OLDS – 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 2002-03, have been named to the rosters of the six teams that will compete in Hockey Alberta’s 2017 Alberta Challenge, May 4-7 at the Olds Sportsplex.
The Alberta Challenge is held alternating years when the Alberta Winter Games are not held, 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 7-9 and April 14-16. Twenty athletes comprise each roster, along with volunteers serving as head coach, assistant coaches, coach mentor, trainer, and director of operations. The Challenge is 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 63 spots at the U16 Female Summer Camp in July in Camrose, which is one of the stages in the identification and selection process for the Team Alberta U18 program.
“Spectators in Olds will have the opportunity to see some of the top young female athletes in the province, and will definitely be impressed by their talent,” said Mathieu Provencher, Hockey Alberta Coordinator for Team Alberta Female. “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, with each team playing twice. On Saturday, preliminary action finishes, with three games, starting at 10 am. On Sunday, the 5th and 6th place teams play at 9:30 am, followed by the 3rd and 4th place teams at 12 noon. The Alberta Challenge champion will be decided starting at 2:30 pm.
There is also a banquet on Saturday night at the Pomeroy Inn and Suites at Olds College.