The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs are getting set for the annual Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Hockey Tournament in Calgary, which starts Boxing Day. The Chiefs took on the U16 male Team Alberta squad at the Enmax Centrium Wednesday. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Optimist Chiefs set for AAA tournament

The annual Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Hockey Tournament starts on Boxing Day in Calgary

The Red Deer Midget AAA Optimist Chiefs are set to get back on the ice as soon as Christmas is over.

The Chiefs will be one of 25 teams to play in the annual Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Hockey Tournament in Calgary starting Boxing Day.

Doug Quinn, Chiefs head coach, said the team is excited for the tournament.

“It’s an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities and skills,” said Quinn. “It’s a high profile tournament. There will be a lot of scouts with junior college teams there, and friends and family watching.”

The tournament gives the Chiefs a look at teams from across the country they typically wouldn’t play. Quinn said the past couple years, the team’s played a squad from Belarus at the tournament.

“That’s one of the things that makes it unique. It’s the best teams out of each league that show up, so it’s an opportunity for us to measure ourselves and see how we match up with some of the best teams in the country and elsewhere,” he said.

A team from New York will compete at the tournament this year.

READ MORE: Red Deer Optimist Chiefs fall in Mac’s Midget tournament final

The Chiefs were defeated in the 2017 tournament finals. Quinn said he isn’t sure what to expect at this year’s event.

“It’s probably one of the most difficult tournaments to win,” he said. “Last year we had to play six or seven games to get to the finals and it’s hard – it’s an endurance test. Sometimes success depends on how your schedule matches up with others.

“It’s one of the most prestigious tournaments to win and we’re certainly going there with that mindset. We’ll have to see how it goes.”

The Chiefs got a bit of practice against a top-tier hockey team Wednesday, when they fell to the U16 male Team Alberta squad 4-2 in an exhibition game at the Enmax Centrium.

SEE MORE: Chiefs take on Team Alberta

Quinn said the game was a good learning experience for his team.

“It was certainly a challenge. Team Alberta has a lot of highly skilled players,” he said. “When you play against kids with a lot of speed and skill there’s a bit of adjustment for the guys.”

Quinn said the Chiefs showed a bit of fatigue after winning the Calgary Edge Sports School Western Challenge a week and a half ago, where the team played five games in four days.

“I thought we were average in the first half of the game,” he said. “I think that fatigue held us back, but I thought we skated better in the third.”

The Chiefs open the Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Hockey Tournament against Beardy’s Blackhawks on Boxing Day. The team also has games scheduled for Dec. 28, 29 and 30.

For more information, visit www.macstournament.ab.ca.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Red Deer Midget AAA Optimist Chief Sean Michalevich drops to one knee to shield the puck from Corson Ceulemans, a member of Team Alberta’s U16 male squad. The two teams played each other in an exhibition game at the Centrium on Wednesday. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Poll suggests Canadian trust in science falling, scientists thought ‘elitist’

A survey suggests that the trust Canadians place in science may be… Continue reading

Red Deer woman lives 102 years with humour, ‘gentle strength’ — and porridge

Minnie Deibert was surrounded by family and friends at her birthday party Sunday

Boy escapes serious injury after falling from third-storey window

SURREY, B.C. — A little boy is very lucky to have escaped… Continue reading

Harmonic singing for young women will be taught at a fall workshop in Red Deer

The Hearts of Harmony Chorus is presenting the Nov. 16 session

‘Crying out for help:’ Calgary radicalization program evolves to help others

CALGARY — The soft-spoken young man wasn’t being recruited by neo-Nazis or… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Liberals pitch middle-class savings as second full week of campaign beckons

OTTAWA — The Liberals tried to turn the page on Justin Trudeau’s… Continue reading

Democrats blast latest Trump crisis. But what will they do?

WASHINGTON — A whistleblower’s complaint over President Donald Trump’s interactions with a… Continue reading

Face transplant recipient’s donor face now failing

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A woman who was severely burned in a domestic… Continue reading

Charity boat with 182 migrants waits to dock in Europe

A non-profit-run ship carrying 182 migrants rescued on the Mediterranean Sea sailed… Continue reading

Singh-Trudeau meeting will be private, say Liberals, but no time set yet

OTTAWA — The Liberal Party pledged Saturday to keep private the details… Continue reading

Glen Assoun calls for reform in how Ottawa considers cases of wrongful conviction

HALIFAX — Tethered to an ankle monitor and alone in a British… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Saturday nights $9 million Lotto 649 jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $9 million jackpot… Continue reading

Most Read