Edmonton Blue 5

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #20 Alex Young | Edmonton Blue - #14 Liam Keeler

Boxscore >


Game #8

Northeast 5 - Central 0

Players of the Game: Northeast#2 Liam Antoniuk | Central - #11 Kyle Crosbie

Boxscore >


Game #9

Calgary North 4 - Northwest 3

Players of the Game: Calgary North - #19 Brayden Tracey | Northwest - #11 Kjell Kjemhus

Boxscore >


Game #10

Edmonton Yellow 5 - South 2

Players of the Game: Edmonton Yellow - #31 Noah Weinkauf-Bowman | South - #16 Peyton Krebs

Boxscore >


Game #11

Central 3 - Edmonton Blue 2

Players of the Game: Central - #15 Deegan Mofford | Edmonton Blue - #2 Daniel Baker

Boxscore >


Game #12

Calgary South 5 - Northeast 3

Players of the Game: Calgary South - #4 Drae Gardiner |  Northeast - #1 Ross Hawryluk

Boxscore >

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Northeast Head Coach Jack Redlick


Mic’d Up at the Alberta Cup

Get the sights and sounds behind the bench with Calgary South Head Coach Jamie Steer and Northeast Head Coach Jack Redlick:

Steer and Redlick will go head-to-head Friday night at 6, with first place in Pool B on the line. Follow along with the game at abcup.ca or on Twitter.

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2016 Alberta Cup: Day One Recap

CANMORE - After a busy first day of the 2016 Alberta Cup, Team South looks to be the team to beat after a pair of wins to open the tournament, sitting atop of Pool A. With a loss and a tie, Northwest and Edmonton Yellow finished day one with a point each.

Northeast and Calgary South each earned a win in their lone games of the day, taking down Edmonton Blue and Team Central, respectively.

Pool B teams will each play a pair of games on day two, while Pool A teams will each play just one. Round-robin play wraps up after day two, with the top two teams in each pool earning a spot in the Alberta Cup semi-finals.

Standings > | Leaders > | Schedule >


Game #1

Calgary North 6 - Edmonton Yellow 1

Players of the Game: Calgary North - #19 Brayden Tracey | Edmonton Yellow - #15 Ethan Mack

Boxscore >


Game #2

South 4 - Northwest 1

Players of the Game: South - #18 Zachary Okabe | Northwest - #1 Evan Fradette

Boxscore >


Game #3

Calgary South 8 - Central 2

Players of the Game: Calgary South -#18 Tyson Upper | Central - #10 Tye Carriere

Boxscore >


Game #4

Northeast 5 - Edmonton Blue 3

Players of the Game: Northeast -#9 Ethan Browne | Edmonton Blue - #10 Brody Green

Boxscore >


Game #5

Northwest 2 - Edmonton Yellow 2

Players of the Game: Northwest - #31 Ryley Osland | Edmonton Yellow - #10 Kirby Dach

Boxscore >


Game #6

South 2 - Calgary North 0

Players of the Game: South - #1 Byron Fancy |  Calgary North - #31 Ethan Fitzgerald

Boxscore >

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Twins Adam and Justin Hall (Edmonton Blue) are looking forward to sharing their Alberta Cup experience with each other.


2016 Alberta Cup: It’s All Relative

As 160 of the top 2001-born hockey players in Alberta arrived in Canmore on Wednesday for the 2016 Alberta Cup, there was plenty of excitement in the air. But, for four players, it was an extra-special moment.

Twin brothers Adam and Justin Hall (Edmonton Blue) and cousins Kirby and David Dach (Edmonton Yellow) have the opportunity to share their Alberta Cup experience with a family member.

Adam and Justin say their time with the Alberta Cup so far has been nothing short of incredible, even more so because they can take it all in together.

“It’s a pretty cool experience, I get to play with the best players in Edmonton, and I get to play against the best players in Alberta, it’s cool,” said Adam. “It’s kind of like (Justin and I) are at home, because we know each other so well, and we’re so close.”

