Superior International Junior Hockey League Sets Tentative November 14 Start Date

The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday, July 28th that it is planning to delay the start of the 2020-21 regular season until November 14th.

“We’ve been actively monitoring the developments in our region and with the US / Canadian border and working closely with authorities in amateur hockey and public health,” said SIJHL Commissioner Darrin Nicholas. “On the Canadian side, we are seeing positive indications as our region has now entered Phase III of reopening. However, the restrictions that remain in place are clearly a barrier to a traditional start time to our season.”

Nicholas continued: “The safety of our communities, fans, players and team staff is of paramount importance. Beyond that, we’d like to have our fans both north and south of the border experience the SIJHL brand of hockey they’ve come to expect and all indications are that a mid-November puck drop gives us the best chance for this to be achieved.”

The 2020-21 SIJHL schedule will be announced at a later date.

“On behalf of the board of governors, we once again would like to thank all of our communities, players, families and staff for their continued support through these unchartered times. Our new commissioner, Darrin Nicholas, has hit the ground running and done a phenomenal job since minute one in getting up to speed and taking charge of a plan to move forward. After many conversations, not only amongst ourselves as owners as well as with provincial guidance and communication with our arenas we feel that the November 14th date allows us time to continue along a pathway to return to play,” said Doug Lein, Chairman of the Board of Governors.

Teams will have the option of holding extended training camps beginning September 14, 2020 which will be subject to any public health restrictions as well as league and sport return-to-play guidelines that may be in effect at that time.

The extended training camps will strictly follow all the COVID-19 guidelines.

SIJHL venues are also preparing for protocols to be enforced once the buildings are open to fans again.

Source: SIJHL

HOCKEY CANADA NAMES 35 WHL PLAYERS TO NATIONAL UNDER-17 DEVELOPMENT CAMP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 2020

Calgary, Alta. – Hockey Canada has invited 35 Western Hockey League players, as part of a group of 113, to attend its virtual national under-17 development camp as the road to the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge begins.

The group, comprised of 12 goaltenders, 37 defencemen and 64 forwards, will be split into six teams for the week-long virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education. The breakdown of WHL players includes four goaltenders, 11 defencemen and 20 forwards.

The list of WHL players invited includes 2005-born Connor Bedard, who was granted exceptional player status in March 2020 and subsequently selected by the Regina Pats, first overall in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. 

“The national under-17 development camp is the first stage in introducing these athletes to the Program of Excellence, and it is a great opportunity for them to develop as players and learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada. “Our three under-17 teams are very fortunate to have these nine experienced coaches, and we know our coaching and support staffs will embrace the opportunity to guide the development of the top young players in Canada.”

Eight WHL personnel were also named for the national under-17 teams coaching staffs. Behind the bench, Kelly Buchberger (Langenburg, Sask. / Tri-City Americans) will lead Team Canada White as head coach with Dr. Ben Cameron (Summerside, P.E.I. / Lethbridge Hurricanes) serving as the team physician. Joining Team Canada Red will be Kris Mallette (Kelowna, B.C. / Kelowna Rockets) as the team’s assistant coach along with equipment manager Ramandeep Dhanjal (Saskatoon, Sask. / Prince Gorge Cougars). On Team Canada Black, Kirt Hill (Winnipeg, Man. / Edmonton Oil Kings) was appointed the director of operations with Landon Watson (Neilburg, Sask. / Regina Pats) joining as the video coordinator. Finally, Jason Smart (Red Deer, Alta. / Vancouver Giants) and Shaun Sutter (Red Deer, Alta. / Red Deer Rebels) were named to the scouting staff.

