LEDUC – For 120 female athletes from across Alberta, the next several days of competition will mark a significant milestone in their young hockey careers.
These athletes, born in 2004-05, have been named to the rosters of the six teams that will compete in Hockey Alberta’s 2019 Alberta Challenge, May 2-5 at the Leduc Recreation Centre.
The Alberta Challenge is held alternating years opposite of the Alberta Winter Games, with three teams selected to represent the North, and three to represent the South. The players were selected from approximately 300 who attended regional camps held April 5-7 in Cochrane and Fort Saskatchewan. Twenty athletes comprise each roster, along with volunteers serving as head coach, assistant coaches, coach mentor, trainer, and director of operations. The Challenge is also part of the development process for female on-ice officials across the province.
In addition to pursuing the Challenge, the athletes are also vying for a spot at the U16 Female Summer Camp, held July 11-14 in Red Deer, and is one of the stages in the identification and selection process for the Team Alberta U18 program.
“Leduc will play host to some of the top young female athletes in the province, and spectators will definitely be impressed by their talent,” said Taryn Baumgardt, Hockey Alberta’s Coordinator of Female Hockey. “For the players, the Alberta Challenge is a great opportunity to measure themselves against others in the province, as well as receive instruction from elite caliber coaches.”
The teams play a modified round-robin competition. Preliminary round action gets underway on Thursday at 4 pm, with three games. There will be six games on Friday, starting at 8:30 am. On Saturday, preliminary action finishes, with three games, starting at 10 am. The tournament concludes on Sunday with the championship game set for 2:30 pm.