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Press Release from Hockey Alberta


RED DEER – Six months of regular season and tournament action, including up to six weeks of games in Zone playdowns, culminates this month, as teams prepare to "March to a title" at the 2017 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships, presented by ATB Financial.

Tournament action will determine the majority of the 2017 provincial champions. 14 titles will be awarded on March 19. March 26 will see another 16 champions crowned. The remaining five champions will be determined on April 2. Tournament champions will emerge from a weekend of round-robin pool play and playoff action in their respective tournaments.

The slate of provincial championship tournaments starts this weekend, March 16-19 in fourteen locations around Alberta.

Provincial championships set for March 16-19 include: Midget Female AAA (Okotoks), Bantam A (Grande Prairie), Bantam B (Springbank), Bantam C (CNN), Bantam D (Hanna), Bantam Female Elite (Olds), Bantam Female B (Leduc), Atom AA Major (Fort McMurray), Atom AA Minor (Sturgeon), Atom A (Foothills), Atom B (Fairview), Atom C (Provost), Atom D (Delburne), Atom Female (Battle River).

Provincial championships set for March 22/23-26 include: Junior C (Calgary), Minor Midget AAA (Grande Prairie), Midget A (Strathmore), Midget B (Rocky Mountain House), Midget C (Slave Lake), Midget D (Elk Point), Midget Female Elite (Sherwood Park), Midget Female A (Edmonton), Midget Female B (High Prairie), Bantam Female A (Edmonton), Peewee A (Lloydminster), Peewee B (3 Cs), Peewee C (Athabasca), Peewee D (Kneehill), Peewee Female A (Calgary), Peewee Female B (Lacoka).

Provincial championships set for March 30-April 2 include: Senior AA (Wainwright), Junior B (St. Paul), Midget AA (Okotoks), Bantam AA (Olds), Peewee AA (Edmonton).

Four champions will be determined via league playoffs: Senior AAA, Junior A, Midget AAA, and Bantam AAA.

For schedules, arenas, host organizations, and other event-specific information, check the Hockey Alberta website at or the Provincial Championships website at

Provincial championship host locations were awarded in mid-December, and in the ensuing months, organizing committees in communities across Alberta have been busy securing local sponsors, organizing opening ceremonies, confirming teams and schedules, ordering souvenirs and player gifts, arranging for accommodations, and numerous other tasks to ensure that the participating teams have a memorable experience.

In addition to the on-ice action, several communities will participate in True Spirit of Hockey Day activities in their location communities. In conjunction with the Provincial Championship tournament hosts in these communities, a local school is hosting a number of fun activities, allowing students to learn about hockey, and the teamwork and friendships that can be generated in the sport. Participating communities are: 3Cs, Athabasca, Battle River, Delburne, Elk Point, Fairview, Fort McMurray, Hanna, High Prairie, Kneehill, Okotoks, Olds, Rocky Mountain House, Slave Lake, Sherwood Park and Strathmore.

Photo: Brian Calkins – On Sight Photography from 2016 Provincial Championships.

For more information, please contact:
Brad Lyon
Senior Manager, Communications



It is with great sadness that the Calgary Stampeders learn of the death of Stamps legend Ezzrett (Sugarfoot) Anderson on Wednesday at the age of 97.

Anderson joined the Red and White in 1949 and retired as an active player in 1955 but he was a Stampeder for life. The Nashville, Ark., native settled in Calgary after his playing career and remained active with the Stamps as a ticket account rep and ambassador into his 90s.

Anderson, the only player in franchise history to wear "00," earned legions of friends with his good humour and story-telling prowess.

"Sugarfoot is an iconic figure in Stampeders history," said Stamps president and general manager John Hufnagel. "He was a link to the early days of the franchise and he was a frequent and welcome presence at McMahon Stadium and Stampeders functions for many years. He will be sorely missed and we offer our condolences to his family and his many, many friends."

Anderson was a West all-star at the end position in 1949 and he made 142 catches for 2,020 yards as a member of the Red and White while scoring 10 touchdowns. He was added to the Stampeders Wall of Fame in 1990 and to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

In addition to his football achievements, Anderson did some acting. He appeared in the 1949 Shirley Temple film The Story of Seabiscuit and had uncredited roles in five other movies including The Snows of Kilimanjaro starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner.