The coaching staff will lead Canada’s national men’s under-17 teams at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., in November.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Name Position Height Weight Born Hometown 2019-20 Team WHL Draft
Ethan Buenaventura Goaltender 6’1″ 171 06/22/04 Winnipeg, Man. Rink Hockey Academy (CSSHL) CGY ’19 (4, 77)
Reid Dyck Goaltender 6’4″ 185 01/20/04 Wrinkler, Man. Pembina Valley (MAAAU18HL) SC ’19 (3,45)
Dylan Ernst Goaltender 6’1″ 149 02/06/04 Weyburn, Sask. Moose Jaw (SMAAAHL) KAM ’19 (2, 28)
Matthew Kieper Goaltender 5’11” 146 03/08/04 Winnipeg, Man. Winnipeg Bruins (MAAAU18HL) REG ’19 (3, 63)
Keaton Dowhaniuk Defenceman 6’0” 155 02/08/04 Sherwood Park, Alta. OHA Edmonton (CSSHL) PG ’19 (1, 3)  
Tyson Jugnauth Defenceman 5’11” 154 04/17/04 Richmond, B.C. Okanagan (BCMML) SC ’19 (1, 21)
Kevin Korchinski Defenceman 5’10” 146 06/21/04 Saskatoon, Sask. Saskatoon Contacts (SMAAAHL) SEA ’19 (1, 10)
Mats Lindgren Defenceman 5’8″ 145 08/26/04 North Vancouver, B.C. Burnaby Winter Club (CSSHL) KAM ’19 (1, 7)
Denton Mateychuk Defenceman 5’9″ 170 07/12/04 Dominion City, Man. Eastman (MAAU18HL) MJ ’19 (1, 11)
Hunter Mayo Defenceman 5’11” 173 05/07/04 Martensville, Sask. Saskatoon Blazers (SMAAAHL) RD ’19 (2, 23)
Josh Niedermayer Defenceman 5’11” 202 02/20/04 Penticton, B.C. Okanagan Hockey Academy (CSSHL) VAN ’19 (2, 30)
Kalem Parker Defenceman 5’8″ 140 10/12/04 Clavet, Sask. Saskatoon Blazers (SMAAAHL) VIC ’19 (2, 32)
Grayden Siepmann Defenceman 5’10” 175 05/26/04 Abbotsford, B.C. Yale Hockey Academy (CSSHL) CGY ’19 (1, 13)
Jason Spizawka Defenceman 5’11” 165 01/16/04 Victoria, B.C. South Island (BCMML) VIC ’19 (1, 19)
Jace Weir Defenceman 6’1″ 165 05/21/04 Coldstream, B.C. Okanagan (BCMML) RD ’19 (2, 38)
Connor Bedard Forward 5’8″ 165 07/17/05 North Vancouver, B.C. West Van Academy (CSSHL) REG ’20 (1, 1)
Niall Crocker Forward 6’2″ 162 07/31/04 Delta, B.C. Delta Hockey Academy (CSSHL) PA ’19 (1, 22)
Nate Danielson Forward 6’0″ 165 09/27/04 Red Deer, Alta. Northern Alberta Xtreme (CSSHL) BDN ’19 (1, 5)
Josh Davies Forward 5’8″ 179 03/24/04 Airdrie, Alta. Pacific Coast Academy (CSSHL) SC ’19 (3, 54)
Conor Geekie Forward 6’3″ 172 05/05/04 Strathclair, Man. Yellowhead (MU18AAAHL) WPG ’19 (1, 2)
Kyren Gronick Forward 5’11” 175 02/27/04 Regina, Sask. Regina (SMAAHL) PG ’19 (2, 26)
Jordan Gustafson Forward 5’10” 159 01/20/04 Ardrossan, Alta. Fort Saskatchewan (AMHL) SEA ’19 (1, 8)
Jhett Larson Forward 5’8″ 152 02/03/04 Delisle, Sask. Notre Dame Hounds (SMAAHL) RD ’19 (8, 163)
Connor Levis Forward 6’1″ 180 10/05/04 Vancouver, B.C. St. George’s School (CSSHL) KAM ’19 (1, 20)
Brandon Lisowsky Forward 5’8″ 163 04/13/04 Port Coquitlam, B.C. Burnaby Winter Club (CSSHL) SAS ’19 (1, 9)
Rieger Lorenz Forward 6’1″ 165 03/30/04 Calgary, Alta. Edge School (CSSHL) WPG ’19 (4, 68)
Caleb Reimer Forward 6’2″ 162 10/09/04 Surrey, B.C. Delta Hockey Academy (CSSHL) EDM ’19 (1, 18)
Rylen Roersma Forward 5’10” 161 07/25/04 Raymond, Alta. Lethbridge (AMHL) BDN ’19 (1, 16)
Matthew Savoie Forward 5’9″ 181 01/01/04 St. Albert, Alta. Rink Hockey Academy (CSSHL) WPG ’19 (1, 1)
Bowden Singleton Forward 5’8″ 150 05/15/04 Calgary, Alta. Northern Alberta Xtreme (CSSHL) VAN ’19 (2, 43)
Ben Thorton Forward 6’1″ 160 02/02/04 Agassiz, B.C. Yale Hockey Academy (CSSHL) SPO ’19 (1, 15)
Mathew Ward Forward 5’7″ 140 01/24/04 Kamloops, B.C. West Van Academy (CSSHL) SC ’19 (1, 14)
Oasiz Wiesblatt Forward 5’6″ 165 04/08/04 Calgary, Alta. Calgary Buffaloes (AMHL) MH ’19 (1, 12)
Koehn Ziemmer Forward 5’11” 180 12/08/04 Mayerthorpe, Alta. St. Albert (AMHL) PG ’19 (1, 4)
Tyson Zimmer Forward 6’0″ 175 09/05/04 Russell, Man. Okanagan Hockey Academy (CSSHL) BDN ’19 (1, 6)

Baseball Competition Can Safely Begin in Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 24, 2020 – Baseball Manitoba announces that just over three months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the province, it is safe to return to competition.
 