“It’s great, we’ve both had a lot of success, and we’ve been working really hard lately, and it’s good to be here with my brother,” said Justin. “We play really well together, so I think we can create some offense together and win some games.”

While playing together isn’t necessarily a new experience for the Halls, who play together in Edmonton, it’s a new experience for the Dach cousins. Kirby and David say they’re looking forward to hitting the ice together this weekend.


Cousins Kirby (left) and David Dach. (Credit: LA Media)

“It’s been really fun, and you get to experience almost what it’s like in the pros, and it’s really good,” said David of his experience so far.

“We know each other pretty much inside out, so that should help us get over our nerves,” said Kirby of playing with his cousin. “It’ll maybe bring more excitement instead of nervousness.”

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Photo courtesy of Tourism Canmore


Canmore set to host the 2016 Alberta Cup

CANMORE – The Canadian Rockies will once again provide the backdrop as 160 of the top 2001-born male hockey players in the province are set to converge in Canmore for the 2016 Alberta Cup.

It’s the second straight year Canmore has hosted the Alberta Cup, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Eight teams will take to the ice at the Canmore Recreation Centre from Thursday to Sunday. The teams include Calgary North, Calgary South, Edmonton Blue, Edmonton Yellow, South, Central, Northeast and Northwest.

The teams will play in a four-day, tournament-format competition. The event also features an education seminar hosted by the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Full tournament results will be displayed on the score ticker at the top of both hockeyalberta.ca and abcup.ca. Schedules, stats and standings can also be found at abcup.ca. You can also follow along with the action on Twitter.

Tourism Canmore Event Page

The Alberta Cup is the premier event in the province that helps identify the top male players in Alberta. It is well attended by scouts as they prepare for the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft. In addition to player evaluations, the competition is also an opportunity for administrators, coaches, trainers and referees to be evaluated for future positions with the Team Alberta Program.

Alberta Cup graduates include Matt Dumba, Braden Holtby, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf, Scott Hartnell, Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk, and Andrew Ference.

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Now a head coach in the NHL, Bill Peters points to his time with the Alberta Cup as a key part of his development as a coach.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Bill Peters

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Current Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters spent two years with Team South at the Alberta Cup – in 2003 as the head coach, and as a coach mentor in 2004. His coaching career began in 1996, where he was an assistant coach with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs until 2002. His first head coaching job came with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, which he held until the 2004-05 season.

Peters then returned to the Spokane Chiefs, this time as head coach, leading the team to a WHL and Memorial Cup Championship in 2008. After spending time as the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, and as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, Peters landed his first ever NHL head coaching job in 2014 with the Hurricanes.

Internationally, Peters was the head coach of the gold medal-winning Team Canada squad at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and will serve as the head coach of Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships in Russia.


Q: Can you still recall your very first day at the Alberta Cup?

A: It’s an exciting time for sure, I remember it clear as a bell. We had a really good team, we had a bunch of the guys from that Airdrie Bantam team that had won the Western Canadian championship, they were a real good group of young men to work with, and I enjoyed every bit of.

I remember having a side bet with Team North, which was coached by Tom Keca, for a case of beer, and I lost the bet. Or you know what, I think I won; I better look up in the standings. If we won, I’m still waiting to get paid, if we lost, I paid the very next day.

Q: Are you still in contact with anyone from the Alberta Cup?

A: For sure I am, Tom Keca is one of them for sure, my assistant coach was a guy who was coaching the Brooks Bandits at the time, he’s over in Europe right now, but he sends me a text every once and awhile. Any time you’re coaching in any of those types of events, there’s always bonds, and there’s always people you stay in touch with, and that’s part of the hockey community. It’s a small community as you go along.

Q: Although it was in different years, but with you coaching a goalie in Cam Ward that also took part in the Alberta Cup, do you two ever share those experiences?

A: You know what, we do. We talk about that a little bit, we talk about that the first time I ever saw Wardo play,  he was with the Red Deer Rebels, he was a very good goalie on a very good team.  You always talk about that, and as you go along, it’s amazing how many people you cross paths with either at those events, or they played in the same events you either played in or coached in.