Aricle from CBC News Edmonton: This Canadian basketball team ruled the world — and now gets a moment of fame

Kay MacBeth is 95 years old and the last surviving member of one of the greatest dynasties in sports, a group of Canadian athletes whose accomplishments have been, until now, often overlooked.

"I was part of something special," she says. "I didn't realize how special."

MacBeth, as a teenager, was a player on the Edmonton Grads, an unbelievably successful women's basketball team. The Grads became Canadian, North American and world champions in the 1920s, titles the team held for years.

The Grads played hundreds of games against challengers from Canada, the U.S. and Europe, winning about 95 percent of their matches, an astonishing success rate for any team in any sport.

Many Canadians have never heard of the Grads, but now a Heritage Minute spot about the team has been released, in honour of International Women's Day.

Dr. James Naismith, the Canadian who invented the game of basketball, said the Grads were "finest basketball team that ever stepped out on a floor."

Created in 1915, the team disbanded in 1940, the record-setting run ended by World War II and the lack of suitable competition. The Grads simply won too often.

'It was my life'

MacBeth, who now lives in a retirement home in Toronto, was on the final team.

"It was my life," she says. "I loved it."

The Grads first won a Canadian title in 1922 and were declared world champions the next year, after defeating a team from Cleveland.

Women's basketball was not an Olympic sport in that era, but the Grads regularly toured Europe and competed against other squads in matches held in conjunction with the Olympic games.

The Grads often won by devastating margins. In 1928, for example, they beat a French team 109–20.

"They were a group of ordinary women who did the extraordinary," says Ann Hall, who wrote The Grads Are Playing Tonight!, a book about the amateur team and its legacy.

"They were clerks and salesgals and typists," she says. "They had to work the whole time they were practising and playing."

They were also role models. When the team was founded, many people thought the idea of women competing in sports was unseemly and even unhealthy. The success and popularity of the Grads changed attitudes.

Naismith wrote the team a glowing letter in 1936, praising the team for what else it accomplished, beyond its wins, championships and trophies.

Playing for the Grads was a serious commitment. For 25 years, the team's coach was J. Percy Page, who demanded both effort and excellence.

"You must play basketball, think basketball and dream basketball," he told his players.

Making the team wasn't easy. Staying was tough too.

"There was no drinking," MacBeth says. "If you smoked, you were off the team."

Page emphasized teamwork and, no matter how important the game or tough the competition, sportsmanship.

"We were told to be ladies at all times," MacBeth says. "You didn't shove anybody around. You didn't give them an elbow. Just played a nice lady-like game, be fast and smart."

MacBeth shook her head at the thought of women being discouraged from playing sports.

"We practiced against men all the time," she says. And they practiced hard. Anything less than full effort and the offender would be ordered to run dozens of laps around the court.

Shooting Stars, a National Film Board documentary released in the 1980s, told the story of the Grads. The Heritage Minute is expected to reach millions more Canadians.

"It was certainly a very important part of my life," says MacBeth. More than 75 years after the team folded, she hasn't lost her instincts.

Handed a basketball and asked to hold it to demonstrate her shooting style, MacBeth immediately fired the ball.

It was too low for her taste.

"I can't do anything," she says. "I have a bum shoulder."

Then she fired the ball again, this time right into my stomach.

The competitive spirit that drove the Grads to hundreds of victories hasn't left her. Nor has her satisfaction with being part of one of the most successful sporting teams in history.

"It's still with me," she says. "It's in my heart."

And the message from all those wins all those years ago?

"Women can do it too."

Article from Lacombe Online: Sports Hall of Fame & Museum Commemorates 60th Anniversary with New Exhibits

Three new exhibits are on display at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, celebrating their 60th anniversary.

Community Hallway, the Hall of Fame Gallery and the Resource Library exhibit recognizes the province's pioneers, volunteers and milestones.

Collections and Exhibit Coordinator, Breanna says it's a proud moment for their museum "there's lots of milestone's within the sporting community that are taking place this year and to have ourselves we have to celebrate 60 years of celebrating all of those other sports means a lot to us".

Highlighting the celebration is the Community Hall exhibit that recognizes the province's top sports pioneers, while celebrating Canada's 150th birthday.

Suk says there is a lot to see "has a very nostalgic feel to it, you see lots of photos of old sports teams and old honoured members and the past volunteers and past banquets and big events that the Sports Hall of Fame has hosted".