Baseball Manitoba submitted a Return to Play document to the Province of Manitoba in May of 2020. It was approved in early June, allowing Manitobans to return to training on June 8, 2020. Once training could begin, Baseball Manitoba continued to work towards a safe return to competition. Their target start date was July 1, 2020, but after a very successful Phase 1: Return to Training, they are pleased to announce Phase 2: Return to Competition can officially start on June 24, 2020. An updated version of their Return to Play Document is now available on their website at baseballmanitoba.ca.
 
Signage has been delivered and hung at ballparks, sanitizing supplies are being accumulated and distributed, and volunteers and players are adjusting to baseball under the new circumstances. Local baseball volunteers are working diligently to get the season started in a safe manner.
 
Checklists have been created for the following categories, including one for the new volunteer role of Health and Safety Coordinator. Baseball Manitoba intends for these checklists to help their community return to competition safely: Health and Safety Coordinator Player Coach Parent and Spectator Umpire and Clinician Ballpark Maintenance Staff  
Baseball Manitoba is one of the first provinces within Canada to return to baseball competition.

The Manitoba Junior Baseball League will host the first games of 2020 as 3 double headers get underway on Sunday, June 28. The Winnipeg AAA Baseball League will get underway on July 1. Finally, grassroots baseball games will begin Province-wide in early July.
 
For more information, please visit baseballmanitoba.ca.

Football Manitoba and the Football Manitoba Hall of Fame committee have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Hall of Fame Dinner

MEDIA RELEASE

Football Manitoba and the Football Manitoba Hall of Fame committee have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony to October 21st of 2021. This decision was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on large group gatherings. We feel strongly that our inductees deserve an evening of accolades and recognition from all who wish to attend, and we simply cannot be confident that we would be able to offer that this year. Details regarding the 2021 Ceremony will be forthcoming.

  • 2020– Inductees
Lou Bernstein – Player Len Sitter – Coach
Shawn Churchill – Media Vic Solyo – Player
Kevin Hart – Player Chris Walby – Player
Wade Miller – Player David Wheeler – Player
Al Leitch – Builder Bob Wilkes – Coach
Bob Lawler – Coach 1970 North Winnipeg Nomads
Glen Johnson – Official 1970, 71, 72 Sisler Spartans
Bernie Novak – Official 1971, 72 Winnipeg Hawkeyes
Harold Jackmann – Player 1987 Crocus Plainsmen
Laura Shea – Builder 2007 University of Manitoba Bisons