Q: How did your time at the Alberta Cup help you in your development as a coach?

A: Well, that’s what it’s all about, it’s all about developing and finding new ways and opportunities to develop, and the Alberta Cup gives that to both players and coaches. As a coach, you’re always looking for experiences, and you always learn from your experiences and grow, and it’s no different on what I’m going to depart on now (The World Championships in Russia).

Q: Was the Alberta Cup one of, if not the first experience for you as a head coach in short-term competition?

A: Yeah it was, and I thought it served me well. I went on from there to doing the World Under-17 with Team Pacific, and then from there did the Ivan Hlinka Team Canada Under-18 team, and after this World Championship would be two World Championships, and we have the World Cup of Hockey coming up in August and September. It’s been outstanding, and the Alberta Cup and that program is there for coaches to take advantage of the opportunity to improve.

Q: Do you have a favourite memory from the Alberta Cup?

A: I just remember more so the excitement. We had a couple practices with our team, and I just remember the excitement of the guys getting prepared to play in the Alberta Cup. I remember going over in a van, we were in Medicine Hat going to the rink to practice, how excited the guys were to be there and to spend time with each other. A lot of those guys knew each other but weren’t teammates, and for that special opportunity for them to be teammates for a weekend is something I’ll never forget.

Q: Do you have any advice for this year’s coaches and team staff?

A: I think the biggest thing is you have to go in with a plan, make sure as a coach you’re prepared, make sure you’re respectful of your players in the situation, and go in there and it’s all about the players. Obviously it’s an identification process for the Western Hockey League for the Bantam Draft, but also for you as a coach to coach against peers that are like-minded. Everyone’s competitive, but you have to go in there with a healthy attitude and do a good job, make sure you put your players on display, and the rest takes care of itself.

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Long-time Hockey Alberta staff member Tim Leer, seen here at the 2005 World U17 Hockey Challenge in Lethbridge, has been a part of the Alberta Cup for nearly 20 years.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Tim Leer

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Tim Leer first started working with Hockey Alberta in 1997, and has been a part of just about every Alberta Cup since then. Now the Executive Director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Leer has seen countless players and coaches come through the Alberta Cup who would go on to experience success at all levels. He has seen the Alberta Cup grow into a top level development program which focuses all parts of the game.  Leer says the primary goal is player development, but the Alberta Cup has also become a development opportunity for coaches, officials, support staff and administrators, which truly makes the Alberta Cup what is today.


Can you recall your first time at the Alberta Cup?

My first Alberta Cup was in Lethbridge, and it was the first time as Hockey Alberta we awarded the Alberta Cup to a host association. The excitement by the host, community and the energy in the rink was something that I will never forget as young program coordinator for Hockey Alberta.

How have you seen the Alberta Cup grow and change over the years?

Every year we try and raise the bar with the program and its operation/execution.  But the players, coaches and officials have all gotten better over the years – the talent level of the players with skills and hockey IQ, the coaches with their level of preparation and knowledge of the game and the officials on their level of commitment to their craft in terms of professionalism and training.

In your mind, how does the Alberta Cup benefit the players?

It is a great opportunity to play best-on-best and gauge where you at with others players outside of your community.  But, more importantly, it is a great life and growth experience for the players.  Making new friends, team building, new coaches, learning about Team Alberta and being an Alberta Built player are all life lessons that will last far beyond hockey.  Embrace the opportunity with a positive mind set and the rest will take care of itself.

What about the coaches, trainers and other team staff?

They are the ones that make it all happen. Without these key people the 30 years of the Alberta Cup doesn’t happen and the program does not become a top level development program in country without the great volunteers in Alberta.  To me I am amazed by the level and commitment of the local coaches, trainers, Director of Operations that involved year after year in the Alberta Cup to give back and to also grow and develop themselves.   The commitment and level of professionalism we get year after year is very impressive and something we are lucky to have in Alberta.

