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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alberta Cup Underway

The Alberta Cup has started this morning at 8am MST.  I will get everyone afloat and possibly get a few comments from the players as the tournament progresses this weekend.  I won't be in Lethbridge until Friday afternoon likely. 

Here is an article to get you started courtesy of the Lethbridge Herald:

Dylan Purcell


It is quite possibly the busiest day of the 2011 Alberta Cup bantam-aged hockey tournament. The eight teams have been chosen from zone camps throughout the province, the coaches and players are in place, and volunteers have been primed for action.
So on Wednesday morning, why was Bob Bartlett up at 4 a.m.? And why was the Alberta Cup veteran organizer and long-time professional and amateur hockey man pacing the halls of his home?
Because with the first game of the Alberta Cup set for today at 8 a.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena, there was still a lot of work to do, and Bartlett knows full well the real problems become apparent once the live bullets fly.
"Up until the last couple of days things were rolling along real nicely and not a lot of stress," laughed Bartlett as the gathered Lethbridge media horde descended upon Nicholas Sheran for an introductory press conference.
"I have to say, at four o'clock this morning I was up bright and early and I was down at the rink here at six o'clock and, it's exciting."
The diplomatic choice of words aside, Bartlett and his organizing committee and volunteers were humming along nicely aside from a few minor worries. They certainly got a thumbs up from South Zone Senators captain Blake Penner. Penner said he and his teammates have enjoyed the process so far, and can't wait to take on the Central Thrashers.
"It's been great so far," said Penner, whose brother Cole was first-round pick of the Prince Albert Raiders in the 2006 bantam draft. "We've got a great group in the dressing room and we all get along right away so that helps.
"But it's been good. They do a good job looking after whatever we need and I appreciate that."
Penner, from Medicine Hat, alternate captain Jake Dube of Cochrane and Lethbridge's Johnny Hogue were at the press conference. Each will hope to catch scouts' eyes with their play, but Senators' assistant coach Chad Kletzel said it all depends on the team performance.
"It is an individual showcase on one level, but we try to get the players to understand that if the team does well, the individual does, too."
Each of the three players gave off a very different mood at the reps conference, with Hogue obviously excited to be there, if a little bewildered.
As he sat down in front of the media-filled room, he glanced at the bottled water set out in front of him and asked "Are these for us?"
"I'm nervous," he admitted afterward. "But I like that. That's how I like it. I can feel the pressure and play better with it."
Hogue was bristling with energy while Penner seemed unfazed and Dube just wanted to get the games started.
"I'm ready to play right now," said the defenceman. "I could play right away."
Penner said the whole team felt that way.
"I think we're OK to get out and play."

The South Zone squad boasts an impressive array of forwards and a big defence corps with Michael Conrad of Chestermere and Hogue in net. Kletzel said the hope is the team finds consistency.

"You can't really have a bad game. They're just 14 years old, so that's something you have to remember, but you look for the consistency in execution and hope they get a couple of lucky bounces and maybe we can get pretty far," said Kletzel.

One things for sure, the players aren't the only ones looking forward to the games.
"There's a lot of good teams here and we'll just see who happens to win," said Bartlett. "As I said before, I think there's 8-12 first-round WHL picks here."
Bartlett added WHL fans looking for the next crop of superstars should come out during the games and try to out-scout the scouts.
"I think it's kind of neat if fans want to come out and handicap who they think will be first-round WHL picks because they'll see a lot of these kids in the WHL the next couple of years."


The Burnaby Winter Club under coach John Batchelor have won their 3rd WCBC.  Their last championship was just 4 years ago in.....Winnipeg as well!  The Burnaby Now takes a look back at the championship and road getting there.

Photograph by: Courtesy of Brian Bowman, SELKIRK RECORDNext year's Burnaby Winter Club AAA bantam just couldn't wait for 2012 to get it done.

The winter club Bruins, with six first-year players in its lineup, upset the Manitoba champion Winnipeg Hawks 3-2 in overtime en route to a third Western Canada bantam hockey championship in Winnipeg on Sunday.
Second-year forward Victor Dombrovskiy scored the game-winner with his first goal of the Western championships six minutes into overtime.
"I knew when I picked this team, I thought this team was pretty special," said John Batchelor, who earned his third Western title as head coach of the winter club. "They had the character, they had the attitude and they didn't disappoint."
Winnipeg held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period after Burnaby's Justin Szeto had opened the scoring in the first minute of play in the gold-medal final.
First team all-star Matthew Barzal tied the game midway through the final frame on assists by Dombrovskiy and Szeto.
Dombrovskiy and winter club goalie Nicholas McBride were also named to the all-tournament first team.
The Western banner was the third in 10 seasons for the Burnaby Winter Club. The Canada Way club won previous Western Canada titles in 2002 and 2007.
"It's wonderful to win a Western, but those two were expected to be there," Batchelor said of the two previous winning teams.
"This team was not expected to be there, even by people at the club. The kids wanted their names on a white banner."
Batchelor said the turning point for the team ocurred well before they qualified for Winnipeg.
Losing twice to the Abbotsford Hawks in the playoffs turned the team around, said Batchelor.
"That second loss to Abbotsford taught them that hard work beats talent. We stress all along the will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital," Batchelor said. "They have to be focused. They have to understand that mental preparation is the most important. That's what we stress before the game."

The Bruins appeared to get the message, opening the championship tournament with a 14-1 shellacking of the host Winnipeg Sharks.
The following day, BWC edged Alberta champion Southgate Lions 3-2 and the hometown Hawks 5-3.
In its final round-robin matchup on Saturday, Burnaby Winter Club defeated the Prince Albert Pirates 5-1.
"They just know how to win," Batchelor added. "They play composed. Even the young guys, they've played in so many big games in their lives, they don't get too high or too low.
"If we hadn't lost those two games to Abbotsford, I don't think we would have been here. They learned a valuable lesson in those games with Abbotsford."


Anonymous said...

What was the 1st allstar team results for

Anonymous said...


BWC 70 wins 5 loss 1 Tie

Anonymous said...

Not bad for an "underdog" team from the West Coast eh?....

Anonymous said...

Not bad for the "underdog" no-name team from the West Coast!
Well done boys!!

Anonymous said...

No doubt, the Best Team Team in Western Canada and the Champions!

Anonymous said...

that was a great team effort, and an amazing shot!. congrats to BWC

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty sad that it seems like everyone keeps going on about the "97's" on BWC being "the team" as if the majority of the teams players- being the "96's" did little to nothing to help them win all year and ultimately take Westerns. Sad indeed how they degrade the 2nd year players like that.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:42

there was no first year second year on BWC it was all about team. 18 teams players that got it done, everyone was part of it, contributed to the team succes and they only thing worth reading is the names on the banner and trophy, goal achieved, end of story!

Anonymous said...

So called 'Expert Scouting' of 'WEHP' leaves one wondering.

As an example, how could such a great group of 96's (the core of BWC - Western Canada's BEST team) be so overlooked by WEHP during the entire season?

How could the goals/assists as indicated in 'WEHP' by BWC players throughout the year be so erroneous?

'WEHP' may want to check their sources in the future to lend more credibility to this site/reporting...

In any event, does not really matter as I suspect that the the 'real scouts' will not make the same mistake in early May...


Anonymous said...

good job, WEHP, you did a very good job. I think you got it right. BWC had a very good good team. Exceptional coaching as they had no real superstars, just very hard never give up workhorses. Great team.