Introducing Bisons Track and Field recruits for 20-21

  BISON SPORTS PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
June 23, 2020   Introducing Bisons Track and Field recruits for 20-21
WINNIPEG – The University of Manitoba Bisons Track and Field team is pleased to announce 13 top Manitoban recruits for the 2020-21 season. “These athletes exemplify the tremendous work being done in track and field at both the high school and club levels in Manitoba,” said Bisons Track and Field head coach, Claude Berube. “With backgrounds in competitions at the provincial and national level, this group has all the tools to compete in Canada West and USPORTS. They will all be key members of the Bisons program moving forward.” This recruiting class is also strong off the field of play through their academic accomplishments and contributions to the community and sport, said Berube.  “Our coaches, and myself, look forward to have an exciting five years working with these athletes,” added Berube, who enters year 24 with Manitoba.  The Bisons track and field teams are returning many of their top performers from the Women’s team that finished fifth at the 2020 Canada West Conference Championships. The Bisons Men’s Track and Field team had another strong season in 2019-20 with a fourth-place finish at the Canada West Championships, and seventh at the USPORTS Championships. The vast majority of this strong team will be returning for the 2020-21 season.
Abby Bestland, 18, competed in the sprints events with Sanford Collegiate. 
Bestland is relatively new to the sport, having taken up track and field full-time a little over a year ago. She has made big strides in that timeframe, making the final at the MHSAA Championships in 2019, and also earning a spot on the Western Canada Summer Games team. During her high school career at Sanford Collegiate, she received the Coaches Award on three separate occasions, and was an honour roll student all four years.
Adam Chahid, 19, was a sprinter with Kelvin High School. 
Chahid has a strong resumé and desire to succeed. His area of strength are the sprints, which will no doubt make him a factor not only in his individual races, but also as a relay team member throughout his Bisons career. He was a finalist in two events (200m, 400m) at the 2019 MHSAA Championships. He also has interprovincial competition experience having made some provincial teams including the 2019 Western Canada Games.
Tyler Cox-Yestrau, 17, competed in the sprints events at J.H. Bruns Collegiate. 
Cox-Yestrau was a multi-sport athlete throughout his high school career and has started to focus on track and field this past year. He is considered one of the more versatile young sprinters in the province.  He was a double silver medalist in the 200m and 400m at the 2019 MHSAA Championships. He has represented Manitoba on various provincial teams including the Western Canada Summer Games team. He also competed at the Simplot Games this past indoor season which is one of the top high school meets in North America. In 2019, he was named the athlete of the year at J. H. Bruns Collegiate.
Alex Davis, 17, ran sprints and middle distance at Balmoral Hall School. 
Davis, who spent most of high school competing as a sprinter, has begun a transition to middle distance events and is showing promise, finishing third in the 400m at the MHSAA Championships.  She has also competed as a provincial team athlete, including last summer’s Western Canada Games, where she was a member of two medal winning relay teams. While a student at Balmoral Hall, she was also achieved honour roll status all four of her high school years.
Graham Hutchinson-Campbell, 17, competed in sprints and jumps at J.H. Glenlawn Collegiate. 
Hutchinson-Campbell has been consistently one of the top jumpers in the province. He is also a strong sprinter. He has medalled at the MHSAA Championships, and has experience as a provincial team member, highlighted by being a part of the 2019 Western Canada Games. As a student at Glenlawn, he was also twice an honour roll recipient. 
Angela Kroeker, 18, is a middle distance / distance runner out of River East Collegiate. 
A versatile athlete, Kroeker will have an important role on both the Cross Country and Track & Field team. Highlights of her high school career include gold in the 3000m at the 2018 MHSAA Championships and bronze in the 3000m at the 2019 Western Canada Games. Kroeker also brings experience of having competed at the national championships to the table. At River East Collegiate, she was named athlete of the year and achieved recognition as a honour roll student in each of her four years of study. 
Justin Kroeker, 17, is a middle distance / distance runner from Edward Schreyer School. 
Kroeker will be a part of both the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. He is a three-time silver medalist at the MHSAA level in the 1500m, 3000m and Cross Country, respectively. Kroeker also has provincial team experience being a member of both the Legion and Western Canada Games teams. He comes by his ability to compete as a middle distance / distance runner honestly as both his parents are former Bisons distance athletes. While studying at Edward Schreyer School, he was also named athlete of the year while earning placement on the school honour roll. Reese Lange, 18, is a sprinter out of Murdoch McKay Collegiate. 
Lange has been one of the top sprinters in the province for the past few years and will surely make a smooth transition to university level competition. She was the 2019 MHSAA silver medalist in the 100m and is also part of a provincial record setting 4 x 100m relay team. Lange has represented Manitoba on several provincial teams, including the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games. While at Murdoch MKcKay, she was twice the athlete of the year and a four-time honour roll student. 
Rachel Mann, 18, competed primarily in the hurdles at Kelvin High School. 
Mann was a multi-sport athlete at Kelvin. Along with her accolades on the track, she received the MHSAA Soccer olden Boot Award. In track and field, she won gold in the 100m Hurdles at the 2019 MHSAA Championships. In the process, she also broke the championship record in the event. She has represented Manitoba on various provincial teams over the years including the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games. Mann was also a two-time athlete of the year at her school, and earned placement on the honour roll throughout her four years. 
Jakob Paquette, 17, is a sprinter and jumper out of Garden City Collegiate. 
Paquette had a strong 2020 indoor season and has made a case to be the top high school sprinter this year. He also compliments this with his ability in the long jump. Paquette was a silver medalist in both the 100m and long jump at the 2019 MHSAA Championships. He has provincial team experience as well as having competed at the Legion Championships. He is also an accomplished student being an honour roll student all four of his high school years. Issac Peters, 18, competed in the High Jump at Fort Richmond Collegiate. 
Peters is one of the promising high jump athletes coming out of the high school system. He had a strong indoor season, culminating with second place finishes at both the provincial and high school indoor championships. Peters has experience in inter-provincial competition which will be valuable as he joins a strong group of jumpers on the Bisons team. 
Daxx Turner, 18, excelled in the Triple Jump and High Jump while at Neepawa Area Collegiate. 
Turner is one of the most promising jumpers in the country. He has focused on the triple jump and is now making inroads in the high jump. He is a multi-time medalist in the jumps events at the MHSAA level, and also the 2019 Canadian Junior triple jump bronze medalist. Turner’s performances in the triple jump have garnered him several age group provincial records, as well as ranking him third all-time on the Canadian list in the U18 category. He has also performed well in the classroom, earning honour roll recognition.
Ilona Zrinyi, 17, joins the Bisons sprints and middle distance team from Vincent Massey Collegiate. 
Ilona has a deep background in track and field and has had success at both provincial and national levels. She is considered one of the top middle distance runners in the province, and will have an immediate impact on the relay program. The Vincent Massey grad won gold in the 400m at the 2019 MHSAA Track & Field Championships, and was also in the top-four at the Cross Country Championships this past fall. A two-time high school athlete of the year, she was also a honour roll student throughout high school.