What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

I would have to say the first year we were in Medicine Hat, as that was the first Alberta Cup that I was responsible for as the lead program staff person.  Working closely with the host, other staff and volunteers it was came with a few challenges but was also rewarding and I will remember it and the people for a long time.

Who were the most memorable people you’ve dealt with at the Alberta Cup?

Jerrold Lemko – Director of Operations for the North East Team and then held the Provincial Coordinator position.  We developed a friendship that still last today and we also took the program to a new level together – formalizing the coach mentorship program, trainer program and the evaluation process.  Jerrold was a key member in building the program.


Leer with Lemko at the closing ceremonies of the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

John Kobal – Lead Provincial Coordinator for the referee program from the South Zone.  Relationships are key, and I felt John and I had an excellent relationship and rapport and I think together we moved the referee portion of the Alberta Cup forward.  John has a great sense of humour and I always enjoyed spending my Alberta Cup weekends with him.

Coaches, Trainers and Director of Operations – both good and bad!  But, they are all there for the players.  Regardless of the interaction I had with them and in all situations it was always professional and respectful and through the program many friendships have been formed.  Bill Peters, Marty Palechuk, Jerrold Lemko, John Kobal, Blair Becker, Boris Rybalka, Tom Keca and  Tyler Broderson, Barry Medori and Larry Pearson, to name a few are all friends as a result of the Alberta Cup program and to me it doesn’t get any better then that.

Do you have any advice for this year’s players?

As mentioned earlier, approach the weekend with a positive mind set and one that you will fully take advantage from a growth and enjoyment perspective.  Be a positive team player and treat people right and the hockey will take of itself.

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Serge Lajoie, an Alberta Cup veteran both as a player and a coach, has been a part of the annual tournament many times, including its inception in 1986.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Serge Lajoie

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Serge Lajoie has a long history of involvement with Hockey Alberta, starting way back in 1986 with the inaugural Alberta Cup in Edmonton, where he won a silver medal with team Northeast. He would then go on to play a handful of games for the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, followed by one season with the St. Albert Saints of the AJHL. From there, Lajoie enjoyed five seasons with the University of Alberta before playing four more seasons of Division I hockey in Germany.

Lajoie, now the head coach of the U of A Golden Bears, developed as a coach through various Hockey Alberta programs, including many years as a coach or coach mentor in the Alberta Cup, and serving as Head Coach of the Team Alberta U16 Male Program in 2013, winning a gold medal at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. Just this past weekend, Lajoie served as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship. Prior to joining the Golden Bears, Lajoie spent five seasons as head coach of the Nait Ooks’ mens team, leading the team to two ACAC championships and two silver medals, while capturing the ACAC Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year award in 2014 and 2015.


Q: How did the Alberta Cup help shape your future - in hockey or otherwise?

A: It was my first experience of short term completion. The Alberta Cup got me noticed by the Kamloops Blazers. It helped me start my Junior career in hockey which prepared me for University hockey a few years later.

Q: What other involvement did you have with Hockey Alberta before/after the Alberta Cup?

A: I have been involved with Hockey Alberta as a Coach and Mentor in Alberta Cups, Head Coach with Team Alberta U16 and various quest speaking engagements with Hockey Alberta Coaching Conferences.

Q: What do you believe coaches can/should take away from their time at the Alberta Cup?

A: It provides a great opportunity to learn from other coaches and allows you to challenge your coaching knowledge.

Q: What has it meant to you to be involved with the Alberta Cup in multiple ways – as a player, coach, and mentor?

A: It has offered me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a coach.

Q: How have you seen the Alberta Cup Change over its 30 years?

A: It not only develops players, but coaches as well. The Alberta Cup has helped raise the level of coaching and player development in our province.

Q: How has the game of hockey changed since you played in the Alberta Cup?

A: The skill level of players has improved tremendously. There is a stronger emphasis on the details and habits. The coaching is much more refined. 

Q: Do you still talk to any friends from your Alberta Cup Team?

