|Sawchenko will look to lead his team to victory|
The 39th annual Rick Lapointe Tournament will go with just 8 teams this year instead of the previous 14 teams as has been the case over the past years.
The favourites heading in to the tournament which begins on December 8 and wraps up on December 11 has to be the POE, while the Calgary Royals should also provide stiff competition. Other teams taking part in the tournament will be: Abbotsford, Seafair, Seattle Sno-Kings, Wenatchee Wild, Coquitlam and host Victoria.
The tournament is in honour of the late Rick Lapointe who grew up in Victoria and passed away in 1999. He played junior hockey for the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League before embarking on what would be an 11-year NHL career in which he played for Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Quebec and Los Angeles.
Prince Albert AA Tournament
|NE Wolfpack will look to win 2nd straight SK Tourney|
The puck will be dropped on the Prince Albert "AA" Tournament early Friday Morning and four rinks through-out Pricne Albert. The tournament will consist of 20 teams, divided in to 5 pools.
This will be the second of three major provincial tournament to take place in Saskatchewan this season. The first one took place back in November at Regina with the North East Wolfpack coming away with the tournament victory over Sask Valley Vipers in the final.
There will be just 3 teams absent from the tournament this weekend in Prince Albert from the entire "AA" pool of teams in the province. Teams absent are: Swift Current, Regina Oilers and Regina Hurricanes.
Weyburn (8-3-0), Saskatoon Bandits (3-2-4), West Central (7-3-1) and Humboldt (1-10-1)
- Look for Weyburn, who are coming off a good appearance in the Lethbridge tournament in which they made the final to win this pool. West Central has a decent chance as well as they have gone 7-3-0 in league play. The Saskatoon Bandits have some talent and could make noise as well.
Top players in the Pool:
Weyburn - F Regan Nagy, D Drew Fellner
Bandits - F Jimmy Lambert, D Conner Hobbs (C)
West Central - Spencer Bast, D Shane Collins
Humboldt - Drew Litwin, D Logan Karakochuk
MVP: Regan Nagy
PA Raiders (3-8-2), Moose Jaw (3-8-0), Regina Canucks (6-5-0) and Saskatoon Maniacs (2-3-3)
- A pool that doesn't feature an elite team is wide open to anybody. The Canucks who come in with the top record have been slumping as of late, while the other teams have win percentages under .500 for the season. Wide open here.
Top Players in the pool:
PA Raiders - F Matthew Campese, D Lochlan Morrison
Moose Jaw - F Kyle Arndt, D Regan Seiferling
Canucks - F Chase Tippett, D Jeff Senko
Maniacs - F Wyatt Sloboshan, D Ethan Constant
MVP: Matthew Campese
Melville (5-4-0), Saskatoon Outlaws (3-4-2), NE Wolfpack (11-1-0), Saskatoon Generals (2-4-2)
- The champion from the Regina tournament, the NE Wolfpack have the most depth of any team in the league and should be able to win this pool. However, Melville does feature lots of fire power on their top two lines, making them dangerous in any given game. The Saskatoon teams can be dangerous with a few of the cities top stars on the squads. Probably the best pool in the tournament.
Top players in the pool:
Melville - F Dakota Boutin, D Dawson Davidson (98 born)
Outlaws - F Garrett Pilon (98), D Dustin Perrilat
Wolfpack - F Caleb Seaman, D Bryce Fiske
Generals - F Lane Pederson, D Brad Bigsby
MVP: Dustin Perrilat
Saskatoon Stallions (6-2-1), Estevan (2-9-1), Battleford (5-4-1), Yorkton (7-5-0)
- A bit of everything in this pool. Yorkton has size and grit, Battlefords have depth and the Stallions have a perfect mix throughout the lineup. It really is any of those three teams who could win this pool.
Top players in the pool:
Stallions - F Logan Loopkey, D Tate Olson
Estevan - F Tanner Jeanott, D Tyler Hengen
Battleford - F Keifer Hintz, D Matt Vidal
Yorkton - F Tanner Mak, D Turner Ottenbreit
MVP: Tate Olsen
Prairie Storm (10-0-0), Saskatoon Frostbite (3-4-2), Sask Valley (7-3-1), Regina Senators (4-7-1)
- The favourite here are the Balgonie Prairie Storm led by Regina MVP Jayden Halbgewachs but also look for league scoring leader - Terrell Draude and Sask Valley to make some noise. Frostbite and Senators feature some good talent but won't have near enough.
Top players in the pool
Prairie Storm - F Jayden Halbgewachs, D Brennan Riddle
Frostbite - F Cam Hebig, D Brody Doepker
Sask Valley - F Terrell Draude, D Evan Fiala
Senators - F Arthur Miller, D Jordan Bourassa
MVP: Jayden Halbgewachs
John Reid Memorial Tournament Pools
- Preview for this tournament to come in either the December 19, 2011 newsletter or the January 2, 2012 newsletter.
Iginla Pool - Access Pipeline
- A pool that features 3 teams who are currently in the WEHP Top 10. The defensive minded Royals, the offensive minded SSAC and the very deep Semiahmoo Ravens. Wenatchee have some talent as well in all areas. Semiahmoo have met the Royals and beat them 5-4 in Medicine Hat.
Iginla Pool - City Ford
Los Angelas Selects
- A fairly wide open pool between St. Albert, Cloverdale and L.A. The Colts are now healthy and it will be interesting to see how they do here. St. Albert are the hosts and will be geared up for this tournament. They proved they can compete against the best by beating Semiahmoo in Med Hat. The Selects are very strong and have several of the top players in the western states. Notre Dame has a couple players but will once again be over-matched.
Reid Pool - Skybox Grill
- I guess we could call this pool, the pool of death! All four are in the WEHP top 10 and many are going to get their wish with a POE/NSWC match-up. Sherwood Park have perhaps the strongest defensive team in western Canada or close at least. The Bisons led by Merkley and Shmyr are always dangerous!
Reid Pool - Riverside Honda & Ski-doo
- Perhaps the most interesting pool of them all. BWC will win this pool quite easily in what should be blow-out scores. After that, it will be interesting to see how (10-0-0) Prairie Storm can do led by Halbgewachs and Riddle. Lack of depth will hurt the Prairie Storm in this tournament. CAC has been slumping and I can't understand why with the talent pool on that team.
LA Selects Holiday Cup 2011
Jon Blum Division
Colin Long Division
LA Jr. Kings