WHL ANNOUNCES RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOL FOR 2020-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2020 Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League concluded its Annual General Meeting via conference call Wednesday afternoon, highlighted by the announcement of the WHL Return to Play initiative for the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season. 

WHL Annual General Meeting Media Availability 
Who: WHL Commissioner Ron Robison
When: Thursday, June 18 at 11 a.m. MT
Where: Zoom Video Conference
Meeting ID: 862 3671 5423
Dial-in: 1-587-328-1099 (Canada); 1-253-215-8782 (United States)
URL: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86236715423

WHL Return to Play Protocol for 2020-21
With government and health authorities in each of the six jurisdictions in the WHL territory in the process of releasing further directives on their re-opening plans, the WHL has developed a Return to Play protocol to facilitate discussion on a timely start to the 2020-21 season. The WHL has appointed special task forces in each of the six jurisdictions to work directly with government and health authorities to ensure the health and safety of WHL players, staff, officials, and fans are a top priority in the Return to Play protocol. The outcome of these discussions with government authorities will ultimately determine the start date for the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season.

The WHL has targeted a start date of Friday, October 2 for the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season, but this date remains contingent on receiving the necessary approvals from government and health authorities in each of the six jurisdictions in WHL territory. The WHL is committed to protecting the integrity of the WHL Regular Season schedule, and fully intends to complete a full 68-game schedule for 2020-21, regardless of when the season begins.

The WHL is also working with government and health authorities in each jurisdiction on the level of spectator capacities that will be permitted in each WHL Club arena facility. The WHL is a spectator-driven league and the welcoming back of WHL fans is vital to a successful return to hockey for all 22 WHL member Clubs.

New WHL Live Streaming Service to Launch for 2020-21
In partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the WHL is pleased to announce the development of a brand-new streaming service set to launch with the beginning of the 2020-21 regular season. 

WHL fans can look forward to all three CHL leagues housed under one streaming service, with a new digital platform developed by an entirely new partner available on new devices. Further details including the new streaming service provider, pricing and packaging, will be announced at a later date.

WHL Board of Governors – Elections
Bruce Hamilton has been re-elected as Chairman of the WHL Board of Governors for a new two-year term. Hamilton – the Owner, Governor, President & General Manager of the Kelowna Rockets – has been the active Chairman of the WHL Board of Governors since 2008. He previously served as Chairman of the WHL Board of Governors from 1998 to 2004. Hamilton is the longest-serving Chairman in WHL history. 

Bobby Brett of the Spokane Chiefs (U.S. Division) and Brent Sutter of the Red Deer Rebels (Central Division) have been re-elected to the Executive Committee of the WHL Board of Governors. Brett and Sutter rejoin Ron Toigo of the Vancouver Giants (B.C. Division) and Gord Broda of the Prince Albert Raiders (East Division) on the WHL Executive Committee.

WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, who will be entering his 21st season at the helm of the WHL, is an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. 

WHL Celebrates Over $28 Million in WHL Scholarships
In 26 years since it was established in 1993-94, the WHL Scholarship program has seen investments of over $28 million by WHL Club ownership.

The 2019-20 WHL season saw WHL Club ownership invest in excess of $2.8 million for 402 WHL graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship. Over 6,400 WHL Scholarships have been accessed since 1993-94. 