I still keep in touch with a few guys. Cory Clouston and I played together at the UofA and I have stayed in touch with him over the years.

Q: What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

A: I don’t remember too much about the 1986 year when I played. My most recent memory would be the year I mentored the Northeast team with Sean Beissel as the Head Coach. We had a tremendous team with players that have moved on to prominent WHL careers. Some of those players will be drafted this year in the NHL and I suspect will have strong professional careers. We had Sam Steel, Kale Clague, Carter Hart to name only a few.

Q: Any advice for this year’s players?

A: Enjoy the process and the journey. Embrace pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Build new friendships. Play with passion. Bring your best effort every day. Be a positive contributor to the success of your team.

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Jamie Steer’s Alberta Cup journey will come full circle this year as he serves as head coach of Team Calgary South, the same team he won the very first Alberta Cup with in 1986.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Jamie Steer

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Jamie Steer not only played in the inaugural tournament in ’86, he was a part of the Calgary South team that claimed the first ever Alberta Cup championship. He went on to play in the NCAA with Michigan Tech on a scholarship, followed by 11 years of professional hockey, including a year with the Canadian National team. Steer is now the Operations Coordinator for Okotoks Minor Hockey, and now, exactly 30 years after winning the Alberta Cup with Calgary South, will serve as the head coach of that very same team.


How did the Alberta Cup help shape your future - in hockey or otherwise?

 It definitely drove me to be better. After seeing the best in the province all in one tournament, it opens up your eyes to how many good hockey players there are.

What other involvement did you have with Hockey Alberta?

As a player I went on from Alberta Cup to what was sort of the top 80 in today’s terms. That was as far as I got. As a coach I have coached Peewee Prospects, Alberta Winter Games and have taken my High Performance 1 certification all in this calendar year.

What has it meant to you to be involved with the Alberta Cup from multiple perspectives?

Okotoks hosted two Alberta Cups which I was the tournament chairman for. I was a player 30 years ago, and now I am a head coach. I love the tournament, as it brings so many good players and coaches together. Everyone guesses it is a highlight for the players, but as a coach it’s a great teaching tool to better anyone involved. It means a lot that Hockey Alberta has given me so many chances to be involved in this, and other events.

How does it feel to coach the very team (Calgary South) this year that you won the very first Alberta Cup with in 1986?

Excitement for sure, also a challenge to give these kids and my coaches an experience like I had, one they won’t forget.

How have you seen the Alberta Cup Change over its 30 years?

The obvious is it went from Midget to Bantam. That change has brought in the WHL as it is the league’s last chance to see Alberta players before the draft. Also, the change from it being just a player event to an overall team event. Coach Mentors helping coaches, experienced directors of operations, and qualified trainers being graded. I also think the rural players have improved greatly since the start of this event. Then, you add in the top 80 camp which is feather in the cap for all players involved.


Steer and the rest of Team Calgary South celebrate winning the first ever Alberta Cup.

How has the game of hockey changed since you played in the Alberta Cup?

The game is so fast now which everyone knows, but it also has improved in skill as well. Add in that every team is well coached and it is a great game. Also, there are so many more good players. Back then there were so many more mistakes, you had more time, and every team had weak players. I still think players back then were great and would have been great in this era as well because they would have adapted but watching today’s hockey amazes me with the speed, skill and how quick decisions are being made.

Do you still talk to any friends from your Alberta Cup Team?

I have one real good friend still from that team but it is amazing that about half the team I still see every so often and can get caught up with a short conversation. Most from the team that still live in Calgary I have talked to in the past 10 years.

What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

Obviously winning it was the best. The second best, I would say, was playing in the Northlands Coliseum when the Oilers were in there prime (although I am not an Oilers fan!!), and third best was the lousy hotel we stayed at. No way Hockey Alberta would allow kids to stay there these days, but we had so much fun in that hotel even with the rif-raf, police sirens and much more.

Any advice for this year’s players?

Enjoy more than the hockey, meet friends and make lasting memories.


