The Blackfalds Bulldogs are hosting the 2022 Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Showcase this week and for the town, it’ll be a chance to put a spotlight on their community.
Beginning Thursday at the Eagle Builders Centre, all 16 AJHL teams will be in Blackfalds to play two regular season games each in front of fans from all over North America and 150 scouts from the NHL and NCAA.
Director of AJHL Showcase Operations Trevor Thomas said the four-day event is a huge opportunity for Blackfalds.
“It’s the first time with the arena being a couple of years old and the franchise being in its second year it’s a real feather in the camp to get an event like this, which is pretty prestigious,” he said. “The showcase has been going on for many years to try and get the NCAA and NHL scouts all in one location to view the players in the league.”
Thomas added event is meant for local fans but is also a chance for fans of other teams to come to the community, see the facility, and be a part of central Alberta to see what the area has to offer.
There will be two games Thursday at 4:30 p.m. between Drumheller and Bonnyville and at 8 p.m. Drayton Valley will play Brooks.
On Friday and Saturday games will start at noon and go all day with the Bulldogs playing at 7 p.m. both nights. However, on Sunday games will start at 11 a.m. and the Bulldogs do not play.
There will also be a pancake breakfast on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon in the parking lot of the Eagle Builders Centre and from noon until 3 p.m. in the parking lot there will be events happening on stage. After the Bulldogs game Saturday night, there will be a free concert from the Matt Blais Band inside the arena.
Ticket sales for the showcase he explained have been positive so far.
“We’ve kicked off the ticket campaign about a month or so back so it’s gaining steam as we get closer to the weekend,” he said.
Single game tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids for non-Bulldog games. The tickets for the Bulldog games are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students and $6 for kids. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or online at showpass.com.
The radio show from Calgary Sportsnet 960 The Fan will be broadcasting their afternoon show at the arena and will broadcast the Bulldogs game Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs closed out their weekend home and home against the Brooks Bandits with a 6-3 win at the Eagle Builders Centre.
Five minutes into the first period Bulldogs forward Tyler Wallace his second of the year on the powerplay to get the home team on the board. Bailey Ewonus would add to the Bulldogs’ lead to make 2-0 just over midway through the period.
Although Brooks’ Heath Armstrong would cut into the lead with just a few minutes left in the opening frame on the powerplay. At the beginning of the second period, Brooks tied up the game 2-2 after Aiden Fink scored.
The Bulldogs went on a three-goal run in a two-minute span with tallies from Brendan Ross, Connor Dick, and Jack Plandowski. The Bulldogs led 5-2 to head into the third period.
Brooks scored just over four minutes into the final frame but as close as they would get. Tyler Wallace netted his third of the season two minutes later to close out the win.
With three assists on the evening, team captain Brett Meerman leads the AJHL with four goals and five assists for nine points in just four games.