Administered by the WHL Office, WHL Scholarships are solely funded by the WHL member Clubs. Every player who plays in the WHL is eligible to receive the WHL Scholarship. For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a guaranteed, full-year WHL Scholarship including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to a post-secondary institution of their choice. The WHL Scholarship is a fully-guaranteed academic scholarship with no requirement to play university hockey to qualify. The WHL graduate can apply the funding to any post-secondary or career-enhancing program of his choice, including trades schools or professional career training programs.

In addition to the WHL Scholarship players receive upon graduation from the WHL, all current WHL players are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses and these courses are also fully-funded by the WHL member Clubs. 

WHL / Hockey Canada Goaltending Symposium
The WHL announced today in partnership with Hockey Canada, that it will host the WHL / Hockey Canada Goaltending Symposium presented by InGoal Magazine, from June 18-19. The objective of the WHL / Hockey Canada Goaltending Symposium is to create and enhance professional development opportunities, collaboration, networking, and mentorship among WHL goaltending coaches. 

The WHL / Hockey Canada Goaltending Symposium will provide professional development opportunities through digital webinars for all 22 WHL member Club goaltending consultants, 17 Hockey Canada coaches, representatives from BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba, as well as representatives from the OHL and QMJHL offices. 

Guest speakers for the two-day symposium include Glen Gulutzan (Edmonton Oilers), Tyler Dietrich (Hockey Canada), John Stevenson (Zone Performance), Scott Murray (Washington Capitals), David Alexander (St. Louis Blues), Matt Weninger (Moose Jaw Warriors / Hockey Alberta), Dustin Schwartz (Edmonton Oilers) and others. 

The event will conclude with a goaltending hot stove hosted by Daren Millard (Vegas Golden Knights) and featuring Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers / WHL Alumni) and 11-year NHL veteran Jason LaBarbera (Calgary Hitmen / Hockey Canada).


June 8 was a tough day for university sports fans across the province and across the country.

BY Darnell Duff

June 8 was a tough day for university sports fans across the province and across the country. 

Canada West announced that all term-one fall sports have been cancelled. That means no competition, including regular season play, playoffs, or championship action will happen in football, soccer, women’s rugby 15’s, and women’s field hockey during the first term of the 2020-2021 season.

The cancellation is due to the coronavirus outbreak and the uncertainty of what the immediate future looks like. U Sports has also announced that they’ve cancelled six national championships, including the Vanier Cup which is the national football final.

In addition, decisions on whether first-term conference championships scheduled for men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross-country and men’s and women’s swimming will be made by July 15.

At this point, those championships are still scheduled to take place; however, that could change within the next month.

Rocky Olfert is the Managing Director for Canada West and he says a COVID-19 Task Force was comprised of Canada West Board members representing each province, along with medical professionals, including Dr. Steve Martin (University of Victoria varsity sports medicine physician and Canada West representative on the U SPORTS medical committee).

“Based on what was presented by the medical professionals, this was the decision that had to be made,” said Olfort. “All 17 members voted in favour of the decision. This is something that we’ve been talking about since early March when this all came down.”

Canada West has also announced that they’re postponing the beginning of volleyball, hockey, and basketball seasons. Originally slated to begin in September, the earliest that volleyball and basketball teams will begin their season is in January of 2021.

Canada West has member teams at Brandon University, University of Winnipeg, and the University of Manitoba. 

Olfert is hoping that volleyball, hockey, and basketball seasons can begin in January. October 8 is the day when that decision will be finalized.

“I like to be optimistic, but no one knows right now,” said Olfert. “If you look at a professional league, they can create a bubble and do tests, but we just don’t have the ability to do that. Our hope is to have a successful second term with those sports.”

Olfert concludes that he’s known this was going to be the decision for a little while. It was made official yesterday on June 8. 

“I have a heavy heart, I’ve had many sleepless nights leading up to this point,” concluded Olfert. “I feel so horrible for all of the student-athletes and coaches. They’ve worked so hard to get to this point. We never thought we would ever have to make a decision like this, but we’re working with something entirely new here. This one hurts, but we’ll move forward and go from there.”

When it comes to Canada West member teams returning to training, those decisions will be made by each school based on their policies at the university and guidelines from the provincial health authority. 

Clearwater Ball Tournament Cancelled

Due to the current health concerns related to COVID-19, as well as the provincially mandated regulations for public health and safety, we will not be hosting our annual July 1 Ball Tournament this year.
Every year, we look forward to connecting with our Baseball family and friends. It is our hope you can all join us next year for the 70th Anniversary of our Tournament.