Steer (bottom row, centre) hopes to have the same result as the head coach of team
Calgary South as he did as a player in 1986.

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CTV Calgary News Reporter Jordan Kanygin has fond memories of his time at the 2005 Alberta Cup, skating alongside future NHL stars Tyler Myers and Jordan Eberle.


Reflecting on 30 years of the Alberta Cup: Jordan Kanygin

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup, played in Edmonton in 1986. We asked a handful of past participants of the Alberta Cup to share their memories with us.

Jordan Kanygin skated in the 2005 Alberta Cup in Edson with Team Calgary South. He would continue on to play Junior A hockey with the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL, before pursuing a career in journalism. After spending time as a news and sports reporter with the Eagle 100.9 in Okotoks, including a season as the colour commentator of the AJHL’sOkotoksOilers, and as a reporter and sports director for CHAT TV in Medicine Hat, Jordan is now a news reporter with CTV Calgary.

Q: Can you recall your first game at the Alberta Cup?

A: I do, but it’s not so much a memory of the game itself. I remember first walking into the dressing room. Our team room, with our solid red track jackets and crisp white jerseys hanging in the stalls, seemed too put-together for us to even touch. Everything was in its place – our equipment was strategically arranged in individual stalls, tape rolls were stacked in circular towers, and the Gatorade cooler was flanked by cups for our taking. It seemed so professional to me, as if my 16-year-old self had snuck into an NHL dressing room.

I remember small details of the games themselves – like when my teammate Jordan Eberle seemed to take over games with his skill, or how well Tyler Myers used his incredible reach to shut down opponents – but it was the entire experience that’s really stuck with me. The pressure of being in front of coaches, scouts and parents; getting to know players, who were now my short-term teammates, I’d played against just weeks prior; and the overall commitment to the game by everyone at the tournament. The Edson rink where we played wasn’t glamorous, or even very big, but it felt like the Scotiabank Saddledome for a weekend.

Q: How did the Alberta Cup help shape your future - in hockey or otherwise?

A: The impact of the tournament wasn’t immediately felt by me. I wasn’t taken by any team in the WHL Bantam Draft, I wasn’t recruited by any Junior A teams, I didn’t even make my Midget AAA team the following year. But what the tournament did teach me, and it’s something I try to remember each day, was the commitment and hard work needed to succeed.

Being selected for the Alberta Cup team was an honour. It meant someone felt I was among the top 160 players in the province at my age. But it also opened my eyes to how many talented players were out there. I had a front-row seat to the best hockey players Alberta had to offer. Some of those players would go on to play in the NHL, AHL or professional European ranks. Most, like me, didn’t make it very far in our hockey careers, but I know seeing the commitment the top players had to put in to get to the next level is something that can be applied to every single career, hockey or otherwise.

Q: Do you still talk to any friends from your Alberta Cup Team?

A: Not as many as I should. The Alberta Cup is so short, so you don’t have a lot of time to form long-term relationships, other than just the base to some. Having said that, there are a few teammates who I speak to regularly and we’ll talk about the tournament every once in a while. We’ll remember the bus rides to the rink full of nervous excitement and the anticipation we felt as we stood in a line, waiting for the rink gate to open and let us onto the ice.

I do follow the careers of many of my Alberta Cup teammates, the ones who still play hockey at a high level. We have very different lives now, but it’s nice to think we all shared a tournament weekend in Edson together.

Q: What’s your favourite Alberta Cup memory?

A: My favourite memories didn’t even happen on the ice. They are memories that came from coming together as a team off the ice… sharing music on the bus rides, fighting over beds in our shared hotel rooms and hanging out in our limited down time. Our team activity off the ice? A Family Feud game that we spent hours on over the tournament.

When we weren’t pouring over tournament stats online, we were collectively yelling at a computer screen about our answers to the Family Feud Showdown. It was team bonding, we told ourselves.

Q: Do you still follow the Alberta Cup and cheer for your team?

A: Not yearly, no, but I do pay attention to some of the scores. I cover the announcements every year for my job and remember the excitement I had when I was chosen for the team years ago.