The official launch of the exhibits took place on Sunday.

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame announced the 2017 Inductees.  Below are several of the media articles regarding the Press Conferences that took place in Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge for the 2017 Induction Banquet. It was a wonderful event celebrating the 2016 Inductees and all of their amazing accomplishments.

We invite you to join us at the Induction Banquet on May 26th to celebrate the 2017 Inductees and all of their amazing accomplishments.

Here are several articles about the new Inductees, the returning Honoured Members, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame's Induction Banquet.



Red Deer News Now: Smyth headlines 2017 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame class of inductees

Hockey Alberta: 1984-85 NAIT Ooks, Ryan Smyth selected for Alberta Sports Hall of Fame


Tech Life Today: Men's Ooks hockey team enters hall of fame

Edmonton Sun: Former Peach a keen induction into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Edmonton Sun: Ryan Smyth a no-brainer for induction into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Alberta Golf: Marilyn Palmer O'Connor, 2017 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

Medicine Hat News: Oyen's Jones among inductees to Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

CBC News Edmonton: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrates 60 years with 12 inductees

Chat News Today Medicine Hat: Southeast Alberta baseball builder among Alberta Sports Hall of Fame inductees

CTV News Edmonton: Ryan Smyth among Alberta Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Global News Edmonton: Alberta's Sports Hall of Fame ready to induct 12 new members

Global News Edmonton: Former Oiler Ryan Smyth to be inducted into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Red Deer Advocate: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrates six decades with new inductions and exhibits

St Albert: St. Albert's eye on sports honoured

Alberta Athletic Schools Association: Dr. Herbert McLachlin to be Inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

Press Reader: Credit Definitely Due

The Crag and Banff-born Ryan Smyth to be inducted into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Tennis Alberta: Hans Maciej to be Inducted into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Big Country 93.1 FM News & Sports: Grande Prairie baseball player named to Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Article from Calgary Sun: Lougheed House hosts first outdoor curling bonspiel in 100 years

Early Alberta curlers were a hardy bunch. Taking to frozen creeks and ponds in the 1880s, they braved the elements to heave stones down the ice in hopes of winning barrels of beer, gold watches, and silver goblets.

Clubs in Priddis and Banff were particularly active with curling remaining an outdoor game in the mountain park town until 1960.

But in Calgary, a city famous for its chinooks, the melting ice didn't make for ideal outdoor conditions.

"The Scottish Settlers played on the Elbow River as early as 1880 but as far as I know there's been no curling outdoors in Calgary since because of the weather," said Dennis Havrelock, museum curator for the Southern Alberta Curling Association. "And not just warm weather but the miserable weather we often get."

That shouldn't pose a problem next weekend when curlers take to the ice outdoors for what Havrelock believes is possibly the first outdoor bonspiel in the city, at least in the past 100 years.

Lougheed House is hosting the fun Beltline Bonspiel on its garden rink in conjunction with an open house on Feb. 25. The bonspiel features teams from three community associations including Inglewood, Sunalta, and Beltline. They'll be competing for a trophy almost as old as the sport.

The Brewery Trophy was made in 1915 for the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company and hasn't been awarded since 1966. It's got a place of prominence in the Southern Alberta Curling Association museum at the Calgary Curling Club.

"It's a beautiful trophy. It's the nicest one we have," said Havrelock. "But I'm still looking for the buffalo head that used to be on the top of it."

Someone absconded with the metal sculpture cast in the distinctive shape of the brewer's logo before it was donated to the curling association.

The Lougheed House event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free admission all day to the mansion which will feature a display of old-time artifacts such as brooms and sweaters. The restaurant will function as a pseudo-Brier Patch with support from Village Brewery and there will be other family-friendly activities.

Avid curlers or those whose interested in hurrying hard can throw some granite on a second sheet set up beside the one used for the bonspiel, said Matt Masters, who is organizing Canada 150th anniversary events for the Lougheed House.

"We're laying the seeds for an ongoing winter event. The Beltline hasn't had a rink for years and there hasn't been curling outside for generations and there's lots of interest to keep something like this going."

Masters said the event is a perfect example of community partnerships. The curling association is lending the trophy, the Calgary Curling Club is providing artifacts and tournament know-how, city parks department gave advice and materials while the area MLA added muscle.

"It's been me and Kathleen Ganley quite literally helping out in the snow building the rink. But everyone in the community is engaged in this."