NINE WHL GOALTENDERS INVITED TO HOCKEY CANADA’S PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE GOALTENDING CAMP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2020

Calgary, Alta. –  Nine WHL goaltenders have been invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual four-day Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp in preparation for the 2020-21 season.

The camp brings together the top goaltending talent and elite-level instructors from across the country. The camp serves as the initial evaluation stage for summer development and selection camps for Canada’s national teams. The online camp will focus on goaltending development and evaluation through online education.

The Program of Excellence goaltending camp, set for June 9-12, will welcome 23 male goaltenders, including five at the under-20 level, six at the under-18 level and 12 in the under-17 category. Of those groupings, three WHL goaltenders have been invited to participate at the under-20 level, two at the under-18 level, and four at the under-17 level.

Leading the way at the under-20 level are WHL goaltenders Sebastian Cossa (Fort McMurray, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings), Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C. / Kamloops Blazers) and Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta. / Prince George Cougars). Garand and Gauthier are on the radar of the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting service ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft later this year. In April’s final rankings, Garand was the top-ranked goaltender of the three invited, coming in at sixth among North American goaltenders. Gauthier is ranked 19th and Cossa is a top prospect eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft.

At the under-18 level, Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man. / Prince George Cougars) and Thomas Milic (Coquitlam, B.C. / Seattle Thunderbirds) earned invitations. As a 16-year-old rookie for the Cougars, Brennan appeared in 15 games this season. Milic appeared in two games with the Thunderbirds, earning a 1-1-0-0 record.

Invited to participate in the camp at the under-17 level were a trio of WHL goaltenders in Ethan Buenaventura (Winnipeg, Man. / Calgary Hitmen), Reid Dyck (Winkler, Man. / Swift Current Broncos), Dylan Ernst (Weyburn, Sask. / Kamloops Blazers) and Matthew Kieper (Winnipeg, Man. / Regina Pats). Of the four young goaltenders, Kieper is the only one to have made his WHL debut this season on October 13, 2019, against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Also representing the WHL is Hitmen Goaltending Coach, Jason LaBarbera who will assist in the virtual program as a goaltending consultant.

Level Name Hometown WHL Team
U20 Sebastian Cossa Fort McMurray Edmonton Oil Kings
U20 Dylan Garand Victoria, B.C. Kamloops Blazer
U20 Taylor Gauthier Calgary, Alta. Prince George Cougars
U18 Tyler Brennan Winnipeg, Man. Prince George Cougars
U18 Thomas Milic Coquitlam, B.C. Seattle Thunderbirds
U17 Ethan Buenaventura Winnipeg, Man. Calgary Hitmen
U17 Reid Dyck Winkler, Man. Swift Current Broncos
U17 Dylan Ernst Weyburn, Sask. Kamloops Blazers
U17 Matthew Kieper Winnipeg, Man. Regina Pats

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Canada West and USPORTS Cancels All University Sport Including Basketball Though to January 2021 Posted: 08 Jun 2020 10:27 AM

Canada West and USPORTS Cancels All University Sport Including Basketball Though to January 2021 Posted: 08 Jun 2020 10:27 AM PDT

EDMONTON – As Western Canada continues to work through the ongoing impact of COVID-19, university sport will look very different this fall across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Canada West announced Monday that no conference competition (regular season, playoff, or championships) will occur in football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s rugby 15s, and women’s field hockey during the first term of the 2020-21 season.

All of the decisions announced Monday were ratified unanimously through a vote of Canada West’s 17 member universities on Friday.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Football, soccer, rugby 15s, and field hockey cancelled during the first term of the 2020-21 season.Decisions to be made by July 15th on championships in golf, cross country, and swimmingNo two-term sports (hockey, volleyball, basketball) to commence prior to January 1, 2021, with a decision to be made no later than October 8th.Student-athletes in sports without U SPORTS national championships this season will not be charged eligibility and will remain eligible for athletic financial aid (scholarships)Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and U SPORTS also announced their own independent cancellations MondayDecision-making process:CW: ratified via a vote of the 17 member universitiesAUS: ratified via a vote of the AUS Board of DirectorsOUA: ratified via a vote of the OUA Board of DirectorsU SPORTS: ratified via a vote of the U SPORTS Board of DirectorsAdditional decisions on whether first term conference championships scheduled for men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s swimming will be made by July 15th following further exploration around feasibility.

The decision to cancel first term competition in team sports also impacts men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s volleyball, along with men’s and women’s basketball. The aforementioned sports traditionally span both the first and second terms, but conference play in these sports will commence no sooner than January 2021, with a decision on the matter being made by October 8th.