Q: Who were the most memorable people you played with, and why?

A: I’ve mentioned two, Jordan Eberle and Tyler Myers. They are the most noteworthy due to their professional success. Even at Alberta Cup age, you could see the skill in those two players.

Others are Brandon Kozun, Kris Foucault and Ian Schultz, who each went on to play for the 2009 Calgary Hitmen team that went to the Memorial Cup. The latter two were my Alberta Cup line mates, and now all three play professionally.

Q: Do you have any advice for this year’s players?

A: Take it all in and enjoy the moment.

It’s cliche, I know, but it’s an event that goes by very, very quickly. There’s pressure and you’re in an unusual environment, but you’re playing with people who may become some of the biggest names in hockey. Enjoy the people and the dressing room and the great coaches and atmosphere, and just have fun.



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Team Calgary South hoists the first ever Alberta Cup in 1986.


A cupful of memories

The 2016 Alberta Cup will mark the 30th anniversary of the annual tournament, and although there have been some changes since its inception, the purpose of the event remains the same.

The Alberta Cup is an opportunity to focus on highly competitive hockey in a short tournament, giving everyone involved a venue in which to forge team bonds and to learn and grow. It remains a core development program  for  Hockey  Alberta,  and  it’s  not  limited  to just the players — coaches, therapists, equipment managers, sport administrators and referees benefit as well.

The first Alberta Cup, held in 1986 in Edmonton, was a program for midget-aged hockey players. Serge Lajoie, who is now head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears and part of the Team Alberta program, played for the Northeast team in that event.

“The tournament was played in the Agricom and it was my first time playing in a big venue, in front of bigger crowds. We lost in the final to one of the Calgary teams,” Lajoie remembers.

On the winning Calgary South squad in that final was Jamie Steer. “I am one of 20 players and six staff who can say we won the first-ever Alberta Cup,” says Steer, who  was  later  drafted  by  the  NHL’s  Buffalo  Sabres, had a 10-year pro career and is now the operations coordinator for Okotoks Minor Hockey. “I still see many of my teammates who were on the team.”

Three years after that first event, the Alberta Cup went on hiatus. The event re-emerged in 1993 as a bantam- aged competition, this time taking place in Calgary.

“It came back in order to prepare the group for the 1995 Canada Winter Games, which were held in Grande Prairie,” says Tim Leer, former senior manager of hockey development with Hockey Alberta. “In 1993, it gave Alberta a two-year progressive development model to prepare for the Canada Winter Games. It has remained a bantam-age event since.”

For many players, the Alberta Cup has been the ultimate measuring stick.

“One thing it did was give me a perspective of where I was,” Steer says. “I knew I needed to get better to keep playing. It was a kick in the butt to get working. I’m not saying  that  tournament  made  my  career,  but  it  was one of the many things that pointed me in the right direction.”

For Chris Leinweber, playing in the 1996 Alberta Cup put him on the provincial stage. “The Alberta Cup made me realize what I needed to do and how I needed to improve if I wanted to continue my hockey career at a high level,” Leinweber says. “I was lucky enough to make it through the process a little bit further and was one of the last cuts for Team Alberta — so I was able to play against the best players in Alberta.”

The Alberta Cup can act as a springboard not only for players, but for coaches as well.

“The first time I applied, I was coaching Bantam A in Onoway and I never thought I’d even have a chance to be a part of it, “ says Barry Medori, now Hockey Alberta’s high  performance  coach  mentor.  “I  heard  it  was  a good opportunity and went and applied. I ended up becoming a head coach the first year.”

Medori would go on to coach in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and now works with some of Alberta’s top up-and-coming coaches.

Along with all the tangible benefits, one of the greatest things about the Alberta Cup is its ability to create lasting memories.

“We had these two guys, Jared Carli and Jordin Tootoo, on the team,” Medori recalls. “We did a team-builder called ‘climb the mountain.’ Jordin had a brand new stick, and Jared, who was over 200 pounds, stepped on Jordin’s new stick and snapped it in half.”

