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Last updateFri, 16 Apr 2021 7pm

Provincial hockey championship tournaments cancelled

Minor Hockey

With COVID-19 restrictions hockey players are still not able to get back on the ice, and this week Hockey Alberta announced provincial championships have been cancelled.
With the uncertainty because of COVID-19, Hockey Alberta has decided to cancel all tournaments for the 2021 Hockey Alberta Championships. They will not be rescheduled for the 2021 season.
This comes after the Alberta Government extended restrictions for an additional two weeks, including halting organized sports.
“This decision has been made with the safety of all our members and participants in mind. Within the current environment in Alberta related to COVID-19, hosting tournaments will likely not be possible, and making this decision now will ensure members do not waste time, money, and other resources in planning to host tournaments,” states a press release.

Drumheller Minor Hockey posted on their Facebook page, due to the extended restrictions, they are pushing their potential restart date to January 23.
Hockey Alberta notes it will continue to work with government officials to develop a plan to allow teams to return to practice and gameplay. They are also working with league representatives throughout the province to salvage the remaining season.
“Establishing the meaningful competition that is required to identify and move Teams from League play into Playoffs will not be easy. However, as we return to play this season, Leagues will have the ability to still find ways to determine a champion. Hockey Alberta remains optimistic that we can regroup and host the 2022 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships,” the release states.


Dragons look forward to season restart

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With the AJHL Hockey season on hold, the Dragons won’t be resting on their laurels.
On November 25, the league announced it would be pausing the season until existing limitations are lifted, and players can safely return. This came after the province introduced safety measures due to rising rates of COVID-19.
Dragons coach Kevin Hasselberg says the players, for the most part, have headed home to wait out the break, but he says they will be busy.
“We have a very committed group of players who are not afraid to work, so under the circumstances, you have to be creative in your training, whether it is in your own house or outside. If you have the luxury of having one-on-one training, which is allowed, you can use this resource,” he said. “At the end of the day, it is about keeping the dream alive and pushing forward by any means possible to develop. Our players are doing that, our staff is doing what we can to assist that process.”
It has been a tough year for all sports. The Dragons have had a handful of exhibition games, and only two regular-season games before they were on hiatus. During this time, there were limits on spectators allowed to see them play.
“It is a great group, I can’t wait for the community to fully embrace them. They really haven’t got the chance to get to know them with the limited attendance numbers and all the restrictions,” said Hasselberg. “I am very confident and positive the community is going to love this group of players and appreciate them and in turn, the players are certainly going to do their part to win over that trust and do everything they can to provide an entertainment value to the community.”
The AJHL Board of governors is planning to reconvene on December 19 to determine a timeline and updated protocols for return to play.
“The regulations are in place to keep us safe, and at the end of the day, we just want to get through this and get back to normal as soon as possible,” said Hasselberg.

CBAC swimmers perform well, despite lockdowns

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The Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club (CBAC) is another team affected by the new COVID-19 restrictions.
Last season the club was having a great year, and coach Morgan Syvertsen says just days before the initial lockdown was announced in March, all of his swimmers had qualified for provincials. Due to the restrictions, they were not able to compete and were only able to get back in the pool this fall to train. This too was fleeting.
“Because of the AHS announcement, all team sports, which includes swimming, was put on hold until December 18, and that is our Christmas break anyway, so we are essentially done for the month,” said Syvertsen.
He has since learned they may be able to do some training.
“I got a call from Andrea at the pool, and she said the pool is able to allow one swimmer and one coach at a time to train. We’ll probably take them up on this, it’s better than nothing,” he said.
Despite the break, he said his team has been performing well.
“This year, I don’t know

what it is, but all the kids are doing so good. They are already obviously faster than they were last year,” he said. “We were so looking forward to some competition so we could get a real test, but now we are lucky to get into the pool.”
He doesn’t know if the team will be able to compete this year, but they are looking at some solutions, including virtual meets.
“You would essentially race the same people in your own pool who are in your own club, so you really don’t get a chance to be pushed by anybody else, which is unfortunate,” said Syvertsen.


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