Whether second term competitions (men’s and women’s wrestling, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s curling, and women’s rugby 7s) are staged will also be made by the same October 8th deadline.

Canada West’s announcement came on the same day as both Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced their own first term cancellations, which were made independently by each conference’s Board of Directors.

Nationally, U SPORTS also announced the cancellation of all U SPORTS first term national championships, as decided by the U SPORTS Board of Directors. The national governing body also made an announcement pertaining to athletic financial aid and eligibility, ensuring student-athletes will not be negatively impacted by the cancellation of their respective seasons.

“The challenging nature of today’s announcement can’t be understated. As a former student-athlete and coach I feel deeply for everyone who won’t be able to experience the joys of university competition this fall,” said CW president and University of Victoria athletic director Clint Hamilton.

“While cancellation isn’t the outcome anyone associated with university sport wanted, I’m confident in the fact that this difficult decision is in the best interests of our student-athletes. Health and safety is at the forefront of everything we do and simply put there was no way to adequately ensure the safety of everyone involved in university sport during competition this fall.”

Over the last several weeks Canada West’s COVID-19 Task Force has been working to inform the conference’s Board, who based on the Task Force’s report recommended the cancellation of first term competition. The Board’s recommendation was subsequently supported through a unanimous vote of CW members.

The COVID-19 Task Force was comprised of CW Board members representing each province, along with medical professionals, including Dr. Steve Martin (University of Victoria varsity sports medicine physician and CW representative on the U SPORTS medical committee).

“The Task Force undertook significant discussion and research to inform our recommendations with public health considerations, specifically minimizing risk for both individual participants and the general public, at the core of our work,” said Martin.

“By and large, sport competition provides a high-risk environment for the transmission of COVID-19. While other areas of society continue to mitigate risk through new guidelines, sport provides a challenge in this regard as any risk mitigation would render many sports unrecognizable.”

While professional sports leagues continue to explore options for a return to competition, the resources they will have at their disposal to minimize the risk of infection will not be the reality for Canada West members when the transition from training to competition eventually occurs.

With respect to CW members returning to training, those decisions will be made individually by members and will be based on university policies and guidelines from their respective provincial health authority.

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Cancellation of fall term national championships for the protection of Student-Athlete health and safety; Eligibility regulations refined

USPORTS, the national brand of university sports in Canada, announced Monday the cancellation of its six 2020 fall national championships and modifications to eligibility and scholarship regulations in response to the COVID-19 situation.

“U SPORTS has been working hard with the four conferences, our 56 member institutions and medical experts to examine the feasibility of delivering the fall national championships this season,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer.  “Taking into account the academic realities of university sport, we arrived at a point where a tough decision had to be made.”

The decision comes as a result of the on-going uncertainties with student-athlete health and safety, travel and public health restrictions that affect parts of the country and different curriculum delivery models being proposed on the campus of its 56 member universities.

“Although the Canadian sport system is working together to create evidence-based return to training, practice and competition protocols, it is not currently feasible or safe due to the COVID-19 Pandemic for U SPORTS to be able to offer fall championships given the academic realities of student-sport,” said Dr. Taryn Taylor, U SPORTS Chief Medical Officer and representative on the Own the Podium Return to Sport Task Force. “We continue to work with public health officials across the country to examine possibilities for return to play for the winter 2021 term.”

The affected championships include the sports of women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country running, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s rugby and football including the national semifinals (Mitchell and Uteck Bowls) and the Vanier Cup. The hosts of the cancelled fall 2020 national championships will have the opportunity to host in future years.

Since March, U SPORTS has been working with the four university sport conferences (Atlantic University Sport, Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec, Ontario University Athletics and Canada West) in order to identify ways to deliver university sport to Canadians in the COVID-19 environment. As a result, AUS, OUA and Canada West made announcements today concerning modifications to their competition structures for the 2020 fall term, while the RSEQ continues to be in deliberations and will announce their plans in the near future. U SPORTS and the conferences continue work on a plan for the delivery of the 2021 winter season. An announcement about those plans is expected in the fall.

As a national multisport organization that is based in an academic setting, U SPORTS made changes to exemptions and qualifications pertaining to athletic scholarships (officially known as Athletic Financial Awards, or AFAs) and eligibility.

Sources: 
https://canadawest.org/news/2020/6/8/cross-country-canada-west-cancels-2020-21-first-term-team-competitions.aspx
https://usports.ca/en/news/2020/06/4079288233/u-sports-cancels-2020-fall-championships-due-to-covid-19 Basketball Manitoba Together We Grow Basketball http://www.basketballmanitoba.ca