Obviously,  Tootoo  got  another  stick.  He’s  currently in his 13th professional season, his second with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils after stints with the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings.

Steer recalls the thrill of playing in a big-league rink. “I remember getting to play at Northlands Coliseum, where the Oilers played, for the semi-final and how good the ice was,” Steer says. “I can’t tell you how many times I’m in a conversation about the event and I get to bring up some trivia: ‘Do you know who won the first ever Alberta Cup?’ My smile gives them the answer right away.”

“I think what stands out the most, is the friendships I made,” Leinweber says. “After the tournament finished, it was fun to follow everyone else’s career and where they played. Throughout the competition you make many lasting friendships, which is what I cherish the most. To this day I still keep in contact with some teammates from that team.”

Adds Lajoie: “It was a great experience. It set me on a hockey journey that allowed me to live extraordinary playing and coaching experiences throughout North America and in Europe, and I’ll always cherish the friendships that were made during that week.”


Written by Jimmy Adams

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Photo Credit: LA Media


Introducing abcup.ca

Hockey Alberta is proud to introduce a brand new website for the 2016 Alberta Cup.

Some key features of the new abcup.ca include:

- A fully responsive site that automatically adjusts to the size of your screen, including mobile devices and tablets.
- A score ticker across the top of both abcup.ca, and hockeyalberta.ca.
- Dynamic player profile pages, complete with a headshot, individual stats and scouting information.
- A Social Media feed allowing you to keep up with the Alberta Cup on Twitter and YouTube.

The main page of the site will also be updated regularly in the days prior to, and during the tournament with stories and updates from the Alberta Cup.

The new website was designed by Edmonton’s Pixel Army, who also re-designed hockeyalberta.ca, and created haprovincials.ca, which the Alberta Cup site is modeled from. Pixel Army worked with Hockey Alberta staff to ensure functionality and appearance that meets the needs of the organization, and the entire hockey community across the province.

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Photo Credit: LA Media


2016 Alberta Cup rosters announced

RED DEER – The rosters have been announced for Hockey Alberta’s 2016 Alberta Cup.

Eight teams will take to the ice at the Canmore Recreation Centre April 28-May 1. The teams include two from each of Calgary and Edmonton, and one each representing the South, Central, Northeast and Northwest zones of the province.

Twenty 2001-born players comprise each roster, along with volunteers serving as head coach, assistant coaches, trainer, and director of operations. Rosters were selected based on performances at zone camps held March 25-27 throughout the province.

The 2016 Alberta Cup marks the 30th Anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup which was held in Edmonton in 1986.

2016 Alberta Cup Rosters

The teams will play in a four-day, tournament-format competition. The event also features an education seminar hosted by the Western Hockey League (WHL).

2016 Alberta Cup Schedule

“The coaching staffs were faced with some very difficult decisions when it came to selecting the 20 players for each team. For the athletes who have earned a roster spot, congratulations. But the work is just beginning, not just for this edition of the Alberta Cup, but also in the competition to earn a spot on the Team Alberta squad that will compete later this year,” said Michael Kraichy, Hockey Alberta’s manager of Team Alberta.

Eighty players will be invited to the U16 Male Provincial Camp in July. This year, players are also vying for spots on Team Alberta at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in October in Calgary.

Alberta Cup graduates include Matt Dumba, Braden Holtby, Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf, Scott Hartnell, Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk, and Andrew Ference.

Click here for more information on the Alberta Cup.

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2016 Alberta Cup Coaching Staffs Announced

With less than two months to go until the 2016 Alberta Cup, Hockey Alberta has announced the coaching staffs for all eight teams.

2016 Alberta Cup Coaching Staffs ›

The 2016 Alberta Cup is set to run April 28 - May 1 in Canmore, and will mark the 30th Anniversary of the very first Alberta Cup.

Zone selection camps will March 25-27 at various locations across the province.

Click here for more information on the 2016 Alberta Cup.

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